On October 30th, 2014, Foreign Investors Association of Albania (FIAA) in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Albanie (CCIFA) organized the Fiscal Package Forum, with an exclusive presentation from the Minister of Finance, Mr. Shkelqim Cani on the novelties and future challenges of the fiscal package 2015.
Mr. Patrick Pascal- President of FIAA and Mr. Julien Roche- President of CCIFA welcomed the Minister and Guests addressing remarks on behalf of each organization. They both highlighted the necessity of the Forum and the presentation of the Fiscal Package to the business community, and expressed for a continuous and fruitful cooperation among FIAA and CCIFA. They also stated that both organizations, have been very active in offering suggestions and comments related to fiscal legislation, therefore, their members were looking forward to see whether such suggestions were taken into consideration.
The Organizers Panel was also represented by Mrs. Loreta Peci who is the Deputy Chairman in the Fiscal Committee near the Ministry of Finances which acts as a platform for the discussion of the fiscal draft laws and amendments with the business community. In her word Mrs. Peci stressed that: “Being in an environment where corruption and the informality are still a big challenge for our society, we expect that the proposed changes of fiscal legislation will address these concerns and help in fighting the corruption and decreasing the level of informality in our economy”.
Minister Cani thanked both organizations for their contribution given through member‘s comments on various draft laws and expressed for cooperation to better meet expectations in order to build a healthy economic environment. The Minister stated that the data of the Fiscal Package are not yet official, but the two main objectives of the Government are: economic growth and reduction of public debt.
Other important reforms will be applied in: Pension Reform, Energy Sector, Overdue obligations, Administrative-Territorial Reform, etc.
For year 2015 the Government is taking into consideration various fiscal measures, consulted in prior with the business community. These measures aim to:
- Stimulate prior sectors of the Government
- Improve tax procedures
- Consolidate public finances
The Minister presented 10 points of intervention in the 2015 Fiscal Package as supporting/facilitating measures, respectively for:
Insurance sector: Removal of VAT & implementation of the tax 3 % on gross prim.
Increase of mining rent for central government and removal of limitation in the budget law.
For domestic refineries: the customs tax of gross diesel to be reduced from 10 % to 0 %.
Sector of processing of minerals: Reduction of the rent of 1/3 for processed chrome.
New tires: reduction of the customs tax from 15% to 10%.
- Volunteering Pensions: are excluded from the taxing on personal incomes the contributions in voluntarily funds of pensions at the moment of the contribution.
- Losses: adjusting the definition of norms of losses, losses during production, storing and transportation (DCM within 6 months).
- Amortisation with the remaining value: in the new package it is put a floor to 3% (buildings etc) and 10% (computers, machineries, etc). Under these values, there will be deductive expense of that tax period.
- Reimbursement of VAT: further facilitation by placing risk as a criterion for control (removing the obligatory control).
- 5. Package of Agriculture
- Enabling facility for agro-processors by acknowledging 20% VAT deductive for supplies from farmers (from 6% before).
- Fishing sector is excluded from the tax of circulation and carbon for fuel stations (exclusions approximately to 67 leke/liter)
- First raw materials: will be removed customs tariffs for wheat, biological material, flour, animal food, breeding animals.
Afterwards the Minister presentation, a Questions & Answers session was hold. Ms. Peci thanked the Minister for his presence and for discussing the expected changes in the fiscal legislation for the coming year. “FIAA, together with other stakeholders, have been very active in offering suggestions and comments related to fiscal legislation, so our members are looking forward to see whether such suggestions are taken into consideration. Also we are interested to know where the government stands with the promise of drafting the VAT instruction and finalizing it (which means discussing it with all interested parties) before the law itself enters into force on 1st of January 2015.
We also hope that these changes will help a larger taxpayer’s base- including all businesses and individuals of the tax system.
The business community believes that the increase of tax rates is not the answer to these concerns and do not help the state budget, either. Therefore, we need to see more laws and instructions that address these issues rather than just increasing taxes”- concluded Ms. Peci.
The Minister expressed the will of his institution and of the Government to continue with reforms to support business and in particular foreign investors’ community in Albania.
The evening continued with a friendly cocktail.