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Tax Agency lacks 30 million euros

TIRANA, July 17- Revenues collected from taxes, customs, social insurance and others, in the first six months of the year were 225.5 billion lek (1.8 billion euros), according to fiscal statistics published by the Ministry of Finance. Compared with the same period of the previous year, the revenues increased by 3.9 percent supported by personal income tax, profit tax, local taxes, social insurance contributions, while the VAT had the most negative performance in the budget during this period.

Yet, in relation to the government’s plan, the budget lacks 3.6 billion lek, or about 30 million euros. This failure in realizing the plan was the reason why Prime Minister Edi Rama dismissed Enton Duro as Tax Director three months after his appointing to the institution, and replaced with Delina Ibrahim. Rama announced the launch of a strict anti-informal action. “For nearly a year we have been trying to raise awareness, information, and business consulting in relation to tax obligations, minimizing punitive access. Enough with the illegal competition now and with frauds at the expense of the customer,” the prime minister said.

VAT that is the tax that generates more revenue for the budget, with 29 percent of the total for January-June has marked a decline of 3 percent, reaching 66 billion lek. VAT is a direct indicator of turnover in the economy and its non-collection shows a contraction in consumption. Finances have stated earlier that the reasons for the fall in VAT revenues are the near-ending of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and Devoll projects which have reduced activity, the lowering of energy exports, and stopping the gambling activities.

The decline in VAT revenues was offset by the significant increase in the personal income tax item, revenues from which increased by 27 percent and amounted to 2 billion lek (16 million euros) more than planned. This increase is related to the fact that large companies are distributing overdue dividends, as under the new law they have the right to distribute backdated dividends by the end of September in order to benefit from a tax cut from 15 to 8 percent. Mobile operator Telekom Albania previously announced that it had distributed the profits and reserves of the 2001-2010 period from 400 million euros as dividends. Only from this company the government has received 32 million euros.

The income from profit tax increased by 14 percent, or 2 billion lek more than the plan. Local government has collected 31 percent more revenue from local taxes, mainly from the construction tax on infrastructure, while property taxes have stalled again after a strong growth in March. Revenues from special funds such as social security and health insurance, increased by about 6 percent on an annual basis for January-June, while tax rates fell by 9.1 percent.

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