AmCham Albania meets with the General Director of Taxes, Ms. Vasilika Vjero
The American Chamber of Commerce organized a Business Forum with the General Directorate of Taxes, represented by the general director, Ms. Vasilika Vjero, and the deputy directors, Mr. Xhavit Curri and Mr. Flobens Dilaveri. It has become a tradition that at the start of each year AmCham members discuss with the tax authorities the problems they have encountered in their work in relation to the tax administration.
Ms. Vjero spoke about significant changes in the tax organization, following a philosophy of serving taxpayers, not on trying to find every excuse for penalizing them. Examples of working towards better service are the new call center and the redesigned website, both intended to help address business questions without the need to visit the tax offices. The administration is focusing on increasing self-compliance, reducing informality, increasing the professional aptitude of the staff, and fighting corruption.
Speaking on behalf of AmCham, the Head of the Tax and Legal Committee, Ms. Alketa Uruçi, presented a summary of several issues and complaints that member businesses have reported and that have been discussed by the committee. Ms. Uruçi underlined the need for fighting informality continuously, not just with short-term campaigns, as a way that the tax administration can contribute every day to creating an environment of fair competition. She also expressed concerns that the Fiscal Amnesty Law expected soon would create the wrong incentives and favor businesses that have not met their obligations over those that have worked to meet requirements and pay taxes correctly and on time.
Other issues reported by AmCham members included problems related to the information system of the tax administration and VAT refunds. The latter problems stemmed from a practice of declaring VAT as creditable but not refundable when the credit balance came as a result of the application of reference prices by customs, when the purchased goods were still warehoused and waiting to be sold, and when businesses did not yet have sales activity to create offsetting VAT obligations.
The meeting continued with responses to these issues from the tax authority leaders and with a question and answer session. Business representatives informed Ms. Vjero of problems they have encountered affecting either a single business or multiple businesses in the same sector. In answering questions and addressing concerns, the tax director and deputy directors promised to work with the businesses and AmCham staff to follow up on the issues presented, as well as to organize further meetings with the Regional Directorates of Taxes and with technical experts to continue improving the constructive dialogue and to benefit from sharing experience.
In closing the meeting, AmCham Executive Director, Mr. Lorenc Gjoni, thanked the members for their contribution to the meetings and used the occasion of having a high number of members present to introduce his successor, Ms. Enida Bezhani, who was recently selected by the AmCham Board of Directors and will soon join the organization after a long and successful experience at TAP Albania.