AmCham’s Businesses Speaks with Minister Ahmetaj on Taxes

The members of the American Chamber of Commerce were introduced to the new Fiscal Package 2018 by the Minister of finance and Economy, Mr. Arben Ahmetaj, during a Working Luncheon together. The meeting focused on the taxes that will be applied during 2018, the business climate and the dialogue that should exist, as well as issues that AmCham businesses are faced with in their daily activity.

in the meeting, Minister Ahmetaj introduced the novelties of the Fiscal Package, clarifying the changes that affect tax levels and the procedures. “For the first time we are introducing into the system, the element of self-correction, enabling businesses to correct their own mistakes without being penalized,” said Minister Ahmetaj.

However, the key element of the Fiscal Package has been the application of VAT for all businesses having a turnover of up to 2 million Lek per year. The issue of VAT application at all levels has been extensively discussed within the business community. Speaking of the incorporation into the VAT system of the businesses, Minister Ahmetaj mentioned that in this scheme now will be included only 9,000 while 61,000 businesses will remain outside the VAT scheme.

“This means that mobile vendors, municipal market vendors and craftsmen are excluded, and if today they constitute nearly 70,000 businesses, which are outside the VAT declaration scheme, only 9,000 will be brought into the scheme, while 61,000 will still be excluded due to the low level of their turnover, below 2 million Lek annually,” said Minister Ahmetaj.

Minister Ahmetaj also referred to the reduction of the VAT for the tourism sector, as positive news and which will have an impact on the economy. “A significant change is the one that affects the tourism sector, namely the new 5 stars hotels to be built”. VAT applied will be 6 percent for all newly-built 5 stars hotels, which are brand names, for all services they render. This facility benefits only the hotels listed as brand names by UN. In parallel, luxury hotels will benefit from tax exemption for a ten-year period.

Meanwhile, the members of the American Chamber took the opportunity to speak with Minister Ahmetaj on some of the issues that affect their activities. VAT reimbursement, tax rates, economic operator status or customs reference were some of the issues brought forward by the members of the American Chamber.