09:43 28.12.2021

Business slightly improves assessment of Ukraine's tax regime, it becomes neutral for first time - EBA

3 min read
Business slightly improves assessment of Ukraine's tax regime, it becomes neutral for first time - EBA

A survey of 101 tax experts from the companies that are members of the European Business Association (EBA) in the framework of the Tax Index Survey 2021 showed a slight improvement in the assessment of the situation with taxation - 3.01 points with a maximum of 5 compared to 2.9 points in the previous wave of the survey, which covers the second and third quarters of 2020.

"For the first time in the decade-long Index history, its integrated value has reached the neutral plane with 3.01 points out of 5 possible. In the previous period, the tax index amounted to 2.90 points," the report says.

"The increased integrated value is largely due to a significant improvement in the fiscal pressure evaluation as one of the index components. Survey participants rated the situation regarding fiscal pressure at 3.63 points out of 5 possible. Thus, the number of respondents who did not notice any displays of pressure on their company has doubled compared to last year and amounted to 36% in 2021. Another 14% reported that fiscal pressure was almost absent," it reads.

"The number of respondents who reported significant displays of pressure also decreased slightly to 19% (32% in the previous period). In this regard, businesses experienced most often the unreasoned interpretation of tax legislation by regulatory bodies and baseless information requests," according to the document.

"On the other hand, the quality of tax legislation received the lowest score among the index components with a slight decrease compared to last year – 2.71 points out of 5 possible. The tax administration and tax reporting were also given moderate evaluations. Only 12% of respondents consider this procedure easy. Another 28% believe that it is complex, although the majority of respondents, namely 64%, rate it satisfactorily," it says.

"The main negative factor to the easiness of tax administration and reporting is the rapid implementation of new rules and lack of time for adaptation as reported by the business. Although previously the factors of the amount of time spent on taxes and the number of payments prevailed," the release says.

"I would like to note that the survey was conducted on the eve of the mass blockade of VAT invoices in December, so the Tax Index does not reflect the full picture for 2021. In particular, companies have begun to actively seek help and support in unblocking VAT invoices, and also, we have all witnessed several high-profile tax decisions based on the results of inspections. So, we would like to point out that despite the general improvement in the situation with fiscal pressure, business is still facing blatant abuses from the tax service at the end of the year," Svitlana Mykhailovska, the EBA Deputy Director for Advocacy, said.

"The number of respondents who believe that the current tax regime has contributed to the development of their business remains dramatically low. These are only 6% (7% last year). As for the tax areas that need improvement, the experts put personal income tax as the first priority, then corporate income tax, and finally the value-added tax," the report says.

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