Business sector complains about VAT refunds

Business sector complains about VAT refunds
Businesses in Albania are not being able to have their Value Added Tax refunded in time, thus causing many difficulties in their activity. This concern has constantly been raised by the business community and it was also raised yesterday during a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce with tax authorities. “There have been improvements, but there’s still something which needs to be addressed.

There are taxes such as Value Added Tax or other taxes which are not very clear for the business community and they are not being refunded in time. This may act as an obstacle for those who invest and we have continuously voiced our concerns to the tax administration”, said the head of this business organization, Mark Crawford. Meanwhile, tax authorities have admitted the fact that there have been delays in the process of the refund of VAT to businesses.

They claim that the delay is six months, however, they promise that improvements will be made. According to state representatives, this problem is now being addressed and that a total of 19 billion lek worth will be paid this year to businesses that haven’t had their VAT refunded yet. “I’m sorry that there’s been a six month delay for the refund of VAT in 2018 and this has turned into a big problem for the tax administration”, said the vice director of Taxation Directorate, Xhavit Curri.

According to him, this directorate is working closely with the ministry of Finance, while stressing that there’s a plan to take the amount of money paid to businesses this year to 19 billion lek. “By July 2019, we will try to reduce as much as possible the time that businesses have to wait to be refunded their VAT”, Curri says. Meanwhile, he has also offered details about the application of this plan. “With the payments that we’re making in February, we have cut the waiting time to four months and our goal is to reduce this waiting time even further in six months time”, he explained.

A new refund scheme is proposed: VAT should not be paid by the supplier

In order to avoid existing problems with tax authorities in terms of arrears, businesses have proposed a new scheme for the refund of Value Added Tax (VAT). “We propose that VAT should not be paid by the supplier of the goods or services, but by the beneficiary.

This would not cause many delays in the refund of Value Added Tax”, representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce said. However, this proposal was not accepted by tax authorities. According to them, this would create a very fragile VAT regime.