A group of experts, including mostly tax experts but some economists as well, such as Fiscal Council head Daniel Daianu and central bank’s chief economist Valentin Lazea, came up with an analysis of the fiscal system in Romania and a set of measures that would supposedly bring supplementary revenues in the amount of 4% of GDP.
The general recommendations expressed by the experts are remarkably consistent with the rhetoric of the senior Social Democrat Party (PSD).
“It is not fair for entire sectors of activity, or social classes, to be treated preferentially and for aggressive tax optimization to be allowed through various loopholes left in the tax legislation. The rethinking of the tax system must take into account key issues regarding transparency, fairness, the correct distribution of the burden of adjustments to various adverse shocks, solidarity, encouraging labour market participation, encouraging compliance with payment and fulfilment of obligations, discouraging tax evasion and tax arbitrage,” according to the document, quoted by Cursdeguvernare.ro.
Notably, the experts’ proposal for capping the social security contributions for the global income eliminates a key obstacle and opens the door to a more sophisticated (possibly progressive) income taxation. One of the key arguments against progressive taxation was that “it would be too complicated”.
Other measures proposed by the Fiscal Council-backed experts would enjoy Social Democrats’ support – but not so much the support of the entrepreneurs or companies: hiking the dividend tax rate from 5% to 10%, eliminating the income tax waivers in some sectors (IT, constructions), lowering the threshold for preferential corporate tax on revenues as opposed to a tax on profit), banning ownership of multiple microenterprises and in general eliminating all the lucrative loopholes.
“If the recommendations of this study were implemented, then fiscal revenues could increase by about 3.7% to 4.7% of GDP. About half of that increase would come from the elimination of discriminatory exemptions and treatment (especially income tax and income tax), about a third – from the improved collection (especially VAT) and about a sixth – from increased tax rates. (especially environmental and property taxes),” the experts argue.
Such an increase would allow the budgetary correction necessary to get out of the excessive deficit procedure and, especially, the improvement of Romania’s financial soundness, and the sustainability of the public debt.
(Photo: Kittichai Boonpong/ Dreamstime)
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