Deloitte analysis: How do Romania and other European countries assess the fiscal

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Deloitte analysis: How do Romania and other European countries assess the fiscal risk with implications for tax audits and VAT registration

1 November 2018

The notion of "risk analysis", used by tax authorities in order to initiate audits or to make decisions regarding VAT registration, is provided by the legislation of seven out of ten European states that responded to a Deloitte Romania survey on this topic. The procedure is, generally, non-transparent, as it is in Romania, but less restrictive.

"Risk analysis is a benchmark in the administration of taxpayers, being used during their entire «lives»: from the moment of registration (obtaining VAT code), during their existence (tax audits, tax refunds) and deregistration. Its aim is to detect areas of non-compliance, fraud or tax evasion. Given the importance of the risk analysis, we wanted to benchmark the practices of other European countries. We found that most of the respondents to our survey have the notion provided by legislation, but the risk criteria, the communication with taxpayers, the remedies are different and, in general, the pressure on taxpayers is lower than in Romania. Although the procedure is more stringent in Romania, the results of reducing tax evasion and fraud are still to show up, questioning its effectiveness compared to the administrative effort imposed on good-faith taxpayers", explains Ramona Tariuc, Tax Director, Deloitte Romania.

"Recently, Romanian tax authorities have taken a step towards transparency and have begun to send information notes on tax risk criteria that could trigger fiscal audits. The business environment has constantly required more openness, and last summer, during the public debates on amending legislation, has proposed transparency of risk analysis criteria, procedure to reconsider a previously established level of risk, as well as the existence of legal remedies to contest its results", said Dan Badin, Tax & Legal Partner-in-Charge, Deloitte Romania.

Main findings of the analysis

  • Deloitte experts from Romania and other ten countries responded to the survey: Greece, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Netherlands.
  • Legislation in Romania and other seven European countries provide the concept of risk analysis for fiscal audits: Greece, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, the Netherlands.
  • The procedure is completely transparent in Hungary and relatively transparent in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Greece, Switzerland and Romania.
  • Taxpayers are informed by a note / letter in seven countries: Greece, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands and Romania. But both the way and the moment of communication vary from country to country.
  • Taxpayers may have objections to risk rating in five countries: Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
  • The risk analysis procedure is also used for VAT registration purposes only in Romania and Greece. In Poland, Germany, Slovakia and Slovenia certain information may be required on a case-by-case basis.

"According to our analysis the Hungarian procedure is an example of good practice, being a fully transparent, automatic, public classification system of taxpayers in three categories: reliable, neutral and risky. They are informed of the outcome of the assessment. In our view, a transparent and clear procedure of this kind helps taxpayers giving them the opportunity to remedy the non-compliant situations, probably contest the level of risk and clarify the issues regarding the existence / absence of risk indicators in order to avoid unnecessary checks’, says Ramona Tariuc.

The purpose of risk analysis, tax implications

"Some states prefer not to publish the procedure considering they protect the budget revenues from those who could use the information in bad faith. However, in the case of VAT, the indicator published by the European Commission - the difference between expected VAT revenues and VAT actually collected - does not confirm or invalidate the opinion that the non-transparent procedures support better tax collection. For example, Romania and Greece have the first and second largest gaps in the EU, and Croatia is the third smallest gap, although all of them have non-public procedures, and Romania and Greece apply it also to VAT registration. The openness of the authorities is especially useful for the taxpayers of good faith, which thus avoid additional administrative burden and can fulfill the legal requirements more simply and faster”, says Dan Badin.

In 2017, Romanian tax authorities developed risk criteria also for VAT registration/cancellation purposes. Previously, the authorities used the risk analysis for tax audits, including VAT refunds.                

Deloitte provides worldwide audit, consulting, legal, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500 companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and high-quality service to address clients' most complex business challenges. Deloitte's purpose is to make an impact that matters through its approximately 286,000 professionals.

Deloitte Romania is one of the leading professional services organizations in the country, providing services, in cooperation with Reff & Associates, in audit, tax, legal, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, business processes, technology and other related fields, through more than 1,200 professionals.

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