Kobrin A. Trends of tax control framework regarding small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine

Kobrin A. Trends of tax control framework regarding small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine // Актуальні питання державотворення в Україні: матеріали Міжнародної науково-практичної конференції (22 травня 2015 року) / Редкол.: д.ю.н. І. С. Гриценко (голова), к.ю.н. І. С. Сахарук (відп. ред.) та ін. – К.: Прінт-Сервіс, 2015. – c.522-524
Topicality of the work is connected with a fact that small and medium-sized enterprises (hereinafter — SMEs) and tax control issues are not well-researched together.

SMEs are important for economics of Ukraine because among all enterprises in Ukraine there are 99,8% of the SMEs [Кількість підприємств за їх розмірами за видами економічної діяльності у 2013 році [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://bit.ly/1P95owE] with 67,3% employed people [Кількість найманих працівників на підприємствах за їх розмірами за видами економічної діяльності у 2013 році [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://bit.ly/1EmqOvS]. Tax control depends on state policy and influences on SMEs.

There is no single list of all trends in scientific literature, but the most relevant ones can be identified. In my opinion, they are the following.

1) Eurointegration. Ukraine signed and ratified the Association Agreement Between the European Union (hereinafter — EU) and Its Member States, of the One Part, and Ukraine, of the Other Part (hereinafter — the Association Agreement) and has an aim to join the European Union. Thus, Ukraine has to reform some fields of legal regulation and provide appropriate level of its fulfillment. One of such fields is taxation, especially tax control. There is no direct interconnection between taxation, especially tax control, and SMEs in the Association agreement, but systematic interpretation leads us to the following conclusions. Tax administration which conducts tax control shall be enhanced and strengthened in the contexts of some areas defined in articles 127, 349-352, whilst articles 76, 282, 378, 379 stress on improvements of the administrative and regulatory framework. In my opinion such a framework includes tax administration, which can be considered as a part of administrative framework.

2) The second trend is reforms, especially tax reform. This trend is connected with the previous one, but such a trend has more internal direction and short- and long-term perspectives, when the first one is more directed to international obligations and is long perspective.

On August 6, 2014 at the meeting of the Ukrainian government presented the concept of reforms of the tax system [Урядом оприлюднено Концепцію реформування податкової системи України [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://bit.ly/1FWkDTX]. This document on page 20 shows changes which should be implemented in the administration of

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taxes, but it doesn’t tell anything about changes in tax control [Концепція реформування податкової системи України [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://bit.ly/1DYXZUX].

On December 28, 2014 the Parliament adopted two amending laws: law on amendments to the tax code of Ukraine and some other legislative acts of Ukraine regarding tax reform (hereinafter — the tax reform law) and law on amendments to the tax code of Ukraine concerning improvement of tax control over transfer pricing. In my opinion, the problem with the tax reform law can be arisen, because it was adopted with some procedural mistakes (conflict between article 90(5) of the rules of procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Article 4(1.9) of the tax code).

The tax reform law changed some provisions of the tax code regarding tax control, but such changes were nor crucial in comparison with past regulation. It just changed some provisions or words in articles 63, 64, 70, 73, 75, 78, 80 and 82 of the tax code. One positive aspect of the tax reform law is establishment of tax control moratorium (clause 3 of final provisions) providing that in 2015 and 2016 tax inspections of enterprises with income up to 20 million hryvnia can be conducted by the controlling authorities only on the permission of the government, the application of the enterprises, court judgement, or on grounds provided by the criminal procedural code.

3) One more modern trend is initiatives from the private sector criticizing the existing tax regulation, especially concerning tax control. Active participation of citizens, companies and
organizations in draft-law making process increases.

One perspective proposition should be considered in the context of tax control reform. This is «A reform of tax system of Ukraine» which was prepared by non-governmental organization «Tax Advisors Association». On pages 9-10 of this presentation the following ideas were presented: (1) elimination of the tax police. On the basis of the tax police, departments of the Ministry Interior Affairs and Security Service, responsible for investigating economic crimes, to establish a separate unit — the Financial Guard subordinated to the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Justice; (2) cancellation of factual and office inspections, verifications; (3) prohibit violations of working hours of the company during the inspections; (4) cancel plans for additional accruals, (5) reduce the number of inspections of taxpayers (including unscheduled ones), (6) establishment of a single document — the act and tax notice-decision; (7) development and improvement, and introduction into the tax code clear, transparent and understandable criteria for selecting businesses for inspections; (8) provide taxpayers the right to choose the method of inspection of the completeness and timeliness of accrual of taxes — the tax authority or audit company; establish responsibility for audit companies for possible tax additional accrual [Реформування податкової системи України [Електронний ресурс] / Громадська організація «Асоціація податкових радників» – Режим доступу: http://bit.ly/1QPMyZZ].

Such ideas, to some extent, are topical for the reform and can be adopted, but with the following remarks.

There are doubts that we can just eliminate factual and office inspections, verifications, because sometimes such inspections are useful to control, for example, factual presence of objects of tax control. In the context of this problem it is better to reduce number of these inspections. In this prospective I see that it is better to enhance and promote electronic inspections. Moreover, such inspections preferably could be the main form of inspections. It would simplify procedures and time of the sides. Electronic inspections could be scheduled and unscheduled, but they would be always off-site. Only if the controlling authorities had doubts

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concerning activity of the enterprise they could conduct the factual or scheduled on-site inspection. Anyway, criteria for non-electronic inspections could be complicated in order to prevent abusive behavior of the controlling authorities. Establishment of electronic inspections as the main type of inspections could eliminate the problem of violations of working hours of the company during the inspections.

Therefore, as a result of my work three trends have been identified, but it doesn’t mean that there are no other trends.

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