After learning that citizens who earn part-time from abroad were demanded to retroactively file tax returns and pay taxes for the previous several years, the Protector of Citizens initiated own-initiative investigation to control the regularity and legality of the Tax Administration of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia.
“Citizens addressed us stating that they were suddenly requested to pay huge taxes for several previous years on income from abroad, which they earn through part-time work in the field of IT services, graphic design, foreign language classes…It is not the collection of taxes that is disputable, but the manner in which the control of tax returns and tax collection is performed in these cases ", said the Protector of Citizens Zoran Pašalić.
Mr. Pašalić has requested the Tax Administration to inform him within 15 days whether in previous years it pointed out to citizens regularly, in a public and transparent manner, that income from abroad based on the provision of various types of services is taxable income, as well as to the obligations of individuals who earn such income to file tax returns, i.e. to calculate taxes and contributions themselves and settle their tax liabilities.
The Protector of Citizens also requests the Tax Administration to provide him with data on the number of performed checks of tax collection from individuals who earn income from abroad from October 2020 until the end of that year, as well as the number of controls performed to verify the filing of tax returns and tax collection in the previous five years for each year separately.
Although the Tax Administration, pursuant to Article 24 of the Law on Tax Procedure and Tax Administration, is not obliged to inform taxpayers about their liabilities except upon their personal request, Mr. Pašalić points out that a more responsible and flexible attitude of this competent body towards taxpayers is needed, considering that these are new services.
“The Tax Administration should be a service to citizens that will regularly and precisely indicate their obligations to them. Citizens cannot be held solely responsible to fulfill tax liabilities on their own initiative, which the Tax Administration had not informed them about” the Protector of Citizens highlighted.