Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Serbia declared a state of emergency on 15 March, and a virus epidemic on 19 March. The authorities have announced specific tax measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of its citizens and curbing the economic impact.
Reduction of interest for late payments
First specific tax measure during state of emergency is reduction of the interest for late payment of tax to 1.75% per year for all taxpayers. This is a significant reduction because the interest rate for late payment of tax under the current tax laws was 11.75% (reference rate increased for 10 percentage points).
In addition, the Tax Administration of Serbia (TA) will tolerate late payment of tax instalments of taxpayers who are allowed to pay tax with delay in monthly instalments. The TA will also not initiate enforced collection procedure against these taxpayers, and it will not charge any interest for late payment to these taxpayers if they fail to pay instalments on time.
Above mentioned measures are introduced by the Governmental Decree from 20 March 2020 and are applicable during state of emergency.
Communcation with the Serbian Tax Administration
The TA encourages taxpayers to communicate electronically with TA and it published e-mail addresses that should be used by taxpayers for sending their inquiries and requests. Taxpayers may also send their motions in hardcopy to following addresses of regional TA offices:
The TA also confirmed that the internet portal (“e-porezi”) is functioning properly, and that all taxpayers, legal entities and individuals should use the portal for the purpose of filing of tax returns and requests for issuing of tax certificates.
Tax authorities of local municipalities that are in charge for property tax and local taxes closed their desks and it is not possible to communicate with them in person but only over the phone and e-mail.
Central registry of social insurance asked all users to communicate electronically. Fund of pension and disability insurance introduced e-desk services and asked individuals to file their requests to the fund via e-mails.
Whether the Government will introduce additional tax measures to help businesses, remains to be seen, particularly when it comes to the postponement of the deadline for the introduction of personal income tax incentives to employees that will expire on 30 April this year. The taxpayers also expect that the TA will be able to handle requests for VAT refunds during a health crisis in order to keep businesses running.