The Ministry of Finance of Serbia recently drafted a new law which is supposed to curb the grey economy and establish much better taxpayer monitoring. The new fiscalization system is supposed to help the Serbian Tax Authority collect taxes more efficiently by replacing 20-year-old fiscal cash registers and fiscal printers.
Serbian authorities, who revolutionized fiscalization in 2004, being the first to introduce GPRS terminals to enable remote access to sales points, claim that the new model will be universal, and everyone will be a part of it, except for maybe a few industries. According to the draft, every receipt issued will be transferred to the Tax Authority in real-time through a stable internet connection. However, if a receipt cannot be transferred in real-time due to the internet connection breaking, then it will be securely saved in the internal memory of the electronic fiscal device until the connection re-appears.
Additionally, all the receipts will be digitally signed by a secure element, which will also confirm the identity of a taxpayer – especially when exchanging information with the local Tax Authority.
The current Serbian fiscal system demands regular servicing and saving all the physical receipts for when an inspector arrives etc. The new system is supposed to replace all this by cutting down the overall costs and unnecessary administration.
The draft law on fiscalization proposes that a taxpayer must issue a fiscal invoice using an electronic fiscal device, which consists of a few elements (fiscal invoice processor and electronic invoicing system) and previously approved by the Tax Authority. The Tax Authority will also establish an approved registry of electronic fiscal devices’ elements. On the other hand, a taxpayer is allowed to develop and implement the electronic fiscal device according to their own business’ specific needs – this also must be pre-approved by the Tax Authority, though.
The draft also predicts that customers will be able to check the validity of their receipts and report them if they see anything irregular.
Attempts for modernization in this field has been strongly opposed in Serbia for a while now – the main worry being that taxpayers will have to handle all the costs which will present a burden. However, the Finance Minister assured that the country will handle most, if not all the costs of the new system.
The Authorities confirmed that the country will dedicate about RSD 3.5 billion (approximately EUR 30 million) for the new fiscal solution. They believe the country will see the return of this investments within a year and a half.
Prior to adopting the law, the country plans to have consultations with the economic entities and other interested parties so they would be properly informed in a timely manner about the proposed legal solutions. This means that they can contribute to the new fiscal model by improving the proposed solutions.
Serbia plans to enforce the law starting from January 1st, 2022. In the meantime, the Government will pass necessary bylaws for the implementation of the new fiscal model. This should allow enough time for taxpayers to align their operations with the provisions of the new law.