THE STATE is forecast to have collected €261 million more in taxes and levies in 2013 than expected in the previous estimate of November, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír reported on February 15, citing data from the latest tax prognosis drawn up by the Ministry's Financial Policy Institute (IFP).

Kažimír emphasised that the gradual boost is mostly due to better VAT collection, which rose from 12.5 percent in 2Q12 to 13.7 percent in 4Q13. Experts from the IFP suggest that last year the state managed to collect €166 million more in VAT alone compared to the November estimate, the TASR newswire reported.

Furthermore, regarding the 2014 estimate, the state is expected to secure €189 million more than forecast in the previous prognosis.

"This is yet the third prognosis in a row to indicate the good news that the incomes from taxes and levies has been growing," stressed Kažimír.

The minister added that the prognosis did not factor in the introduction (as of January 1) of the so-called electronic VAT report, however. This is due to the fact that businesses required to present their reports are set to do so by February 25. Kažimír expects the measure will lead to further improvements in tax collection.

Also present at the press conference was Prime Minister Robert Fico, who stated that one of the government’s priorities is to make tax collection more effective and that this aim is being met. That said, the premier pointed to the recent statistics, according to which Slovakia's economy achieved the fourth highest growth in 4Q13 among all 17 member countries of the eurozone. He also envisaged that this rate of growth will continue in 2014, facilitated by greater investments within the automotive industry and the construction of new stretches of motorways.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.