THE COLLECTION of value added tax in September and October exceeded the government’s expectations. It is €130 million, or one fifth, higher than what was projected, the Sme daily reported, adding that the government does not yet know whether the higher amount is due to increased spending by households in shops or a drop in occurrences of tax fraud.
Economists believe that if government measures are behind the improved result, the credit should go to the national receipt lottery.
“The shopkeepers might have gotten scared and they started functioning the way they should normally be functioning,” tax advisor Roman Konrad told Sme, adding, however, that it is not clear whether this change is only temporary.
But government officials spoke enthusiastically about the numbers. Prime Minister Robert Fico said the state measures against tax evasions were bearing fruit, while Finance Minister Peter Kažimír specified that the greatest achievements in this respect were in the collection of VAT.
“For the first time in seven years, we’ve managed to improve VAT collection,” he said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, citing figures recorded over the past two months. Kažimír added that while €130 million was from VAT collection, another €60 million came from higher income tax imposed on legal entities and €20 million in consumer taxes.
Kažimír also revealed that as of next year, the government is planning to introduce yet another package of measures set to further improve tax collection, paying particular attention to so-called carousel fraud, wherein VAT can be collected on goods and services not rendered. Also, the government wants to introduce an electronic VAT statement and assess the results of the state receipt lottery.
Kažimír said it is necessary to wait for the so-called flash estimate of the Statistics Office on third quarter economic growth. Only then, will it be clear to what extent the higher amount resulted from better tax collection or improved economic growth, according to SITA.