Covid-19 crisis support provided by State Tax Service in Moldova

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Extension of deadlines

According to the provisions of the Decision No. 3 dated 23.03.2020 of the Commission for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Moldova, the following measures have been adopted:

- the declaration and payment of income tax, real estate tax, land tax and local taxes for the year 2019 by individual entrepreneurs or farming households, whose annual average number of employees during the entire fiscal period does not exceed 3 units and which are not registered as VAT payers and

- the declaration of income tax from the operational activity for the year 2019 by the small and medium-sized enterprises, will not be carried out until April 25, 2020.

The declaration and payment of income tax for the year 2019 by individuals (citizens of the Republic of Moldova, foreign citizens and stateless persons, including members of companies and shareholders of investment funds) will not be carried out until May 29, 2020.

 

Deferral of payments

According to the provisions of the Decision No. 3 dated 23.03.2020 of the Commission for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Moldova, the payment of income tax from the entrepreneurial activity in instalments for the first quarter of the year 2020 will not be carried out until June 25, 2020.

 

Remitting penalties and interest

According to the provisions of the Decision No. 1 dated 18.03.2020 of the Commission for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Moldova, the calculation of interest and penalties related to the enforcement procedures during the period of emergency is suspended.

 

Suspending debt recovery

According to the provisions of the Decision No. 1 dated 18.03.2020 of the Commission for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Moldova, the enforcement procedures regarding the garnishing of wages and other incomes are suspended.

 

Audit policies and tax certainty

According to the provisions of the Decision No. 3 dated 23.03.2020 of the Commission for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Moldova, it has been established a moratorium on state control, including tax audit until June 1, 2020. The moratorium is not applied in case of controlling the methods of prices formation and application. The deadline for examining the cases of violations of tax legislation or for examining the tax appeals that occurred during the declared emergency period is extended until May 29, 2020.

The deadline for submitting the disagreement related to tax audit carried out during the declared emergency period is extended until May 29, 2020. The deadline for submitting the appeals regarding the State Tax Service decisions / actions made aware during the declared emergency period is extended until June 15, 2020. The moratorium on the fiscal posts established by tax authorities is applied until June 1, 2020, with the possibility of extending the moratorium.

Besides the above-mentioned actions, there have been also taken a series of “Pro business” actions such as:

- VAT rate for the HORECA sector is reduced from 20% to 15% starting with May 1, 2020;

- fiscal visits are suspended during the state of emergency;

- cancellation of the obligation to carry out the compulsory audit of the individual financial statements for the year 2019, except for public interest entities;

- Call Center of the State Tax Service (080001525) offers 24/24 consultative support to citizens and businesses.

 

Enhanced services and communication initiatives

To strengthen and maintain the communication process with the taxpayers, the State Tax Service has put in place a set of related actions, such as providing assistance and support through the dedicated assistance line within the Call Centre (with working program 24/7), but also placing updated information on the official STS web and Facebook page.  STS has encouraged taxpayers to use the following communication channels:

- the STS Call Centre (free call at the number 080001525), with a dedicated line, whose working hours have been extended to 24/7;

- the official e-mail: mail@sfs.md;

- Facebook page;

- the generalized basis of fiscal practice, available on the official web page: www.sfs.md;

- electronic fiscal services: https://servicii.fisc.md/. 

 

Other measures

During the state of emergency, the state entirely exempts from taxes and duties on salaries paid to employees in technical unemployment the economic agents who had to stop their activity due to the anti-epidemic restrictions imposed by the authorities. The exemption mechanism involves the immediate reimbursement from the State Budget of the payments related to salaries taxation made by the economic agents to the budget. Through this mechanism, it is ensured the sustainability of the budget, but also the business is reimbursed about 43% of the expenses related to salaries. For the economic agents from other branches, the state reimburses 60% of the amount of taxes related to salary payments, according to the same mechanism.

 

Business Continuity Measures

Governance arrangements

In order to address the pandemic challenges, the State Tax Service has adopted a set of measures oriented towards ensuring the business continuity. Therefore, it has created a Commission for emergency situations, which consists of senior officials and Heads of Departments with significant professional and managerial experience. The Commission conducts its meetings when needed to take concrete decisions. The decisions are then made public to the employees through the internal communication platform.

 

Scenario planning

Since the emergency situation regime has been introduced in the country, the State Tax Service has started planning all the activities to ensure the functionality and the continuity of its activities, strictly following the provisions of the Commission for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Moldova. Thus, working groups have been created within the institution, so that a part of the groups are involved in current activities for a period of two weeks, being later replaced by other employees. In this way, all the activities are carried out in a timely and properly manner, with a limited use of human resources.

 

Identification of critical and non-critical activities

Taking into account the created pandemic situation and the restrictions that have been imposed, the State Tax Service firstly has reviewed the timeframe for all the tax reports that have to be submitted. Thus, they have been prioritized and amendments have been made to the existing procedures, so that the deadlines for submitting tax returns and for paying the income tax have been extended.

 

Understanding critical vulnerabilities

The State Tax Service started to adapt its activities to the new circumstances, taking into account the provisions of the Commission for Emergency Situations, so that the entire process of planning and performing the activities has been monitored and guided by the Heads of Departments. Thus, special attention has been paid to the Human Resources Management Department, Information Development Department, and Operative Tax Audit Department.

 

Staff and taxpayer safety

The State Tax Service has undertaken all the possible measures and actions to diminish the transmission risks for the employees. There have been purchased and distributed protection masks and gloves, hand sanitizers. The interaction of the front office employees with the taxpayers is limited, the use of online communication channels being encouraged. The employees are permanently notified about the Decisions of the Commission for Emergency Situations and all the activities are carried out in strict compliance with these.        

 

Remote working

Currently it is not possible to carry out remote working entirely. However, some of the employees perform their activities remotely.   

 

Contact arrangements

The employees have been informed from the beginning about the risks of contamination from the virus and about the means of protection. All employees have signed a self-declaration where they have committed to inform the senior manager and the Human Resources Management Department in case of contacting the persons that come from contaminated areas. The employees also provided their updated contact details. The employees are also obliged to report sickness and other absences to their managers and Human Resources Management Department.   

 

Communicating

The State Tax Service diversified the communication channels with the taxpayers. Thus STS encourages the use of online channels, such as official webpage, email, Facebook, as well as the dedicated line of the call centre that is operational 24/24. 

 

Training and redeployment

During the year all the employees are trained through the e-learning platform, webinars and various training sessions, so that, if necessary, some employees may be redeployed to certain critical positions.

 

Recruitment and retention

The recruitment process of new staff is suspended for the emergency period. It is important to mention that only a few older people are working for the State Tax Service, all of them being granted leave from work.  

 


 

In case you have any document of information which you find worth to share regarding the actions, measures or concrete experiences in countering the crisis, please do not hesitate to upload it to the subpage focusing on Covid-19 Crisis Support on IOTA website in order to share it with other members.