The government has adopted the first set of measures - delaying payment of tax and non-tax claims for 90 days a new set of measures will follow. Limited movement was introduced to Montenegro.
A business plan is being developed which includes assumptions about the degree of loss of income.
Identification of critical and non-critical activities
SMEs will be subject to additional support measures (other than delaying payments up to 90 days). One of the methods of assistance is the possibility to apply for a loan from the funds of the Investment and Development Fund. This is only possible for those who are prohibited from working or hindered by the new circumstances.
Understanding critical vulnerabilities
Some of the activities in progress include looking at IT systems and maintenance, security, and identification of core staff.
Staff and taxpayer safety
The first measure taken to protect staff and taxpayers was to close the counter (direct contact was prohibited) in all branches. Taxpayers can communicated with the Tax Administration via email, mail, telephone and public networks.
Access to the IT system remotely is restricted (for security purposes, to minimise possibility vulnerabilities in data access), so only a certain number of employees are able to access the data remotely and therefore able to work from home. The Tax Administration does not allow everyone to work remotely at this time, only officials who are entitled to work from home: mothers with children under 11 years of age; officials older than 60 years and officials who, due to illness, cannot be present at work.
Most contact is by e-mail or phone. The Human Resources Sector maintains statistics on employees who fall into the categories mentioned above (work from home or away from work) or entitled to sick leave. The Tax Administration has introduced channels for online communication and services for taxpayers. Regional offices are using dedicated e-mail addresses and telephone lines for this purpose and there are numerous electronic services that are in place and can be used by taxpayers for accomplishing everyday activities related to Tax Administration, especially for: e-submission of all tax declarations and financial statements, submiting requests for different documents issued by TA (tax residence certificates, confirmation on settled liabilities, statments etc.). Moreover, the TA call center is ready to provide all the data to the taxpayers related to the current situation and new way of communicating with the tax authority. Thus, all the services are provided without taxpayers having to come to TA premises.
From the first day of announcing the COVID-19 pandemic, the TA directed its communication efforts towards informing taxpayers on the current situation that affects the way of administering taxes. Everyday there is an update on support to taxpayers during this period is available through the Call center and regional offices communication, as well at the MTA web page, social network accounts and in media. Updates include advice of postponement of deadlines for filing, promotion of electronic channels for communication and services, postponement of tax liabilities etc. All the updates are followed by practical and easy-to-manage guides and instructions being made available to the taxpayers .
Training and redeployment
Stop Gray Economy project engaged younger employees (they previously worked in the Tax Administration during the tourist season). Also, officials who used to work in the Tax Administration can be called upon to work on the basis of a fixed-term contract.
Recruitment and retention
Stop Gray Economy project , mentioned above, trainees (30).
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.