In order to engage public and business into the discussion of the tax reform proposed by the Ministry of Finance, the first public discussion «National dialogue: discussion of the tax reform concept» initiated by the prime minister of Ukraine took place on October 12 in Lviv.
The event was attended by more than 70 representatives of local companies, business associations and local government. Among the participants of the panel discussion which took place during the event were deputy minister of finance Olena Makeyeva, head of Lviv regional administration Oleg Synyutka, president of Lviv Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dmytro Aftanas, head of the Entrepreneurs’ committee of Lviv region Andriy Hrynchuk and representatives of companies from Lviv.
«The Ministry of Finance has been in an active dialogue with the public for the last seven months, as we have been developing the tax reform. Proposals which were presented by minister of finance Nataliya Jaresko on September 3 at the National Council for Reforms are exactly the proposals given to us by entrepreneurs. But we are ready to continue this dialogue», deputy finance minister Olena Makeyeva said during the meeting.
According to the deputy finance minister, during the discussions with the Minister of Finance on the issues of the tax reform businessmen mostly criticized the excessive tax burden on salaries as well as the intransparent tax revenue management. That is why the Minister of Finance was striving to create a simple taxation model setting up equal and fair rules for all branches of the economy.
The head of Lviv regional administration Oleg Synyutka pointed out in his speech that Lviv region has always been keen not only on its own local problems - it has also always taken care of the macroeconomic interests of the country. «Today we must be aware that we can’t just proclaim populist slogans like liquidating or minimizing taxes etc. We must understand: even if the government approves a significant cut in taxes, the period between this decision and the expected rise of the business turnover and hence the rise in tax revenues will be very hard. Even if we dare make this step, it will be very important in this period for non-governmental organizations to speak one voice with the government to make the receivers of social welfare understand that it is impossible to cover all their needs».
According to Mykhaylo Koropetsky, the representative of Lviv Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its member companies support the idea of flat tax rates proposed by the Ministry of Finance, though they propose a lower rate. On the other side, the moderator of the event, head of the Ukrainian Media Center for Reforms Taras Kachka, warned against a too radical tax cut, since «an increasing gap between the expenses and revenues of the state budget results in a higher number of claims from tax authorities which especially affect payers who actually pay all taxes diligently».
The draft of the tax reform proposed by the Ministry of Finance was also basically approved by representatives of big local companies who attended the meeting.
«As far as the general concept of the tax reform is concerned, we support it. It’s core aim is to lower the tax burden on salaries which is very important for big companies», Vasyl Danylyak, financial manager of the company «Galnaftogaz», said. According to Mr. Danylyak, “Galnaftogaz” belongs to 1% of Ukrainian companies with the highest contribution to the state budget.
According to the vice-president of the company “SoftServe” Oleg Denys, the IT branch has also «found mutual understanding with the Ministry of Finance». «We are ready to incrementally increase the tax rate [single tax system]. Within several years it could be increased from 4 to 10%... We are not asking for preferences, but we are asking not to make sharp moves when amending the taxation system», Oleg Denys pointed out.
Head of the Entrepreneurs’ committee of Lviv region Andriy Hrynchuk also mentioned the issue of tax disputes and demand of business for their civilized handling. As a feedback to that, head of Lviv regional administration Oleg Synyutka proposed to launch an experiment in the region allowing to invite external experts to handle disputes between companies and the State Fiscal Service. Igor Pikhurko, who is head of the tax and accounting committee of the Western Ukrainian office of the European Business Association and financial manager of the company “Hafele”, added that for a significant improvement in the tax revenue management it would be nice to use the new-born Ukrainian police as a sample for the reform of the State Fiscal Service.
The next public discussion of the tax reform on the platform of the “National dialogue” will take place in Kharkiv.
Key facts on the project «National dialogue: discussion of the tax reform concept»
- the project was initiated by prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk;
- the project is implemented by the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine jointly with the Ukrainian Media Center for Reforms and with the support of the Fund «Vidrodzhennya»;
- public discussions with experts, entrepreneurs and the public shall take place in Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsyk and Kyiv;
- the public discussion in Lviv was attended by approximately 80 representatives of companies and business associations from Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk regions as well as by representatives of local public authorities;
the participants of the panel discussion which took place during the event were
deputy minister of finance Olena Makeyeva,
head of Lviv regional administration Oleg Synyutka, president of Lviv
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dmytro Aftanas, representative of Lviv
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mykhaylo Koropetsky, head of the Entrepreneurs’ committee of Lviv region Andriy Hrynchuk, vice-president of "Galnaftogaz"
Vasyl Danylyak, vice-president
of “SoftServe” Oleg Denys, head of the tax and
accounting committee of the Western Ukrainian office of the European Business
Association and financial manager of the company “Hafele”
Igor Pikhurko. The moderator of the event was Taras Kachka, head of the
Ukrainian Media Center for Reforms.