Good and visible results achieved

According to Director of the Revenue and Customs Administration Vladimir Bulajic, record tax and tariff revenues were collected last year, thanks to constant activities aimed at improving the efficiency of collection.

“I am pleased that the Revenue and Customs Administration managed to collect record tax and customs revenues last year, consistently undertaking activities for more efficient collection. This demanding process involved additional efforts and measures, through which we succeeded in improving collections, with an emphasis on the need for a more lasting solution for tax debt collection,” said Bulajic in an interview with Mina-business agency.

He specified that the gross revenues from the beginning of last year until December 28 amounted to €2.54 billion, which is €467 million or 22.5 percent more than the same period of 2022.

According to Bulajic, the projected revenue plan was exceeded by €315 million or 14 percent.

He stated that throughout last year, the revenue and tax authority implemented intensive measures for forced debt recovery, adding that further enhancements were planned to speed up progress in that field.

“Since a decision on establishment of two independent administrations – customs and tax authorities – was adopted in December, I believe that both institutions will continue to improve business processes and reforms for the benefit of citizens, the economy, and the entire country,” said Bulajic.

He believes that particular attention should be paid to the concept of collecting from the assets of taxpayers, as an essential mechanism for reducing tax debt.

“What I find very important is that the Government’s programme to combat the informal economy in Montenegro from 2024 to 2026 includes existing and new measures to tackle this issue and provide a set of control and incentive measures to establish more efficient control to prevent the informal economy on one hand, and facilitate business operations on the other,” Bulajic stated.

He argued that the tax authority should put maximum effort into strengthening debt collection activities by developing a concrete, detailed strategy with clearly defined steps that enhance this area, as well as precisely defining a range of preventive measures, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to him, the accumulated long-term tax debt is a problem that must be more efficiently addressed, taking into account the particular challenge posed by interest, which increases the debt and is calculated on a daily basis.

Bulajic believes that to halt the growth and reduce tax debt, it is necessary to specify measures and activities needed in the future, in line with the Plan for Tax Debt Management and Strengthening Collection Measures for the period 2023-2025.

“We have set up a working group tasked with analysing tax debts, and specifying the collectability scope for the total debt, which also needs to be done in line with the IMF’s recommendations,” Bulajic stated.