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52% of tax experts rate the current tax regime in Ukraine as satisfactory

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

These are the conclusions of the new wave of the Tax Index survey in 2023, conducted by the European Business Association and EY Ukraine. The integral score of the index has decreased to 2.85 points out of 5 possible and continues to be negative (2.97 points in 2022).

In general, 52% of experts rated the current tax regime in Ukraine as satisfactory, 40% believe that it prevented business development and investment, and only 8% believe that it contributed to the development of their business.

This year, the quality of tax legislation received the lowest score among the factors that influence the calculation of the index - 2.63 points. In particular, 39% rated it negatively, and 52% rated it satisfactorily. Compared to the previous year, the number of those who consider tax legislation to be of high quality has decreased from 26% to the current 9%. According to the respondents, constant changes, contradictions and ambiguities, as well as its complexity, have the greatest negative impact on the quality of legislation.

42% of respondents consider the procedure of tax administration and preparation of tax reports to be complicated. This factor received a score of 2.67 points. Similar to the previous year, 41% rate this procedure as satisfactory. Only 17% consider it easy (20% in 2022). Respondents complain the most about the amount of time spent on preparing tax returns and paying taxes, the hasty introduction of new rules and insufficient time to adapt to them, and their lack of clarity.

The assessment of the quality of tax services remained almost unchanged at 3.03 points. About half of the respondents, namely 48%, consider the quality of service satisfactory, 31% are satisfied with the service and 21% are dissatisfied. According to 46% of respondents, it was easy for them to contact the tax service, and only 16% found it difficult to do so. In 17% of the surveyed companies, the issues were resolved in a satisfactory manner, in 63% - partially.

Fiscal pressure received the highest score of 3.07 points. However, survey participants reported an increase in fiscal pressure compared to last year. The number of respondents who did not feel any pressure on their company remains low - only 7% reported no pressure (compared to 4% in 2022 and 36% in 2021). A quarter of respondents report significant fiscal pressure, 40% - moderate.

Among the displays of fiscal pressure, businesses highlighted unreasonable interpretations of tax legislation by regulatory authorities, as reported by 64% of respondents. The number of complaints about unreasonable information requests (55%) and artificial blocking of tax invoices (41%) has increased significantly. Last year, the numbers were 27% and 23%, respectively.

Among the surveyed companies, 52% report that in 2023 they faced the problem of blocking VAT invoices, 21% - non-compliance with the terms of currency control for foreign economic activity and the application of penalties. 17% of respondents each reported problems with obtaining VAT refunds and violations by the tax authorities in conducting inspections (in particular, in the field of excisable alcohol and tobacco products, excisable fuel, cash registers).

Natalia Artemchuk, Manager of the Tax and Customs Committees of the European Business Association "Transparent Business has once again given a low rating to the tax system. The main reasons for the negative assessment are already familiar and well known: a flood of unrequested legislative changes, inability or unwillingness of tax authorities to use their powers properly, sometimes deafness of people in government offices to business calls for the necessary changes. Nevertheless, we remain optimistic and will continue to convey the business position to the authorities and provide our concrete proposals for the necessary improvements. After all, we hope we have a common goal - a capable, economically strong country."

For reference:

The EBA Tax Index has been conducted since 2011.

The Index consists of four equivalent components: quality of tax legislation; complexity/easiness of tax administration; fiscal pressure; and quality of tax services.

The current wave of the survey involved 75 tax and finance professionals from EBA member companies. The survey was conducted from November 14 to December 1. The survey partner in 2023 is EY Ukraine.


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