The Serbian Association of Journalists (UNS) said on Friday that the Tax Administration had raised taxes on its property by 150 percent overnight, adding that it considers the tax hike a hostile act.
The UNS statement said that the Tax Authority quoted a Finance Ministry interpretation of the laws on accounting and property taxes which it said is deeply discriminatory, unconstitutional and runs counter to international standards. It added that the tax offices in the Belgrade municipalities of Vracar and Stari Grad had informed the UNS of the raise by telephone and later in writing.
The UNS has paid 1.8 million Dinars in taxes on the properties it holds and now has to pay an additional 2.7 million Dinars for 2019. It added that the increase is being carried over to 2020 which means that the UNS owes 4.5 million Dinars in taxes. It said that the Finance Ministry interpretation is “obviously illegal and discriminatory because it is only valid for small firms with investment real estate, which includes the UNS, while big companies are freed from those taxes”.
The Finance Ministry denied the UNS claims. “Under the property tax law, taxes on real estate are set by the local tax administration, not the Tax Authority or Finance Ministry. This ministry has no jurisdiction over the implementation of the parts of the law that the US cited in its statement,” the ministry said, adding that the law is the same for everyone and that the UNS made “malicious claims”.