Serbia’s Ombudsman initiates control of retroactive tax collection


Zoran Pasalic, Serbia's Ombudsman, said on Friday he started control of Tax Administration's decision to retroactively tax freelancers paid from abroad.

He said people had addressed his office complaining about the demands to pay „huge tax amounts for the earnings they made in IT services, graphic design and foreign languages’ classes several years ago.“

Pasalic said that in those cases, „the paying of tax was not disputable, but the way of tax reports’ control and payments were.“

The head of the Association of Internet Workers in Serbia Miran Pogacar said on Tuesday the organisation would launch protests, block cities, institutions and shut down their websites if the authorities did not negotiate the retroactive tax payment announced by the end of 2020.

Pasalic gave the Tax Administration 15-day-deadline to inform him if they had „regularly, in a transparent way, informed those tax-payers that their income from abroad is taxable and that they are obliged to submit tax returns themselves, i.e., to calculate the tax themselves.“

He also requested Tax Administration’s data on the number of tax payments’ control of the incomes from abroad from October 2020 to the end of that year, and on the number of checked tax returns in the last five years individually.

„The Tax Administration should serve the citizens and regularly and precisely inform them about their obligations. They cannot hold the citizens solely responsible for the fulfilment of their tax obligations which the Administration had not informed them about,“ Pasalic said.