Tax reforms hailed in Azerbaijan
By Nigar Abbasova
The recent decision of the President Ilham Aliyev on the approval of reforms to be held in the sphere of taxes in 2016 was hailed by a number of companies operating in the country.
The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Azerbaijan has welcomed the recent decision of the President, mentioning that a number of recommendations on improvement of tax administration and facilitation of business doing in the country, proposed by the chamber to the government of Azerbaijan in early 2016 were reflected in the presidential order.
The United States – Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC), which is considered to be a vital resource for American companies seeking to establish long-term business ties with Azerbaijan have also hailed the recent changes in the tax system of the country in its recent message posted on the web-site of the company.
The message reads that the company is ready to provide all necessary assistance and share its experience and knowledge for the further implementation of tasks in the sphere. “The reforms carried out in the tax system are a positive initiative, which provides for the increase of investment attractiveness of the country for American companies,” the message said.
Highlighting the issue USACC Executive Director Susen Sadikhova said that the reforms are very timely as the organization is currently engaged in the implementation of the next trade mission of American companies to Azerbaijan, which is scheduled for September 15-16. Some 12 small and medium American companies that are seeking for partners in Azerbaijan are expected to join the mission.
The decision of the President stipulates provision of more favorable value-added tax (VAT) rates for the socially vulnerable layers of the population, reduction of the tax burden on small and medium-sized business, and resolving the problems during taxation of trade operations.
Moreover, the changes envisage the application of Advance Tax Ruling system, which stands for clarifying and conforming particular taxation arrangements with the tax authorities prior to the appearance of legal consequences as well as prohibition of office tax audits implemented by tax authorities after expiration of 30 days since the submission of tax declarations by tax payers. The changes also include introduction of the system of Voluntary Tax Disclosure, which allows taxpayer to disclose the information not previously reported to a tax agency on a voluntary basis and thereby avoid liability to penalty or prosecution normally associated with prior non-disclosure.
Being of great significance for the country the changes are expected to stipulate business doing in the country, particularly small and medium-sized entrepreneurship.
Azerbaijan currently ranks 63 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz