Corruption Risks in the Sphere of State Revenue Collection are growing in Gegharkunik Marz

On December 21, the regular anti-corruption event “Corruption Risks in the Sphere of State Revenue Collection in Gegharkunik Marz” took place in the AYLA Gegharkunik Branch Office with the participation of the CSOs, Media, Lawyers and human rights activists of Gegharkunik marz.

Mrs. Nelly Harutyunyan, the Head of the AYLA Gegharkunik Branch mentioned in her speech that the corruption risks that exist in the sphere of state revenue collection are growing and that it is necessary to be consistent. In order to fight against the corruption occurrence in this field the direct participation of citizens, as well as the co-operation with CSOs and Mass Media is required.

“Despite the reforms implemented in this sphere by the RA Government, corruption risks and occurrences in the regional tax inspectorates are growing,-noted Siranush Manukyan, the President of “Russian Community” NGO, and added, “I think that the population’s low level of legal awareness also promotes this.”

Then the discussions were followed by questions and answers of the participants. Anahit Shahzadyan, President of “Gavar Business Center” NGO and the member of Gegharkunik marz CSOs’ Coalition Group, made a report, presenting the issues and suggestions raised in the frames of “Monitoring as a Tool to Reduce Corruption Risks” project. She noted that according to the requirements of the operating legislation and other legal acts, the taxpayer can run an effective economic activity in the case of equal conditions. But there are systemic problems which require solutions, as well as other problems which are promoted by the taxpayers as they do not assess the performance of duties and do not recognize their rights. Summarizing the results of the monitoring, it was revealed that the majority of the respondents are not well informed about the legislation regulating the sphere and do not keep accounting and financial records. Corruption risks are also due to the taxpayers’ low level of awareness, which does not allow a
ssessing the legality of the tax inspector’s actions at any moment.

Mrs. Anahit also presented some suggestions of solving the mentioned problems: to organize discussions and seminars more often, to raise the awareness level of the taxpayers, while planning the collection of the state revenue to take into account the economic condition existing and business environment in the regions, to make the planning correspond to the calculations of the taxpayer, to reach the desired level of the application of the established rules of tax officer’s behavior, as well as to reduce to the extent possible the personal contacts between the taxpayer and the tax inspector, to promote starting a productive dialogue between the tax inspectorate and SMEs, to create a positive working atmosphere based on trust, to contribute to the development and application of public control mechanisms.

Finally, corruption risks existing in the sphere of stat revenue collection have an objective nature: they are systemic problems conditioned by the application of certain deviations from procedures, the lack of an opportunity for taxpayers to operate in a favorable business environment, as well as mostly due to their no competent operating.