The amendments to the RA Law on Circulation tax contradict to the idea of inserting this tax, as claims the Director of the “Concern Dialogue” company and advocate Sedrak Asatryan. You can read the interview with him below.
Mr. Asatryan, the RA law on Circulation tax entered into force with new amendments on 01 October. It brought many merchants to the streets. What`s your position on these amendments?
Initially the idea of inserting circulation tax was for the Small and Medium, or in our opinion – super-small enterprises not have documents of acquisition, so that they can breath freely. And what happened next. There was an opinion with regard to the purchase and sales in the market still during the governance of Tigran Sargsyan, that 3.5% is high and it needs to be reduced to 1%. These discussions were taking place when there was a government change. The new government wanted to do something good, but it came as usual. To the previous discussions it was also added the point on the workflow, new requirements put on the registry of documents, etc. It was stated in the justifications of these amendments that there was a need of ensuring a more favorable environment of taxation. And by saying improvement we understand reduction of the tax from 3.5% to 1 %, but it also states in parallel that an obligatory requirement should be set to justify acquisitions with documents. And this reminds me of the saying: to ensure peace you throw a bomb on the city. All of these protests are the result of just one sentence. I also have the negative opinion of the Ministry of Economy on the amendments – on the level of two deputy Ministers.
If the Large enterprises refuse to provide documents, doesn`t it mean that it is deprived of the opportunities to trade with SMEs?
It`s not, as it always finds a way: it puts the items on sale in the market and says to go and by from there. There are always ways to be found. In any case the reduction of 3.5% did not make merchant happier. Haven`t you thought why?
Many merchants stated in the interviews that though tax is reduced, they should keep an accountant and make additional expenses, so the situation is not improved.
I have another claim to make. I thought long on this and understood that if we start to believe the rumors, the merchants of small kiosks and shops were in anyway deciding how much to pay with tax inspectors, so they might have already been paying 1%.
So, there`s a corruption?
I just make conclusions, I am not sure, I don`t have proof. What do merchants say? – Leave the same 3.5% tax. In this case I just make evaluative judgment, that if a person does not work with that, he is indifferent about the percentage, he will in any case work with the inspector based on the rules/laws they have developed. Anyway, I think the idea of the circulation tax has been distorted.
Interview by Gevorg Tosunyan