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Armenia Seeking Fairer, Watertight Tax Regime

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

24 July 2017


The International Monetary Fund has said that Armenia's tax code and redoubled efforts to tackle fiscal crime will boost the nation's finances considerably.

The IMF said that Armenia recently has seen weak tax revenues but these were up against target in the first quarter of this year and expenditure was as budgeted.

A narrow tax base, policy loopholes, and weak administration have been the primary causes of weak revenue collection, the IMF said, noting that a new Tax Code was enacted in 2016 and is expected to raise revenues by about two percent of GDP in the medium term.

The code's principal goals are to shift the balance of taxes from direct to indirect taxation (by increasing excise tax rates on alcohol, tobacco, and fuel) and to improve equity (by broadening the base, including taxation of dividends received by individuals, and revising the rate schedule of the personal income tax (PIT)).

In addition, the code aims at reducing the costs of tax compliance, by speeding up the payment of VAT refunds and clarifying rules for tax audits. It also strengthens the tax agency's powers to fight fraud, including by reducing the scope of presumptive taxation (for example by rolling back increases in the VAT threshold).

The IMF welcomed the Government's efforts to improve tax administration and tackle evasion and avoidance, and called on authorities to continue with efforts to more fairly distribute taxes among taxpayers.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | budget | audit | Armenia | tax rates | dividends | VAT refunds

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