Few weeks ago, the Government published the methodological norms for applying the most recent amendments to the Fiscal Code. Although the amendments focus on several aspects regarding the main taxes and are an important moment for tax consultants, we believe that not only the content of the norms, but also their form deserves to be emphasized this time.
Practical examples in the regulation of several procedures are extensively used for the first in the tax legislation. The text of the normative act contains, in some cases, the actual method of calculating different taxes, applied step by step on a case study, giving the taxpayer a clear image of the way in which he/she/it may proceed in a similar case.
A long-awaited first, if I may say. For several years, I was one of the tax consultants actively involved in the process of drafting different proposals of legislative amendments in the tax field. One of the most frequent recommendations made by the consultative teams to the Ministry of Public Finance was that of including practical examples in the normative acts, in view of limiting the construable nature of the provisions.
Without such examples, a taxpayer may understand and apply a fiscal procedure in a certain way, and then, upon a fiscal inspection, be sanctioned for what the inspector of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) would consider as wrongful application of the legal provisions. Unfortunately, it would be naïve to expect that, once such examples are introduced in the legislation, the tax inspectors will automatically agree with the interpretation of the taxpayers, however their constructive dialogue will improve in our opinion.
In the light of the extremely construable nature of many provisions, a large number of trading companies challenge, both through administrative channels, and in court, the notices of assessment issued by ANAF inspectors following tax inspections. It is expected that, once practical computational examples are introduced in the legislation, the number and subject matter of disputes will decrease/limit, and both parties involved (taxpayer and tax body) will be able to resort to additional eloquent regulations in substantiating their standpoint. The practical effects of this new approach of the lawmaker may ultimately ease the burden of the courts in settling such cases.