On 20th January 2019, Law no. 30/ 2019 (“Law 30”) came into force, bringing practice-relevant changes in the tax law.  

It brought changes and additions to the Emergency Ordinance No. 25/ 2018 (“EO 25”), which had changed the tax law at the beginning of 2018. The new regulations refer both to the fiscal code (Codul Fiscal) and the tax procedure code(Codul de Procedură Fiscală). We will discuss below the most important news on the tax procedure code.

Classification of certain taxpayers based on risk categories

According to law 30, taxpayers managed by the central tax authority ANAF are classified, based on a risk analysis carried out by the tax authority, in the following three risk categories:

  • Tax-payers with a low tax risk;
  • Tax-payers with an average tax risk;
  • Tax-payers with a high tax risk.

The general criteria for classifying the risk category refer to: 

  • The type of tax registration;
  • The submission of tax returns;
  • The statement level (nivelul de declarare);
  • The fulfillment of the payment obligations to the state budget and to other creditors.

ANAF is to issue a decision approving the extension of the main risk categories into sub-categories, as well as the extension of the general criteria into sub-criteria within 90 days after the law came into force (i.e. 20th April).

The risk analysis is carried out periodically and published on the website of the tax authority.     

We mention that tax-payers cannot challenge the way in which the tax authority has established the risk category, and classification influences the type of procedure by the tax authority towards the tax-payer (details yet to be published).

New mediation procedure before enforcement

Law 30 makes way for a new and interesting mediation procedure between taxpayer and tax authority. Based on this procedure, the taxpayer will be able to clear up any disagreements with the tax authorities over their debts prior to enforcement. The procedure sets forth the following main steps:  

  • Clarification of the tax obligation provided in the notice to pay (somatie), if the taxpayer raises objections;
  • Joint analysis of the taxpayer’s financial situation, both by the tax authority and the tax-payer, to identify the best solutions for settling the tax liabilities.

To initiate the mediation procedure, the taxpayer must notify the tax authority of his intention within 15 days following the receipt of the notice to pay, submitting also evidence of their financial situation. The enforcement will not be carried out as a result of this notification.   

Within a further 10 days of the receipt of the notification, the tax authority must react and organise a meeting with the taxpayer with a view to the mediation.

Minutes of the meeting recording the result of the mediation procedure, and of the solutions for settling the tax liabilities, shall be prepared.   

If within 15 days after the mediation procedure no debts are settled and no accommodation for payment (înlesnirea la plată) is filed for, the tax authority will proceed with the enforcement.

Further details regarding the mediation procedure will be established through an order of the tax authority.  

Notification of fiscal-administrative acts

Based on the newly adopted regulations, the central tax authority can register taxpayers in the electronic notification system ex officio in the case of administrative acts it has issued. The registration procedure will be approved by means of an order of the Finance Ministry.   

Conclusion

Introducing a mediation procedure prior to opening enforcement procedures is welcomed, from a theoretical point of view. By this means, the taxpayer receives the chance to clarify possible objections to the tax liability imposed without appeal procedures, and to set out solutions for settling the final debt together with the tax authorities, before opening enforcement procedures.    

To what extent the practical implementation of this procedure will be successful remains to be seen.