At the end of 2019, we were surprised, yet again, by unexpected regulations from the Romanian Tax Authority ANAF – this time, however, in a positive way.

Shortly after taking on the position, the new head of ANAF announced a simplification in the procedure for VAT registration; the VAT number is now supposed to be issued on the day the application is filed. The order was published on 30th January 2019, and the following easements applied from 1st February.

Application, risk analysis

To request the VAT number, companies, as before, must submit ‘form 010’ and undergo a risk analysis by ANAF, observing several criteria that apply both to the applicant company and its shareholders, managers and representatives.

If the risk analysis shows a low tax risk, the VAT number will be granted. In the case of a high tax risk, additional information will be required and further verification may follow. 

ANAF can also reject VAT registration after interviewing the tax-payer. Such rejection can be appealed.

Facilitation

Since the risk analysis and any requests for additional information can extend the duration of the procedure considerably, a simpler alternative was put in place. It applies however only to companies which opt for VAT registration despite a turnover below the threshold value of small-sized companies.    

As from 1st February 2019, in addition to form 010, an affidavit can be filed in digital PDF format. The document must be printed and signed by managers and shareholders, then scanned and attached to the PDF. This will be sent electronically to ANAF; ANAF’s acknowledgement of receipt will be attached to the registration application form 010.   

If ANAF receives the registration form with the affidavit and finds no formal errors, the VAT number will be issued on the same day.

Further relevant matters 

For joint-stock companies and partnerships limited by shares, the affidavit must be filed by the managers. For other companies, the affidavit must be filed by shareholders who own at least 25% of the shares. These are the individuals who must sign the affidavit.

According to the wording of the regulations, applying the simplified procedure is not mandatory. Companies that have already filed for insolvency do not apply the simplified procedure. 

The information contained in the affidavit must be verified by ANAF within 15 days, regardless of the issuance of the VAT number. In case of discrepancies between the information contained in the affidavit and that held in the tax authorities’ database, the Financial Administration will inform the Anti-Fraud Office which will subject the company to further verification. 

Declaring false information in the affidavit can lead to the company being judged a high tax risk, as well as to criminal consequences.   

For applications already being processed when the new order came into force, the old regulations will continue to be applicable.

Conclusion

The actual request to register for VAT will be submitted, just like before, by means of form 010; for a simplified procedure, this form will be accompanied by an acknowledgement of receipt of the affidavit.    

The new regulation will speed up the process for tax payers who require a VAT number urgently, as it avoids a block on their activity due to a missing VAT number. Small and medium-sized companies (and most newly established companies) can obtain their VAT number on the day they apply.

As always, one must observe the formalities (the affidavit must be signed and scanned and additionally transmitted as a PDF with an electronic signature). Companies must be careful to supply correct information, as discrepancies may bring in the Anti-Fraud Office.