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1 January 2014

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Fiscal Procedures Code – amendments proposed

On 20 January 2014, the Ministry of Finance published a draft of an Ordinance for amending various legal acts. Details of the Fiscal Procedures Code main amendments, which unless otherwise indicated will apply within 3 days after publication, are summarized below.
Refunds of VAT will be approved if the refund application is certified by a tax consultant. If a tax consultant certifies the application in bad faith and illegal refunds are approved as a consequence of this, the tax consultant and the taxpayer will be held jointly liable.
With effect from 1 June 2014, certification of tax returns by a tax consultant will be optional, with the exception of VAT refund applications and rectifying tax returns when the rectified amount is more than 10% of the total amount, but not less than RON 10,000. If a rectifying tax return is submitted without being certified, there will be a penalty of 2% of the rectified amount but not less than RON 200. The penalty will be cancelled if the rectifying tax return is certified after being submitted, but before the start of a tax audit.
The VAT refund procedure will be amended in order for refund claims to be settled within reasonable time. Currently, a significant number of VAT refund claims are systematically settled with unreasonable delays, sometimes taking over 180 days. The European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Romania in this respect.
Taxpayers will have the legal right to receive interest on refund of taxes paid in excess of their actual tax liabilities from the time of overpayment until the time of refund or offset of the overpaid taxes. Currently, when taxpayers apply for a refund of taxes paid in excess of their actual tax liabilities, the tax authorities must decide on the taxpayer's application within a period of 45 days from the date of receipt of the application. The tax authorities pay interest to the taxpayer, but only from the day following the date of expiry of the 45-day period until the date on which they actually settle the taxpayer's claim (either by refunding the overpaid tax or by offsetting the claim against the taxpayer's outstanding tax liabilities). The new measure brings the national legislation in line with ECJ decision in Rafinaria Steaua (Case C-431/12).
New declarative obligations for taxpayers will be enforced in order for the tax authorities to obtain all information required for the process of exchange of information provided for in the Mutual Assistance Directive [on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation] (2011/16).

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