The businessmen should open accounts in business banks as soon as possible

Mr. Bozidar Djelic, Serbian Minister of Finance and Economy, appealed today on all the businessmen to open new bank accounts by the end of the year, because otherwise, after the transfer of all payments from the Payment and Settlement Agency to business banks, they would not be able to do business any longer.

According to Mr. Djelic’s information coming from the National Bank of Yugoslavia, only 10 to 20 percent of existing companies already opened new business accounts within business banks, although as of January 6, 2003, companis without the new account will not be able to either pay the salaries or claim money for its business done. „The transition period will not be easy, and the responsibility lies upon all of us to make this transfer of payment system as smooth as possible“, added Mr. Djelic.

„It is essential that in the current of January businessmen pay all their taxes and dues, because otherwise they will be severely fined, threatened even with imprisonment penalty. Banks will immediately have to transfer these funds onto accounts, thus preventing the possibility of only one part of public revenue getting into appropriate accounts“, explained the Minister.

Approximately one thousand tax collecting agents will be on the field, helping with the application of new regulations, and the Public Tax Agency will, in the first three months, remain open up to late night hours, for all kinds of inquiry, explained the Minister.

The Minister also declared that everyone must take these reforms very seriously, thus easing our country’s access to the market economy. Also, all physical and legal persons paying salaries, when opening a new account in a business bank, will be issued a unique fiscal identification number (FID), in order to establish a register of all salary payers. The FID represents a unique digital identification of the taxpayer, and is to be used in all fiscal transactions.

On November 26, members of the Serbian Parliament adopted, amendments on the set of fiscal laws – the Law on Fiscal Proceedings and Tax Administration, as well as regulations relative to sales taxes, income taxes for citizens, corporate profit taxes, property taxes and taxes on possession and holding of goods.

The Law on Fiscal Proceedings and Tax Administration regulates the procedure of defining, collecting and controlling public revenue, the rights and obligations of all fiscal debtors, as well as the fiscal criminal acts and infractions. The Law provides for the unification of all the tax-related public activities under a unique centralized public administration body – the Tax Administration, because as of January 1, 2003, the Payment and Settlement Agency (ZOP) will no longer exist, the payment system being transferred onto business banks.