Amendments to Law on VAT Imminent: Deadline for VAT Payment Finally Prolonged!

BY: M.Sc. Ajka Baru?i?, Institute for Youth Development KULT

Proposals, or more precisely demands, of BiH business owners to move the deadline for paying VAT from the 10th to the last day of the month, and reduce the daily interest rate are being acknowledged. Adopted. Finally, after 11 years of the seemingly immutable Law on VAT, business owners in BiH will have more time to fulfil this burdensome but inevitable obligation. This is the promise of Mr Denis Zvizdi?, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH, made in the beginning of September.

He stated that these demands were justified and will certainly improve the business environment in BiH, because moving the deadline for paying VAT will improve the liquidity of businesses, and reduced penalty fees will significantly cut expenses and make business operations easier. More than 30 000 business owners who supported the initiative to amend this law are looking to the Indirect Taxation Authority and the Council of Ministers of BiH. Waiting for their stamp of approval. Waiting for the official procedure to be completed.                                                                                                          

Unfortunately, the process is very slow. Too slow for business owners. They’re asked to be patient. All they can do is wait. Waiting is a lifestyle for BiH citizens. Waiting on reforms. The Reform Agenda. With “mid-term and long-term” results, according to the government.  Waiting for a better tomorrow. But what about a better today? We know who’s the most impatient group in Bosnia. The ones standing in line in front of embassies. Who’s crossing the border. Young people. The youth of Bosnia and Herzegovina. More precisely, BiH emigrants.

A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Youth Development KULT yielded surprising results: youth’s most frequently cited reason for leaving the country was the bleak future that they did not see improving soon. The next most frequent reason is their dissatisfaction with the political situation, corruption, dissatisfaction with the education system, and the preoccupation with nationality, religion and war. Unemployment comes in at number 6. Their expectations for their destination country include: a better future, better education and healthcare system, security, a more regulated system, better quality of life and more opportunities for employment. Those who are preparing to leave are mostly afraid they will miss their family and friends.

What are youth in BiH waiting for, or, more precisely, what are they refusing to wait for any longer? Many things. One of them is the still to be adopted Employment Strategy of BiH 2016-2020, and it’s already the end of 2017. They’re tired of waiting for the promised program to support first employment and self-employment funded through the World Bank. These funds are on hold because entity governments are still trying to meet the required conditions. They are waiting for the Youth Strategy 2016-2020, which has been written but not been adopted. They are waiting for the official list of in-demand professions so they know which faculty to enrol in. They are waiting for more budget funds for their needs. Better conditions for launching their businesses. Jobs. They’re waiting for the government’s commitment. Sincere, proven, visible and honest.

During the recently held America-Bosnia Foundations, representatives of the NGO sector shared their view and assessment of the reforms done by now. They showed their displeasure. They pointed out that statistical data do not necessarily reflect better quality of everyday life in BiH. It was also jokingly said that judging by the implementation dynamic the Reform Agenda 2015-2018 should be called the Reform Agenda 2015-2050.


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