Business Associations' Recommendations for Implementing Economic Measures

NALED, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), the Digital Serbia Initiative, and the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) have submitted agreed upon recommendations for effectively implementing the announced set of economic measures for reducing the adverse effects of COVID-19 to the Crisis Committee, in order to preserve business activities and jobs at the local level.

The four organizations recommend for this assistance set to be valid from March 15th and to also apply to representative offices of foreign companies and the civil sector. It is also suggested that, instead of filing a formal application, everyone who qualifies will automatically become the beneficiary of the assistance - unless they declare themselves unwilling to do so.

When it comes to income tax and contributions deferrals, these four organizations find it important to specify how businesses will reimburse taxes paid for March wages. It is necessary that all legal entities have the same repayment period (24 installments) without liabilities deferral being registered as debt in the tax records.

In the case of the VAT exemption on donations, it is necessary to stipulate that the donors who wish to buy the product and donate it, and not only the producers or those who market the product, are exempt. In addition, they need to be exempt from VAT previously paid on the purchase of the product. It has been suggested that the measure be valid for up to 90 days after the state of emergency to encourage and allow donations that wiill mitigate the effects of the pandemic. In order to prevent possible violations, the proposal is that the VAT exemption only applies to donations to state bodies, humanitarian organizations, local governments, social and public institutions.

The business associations also propose that, when applying the measure of direct assistance to employees in the private sector, they should consider reducing the employers’ obligation to pay their wages by the amount the employee received from the state, that the measure also applies to employees on forced leave or paid leave, as well as to specify that it is a gross income, so that local governments may receive their share of tax revenue. In the case of net earnings, relieve employers of their obligation to pay taxes and contributions while having employees still insured.

Following a formulated and addressed joint set of measures to preserve jobs, encourage liquidity and ensure the smooth transportation of goods, NALED, AmCham, FIC and the Digital Serbia Initiative have also submitted recommendations for implementing economic measures to President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, as a way of assisting the Crisis Committee in preparing regulations and instructions for successful implementation of Government measures.

NALED will continue to actively advocate with the general public and decision makers to introduce incentive measures and balanced solutions in the whole society’s interest. All of the organization’s activities related to COVID-19 are available here.

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