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Govt Adopts Plan of Measures to Curb Shadow Economy

Ljubljana, 12 September (STA) - The cabinet adopted a programme of measures for curbing the shadow economy in Slovenia, aimed at tackling tax avoidance and moonlighting at Thursday's session. It also left the door open to introducing tax-certified cash registers.

The proposed measures for fighting the informal economy include broadening the powers of inspection services, fines for illegal builds and a law against moonlighting. Legislation to this effect is to be drafted in the coming months.

Among the first pieces of legislation that the government will adopt will be a bill on preventing moonlighting, bill on labour inspection and changes to the tax procedures act, which will introduce a super tax for undeclared income.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan, who heads the government taskforce for tackling the informal economy, said that the government has left the door open to introducing tax-certified cash registers.

Židan said a decision on whether such registers are needed would be taken in November, after the government reviews data on the effects brought by a measure introduced in July requiring business to use special software which prevents receipts from being deleted.

He added that government officials were in close contact with colleagues in Croatia about the experience of the neighbouring country in introducing tax-certified cash registers.

Židan said that the scope of the informal economy in Slovenia amounts by some calculations to around 30% of GDP or EUR 10bn. Official estimates put it at less than half that.

Each EUR 1bn in the shadow economy represents about EUR 100m in lost taxes, which means that curbing it by around half would bring in an additional EUR 200m in tax revenues.

One of the measures envisaged in the new programme is raising public awareness about the negative effects of the informal economy. As part of this the government plans to launch a Europe-wide campaign to promote the benefits of paying taxes.

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