Fiscal reporting in the digital age in Romania

Romania's fiscal authority has entered an obvious restructuring and modernising process, and the results are starting to appear. Our Romanian Managing Director Emine Constantin writes for business24.ro about the benefits and challenges of online fiscal reporting in the country.

Could 2014 be the first year in which we will have people waiting at the counters of the ANAF (National Authority for Fiscal Administration)?

We are about to surpass this moment, which we will remember in years to come thanks to the modified Fiscal Procedural Code that regulates the electronic sending of correspondence to ANAF, but also the possibility of the authority to communicate online some fiscal-administrative documents and procedural ones (notices or summons).  

To be able to transmit in electronic format, companies will need a certified digital certificate, but this can be easily obtained through a simple procedure.

At the beginning of 2014 in Romania there were 100 declarations and fiscal payments that need to be filled and submitted to ANAF. If we were still at the beginning of the 1990s, the figure would be very disheartening because all the papers needed to be submitted at ANAF’s counters. We have since benefited from good changes, and now we have the possibility to submit the fiscal declarations online. Unfortunately, until recently, the communication with ANAF has been made through "classic" means - the contributors investing a lot of time in clarifying some situations that, many times, were determined by lack of database synchronisation.    

The new measure has its clear benefits. The risk of not receiving in time, or not at all, the interest calculation decisions for the late payment of obligations towards the State Budget will be reduced. Currently, these are posted at ANAF’s offices, on their website or sent by post. For those contributors that are not checking fiscal authorities websites on a daily basis, there is a high risk of not being informed on these decisions. The possibility of challenging them, if they are incorrect, is jeopardised because of the short period open to challenges - that is, 30 days from their display on the website. But the new modifications help you to react before the expiry of the response period. Plus, the costs of travel to ANAF’s office for submitting the documents for resolving different demands will disappear, and those 200 hours that according to a recent survey of World Bank a Romanian contributor spends annually to pay tax obligations will be reduced.          

Companies could benefit from the modifications described above only if all the documents used in the relationship with ANAF were online. The published document states that fiscal-administrative documents can continue to be in both printed and online format. Thus, in this moment, there is no clarification on what document can be submitted in electronic format and we will have to wait future decisions to get the clarifications we need. The conclusion is that the digital communication with ANAF will not be complete and the authority will choose what documents will be communicated online. More, the publishing of information on the website will continue to be used.

Like any new measure, this has a bad side: the lack or the inadequacy of infrastructure. For the fiscal authority of a public local administration, the Local Council rules - in public, taking into consideration the technical capabilities - the ways in which documents can be transmitted by contributors. In relationship with these authorities, contributors would have to be sure that the use of electronic method is allowed. If not, the new measure will not have positive consequences in this relationship.

The fiscal authority entered in an obvious restructuring and modernising process. The results are starting to appear and we hope that soon we will also benefit in this field by the complete and total advantages of technology.

This article is a translation of text originally published on Business24; read (in Romanian) here.

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