Stavreski: Hundreds of millions of euros annually as government support to the firms

Skopje, 1st April 2016 (MIA) – Firms in Macedonia pay the lowest taxes. The taxes imposed by the state on the companies’ profit are by five times lower today compared to ten years ago. It is hundreds of millions of euros annually as direct support by the Government to the domestic firms through the tax policy, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, said.

- Firms in Macedonia pay the lowest taxes. Just for comparison purposes, if effective tax rate, taxes on the basis of firms’ profit paid to the state, was around 40% in 2005 and 2006, such rate is five times lower today. Hence, taxes imposed by the state on the companies’ profit are by five times lower today. The firms thus have funds available to decide by themselves on their distribution and investing, Stavreski underlined in his interview for “Vecer”.

He also said that the Government continuously implemented measures aimed at lowering the tax burden on the firms. In the period 2009 – 2015, during the economic crisis, when consequences from the global and the European crisis were felt, the Government exempted the firms from the obligation to pay tax on undistributed profit. Profit tax, on the other hand, was reduced to 0% if reinvested. Profit tax was completely abolished for micro and small businesses generating income up to Denar 3 million. In addition, the Government reduced pension and health insurance contribution rates, Stavreski underlined.

Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that customs duties were also reduced by 40% compared to 2006.

- In the period 2006-2015, customs duties were reduced at several occasions upon request by the business community. This has contributed to reduction of the effective customs duty to 1.75%, thus being among the lowest in the region. Today, on the basis of the abolished and reduced customs duties and fees, the firms save more than EUR 10 million annually, Stavreski said.

As stated in the interview, sound economic performance of the Macedonian economy, i.e. the fourth best economic performance in Europe in 2015, in conditions of political crisis, is not a phenomenon, but a product of well set economic policies practiced in the country in the last ten years. Stavreski said that excellent business climate for the firms was created in Macedonia, affirmed by the World Bank 2016 Doing Business Report, ranking Macedonia as the 12th best destination in the world and at the 6th place in Europe in doing business.

Stavreski also indicated the tax policy and the proactive Government policy towards the businesses as factors contributing to achieving the high economic growth of the Macedonian economy.

- Firms in Macedonia are aware of the support extended by this Government at any time. When a need arose to improve firms’ liquidity, we have provided EUR 350 million credit line under favourable terms and conditions for the SMEs. We have allocated and are still allocating significant amounts of funds for capital investments, which actually provide for work for the firms. We have implemented a series of projects, such as “Macedonia Employs” Project, “Buy a House, Buy a Flat” and “Young Individuals and Couples Housing” Projects, providing for direct benefits for the firms as well, Stavreski said.