by Elita Babayan
Armenian Finance Minister Gagik Khachatryan has asked the mass media not to personify the bill on alternative tax inspections. During the May 7 public presentation of the results of the USAID-funded Taxpayers' Perception Survey 2013, Khachatryan stressed that the idea of alternative inspections was expressed by the businessmen themselves.
"Some media outlets have a wrong opinion on the given issue. Therefore, the issue has been given wide publicity", said Khachatryan. He offered the journalists to speak to the businessmen and understand whether the decision on alternative inspections is efficient, whether it is connected with the minister's personality or aims to help the entrepreneurs.
When responding to the criticism about his new status of "superminister" due to the merger of two structures - the Finance Ministry and State Revenue Committee, Khachatryan joked it away and asked the journalists to name the owner of Mozart Company (Austria), actually refuting the media reports that he is one of the shareholders of that company. In this context, Khachatryan stressed the need to create an environment in Armenia where an owner's personality would be of no interest.
The minister also urged the journalists not to personify the issue of merger of the Armenian Finance Minister and the State Revenue Committee. He pointed out that such a mechanism is common practice in 35 countries.
To recall, on 23 April 2014 the Government adopted a Bill on Alternative Tax Inspections. Under the bill, alternative inspections will be conducted at the wish of the economic entities in order to settle the disputable issues and to specify the obligations to the budget.
Earlier Vazgen Safaryan, Head of the Union of Armenian Manufacturers, told ArmInfo that the need for alternative tax inspections is explained by the fact that the tax legislation of Armenia is very complicated and needs to be facilitated. "Very often the tax legislation needs to be interpreted. It is especially hard for the small and medium businesses to understand it. It is necessary to facilitate the laws rather than introduce an institute of alternative inspections", Safaryan said. He added that only one-third of the 110 thsd legal entities registered in Armenia are really operating in the country.