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Information digest 35

 

 

February 19, 2013

 

ECONOMY

Priorities in the tax policy of Uzbekistan In 2013

BUSINESS CLIMATE

Uzbekistan adopts measures to improve import of consumer goods

CULTURE

In Harmony with Sounds of the Times


 

ECONOMY



Priorities in the tax policy of Uzbekistan In 2013

The tax system is very similar to the human body. To ensure stability, and thus the normal functioning mode of the entire financial system of the nation, it must constantly adapt to the often swiftly changing economic realities, tend to be less of a burden for business, but more of a partner. The UT reporter clarifies the priorities of the national tax system in the current year, along with some other issues.

DevelopmeNT trends

Globalization of the economy and the global financial crisis have made it so that nowadays not a single economic model of the state and its tax policy can not evolve separately from the rest of the world, unless they intend to always be on the third cast, of course. Liberalization of tax schemes, adoption of modern technologies, and reduction of rates, simplification and enhancement of transparency in tax administration has turned into the main trends of the modern tax system.

In May 2011, Uzbekistan approved a special package of measures to create a single database of state tax service agencies and advance information services for taxpayers. This work was done before, but now it has been clearly shaped into a single plan for the future, and the mechanisms for its implementation. Last October this work was catalyzed by President Islam Karimov who approved some measures to further develop and improve the efficiency of information and communication system of the state tax service. According to experts, in just less than half a year these mechanisms tangibly increased the level of control and accounting of taxes and other obligatory payments, revealed additional sources of tax revenues, prevented tax evasion, as well as expanded the range and raised the quality of online services for taxpayers.

It is obviously a taxpayer behind all these economic terms, who is first of all interested in maximally prompt submission of his tax report without losing extra time and money. In general, the relationships between a taxpayer with the tax inspectors are a separate issue, which are often more rumors than the truth. Many still keep in mind a stereotype, which has been shaped for decades, an image of an inspector, who by all means tries to complicate submission of reporting. Still though, the experience of hundreds of thousands of local entrepreneurs proves the opposite reality. Experts point out that today’s tax authorities of Uzbekistan are optimally open for taxpayers, and the difficulties with submission of reporting are largely invented. One can call in advance and clarify all the queries. Incidentally, the State Tax Committee has recently launched a special twenty-four-hour telephone counseling service. One can also appoint a personal meeting with the inspector when he needs to. A tax officer will tell what needs to be fixed in the report, what shortcomings should be addressed not to raise questions of the tax service. Generally, both, experts and businessmen agree that conscientious organizations have no problems with the tax service, and the rumors of malicious inspectors are the result of poor skills in the staff of the companies who want to justify their incompetence by the mistakes of the others.

The work on improving the system of relationships with tax payers is sustainable. New technologies are the crucial factor for that. Early this year, the first stage of formation of a unified information resource base of the tax authorities has been completed, thus incorporating databases of all the regional state tax inspections into the central one. The second stage, which will last until the end of 2014, envisages the completion of the incorporation of databases of ministries and agencies on the onset and termination of the obligations of taxpayers.

Besides, all business entities of the country will be gradually shifted to electronic delivery of statistical, tax and financial reporting by 2015. Meanwhile, to date the majority of taxpayers have shifted to this system, which has a range of indisputable advantages. For example, a tax payer has no longer to spend time standing in queues in the tax office. Direct contacts between taxpayers and inspectorate bodies have been cut to minimize a subjective human factor. It is also important that the electronic system allows correcting mistakes and re-submit the reports in a timely manner at no cost.

In order to stimulate the introduction of modern technologies the Register Centre under the State Tax Committee reduced the fee for issuing digital signatures from 20 to 10% of the minimum wage as of August 1, 2012. Business entities were also granted the right to pay taxes and other mandatory payments through the distance service of bank accounts, including the Internet Banking system, at their will as of January 1, 2013.

On the other hand, it is equally important to shape the culture of the tax payer in the population. This includes the work with students of secondary special and higher education institutions to make them competent in financial and legal issues.

Expansion of cooperation with relevant partners is an important tool in this work. The first step in this direction has already been made. Uzbekistan successfully develops the institution of tax consulting through the formation of the legislative and regulatory base of consulting activities. In 2009, the Chamber of Tax Consultants of Uzbekistan was instituted. The number of its members currently makes up 27 certified tax consultants. This process is beneficial to both parties, for the taxpayers get a professional help and protection, and the tax authorities get the well drawn declarations, reports and other documents.

priorities defined

Information and its correct application is the key pillar in business. Therefore, traditionally in January, the State Tax Committee conducts a seminar on tax policy for the coming year, and changes in tax legislation. The event has long ago proved to be a very effective mechanism not only to introduce entrepreneurs and professionals to innovation, but also as a symbolic platform for the exchange of views. This is very important because the further improvement of tax policy is primarily dependent on the taxpayers themselves, who can point out to the existing gaps by their own examples.

The significant changes for individuals, as noted by experts, include the reduction of the minimum income tax rate from 9 to 8%. The rate schedule for groups of taxable incomes is determined according to the minimum wage rate fixed in the beginning of the year, and can not be revised during the year when it changes. Flat tax rates for individual entrepreneurs will not be revised during the year either. This will not only increase the income of the population, but also further stimulate the domestic demand, which is particularly important in the face of declining interest in foreign markets because of the instability of the global economy.

This year’s changes touched upon the Tax Code as well. Now, in accordance with the amendments to the Article 91, the state tax authorities are obliged to inform a business entity in the written form of the beginning of the scheduled inspection not less than thirty calendar days before it, indicating the terms and the subject of the audit. Articles 176 and 179 stipulate that the amount of profit that remains available for a participant of a family business after paying taxes and other mandatory payments is included in the property income and is not taxed as income of an individual entity. (Source: Uzbekistan Today newspaper).




BUSINESS CLIMATE



Uzbekistan adopts measures to improve import of consumer goods

Uzbekistan developed a complex of measures directed at ordering import of goods into its territory to prevent illegal smuggle and import of faulty products.

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed a resolution “On measures on further improving competitiveness of local products and strengthening fight against illegal goods smuggling” on 29 January 2013.

The document was adopted for further fighting realization of illegally imported or faulty products with use of internally used methods of regulation of foreign trade activities, forming favourable conditions for expanding production of high quality, competitive goods by local producers.

Uzbek President entrusted Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade, State Tax Committee to review list of consumer goods, imported into Uzbekistan and submit proposal to the Cabinet of Ministers on decreasing list and volume of imports.

At the same, the proposal should envisage expansion of the volume and assortment of food and non-food goods by local enterprises.

State Customs Committee in cooperation with State Tax Committee and other interested departments and ministries to introduce proposal to the Cabinet of Ministers on expansion of list of consumer good, marked with special control identification sign.

From 1 April 2013, transports, which carry out import or transit of goods through customs border of Uzbekistan, should submit information on goods movement, including their name, volume, weight and cost of the cargo, as well as their codes in line with Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System to customs bodies.

Starting from 1 July 2013, imported food products, hygiene products and other consumer goods, in line with the list, approved by the Government, should have signs in Uzbek language.

From 1 April 2013, importers should submit export cargo customs declaration to confirm the customs cost of the goods, imported in Uzbekistan.

At the same time, the document approved proposal of the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade to organize local consumer goods fairs within International industrial fair and cooperation exchange, as well as territorial and industrial fairs from 1 March 2013.

Consumer goods can be purchased on direct agreements without organizations of tenders within the International industrial fair and cooperation exchange, as well as territorial and industrial fairs.

The document also said that local goods producers should introduce quality management system in line with ISO 9001 standards.

Uzbek leader entrusted State Tax Committee and Department on fighting tax, currency crimes and legalization of crime income under the Prosecutor-General’s Office in cooperation with State Customs Committee to develop and approve a complex measures on preventing realization of faulty products and smuggled goods. (Source: UzDaily.com).



CULTURE



In Harmony with Sounds of the Times

The great music heritage of our culture – shashmaqom

It is barely possible to stop admiring the subtlety and diversity of the national culture. So much harmony and combination with reality, that is why the spiritual heritage keeps being modern since long time, bewitching with its perfection and topicality at all times.

 It is for the first time, for to familiarize the youth with the medieval classical Eastern music, the National Gallery of Fine Arts of Uzbekistan has hosted an experimental project with a terse name “Shashmaqom.” According to the author of the idea Husniddin Atoev, the key idea of the project was to find a format in which it would be possible to perform shashmaqom easily apprehended by the present-day youngsters, and, it is turned successful. 

All six traditional classical parts of shashmaqom was possible to listen to in six different halls in accordance with the names of maqoms. Professional musicians and soloists performed six-minute program of all six parts with interval of a few minutes, playing them in various old instruments.

Shashmaqom - the system consisting of six maqoms (traditional classical songs) – buzruk, rost, navo, dugoh, segoh, iroq, that were played by musicians in dutor, chang, nai, and tanbur. The audience had the opportunity to get the expression on sounding of maqoms in different tones, and got acquainted with diversity of their tunes. “That was the main point of our project,” explains Husniddin Atoev. “The light sounding of the Eastern music, its unobtrusiveness and attractiveness for people that visit various national feasts, weddings – it is what makes this style popular with people in Uzbekistan.” 

Maqoma are performed to lyrics by classical Eastern poets, including Bobur, Lutfiy, Mashrab, Uvaisiy, Muqimiy, Furqat, and, of course, to unsurpassed gazelles by Alisher Navoi.

In 2003, shashmaqom was recognized one of masterpieces that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“Performance of shashmaqoms contributes to the development of acting techniques, and creative enriching,” says Shuhrat Kholkhujaev (tanbur player), “music takes to the national roots, and mutual enrichment of cultures happening, which is very important.” (Source: Uzbekistan Today newspaper).

 

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