Albania has made noticeable and rapid progress regarding the Tax reform. The Law on tax procedure is " the constitution" that leads tax administration towards the best modern international practices, causing such organizational transformation, where taxpayers guidance, self-assessment and rights, become a priority. Such radical change does not happen overnight, but now that the fundaments are laid, the road towards a role model Tax Administration is clear. Partnership with taxpayers incites interaction, reduces administrative burden and imposes the honest recognition of rights and obligations by both parties.
The Law on tax procedures, which entered into force on June 25, 2008, for the first time, includes a separate chapter on "The Rights of Taxpayers", therefor:
Each and everytaxpayer has the right to get free information on tax legislation and assistance for its implementation from the taxpayer service offices
- The Tax Administration Office has the duty to inform the public about the content, role and importance of tax legislation.
- New laws and tax procedures are made public through print media and electronic media, Also they must be displayed in the General Directorate of Taxes official website, not later than 15 days from the date of their entry into force.
- The Directorate of Service and Registration of taxpayers in every Albania’s tax directorate, has the duty to inform and assist taxpayers by providing them with instructional materials, using all means of mass and individual communication.
- The communication between the Tax Administration Office and taxpayers is established upon determining standards within the administration.
- Official communication with the taxpayer (such as evaluations, reports, decisions, etc.) will get sent via postal service, to the address stated and filed by the taxpayer in the taxpayer's file Taxpayers will be noticed within seven calendar days after the date of dispatch.
- The delivery date is the date of receipt by the postal service.
Each and every taxpayer has the right to be treated in an impartial, professional and ethical way by the tax administration
- Both Tax Administration and taxpayers must comply the law on tax procedures, upon the Guidance of the Minister of Finance issued pursuant to the law.
- There are cases when the General Director of Taxes, upon taxpayer’s request, issues a decision regarding the official standing of the Tax Administration Office in the implementation of the tax legislation to the specific circumstances of the taxpayer. Such decision is binding on the administration and the taxpayer, who made the request. The decision is published within 5 calendar days on the website of GDT, while maintaining the confidentiality of the taxpayer’s business data, and enters into force and is applicable in all other similar cases.
- Tax Administration officers cannot participate in tax audits or assessments against taxpayers related to them.
- In cases of tax re-examination, the tax inspectors who conducted the previous audit cannot be part of the new audit group.
- The Tax Administration Office is constantly engaged in training of employees and encourages career development based on positive assessments of the work performed. In addition, the GDT takes measures against all those tax employees who violate the law through the actions or omissions towards taxpayers.
Each and every taxpayer has the right of confidentiality of their tax records.
- The Tax Administration officers have the duty to maintain the confidentiality of the taxpayer’s information. They use this data within the Tax Administration Office and only for administration purposes.
- Exchange of information between the Tax Administration Office and other institutions is made with the condition to maintain the confidentiality of taxpayer’s tax information. This information is accessible only upon written request by authorities established by law (judges, prosecutors, the high state control, etc.), and in certain circumstances defined by the law.
- The obligation of confidentiality terminates when the taxpayer waives from this right and to the extent allowed in his statement.
Each and everytaxpayer is entitled to receive notice of administrative acts, actions or omissions on the collection of taxes, which affect their property.
- The Tax Administration Office must send taxpayers the notice of assessment and demand for payment of the tax due by mail, within 10 calendar days from the date when the assessment is made.
- The notice of tax assessment and demand for payment of tax must include: - taxpayer’s basic identification information, - date of notification, - the issue covered by the notice and tax period or periods that it covers, - the amount of tax evaluation - penalty interest and fines, - a request for tax payment and the term, place and form of such payment – an explanation of the reason of evaluation and quotation of the taxpayer's right to appeal the evaluation.
- The notification procedures and content will not change if the Tax Administration Office finds that the taxpayer has failed to pay taxes weather in proper amount or in due time. This is valid even for decisions taken after tax evaluation by the Directorate of Appeals, in response to the appeal.
Each and every taxpayer has the right to have, from the tax administration, in pursuance of its powers, reasonable controls, within a reasonable time, in the right place and within the legal limits.
- Taxpayers subject to tax audit are selected based on risk analysis in compliance with the best international practices.
- The decision making procedure requires to determine if there are legal bases for such control, detailing the types of taxes that are subject to control, the period or periods of the tax subject to a tax audit, date and time of initiation and finally the place of conduction. This information, together with a description of the taxpayer’s rights and duties during the tax audit, including the right to appeal the assessment and the request to make available specific information about this control, with the signature of the head of the office, shall be made available for the taxpayer subject to tax inspection, through a notification released by the Tax Administration Office.
- The audit report is issued within seven calendar days from the date of its conclusion and is mailed to the taxpayer.
Each and every taxpayer has the right to receive a written response when there is a dispute regarding a conducted tax evaluation on the reasons, evaluation and decision.
- After receiving the assessment, the taxpayer has the right to submit written objections with the respective arguments.
- The final report of tax audit assessment shall include objections that the taxpayer has expressed and the control group’s explanation.
- Taxpayers have the right to obtain certificates from the Tax Administration Office for taxable income, tax dues, as well as other payments made from them, upon written demand and to request certified copies, electronic or written, of any document in their tax file.
- The Tax Administration Office generates and updates the tax file that includes the taxpayer’s liabilities, interest, penalties and payments. The file can also be generated electronically.
- Taxpayers will be able to view their files on the Tax Administration official web page and receive electronic transcripts of their tax data. If the taxpayers cannot access their data online, the Tax Administration Office has the obligation to provide available copies of data files, upon written request.
Each and every taxpayer has the right to appoint a representative in relation to the tax administration.
- "The Taxpayer Representative" is a person legally authorized to represent the taxpayer in tax issues.
- A nonresident taxpayer appoints a resident tax representative, who has to register at the National Business Center, as required by the legislation into force.
- Taxpayers have the right to appeal and to submit arguments before the Tax Administration Office makes the decision regarding them and their property. In case of appeal, they have the right to have an independent administrative review.
- Taxpayers have the right to contest tax audit decisions by submitting a written explanation, within 5 calendar days after the estimated date the report was received.
- Taxpayers may appeal against any notice of assessment, any decision that affect their tax liability, any noncompliance claim for refund or tax relief, or any special executive act in relation to tax.
- The appeal is made in writing and in accordance with the Guidance issued by the Minister of Finance. The appeal is submitted to the Directorate of Tax Appeals within 30 calendar days from the estimated date of the evaluation or decision of the Tax Administration is received by the taxpayer.
- The Directorate of Tax Appeals reviews the tax appeal and makes a decision based on the evidences and arguments presented by the taxpayer and tax administration, as well as on the requested additional documentation.
- Taxpayers have the right to present the case personally in front of the Directorate of Tax Appeals or by appointing a representative.
- The burden of proof to attest that the tax assessment or decision on tax assessment is incorrect, rests on the taxpayer.
The Taxpayer’s Charter
What is the Taxpayer’s charter and what it does represent?
The taxpayer’s charter is the "statute of taxpayer” that sets out his rights and obligations.
This document does not represent in its kind a legal act, but a mean to make public the actual rights and obligations, well-defined within the legal basis of human rights in general, and those of tax nature in particular.
With its disclosure the Albanian government recognizes and presumes the goodwill of taxpayers, encouraging them to fulfill voluntarily their fiscal liabilities. At the same time it supports serving with responsibility by promoting values of equality and respect of the rights of the taxpayers’ to fulfill their obligations.
This document is addressed to every taxpayer and any tax officer, to encourage any voluntary act in benefit of reciprocal respect and fulfillment of mutual obligations.
Having a public nature the “The Charter” becomes a document easily understood among all age groups. It can be used as a platform to design specific fiscal curricula addressed to different levels of the Albanian education system, for the first time ever.
It creates a good fiscal citizenship’s environment in the country.
Finally, The Chart guarantees the taxpayer’s rights at a higher level, by making such rights immune to frequent legislative changes.
To whom The Charter is addressed
The Charter is directly addressed to the taxpayer - tax administration symbiosis. It is created to stimulate cooperation initiatives, to raise awareness in terms of recognition of the rights and obligations of both parts during the voluntary process of fulfillment of tax liabilities.