The National Assembly House hosted the public hearing on the Draft Law on Electronic Invoicing organised by the Committee on Finance State Budget and Control of Public Spending.
The meeting was opened by National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic who thanked the attending and the Committee for the initiative to hold a public hearing, which, as he said, has become a good custom in the National Assembly whenever a new legislative proposal comes along. He added that in this form, not only can we consider all important legislative proposals expertly and in more detail, but also help the MPs decide with even more competence on the regulations that are in front of them. “We have before us an important legislative proposal, which will primarily facilitate the daily work of citizens, and especially the economy, save time and reduce business costs. This is one of the regulations with which we take an important step forward in the digitalisation process and keep pace with the latest global business trends”, said the National Assembly Speaker.
The Chairperson of Committee on Finance State Budget and Control of Public Spending Dr Aleksandra Tomic addressed the MPs, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Serbian Chamber of Commerce and civil society organizations. She said that the draft law is new for everyone and laws such as this raise public awareness and teach us all a new way of functioning of the economy, because the whole world is moving in the direction of innovation and digitalisation. She went on to say that the Draft Law on Electronic Invoicing is harmonised with EU regulations, which is important for the future of functioning in concordance with companies located on the territory of EU member states. "This introduction of modern legislation demonstrates that Serbia is becoming a modern state. It is up to us, as MPs, to really listen to the representatives of the ministry, to ask questions, if we have doubts, based on their answers, talk to citizens and bring this law closer to all target groups." She added that electronic invoicing will solve many problems in the economic sector, but that it will take some time to educate all market participants.
The draft law was presented by the State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Slavica Savicic who said that the reasons for passing this law are to establish visibility in terms of a wide range of transactions between public sector entities, private and public sector entities, and private sector entities in the electronic invoicing system, as well as improve the security and consistency of the national legal framework. The establishment of visibility will be achieved by a phased introduction of a mandatory, and in some cases optional, regime of issuing electronic invoices, as well as by introducing a mandatory regime of electronic recording of value added tax calculations in the electronic invoicing system.
By stipulating mandatory electronic recording in the system of electronic invoices, the duty to calculate value added tax will become visible, which in turn enables control and insight into those transactions which do not require mandatory electronic invoicing. This will significantly contribute to reducing the VAT gap and risk of tax evasion, as well as to increasing success of tax collection.
The introduction of electronic invoices into the legislative framework, as an elective option, is necessary for the harmonisation of the regulations of the Republic of Serbia with the acquis communautaire, which Serbia is obliged to do under the SAA. Also, the introduction of electronic invoices contributes to the fight against the grey economy, reducing the tax gap, facilitates the work of the Tax Administration, improves environmental protection by reducing the use of paper invoices, contributes to expediting business processes and greater transparency and user efficiency.
This change will lead to higher cost and time savings in the processing of electronic invoices, legal security through the fight against the grey economy, as well as environmental protection through the reduction in the use of paper invoices.
Assistant Minister of Finance, Fiscal System Sector, Dragan Demirovic, and Assistant Minister of Finance, Finance Digitisation Sector, Sonja Talijan also spoke about the draft law and technical solutions for its implementation.
The presentation of the draft law and explanation of the goals to be reached by its adoption was followed by a debate concerning, among other things, the implementation of the law, as well as internet access in rural areas, and arbitration of information available in the electronic invoicing system.
At the end of the public hearing, Dr Aleksandra Tomic added that this type of explanation of the new legislation benefits all the interested parties in the business sector, especially at the level of clarifying any doubts regarding the technical part of its implementation.