15th August 2022, Skopje – Fight against informal economy is part of the public finance management reform. Systemic changes will provide for series of measures for formalizing the informal sector, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, wrote in his latest column. Action Plan on Eradication of Informal Economy covers both sides of the informal sector – supply and demand. Stimulations, preventive measures for transition to formal products and services, promotion of efficiency of inspections and oversight are the mechanisms to combat the informal economy.
“When I say broadening the tax base, I mean including the entities from the informal sector therein as well. Activities envisaged in the MoF’s Action Plan are based on support and encouragement of formalization of the informal activities by promoting the advantages when entering the formal economy. Special focus is put on enhancing the efficiency of inspections and oversight in order to ensure greater equality of all market participants. The measures also pertain to modernization of the processes, for instance e-commerce, which gains momentum and creates unfair competition for the small- and medium-sized enterprises as the main driving force of economic development. Following are the priorities: improving the process of measuring, monitoring and detecting the informal economy, stimulating activities for formalization of the informal economy, raising the awareness about the informal economy and strengthening the tax morale, enhancing the inspection services, strengthening the legislation, as well as implementing measures as regards the Customs Administration, which will also include e-commerce products”, the Minister wrote.
In addition, Besimi also mentions the initiatives expected to contribute significantly to the combat against informal economy, which include reduction of cash payments under the new payment system and payment services reforms by liberalizing the payment operations and introducing FinTech solutions, in addition to the banking sector solutions, at the beginning of 2023. They also involve introduction of e-invoice system and e-fiscalization by the PRO, as well as introduction of track and trace system for the excise goods (in particular tobacco and alcohol beverages) by the Customs Administration, and other digitalization processes in these two institutions.
“If we want a country with a better infrastructure, quality education, better health and social protection, we are all to put efforts and contribute individually. Transition from the informal to the formal sector will provide for establishing a predictable and stable business environment, equal working conditions and a sound competition. Moreover, it will also contribute to creating conditions for equal competition among the businesses, strengthening the tax morale, as well as increasing the GDP”, Besimi wrote in his column.