In 2020, the Business Ombudsman Council (BOC) received 1,193 complaints about work of the State Tax Service, State Customs Service and State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, which is 120 complaints more than in 2019, and a total of 1,737 complaints were received during the year, which is 91 more than a year ago.
“In 2020, the Business Ombudsman Council received 1737 complaints and completed the investigation of 1159 cases, which is 9% and 2% more than in 2019 respectively,” BOC said in its annual report published on Wednesday.
In total, four subjects of appeals accounted for 85% of business complaints about violations of state bodies: tax issues (64%), actions of law enforcement agencies (12%), actions of state regulators (5%) and customs issues (4%), according to the report.
“Despite the moratorium on most tax audits and reduction of complaints on this subject, the number of business appeals on tax issues increased by 14% in comparison with 2019 (from 981 to 1117 appeals). In particular, the number of complaints about tax invoices suspension tripled (from 95 to 273), by 63% on inclusion in risky taxpayers’ lists (from 127 to 207), by 36% – on non-enforcement of court decisions on tax invoices registration (from 108 to 147),” BOC said.
Complaints were predominantly lodged by Ukrainian companies (89%), mostly small and medium-sized businesses (76%). Traditionally, the most active in terms of the number of complaints were wholesalers (26%), manufacturing (12%), agribusiness (12%), real estate (11%) and individual entrepreneurs (10%) representatives.
In 2020, with the adoption of respective laws and regulations, the following were implemented: a mechanism to inform the company of the reasons for inclusion in the risky taxpayers lists and ways to be removed therefrom was introduced; regular work of the Expert Council on preparation of generalized tax consultations was resumed; renewal of electronic VAT administration system indicators for taxpayers, whose registration was canceled and subsequently renewed, was provided.
Business Ombudsman Marcin Święcicki said that BOC is waiting for a new version of the bill on the business ombudsman.
“A new version of the draft law on the Business Ombudsman Institution, which takes into account all the key comments of MPs and stakeholders, is awaiting registration in the Verkhovna Rada. The law should stabilize the BOC activities, regulate its cooperation with complainants and state bodies, as well as clearly define the rights and responsibilities of the institution,” the press service said, citing Święcicki.