Lately, there’s been much discussion about the fees law, so I decided to enter the conversation. TACSO (Technical Assistance for Civil Society Organizations), in collaboration with IFRS consulting (International Financial Reporting Standards), recently offered two seminars with topics related to the few innovative interpretations in the regulation which concern the financial workings of civil organizations. In addition, the topics were in: the law on profit, the VAT (value added tax), personal tax and the social contributions to copyright work. Precisely the last specified topic attracted a lot of attention regarding its popularity and controversy. The focus of attention was directed towards the interpretations in laws and not their ethics. Good presentations, numerous examples, qualitative discussion and what I like the most – useful questions arising from working in the field were covered.
Of course, the so called fee’s law is good for the statistics of the country’s institutions, which means augmenting a funds’ income for about 68 million Euros, augmenting employment through opening new work places and diminishing unemployment by deleting additional people from the lists of the national agency for employment.
There are multiple perspectives on viewing the law. If we focus on the aspect of the civic sector, it is, of course, a pretty inconvenient law and a law which negatively influences the civil sector because:
– In times of economic crisis and low standards of living for the population it diminishes the incomes of the people active in this sector by augmenting the taxes from 10 to 35%.
– It suffocates freedom and also the purpose for which this type of contract offers, i.e. the person to create and work in a way which is when it’s convenient for him or her. That directly threatens the flexibility of the civic sector, which is one of the advantages of the associations compared to other institutions.
– It is totally demotivating for the people from whom it is expected to create.
– It obstructs the associations’ work by introducing additional bureaucracy for which many associations don’t have a realistic capacity to administrate.
– The law is totally discriminating by excluding the privileged groups of citizens like: members of parliament, public functionaries, top athletes, the retired, dividend recipients, tenants, etc.
– In the end, by not granting preferential rates for employment in the NGO sector, it appears the country doesn’t look upon civil associations as an entity that can seriously contribute and is contributing to the development of the country, but simply as a revenue stream by identifying it same as the business sector.
In addition, there are numerous other reasons indirectly related to the civic sector from which the most negative, but also not ethical are:
– Double tax payment on health insurance without receiving better health service
– This law doesn’t cover those categories which have bigger incomes, but it strikes at those which have low incomes.