On October 13, 2020, the Tax Administration issued a warning on their website to all natural persons – taxpayers of the Republic of Serbia who receive a salary or other income from abroad to file their taxes and fulfill the self-assessment tax return obligation for realized income from abroad, in accordance with the Law.
This unexpected “appeal” has caught by surprise those individuals towards whom it was directed, and it was followed by a backlash of the public. Not only did the Tax Administration specifically draw attention to the taxpayer’s obligations, but also indicated that they have already identified certain individuals who do not adhere to these rules.
An outburst had occurred even prior to the Tax Administration’s official announcement – a photograph with an announcement about the obligation to voluntarily report income had appeared on social media. Among other things, the announcement contained examples of the platforms whence the untaxed income that natural persons receive in Serbia stem from (such as Google, Upwork, Bibo Global Opportunity, Airbnb), as well as the announcement that Tax Administration’s inspection had begun. Lastly, the Tax Administration warned the taxpayers to settle their tax obligations until October 31, 2020, in order to “avoid a misdemeanor or criminal offense”.
Still, a few days later, an official announcement was given, with the same content. According to the Tax Administration, they have analyzed the transactions made from abroad to the foreign exchange accounts of natural persons in Serbia and compared them to the submitted tax reports of the calculated and paid self-assessment taxes and contributions on the basis of salary and other income. The analysis has shown that the obligation to file a self-assessment tax return provided by the Law is widely violated by freelancers and other natural persons employed by foreign employers, which was the reason behind the Tax Administration’s intervention.