Tricky Taxes: State Revenue Committee Prez Comes Up Short
Last December, State Revenue Committee (SRC) President Gagik Khachatryan expressed concerns regarding the government’s expectations for drastic increases in tax revenues in 2012 when the country was still feeling the effects of the financial crisis.
“We are deeply concerned and must seriously work on those documents to see just where those tax revenues are expected to be coming from,” noted Khachatryan.
The government was calculating that the tax base would increase and administrative measures would be enacted to pressure tax payers to pay what they actually owed.
Khachatryan has come up against a brick wall and it’s clear that the SRC is having a hard time to collect what was planned for.
Two large tax payers told Hetq, on the condition of anonymity, told us about a meeting that took place yesterday between Tax Inspectorate Chief Ashot Arzoumanyan and a number of large taxpayers. Arzoumanyan told those assembled that the planned for taxes weren’t being collected.
He noted that the sales receipts of large taxpayers, in essence, weren’t representative of the true picture and that henceforth, the taxpayers would also have to present invoices along with the sales receipts.
“They are out to destroy the economy and we don’t know who is behind this. They are doing everything to force us to close up shop and leave Armenia,” argued one of the large taxpayers. The other said this policy stems from the conflict between Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Gagik Khachatryan.
“The prime minister raises the tax threshold knowing that there will be complaints and that it won’t be possible to guarantee such inflows. We the taxpayers are the losers in this conflict,” said the other taxpayer who spoke to us.
We proposed to discuss this issue in a roundtable format, also inviting representatives of the government. They were adamantly opposed to the idea but supported a debate on similar issues.
Gagik Khachatryan, in turn, is doing all he can to collect the taxes. Otherwise, he will be forced to leave his post.
But the obstacles in his path are formidable and it can’t be ruled out that he’ll once again draft a letter of resignation.