PRESS RELEASE – TAK’s Integrity Improvement Initiative is well accepted

The Kosovo Tax Administration has continued even today to hold public consultations with businesses, chambers of commerce, associations, civil society, media, donors and public institutions in order to precede the drafting and implementation of the Kosovo Tax Administration’s Integrity Improvement Plan. This plan aims to identify areas that contribute directly or indirectly to management’s ambitions to improve TAK’s efficiency and integrity. The development of this plan is supported by the USAID Kosovo Economic Governance Program, which is also a co-organizer of the public consultation process.

These consultative roundtables were important for building the first structured dialogue of its kind to encourage public input in improving TAK’s transparency and accountability. About 100 participants gave recommendations regarding expectations for TAK’s integrity.

TAK Director Ilir Murtezaj at today’s roundtable held with chambers and business representatives said that TAK has made good progress in improving its services to taxpayers/citizens by enabling the provision of electronic services, including electronic tax filing and multiple services via electronic platforms; optimizing internal processes, such as VAT refund procedures, and is in the process of introducing changes to its institutional structure for more effective management of key functions.

Director Murtezaj also spoke about the measurements of international institutions, whereby said that the public perception of tax officials’ involvement in corruption is below the regional average. According to the SELDI report, 57% is the average perception for tax officials in the region while 43% for tax officials in Kosovo. However, further improvements are needed to make TAK a leading example among public institutions that provide high-quality services to citizens. According to the IMF Technical Assistance (AT) report on the “Medium-Term Plan for Strengthening Tax Administration Performance” of September 2018, public perception about TAK is that the institution is considered a professional organization but, however, the results of consecutive research suggest that there is room for improvement.

The representative of the USAID Kosovo Economic Governance Program said that “for private sector-driven economic growth, mutual trust between TAK and taxpayers is essential”.

Stakeholders welcomed this initiative and it was emphasized that such communication between TAK and the private sector should continue.