Fiscalis 2020 is a European Union programme that enables tax administrations to share information and expertise, connect national tax officials across Europe, and jointly develop trans-European information systems, in order to strengthen the fight against tax frauds and the gray economy. In addition to the Member States, the programme, worth €234 million, also includes EU candidate countries. Montenegro has been part of the programme since 2015, in the context of negotiation Chapter 16, which deals with taxation.
As a result, the Montenegrin Tax Administration officials have had the opportunity to learn and improve so that Montenegro can be ready to function on the common EU market and to connect with systems through which tax administrations across Europe can communicate more easily for more efficient administrative cooperation.
Robert Rajkovic works in the Tax Administration of Montenegro and he is in charge of development, maintenance, and security of IT systems. Within the framework of the Fiscalis 2020 programme, he had the opportunity to participate in a project related to strengthening the IT technology and infrastructure, as well as a project to improve the common communication network between EU Member States.
"By participating in Fiscalis 2020, I gained experience in organising important IT system development projects, identifying potential risks in the implementation area, and, most importantly, I gained experience that I can use in preparing the future tax administration information system in Montenegro so it can later easily connect to the trans-European information system,” said Rajkovic.
Rajkovic also participated in workshops where he acquired skills important for improving the automatic exchange inside information systems. This was translated into the language of the common user which meant better administrative cooperation between tax administrations across the EU and assisting in cross-border cooperation to prevent double taxation, tax fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illegal activities.
“The experience will help me develop an IT system that enables the collection of information from financial institutions in Montenegro and from other sources and the exchange of information between the state administration bodies of Montenegro, with the aim of adequately identifying tax liabilities and providing better and simpler services to taxpayers," explained Rajkovic.
He explained why Fiscalis 2020 is important through a practical example.
“We are talking about the European Union's single market and different tax systems. In such a situation, businesses can take advantage of benefits and attempt to evade taxes in the country where they are registered or generate income through illegal activities. The development of trans-European information systems, and a joint communication network for the needs of state administration bodies of EU countries, significantly improves the process of information exchange, and, thus, reduces the risk of this type of tax fraud," said Rajkovic.
Fiscalis 2020, with a total budget of €234.3 million, will run through 2020, and the support for its continuation has already been provided by the European Commission. In addition to Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey are also participating in the programme.