The freelance tax saga continues – with many aggravated

Freelancers’ representatives aggravated many with their latest statements.

Source: B92
Ilustracija: Shutterstock/Undrey
Ilustracija: Shutterstock/Undrey

Freelancers’ representatives stated that their members are dissatisfied with the adopted legal solutions that are meant to resolve their status, although the state adopted the regulations in the agreement already made with freelancers after years of negotiations, causing aggravation and condemnation of regular taxpayers.

Namely, the text that was published yesterday "Have the demands of freelancers become absurd?" caused a lively discussion in which many readers got involved, commenting on the text with a question about what makes freelancers a special tax category, feeling that they do not have to pay taxes and contributions.

Their comments said that "everyone who works in Serbia has been paying taxes and contributions for decades", and "they should send them to the West to see what income taxation is", explaining that some people always find excuses not to pay taxes.

"Hey, freelancers - welcome to the real world. Everyone who works in Serbia has been paying taxes and contributions for decades, therefore fighting for their place. Do you know that if you apply for work from a pension, you must pay all taxes and contributions like everyone else, then pay for health care even though as a pensioner you are guaranteed free health services? Anyone who makes business in this country could complain about some provision of the law".

"I would like to send these "freelancers" to the West to see what income taxation is all about. You collect invoices and a bunch of papers and hire a tax advisor before filing. And when you receive a tax solution, you happily pay and pray to God that they don't come for additional revision... And there is no such thing as "we didn't know" that you use to negotiate something with the state because the income was taxed abroad and your "I swear are spent all that money abroad..."

"People don't want to pay the tax and that's it. People here find a million excuses not to pay for the bus ticket even though they want to drive, in principle everything comes down to "I am not going to give my money away".

"A freelancer is a person who does not have a permanent job. If there is any profit made, taxes must be paid, which also goes if you make money at a betting shop, sell stocks, or trade bitcoins. If this goes through, then regular employees should also protest because they are in a worse situation than freelancers. The fact that they earn money abroad and spend it in Serbia has nothing to do with it, there are people who work on cruisers, and hotels and they also have to pay taxes to Serbia. It's OK that they shouldn't be double-operated but that's it. All those taxes are used for the construction of roads, stadiums, and apartments. What the hell is wrong with you?".

"By paying pension and health benefits, rights are acquired. As a society, we are not obliged to finance those who will not pay".

These are just some of the comments showing the reaction to the freelancers’ requests and arguments about why they should settle their debts to the state, as all other citizens of our country do.

Of course, there are those who defend and support freelancers, explain why they should not retroactively pay taxes and contributions, and list the problems that internet workers face.

"Of course, that is absurd", "That will not be charged, half of them have already acquired Bulgarian or Romanian passports", "Paying taxes retroactively for 5 years is absurd!", "Freelancers do not work in Serbia, they receive money from abroad and spend it here, which stupid country collects taxes from freelancers? Or they do not have the right to that?".

As a reminder, after several years of negotiations between state representatives and freelancers, at the end of the year, a legal solution was agreed on as to how freelancers will pay taxes and contributions. Previously, changes to the same regulations were in place for which tax arrears from previous years will be paid.

However, after the freelancers participated in the preparation of those draft laws, and agreed with them, yesterday they announced protests again because they received tax rulings that determined their obligations, precisely based on those same laws.

Specifically, we are talking about obligations from 2017, which freelancers will be able to pay in 120 installments over the next 10 years, without interest, exactly as agreed with the freelancers' associations. In accordance with the adopted laws, freelancers who made up to 768,000 dinars during a calendar year, which corresponds to a regular monthly salary of 64,000 dinars, do not pay taxes and contributions. This way of calculating the tax duties for freelancers will be applied to the income they have made as of December 31, 2022.

Thus, freelancers who earned the average salary in Serbia in 2017 are practically exempt from paying taxes and contributions, unlike all other citizens of Serbia whose incomes were taxed.

However, despite the obvious benefits, one gets the impression that freelancers do not want to pay any of their tax debts.

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