Poroshenko abolishes e-declaration for anti-corruption activists and strengthens tax control over all NGOs

Дата: 10 July 2017
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President Petro Poroshenko submitted draft laws to the Verkhovna Rada on the abolition of e-declaration for anti-corruption public organizations.

As reported by the press-service of the Head of the State, the matter concerns the laws “On Amendments to the Tax Code” and “On Amending Certain Legislative Acts to Ensure Openness to the Society of Information on Financing Public Associations and Using International Technical Assistance”.

The press-service noted that these projects were presented during a meeting with representatives of public organizations shortly before.

The President expects the parliament to support these documents in the first reading at this session.

Remarks and suggestions from public organizations can be made when preparing the bill for the second reading.

“A number of remarks made by public organizations were taken into account after the meeting”, – the Presidential Administration noted.

It is noted that the drafts took into account the European and North American experience in the issues of the activity of public organizations and their public reporting.

Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dmytro Shymkiv said that the draft law proposes transparency of public organizations and those individuals who receive direct financial donations and international technical assistance.

He also stressed that the public report will be submitted by all public organizations, despite their specialization and sources of income. However, the reports will concern only the activities of organizations and will not contain information about the property or any other belongings of these organizations or their officials.

Shymkiv added that the legislative initiative provides for the abolition of the obligation of individuals – representatives of public organizations to file reports in the framework of e-declaration, as provided by the law “On the Prevention of Corruption”.

At the same time, Vitaliy Shabunin, Head of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, stated that the changes to the tax laws proposed by the President are unacceptable, as well as it is unacceptable to submit the draft law without revisions of public activists and to vote for the unchanged version.

As he wrote in his column on the Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth) publication.

He confirms that he present on a spontaneously organized meeting in the Presidential Administration, where the changes to the Tax Code were discussed. According to him, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Oleksandr Sushko, Iryna Bekeshkina, Lyubov Akulenko were also present at the meeting.

Shabunin notes that the changes proposed by the President can be described as “a conversation about ultimatums and not compromises”.

“The proposed norms introduce an additional form of tax reporting for public organizations and give the fiscal authorities full manual control over the activities of non-profit organizations. The Sanction for NGOs for non-compliance with the “Poroshenko norms” not only for untimely submitted report, but also if the tax agency fails to publish the report on its website on time”, – said Shabunin.

He notes that according to the new standards, additional reports will also be submitted by experts and specialists, who are employed by public organizations and are self-employed individuals.

“Not only they will be forced to publicly show the revenues received from donors, recipients and beneficiaries of international grants, but also to present all expenses in favor of third parties, which is not even done by the officials in electronic declarations”, – notes the Head of the ACAC.

“The President virtually obliges self-employed individuals, who cooperate with a public organization, to publicly report on personal expenses: from a bought coffee to medical care. Moreover, the submission of inauthentic information in such a report will be punished by the cancellation of the right to pay a single tax. We insist that these innovations are justified, only if political parties and all non-profit organizations are accountable”, – Shabunin said.

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