27 Dec 2023 16:51

Ukraine to launch tax, customs services' reform in 2024

MOSCOW. Dec 27 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian National Revenue Strategy through 2030, which is one of the structural benchmarks of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, will be approved timely in late 2023 and will be aimed at improving the tax administration system at the first stage, Ukrainian media reported, citing Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko.

"First of all, the administration system will be modified. Certain solutions will be put forward as to how it will be changed. Then certain configurations of changes to the tax policy will be considered. But without changing the administrators, no one will change the tax policy," he said.

The strategy is aimed at upgrading, making the tax and customs services more accessible, Marchenko said. This reform will begin in 2024.

"After we have an appropriate system of tax administration, we will talk about how we will calibrate the tax system [...]. In 2025, if changes to the tax policy are possible, they can be only targeted and preliminarily agreed upon," Marchenko said.

All possible optimization decisions were made while drafting the budget, and the volume of borrowing is also close to optimal, Marchenko said when asked about the possibilities of additional revenues to the Ukrainian budget in 2024.

"Therefore, where we can look at it in terms of revenues, this probably involves an effort to deal with the 'gray' markets, which still exist in Ukraine today, unfortunately. This is smuggling, this is the market of alcohol, cigarettes, and this is gambling: a lot has been done recently, but there is also room for optimization. In terms of expanding [the revenue base] by optimizing the 'gray' and 'black' zone, such opportunities remain," Marchenko said.

Speaking about the capabilities to optimize budget expenditures, Marchenko said that the Finance Ministry is willing to be involved in elaborating and assessing the needs put forward by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and evaluating the effectiveness of the use of funds.

"Any needs that have arisen in this period [since February 2022], we tried to provide, because there was no opportunity to discuss. But as of now, I believe that there is a need, at least, to engage experts of the Finance Ministry in elaborating and assessing the needs, and evaluating the effectiveness," Marchenko said.