EU vs. Croatia – stimulating the economic system by means of taxes: Are the loss making corporations financing the state price range till the summer season?

The tourism sector suffered greatly, with most entrepreneurs that regularly made a profit before the pandemic operating at a loss in the 2020 circumstances.

Their income tax returns for 2020 will show, probably without exception, a loss. This means that the entrepreneurs will be entitled to an income tax refund for 2020 (paid as an advance in January and February 2020; from March onwards, most of them used the opportunity to reduce the advance payment to zero). They would have been entitled to a refund of overpaid tax on April 30, 2021 if the Ministry of Finance had not extended the deadline for submitting the income tax return by amending the Ordinance on the Implementation of the General Tax Law. That’s because the Ordinance stipulates that the payment of public benefits and rights (payment / refund) determined on the basis of the Income Tax Return are due on 30 June 2021.

In other words, even if you submitted your Income Tax Return before this extended deadline 30.6.2021. (for example, on April 30, as in all previous years), the Tax Administration will not process the application and recognize your right to a refund of overpaid income tax for 2020 until June 30, 2021. This means the money will remain on the State Budget account for two additional months.

Who does this “measure” of extending the deadline help? The entrepreneurs who were operating at a loss in 2020 due to the pandemic would not have had a tax liability under the Income Tax Return for 2020, nor would their tax advances for the next period have been determined. It is obvious that they do not need an extension.

And why should the entrepreneurs who made profit in 2020 need a special incentive in the form of a postponement of the deadline for submitting a profit tax return?

Finally, according the Tax Administration’s interpretation, all income tax returns submitted before the (previously regular) deadline 30 April and before the publication of amendments to the Ordinance on the implementation of the General Tax Law 12 March 2021 are processed immediately, while those submitted after the publication of amendments to the Ordinance will not be processed until 30 June 2021.

This logic of the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Administration is unusual: are they allowing a more favorable treatment for entrepreneurs without all knowing the criteria in advance? Who without a crystal ball could have foreseen the Ministry of Finance taking such a measure in March and file their tax return before the (previously regular) deadline of April 30?

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