On March 8-10, the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) held a regional event at the JVI on tax arrears management for revenue administrations in Southeastern Europe. This in-person event was the first of its kind post-COVID 19 in the context of an FAD-led project in the region (see below).
The heads of tax arrears management and their fellow experts from six jurisdictions in the Balkans participating in the FAD-led project met at the JVI to discuss tax debt prevention strategies and management of old debts, to learn from the FAD experts about the best international practices, and to exchange views on varying approaches in the region. In one of the sessions, the Austrian authorities presented their approach to tax debt management, which was followed by a lively exchange.
A similar regional peer event on fiscalization, e-invoices, and the related practices in the region was held in 2022, but in a virtual format. Although there were tangible outcomes of that virtual cooperation, as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, it is certain that face-to-face meetings allow for better peer exchanges and networking. The contacts thus established by participants with their peers in neighboring jurisdictions allow them to learn from each other’s experience and share successful approaches, considering historic similarities and comparable economic developments. The JVI proved to be a convenient and effective venue for this gathering, as shown in the post-event survey of participants, who also highly appreciated the format and exchanges.
The IMF FAD Southeast Europe Project is in its Phase III, being co-funded by the European Commission and the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The revenue authorities from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia have received substantial technical assistance under the two previous phases and continue benefiting from the current phase.
Dmitri Jegorov, Regional Revenue Advisor, IMF