Armenian Pm: Dentistry In Armenia Paid No Taxes At All, While Gettin

ARMENIAN PM: DENTISTRY IN ARMENIA PAID NO TAXES AT ALL, WHILE GETTING A QUITE TANGIBLE PROFIT

ARMINFO
Wednesday, February 6, 18:42

The Government of Armenia has received and is still receiving numerous
complaints saying that the dentistry sphere is “in the shade”, Armenian
Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said in Parliament when responding
to the concern of Lyudmila Sargsyan, MP from the opposition Armenian
National Congress faction.

He stressed that in general this sphere paid no taxes at all while
receiving quite a tangible profit. In this connection, “the Government
took minimal measures of administrative influence in order to gain
some results”. The matter concerns fixed payments, on which the MPs
themselves insist, especially in the context of the fight against
“the shadow economy”. Moreover, this sphere has a competition,
which demonstrates a lack of monopolies. “Walk along the streets of
Yerevan and you will see dozens of signs inviting you to visit the
dentists”, he said. It is also important that the republic holds
one of the leading positions in the world by its dentistry. Foreign
citizens come to Armenia to get dental services at a lower price
and comparatively high quality. However, it is one thing when the
matter concerns business organizers, and quite another thing when the
matter concerns the dentists themselves. Most of those who complain are
business organizers who do not want to pay any taxes. The calculations
made by the State Revenue Committee and Finance Ministry show that the
amount of the fixed payments for dentists is very low as compared with
other spheres. The premier said that he instructed these structures
to submit these calculations for the public’s approval.

To remind, on Feb 4 the dentists of Armenia held a protest action
in front of the building of Armenian Parliament, demanding that the
amendments to the Law “On License Payments” should be revised. On Jan
31 several dozens of dentists went on a protest action in front of
the Government building. The amendments to the above law that came
into effect on Jan 1 2013 oblige dental clinics to pay 80,000 drams
license payments per dental seat quarterly instead of the previous
12,000 drams (nearly $30). Earlier Speaker of Armenian Parliament
Hovik Abrahamyan said that a new bill was being prepared.

To note, at the January 26 extraordinary meeting of Armenian dentists,
over 1,300 delegates signed an appeal addressed to the president,
prime minister and parliament speaker suggesting reduction of the
license payment to 30,000 drams “for the first zone (Yerevan) with
application of relevant coefficient for the other zones (regions)”
impose a tax on the X-ray diagnostics, ball-bearing laboratories
operating in the clinics. As regards children’s dental seats, they
offer a 0.5 coefficient for license payment. The amendments to the
Law “On Licensing” applied also to realtors. Thus, the real estate
agencies of Yerevan are to pay 60 thsd AMD monthly for every employee,
and the agencies in the region – 10-50 thsd AMD.

Experts say that there are up to 12,000 dentists and 200 real estate
agencies in Armenia. They believe that the amendments to the tax
legislation will lead to price hikes in the spheres of dental and real
estate services and possible illegal business. Earlier, IMF announced
35% shadow economy in Armenia, while Bloomberg and Business Week
believe this indicator in Armenia has reached 51.7%. By data of the
National Statistical Service of Armenia, tax revenues of the state
budget totaled 725.5 bln drams with a 14.9% annual growth.

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