|Dorina Asllani Ndreka|
VAT is levied on all supplies of goods and services in Albania, and for all imports. The VAT rate in Albania was 20% for the majority of supplies of services and goods, and until now a reduced rate of 10% was levied on the supply of medications and medical services.
The Law on Valued Added Tax provides some specific goods and services that are exempted from VAT. Some of these exempted supplies include: financial services; supply and rental of land; granting, negotiating, administration and securing of money credits; bank transactions, money transfers, loans, cheques, with the exception of debt collection services; transactions dealing with money, bills, and other legal means of payment; transactions regarding shares, capital, bonds, securities, etc; administration of investment funds; non-profit organisations; supply of casinos, hippodromes and gambling; postal services and exports.
With the Law no.182/2013, dated December 28 2013, the Parliament adopted several changes regarding the VAT, which entered into force from January 1 2014.
In accordance with these changes, medicinal drugs and health services supplied by public or private medical institutions are no longer subject to 10% VAT, but are instead considered as exempted supply. The changes are not to be strictly applicable from the beginning of the new 2014 financial year, but will rather be effective as of April 1 2014, to give the Ministry of Finance the possibility to arrange the administration of the already existing supplies.
VAT refunding has been one of the less applicable legal rights regarding this tax, which was until now legally granted but practically denied to the taxpayers. To help both taxpayers and the law enforcement, the new law defines a simplified procedure and accelerated deadlines regarding refunding, with the scope of making it more applicable in practice. Starting from January 1 2014, the Fiscal Regional Directory is to control and approve as refundable the taxpayer's credit balance within 60 days of the taxpayer's application. The payment of the VAT refundable credit balance is performed by the treasury system, in accordance with the rules and procedures defined in the Guideline of the Ministry of Finances, which remains to be published.