The Albanian government wants to improve business tax-law compliance. Euractiv reports:
Prime Minister Edi Rama announced that a team of investigators would audit Albanian companies and those found paying their workers under the table will be prosecuted. In early January, Finance Minister Delina Ibrahimaj declared that 10,000 Albanian businesses were to be investigated for underreporting wages.
A common method for tax evasion, explains Euractiv, is to pay parts of employee wages in cash. This practice may be the reason why “some 30% of Albanian citizens” officially declared living on minimum wage.
The current crackdown on tax evasion is not the first. In 2019, Reuters reported that the Albanian government was implementing a system for online tax payments,
to stop businesses evading taxes, raise revenue and bring the tax system into line with practices in the European Union which it wants to join.
The finance ministry in Tirana alleged at the time that an investigation had “uncovered 1,600 hotels listed on a booking site that had not registered with the tax authorities.”
While the government focuses on enduring problems with tax compliance, public protests have targeted high taxes and government corruption. A report from Corruptionbuzz.com on March 14th, explained that Prime Minister Rama had dismissed the protests as being related to the war in Ukraine:
Citizens, however, say they are not protesting anything to do with Ukraine, but rather high taxes, corruption, and the capture of the state by “oligarchs.”
Prime Minister Rama has been the target of mounting questions of his own personal finances, which apparently have improved during his time in office, so much that he has been able to afford a home well beyond what his modest government salary would afford him.