The Government has noticed that public opinion about the shadow economy, not only its economic but also social implications, has changed to some extent since the beginning of the campaign “Be smart, ask for a receipt!”. The public has begun to see that every individual can contribute to decreasing the extent of the grey economy, as this is the responsibility of everyone (consumers, companies and others), not only the authorities. The authorities must fight the shadow economy with pre-emptive actions and measures against tax fraud. The public is increasingly aware that tolerating the grey economy makes our position worse.
The campaign against the grey economy has yielded positive results, according to the figures compiled by the Ministry of Finance and the tax administration. According to the data, the voluntary payment of tax liabilities is increasing, while the number of recorded infringements established during inspections and the number of self-declarations is decreasing. Between August 2013 and March 2014, voluntary VAT payments totalled 96 million euros more than in the comparable period last year. Positive effects on VAT in individual sectors were already visible in 2013, while the trend continued in the first quarter of this year, as there has been a net increase in VAT revenue in 24 sectors compared to the first quarter of 2013, amounting to a total of 31.5 per cent (3.8. million euros).
An analysis of account records submitted by companies and sole traders for 2013 has revealed that the positive trend in the voluntary fulfilment of commitments is also evident from submitted account records. Revenues from company taxes have increased, i.e. calculated company tax increased by 19.3 per cent or 1 million euros in 28 sectors studied, while taxes calculated on income from self-employment (pre-payment of income tax and income tax on self-employment) rose by 41.6 per cent (1.3 million euros) in the 34 sectors studied.
The Government has also approved several pieces of legislation which will undoubtedly contribute to greater legal protection for workers.
The Prevention of Undeclared Work and Employment Act enables greater monitoring in the field and higher fines, and provides the basis for making the work of monitoring bodies more effective. Undeclared work and its advertising, providing and advertising undeclared employment and advertising illegal activities have been forbidden.
While the Labour Inspection Act and the Act Regulating the Register of Insured Persons and Those Entitled to Pension and Disability Benefits are technical in nature, they are very significant for the legal protection of workers. The former defines the organisation, competences and tasks of the inspection service, the authority of inspection, the monitoring procedure and measures. Amendments will result in more effective inspections. The latter act determines that employers must register employees in the compulsory pension and disability insurance scheme on the day they commence work at the latest.
In 2014, the Government Communication office will finance 4 projects by NGOs totalling 17,459 euros based on a public call for projects.
The goals of the projects are to raise awareness and inform the young throughout Slovenia about the consequences and wider implications of the grey economy for the wider society and individuals, and the significance of the active role of citizens in reducing the extent of the grey economy.