One Stamp Causing an Uproar Among Croatian Business Owners

Total Croatia News

Got your “liquidated” stamp yet?

A book can be written about Croatian bureaucracy and its absurdities, a book so thick, it would make War and Peace look like a magazine.  A new administrative rule came into power at the beginning of 2016, and its absurdity is now causing an uproar among entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country, reported on February 2, 2016.

According to the new Accounting Law (written and put into power by the former Government, just so we’re clear), which was supposed to align our regulations with those of the EU but somehow managed to do the opposite, each company is supposed to appoint a liquidator to sign and stamp all incoming invoices in order to validate expenditure (stamp says “liquidated”). The definition of this rule states: “liquidator is a person with a task to check the validity and completeness of all accounting documents. Appointment of a liquidator and its tasks should be stated in written form, most often it is a decision made by the company director of a person representing the business owner”.

So, even though we’re well in the 21st century and most things around us appear in digital form, now companies have to print out all incoming invoices, sign and stamp them in order to satisfy yet another ridiculous rule. Great for our environment, that’s for sure. And what happens if they fail to obey? Well, the Croatian bureaucracy will liquidate the company since the fines are from 10 000 to 100 000 kuna, and most small businesses will have to close their doors for good because they won’t be able to pay that kind of money. To make this new regulation even more absurd, as of the beginning of this year, companies are no longer obliged to print, stamp, sign and post their outgoing invoices; instead, all this has to be done by the person receiving them.

Comments from business owners are pouring in, and most of them agree on this being just another way for the tax authority to slap huge fines and to further stifle small businesses that are already barely keeping their head above water:

“We are printing and stamping 50 pages of our bank statement at this very moment and we’re thinking of hiring someone just to keep punching the stamp. Because that will surely lower our corruption rate, increase our competitiveness, entice economy and attract investors. The only thing that needs to be liquidated is this country along with all the idiots that are trying to keep a company open” one business owner commented.

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“One thing that scares me the most is the influx of various agent Smiths in the Tax Authority and similar State administration offices. Thanks to this joke of a system they now have the power to play with our companies, our assets and our lives at a press of a keyboard button. I fear them more than any clear physical threat or theft” – another one stated.

In this day and age, we’d expect our law creators to finally get rid of useless regulations that only serve as an excuse to write up enormous fines (and many businesses have failed because of them). Instead, we are seeing that they are becoming more complex and make even less sense while the fines are getting higher and higher. Just a slight reminder for our new government, if our new Ministers intend to employ new people, and they already said they need more staff in almost every Ministry, who do you think will pay for all those wages if you squash every single small and medium business owner?


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