Earlier this year, the Romanian Government adopted, through GEO 115/2023, a package of fiscal measures designed to ensure financial sustainability. Businesses in sectors such as financial services, oil and gas, software development, construction, agriculture and food are the most affected by these measures. The changes cover several key issues, from regulations on micro-enterprises and partial social security contribution exemptions, to changes to the caps on cash payments and corporate income tax.
The most important amendments are:
- New rules for small enterprises
- The list of conditions for the micro-enterprise regime is supplemented by a new requirement to file annual financial statements (where this is mandatory) for the previous tax year.
- The limit on income earned is determined by taking into account both the income earned by micro-enterprises and the income of enterprises in the same holding or group.
- An associate/shareholder may hold, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the value/number of equity instruments or voting rights in only one micro-enterprise.
- Social security partial exemptions
- The news concerns IT, construction and agricultural employees who are targeted by the application of the tax facilities: the Government has decided to reorganise the provisions concerning the option to pay the full percentage of the contribution to the pension fund, establishing that employees have the right to change their payment option (either to the privately administered pension fund or to the public one). The rules of procedure concerning the option and change thereof must be established by the employers through the internal regulation or, where appropriate, another internal document of the employer; the application of these provisions start with the income for January 2024.
- Social vouchers
- As regards social vouchers for food and hot meals, in 2024 their value shall be maintained, i.e. 250 lei, and for the period 2025-2027 they will have a nominal value of 125 lei.
- Employees will receive less money for medical insurance
- From being exempted from the payment of health insurance, the medical leave indemnity has been included in the category of incomes that are subject to a 10% taxation. This means, therefore, that employees will receive 10% less, as employers will have to deduct the health insurance contribution from the amount to be paid to the employee. Until now, these amounts were only subjected to the 10% income tax and pension contribution.
- The health insurance contribution does not apply to employees only, but also to those insured on a voluntary basis (self-employed, liberal occupations), as well as to the unemployed who are eligible for these benefits or to other groups of people who are not employed but who are eligible, under certain conditions, for medical benefits.
- New limits for cash payments
- A new daily limit for payments from advances for settlement, set for each person who has received advances for settlement - the new limit is 5,000 lei, five times higher than the previous law.
- Loans or other financing are no longer received or repaid within the daily maximum limit of 10,000 lei to/from a individual, but exclusively through non-cash payment instruments. The new rule in this regard no longer differentiates individuals from associates/shareholders/managers.
- Corporate offices and other secondary offices of legal entities that have their own cash office facilities and/or an account with a credit institution shall apply Law 70 of 2 April 2015 on reinforcement of financial discipline regarding cash payments and cash receipts as well as on the amendment and addition of Government Emergency Ordinance No. 193/2002 regarding the introduction of modern payment systems for cash offices.
Cash limits which apply to each cash office:
- 5,000 lei for withdrawals from individuals;
- 10,000 lei for cash withdrawals by cash and carry shops;
- 10,000 lei/person from cash payments and withdrawals made with individuals, representing the value of supplies or acquisition on goods or services, dividends, assignment of claims or other rights.
- Corporate income tax
- Specific rules on certain deductible or deduction of income tax costs are to be modified as of January 2024 under this EO . At the same time, the recovery of previous years' differences is limited to only 70%.
- Remote Working
- The amount paid by employers to cover remote work expenses will be fully taxed and paid by employers' social security contributions.
- Required increase of several minimum pay schemes from 1 January in the context of the tax-free benefit
- This 200 lei non-tax benefit on the minimum salary will apply throughout 2024. This means that from the 3,300 lei amount representing the basic salary, 200 lei are tax-free. The tax-free 200 lei benefit applies where the basic salary level is 3,300 lei and together with other bonuses does not exceed 4,000 lei.
Alexandra Burdulea and Timeia Lupșa