Small Businesses Protest against New VAT

Small- and medium-sized businesses have temporarily closed their doors today in protest against the Rama government’s decision to include them in the VAT tax scheme.

Storefronts along the Rruga e Kavajes and Rruga e Durrësit streets, as well as those in the Tregu Çam, Tregu Elektrik, Tregu Ushqimor, and Medreseja market areas have closed their doors from 11 a.m. to noon.

The decision to include small businesses in the VAT tax scheme was approved by the Socialist majority in December 2017. It went into force on April 1.

Many small business organizations opposed this decision, stating that it would lead to an increase in prices, affecting, thus, every citizen’s wallet.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund considered this decision as a favor of the government to large, wholesale businesses, which view small ones as unfair competitors to big supermarkets, considering that the latter are obligated to pay the VAT on the same articles that small businesses don’t have to.

The business owners will be joined in their protest by the Democratic Party. Yesterday, the PD leader Lulzim Basha, during a meeting with small business owners, expressed his support and called them to rise in protest, as it is the only way to oppose the government.