According to the SFSU, under to the results of the first half of the year, Lemtrans is among the hundreds of the largest taxpayers in Ukraine. What results secured the place in the TOP-100?
Lemtrans is a responsible and transparent company that provides employment, pays taxes and makes a significant contribution to the development of the rail industry.
According to its position in the market, Lemtrans is one of the leaders in rail freight transportation. We are the largest privately owned company in this segment in Ukraine. We are constantly increasing our net income. The gain is about 10%. There are strategic clients, such as DTEK, ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih, Metinvest and other large companies in the country. We constantly invest in our development, thus creating the conditions for maintaining the stability of our customers. We do not have any rolling stock that would be idle. The rolling stock is constantly being repaired and refurbished. According to the results of 2018, only about $ 800 million was invested in the repair of the car fleet. Next year this amount will be one and a half times bigger. We also plan to purchase from 350 to 500 new cars. Continuous improvement of the quality of services, optimization of internal logistics and reduction of transport costs remain the main priorities of our company. All this works on taxable financial result. Moreover, we pay official salaries, increasing the tax burden. We work transparently and only in the legal field of Ukraine.
Can it be argued that the state, fiscal service, is now changing attitude towards large taxpayers?
It seems that a good picture of constructive relations with the taxpayers is created. However, just after the audit of the DFSU, everything looks a little different. For example, we recently passed the audit, and the following question arose.
There is a fleet of cars, being blocked in the uncontrolled Ukrainian territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions since March 2017. Companies have repeatedly formally appealed to the relevant authorities with a request to develop a set of measures and mechanisms for the return of railway rolling stock owned by enterprises that operate in accordance with Ukrainian legislation from uncontrolled territory of Ukraine. But we have no result.
Despite this, the tax authorities declare that we have to calculate this VAT park and pay it. These things do not fit into any logic!
They are trying to justify their claims to the rules of the Tax code. Moreover, the Tax code itself is complicated by constant changes, leading to different understanding and interpretation. It should not be such. The Tax code should be transparent, simple and accessible for understanding. The impression is that the goal is to fill out the numerical verification statement. Our company has large financial turnover. Only net income for the year reaches 12 billion USD. This makes it possible to invent an excuse for huge fines.
Do you need changes in tax legislation?
The DFSU itself has to change. It must show its transparency and demonstrate the clarity of its actions. You can go to various round tables, shake hands, but you need to change the system.
In fact, it would be better to temporarily stop adjusting tax legislation, because it is changing too often. Business is waiting for stability. Everyone is tired of constant change of legislation and unpredictability. Everyone should calm down and become accustomed to the current rules. Indeed, large companies are ahead in the process of building a transparent business. Small and medium-sized businesses are also ready to work openly, but they are constrained by unclear rules when at any time tax can come to a company, claim a sum for any amount, and businesses will have to prove their rights. We involve internal and external auditors, tax advisers. They report to us that everything is alright, and that the taxpayers have the same vision.
What difficulties do companies with "white" salaries face?
The DFSU audit remains stressful for the entrepreneurs. It should not be that money from business "washed up" under any reason in the form of fines and additional charges. If the company works "white" then it should have some advantages. We need to create such systems that would allow remotely monitor the actions of the transparent taxpayers and do not need to go to a company with the audits. Monitoring VAT can be the positive example.
It is necessary to minimize the human factor and communication between the companies and employees of SFSU.