2021 Survey Conducted Among Taxpayer Organizations And Individual Entrepreneurs

2021 Survey Conducted Among Taxpayer Organizations And Individual Entrepreneurs

This research was conducted within the framework of the Supporting Tax Administration and Policy Leadership (STAPL) project[1]. One of the objectives of the project is to increase the quality and efficiency of services provided to taxpayers by the RA State Revenue Committee by taking into account the perceptions and attitudes of taxpayers as well as their stances on tax compliance. To that end, periodical surveys are conducted, with the most recent one carried out in May 2020 with a random sample of 610 taxpayers representing small and medium-sized enterprises. When discussing the results of the survey, it is necessary to consider developments, challenges and opportunities in the field.

In recent years, the tax authority has faced several challenges that have led to the development of a new strategy for tax administration and the operation of the State Revenue Committee. These new challenges have arisen due to various factors such as amendments to the budget legislation, the Tax Code coming into force, the transfer of the responsibility of providing official tax and customs-related clarifications from the SRC to the RA Ministry of Finance as of July 1 2018, and the necessity to implement unified customs and indirect tax policies and administration after joining the Eurasian Economic Union. Additionally, Armenia has signed several international agreements including an agreement with the OECD regarding automatic data exchange and other tax administration issues. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business project, many legislative changes related to tax administration in Armenia have been discussed and implemented in recent years. These legislative changes also include further strengthening the corporate governance system with a particular focus on the role of the institute of independent members of the Board of Directors, and the mandatory formation of an internal audit committee. The Horizontal Monitoring System came into force in 2019 to serve as a new basis for the relationship between the tax authority and taxpayers. From 2020, the legislation on transfer price regulations came into force, which requires a new level of targeted administration. The tax authority must also increase the efficiency of tax administration in part by implementing e-government tools for taxpayers such as mobile applications.  A recently published report by the World Bank points out that “In Armenia, through the implementation of an effective Tax Administration Reform Program, 96 percent of tax services and documents are processed and filed electronically, significantly reducing the time for tax payments from 581 hours to 268 hours. As a result, the Tax Administration Agency increased tax collection from 16 percent to over 20 percent of GDP.”[2]

This research aimed to gauge the impact of the changes listed above on the perceptions and attitudes of small and medium-sized enterprises toward the composition, structure, and quality of tax administration services in Armenia.

The research focused solely on tax administration issues throughout all stages of the tax administration and collection process including:

  • Taxpayer services with a special focus on electronic services using modern technology;
  • Tax collection, enforcement measures, and tax control functions;
  • Appeal processes for tax disputes;
  • Tax management relations and tax paying strategies in organizations;
  • Gender issues have also been revisited, including observations from the perspective of tax issues and administration.

The survey took into account the turnover volume of the micro, small and medium-sized businesses participating in the survey, the years of operation, the types of taxes paid and inclusion in special or general tax regimes, the possible impact of the shareholder structure, the use of external consulting services, and other factors to ensure statistical validity and representation.

The availability and accessibility of such multidimensional data enables other similar analyses by researchers, state authorities, the professional community, and other interested parties.

 

Note 1 on figures, tables and data

All of the charts and tables reflect all answers in percentages of the total, unless noted otherwise. In cases where respondents could choose more than one answer, the percentages do not add up to a 100—it is driven by the specificity of the analysis and is not a mathematical mistake. Numbers presented in the analysis may differ slightly from the numbers in the charts and tables, resulting from rounding up the numbers. In some cases, smaller numbers are excluded to avoid clutter in the presentation of the data.

Note 2 on the presentation of the figures, tables and data

The narrative contains references to charts and tables. Additionally, readers can have access to other materials, such as cross tabulations and comparative charts, which have been analyzed and used in the report; however, these tabulations and charts are only partially included in the narrative or annexes to avoid clutter. These additional materials are available at the CRRC–Armenia office or on the CRRC-Armenia website.

CRRC-Armenia conducted similar surveys in 2013, 2016 and 2018. This report provides some comparisons with 2018 data. However, these few comparisons must be approached with caution, as the latest survey methodology, sample, and data collection methods are somewhat different from the previous one. Particularly, in accordance with the terms of reference, the 2020 survey mostly targeted individual entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses, and women as respondents.  The data collection was conducted through an online survey, which most probably explains a more frequent selection of “Don’t know” and “Refuse to answer” options.

In the case of the cross tabulations, it should be noted that only valid answers have been taken into consideration (don’t know and refuse to answer answers are excluded).

 

 

SURVEY METHODOLOGY AND SAMPLE

The aim of the nationwide survey among taxpayer organizations and individual entrepreneurs conducted in May 2020 was to reveal the perceptions of business taxpayers on tax administration.

  1. The main characteristics of the survey among taxpayer organizations and individual entrepreneurs
  • Target population of the survey – taxpaying organizations and individual entrepreneurs;
  • Geographical coverage – all provinces of the Republic of Armenia and Yerevan;
  • Sampling frame or main population – the list of taxpaying organizations and individual entrepreneurs provided by the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia;
  • Targeted sample size – 600 interviews[3], of which 200 are female entrepreneurs;
  • Margin of error – +/- 3,8 percent;
  • Data collection tools – tablet-based and online standardized questionnaire with phone interview guide for interviewers;
  • Method of data collection – online and/or phone interviews[4]with the following steps:
    • Delivery of e-mails to the available electronic addresses of the selected taxpayer organizations and individual entrepreneurs;
    • Follow-up calls with the selected taxpayer organizations and individual entrepreneurs;
    • Conducting phone interviews in cases when the completion of the survey online was impossible.

Special note. The survey was planned to be conducted through face-to-face interviews, but as a result of the state of emergency declared in Armenia due to the spread of COVID-19, it was moved to an online platform.

  1. Sampling Methodology

Below are the main sampling principles of the survey with taxpaying organizations and individual entrepreneurs:

  • Stratification by the volume of 2018 annual turnover (up to 100 million AMD – micro, 100 to 500 million AMD – small, and 501 to 1500 million AMD-medium[5]) and taxpayer type (organizations and individual entrepreneurs);
  • Sampling of organizations in each stratum according to the proportion of the number of organizations in the strata of the main population;
  • Main sampling – random selection of around 4800 organizations;
  • Reserve sampling composed of 1700 female entrepreneurs (individual entrepreneurs and founders of organizations);
  • Selection of the respondents – decision makers on the operation of the organization and particularly on the key issues connected with taxes, for example the director, chief accountant, etc.

[1] Supporting Tax Administration and Policy Leadership project implemented in partnership with the Government of Armenia is supported by the World Bank and funded by the UK Good Governance Fund.

[2] Arizti, Pedro; Boyce, Daniel J.; Manuilova, Natalia; Sabatino, Carlos; Senderowitsch, Roby; Vila, Ermal. 2020. Building Effective, Accountable, and Inclusive Institutions in Europe and Central Asia: Lessons from the Region. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34031 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO, p.14

[3] 610 were surveyed.

[4] 490 questionnaires completed online and 120 questionnaires over the phone.

[5] The classification is based on the criteria established by the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the state support of small and medium entrepreneurship”, article 2 (December 5, 2000 No. ZR-121).

OUTPUTS

Database
Report

 

 

Dates
01-2021 - 03-2021
Status
Ongoing
Funder
World Bank
Category