Friday, May 17 2024 12:07
Alexandr Avanesov

Armenian lawyers unwilling to pay taxes on universal basis

Armenian lawyers unwilling to pay taxes on universal basis

ArmInfo.Lawyers in Armenia express dissatisfaction with the draft amendments to the Tax Code,  according to which, from January 1, 2025, public defenders will be transferred to the general field of taxation.

The club's statement received by ArmInfo, in particular, states that  from the specified date it is planned to exclude the turnover tax for  the provision of legal services, and to transfer public defenders to  the VAT field. This decision, according to lawyers, was made without  providing any justification for assessing the legality of changes in  tax policy in accordance with international standards. "An assessment  of the possible impacts and risks to the human rights system was not  provided, and adequate public awareness activities and discussions  with stakeholders were not conducted," the statement said.

During the discussions held on May 16, the Chairman of the RA Chamber  of Lawyers Simon Babayan presented problematic aspects of the  controversial provisions of the draft. In particular, when developing  the project, the nature of legal activity was not taken into account,  as well as the fact that the provision of legal services very often  occurs within the framework of legal protection, and not business  activity, therefore the taxation policy for legal services cannot be  tightened and equated exclusively to economic sectors. As a result,  if the document is adopted, the cost of legal services will increase  significantly, the possibility of providing free legal assistance  will be excluded, since it will also be subject to taxation, the  availability of legal assistance for citizens and the exercise of the  right to judicial protection will be significantly reduced.

Considering the fact that on May 17 the draft bill will be discussed  at a meeting of the National Assembly commission on economic issues,  lawyers demanded that the commission ensure their participation in  the discussions. They are also pushing for action to remove  problematic provisions from the bill. In case of avoidance of  discussions or haste in the adoption of a document with problematic  provisions, lawyers threaten to start protests by refusing to carry  out the defense, including in the courts and in the preliminary  investigation authorities.  

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