FinMin says no new taxes in 2016

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric on Tuesday said that he planned no interventions in the tax system in 2016, and explained that any move in that regard would be made after a thorough analysis of the entire system.

"I can reassure you that there will be no changes in the tax system until I make a profound analysis of models and until I am sure of certain facts," Maric told the press outside the ministry office in Zagreb.

He said that during 2016, which he described as "a very challenging year from the budgetary and economic aspects," no changes should be made, and added that this year would be used for a thorough analysis and insights into the tax system.

Asked about scenarios for introducing a property tax in 2017, Maric said that imposing taxes on dormant property would be preceded by many preparations.

Such a tax cannot be introduced promptly, he said.

As for a meeting with representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set for Wednesday, Maric said that this would be an occasion for getting acquainted with the new IMF head for Croatia, Khaled Sakra, who has succeeded Johannes Wiegand on that position.

"This is a sort of protocol meeting, but the Prime Minister (Tihomir Oreskovic) and (central bank) Governor Vujcic will meet the new IMF mission head and agree on new steps," Maric said, adding that an IMF technical mission is likely to visit Croatia next month.

As for the expiry of a year-long fixed CHF-HRK exchange rate at midnight today, the Finance Minister announced a meeting between him, CHF-pegged loan holders and Justice Minister Ante Sprlje for Wednesday.

Maric said that he had information that over 90% of the the debtors whose mortgages were indexed to the Swiss franc had opted for the conversion of their loans.

Also, most of the eight banks in Croatia which offered Swiss franc loans said on Tuesday that they had extended the duration of a fixed CHF-HRK exchange rate for clients who agreed to a conversion of those loans by the end of March, while the banks which did not said they expected the conversion to be completed soon.

A year-long freezing of the CHF-HRK exchange rate at CHF 1 for HRK 6.39 was made possible with amendments to the Consumer Credit Act which went into force on 27 January 2015, after the rate jumped about 20 percent in a day following a Swiss National Bank decision not to defend the minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 for one euro. Five of eight banks which offered Swiss franc loans in Croatia have already decided that the fixed CHF-HRK exchange rate will remain, so that payments will not increase for clients who agreed to the conversion of their loans but have not yet carried it out.

Last update: Tue, 26/01/2016 - 16:47

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