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NewsCoalition approves VAT cuts for drugs, medicine, diapers and baby food

17-04-2014 09:37 | Jan Richter

The Czech coalition parties have approved plans to cut the VAT rate on drugs, medicine, diapers and food for infants from 15 to 10 percent as of 2015. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the Finance Ministry would now incorporate the move into the draft of next year’s state budget; it is estimated that the lower VAT rate would cost the budget several billion crowns. The Czech government is yet to discuss the plan with the European Commission; it will consider plans for further cuts of the VAT rate only after measures to improve VAT collection are implemented, according to the prime minister. 

NewsPM Sobotka questions proposed VAT cuts

16-04-2014 16:18 | Jan Richter

The Czech Finance Ministry’s plans to cut the two existing VAT rates by one percent to 20 and 14 percent, respectively, in 2016 have not been approved by the coalition parties and would have an disproportionate impact on the state budget, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said. Mr Sobotka’s remarks came in a reaction to the daily Mladá fronta Dnes’ report on Wednesday detailing the plans. The Finance Ministry would also like to introduce a third, 10-percent VAT rate next year that would apply to drugs, books, and baby food; the prime minister said this was a reasonable compromise. 

BusinessMinistry report outlines future reduced VAT rates but details still to be settled

16-04-2014 15:25 | Chris Johnstone

Photo: Filip Jandourek Czech consumers can look forward to having more change in their pockets after shopping trips if reported plans for the phase in of three levels of Value Added Tax come true. A preliminary document outlining the changes has already been drawn up by the finance ministry but still needs to be approved by the government by the end of the month.  More

Current AffairsAssociation launches drive for VAT-free books

02-04-2014 15:32 | Jan Velinger

Photo: archive of Radio Prague The Association of Czech booksellers and publishers has launched a new campaign called ‘Books without VAT’ in order to drum up support for the existing 15 percent rate to be slashed. The centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka is due to discuss the matter, possibly lowering the VAT on books and some other items to as little as five percent.  More

NewsCzech public finance deficit falls to 1.44 percent of GDP in 2013

01-04-2014 15:45 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech public finance deficit fell in 2013 to 1.44 percent of Gross Domestic Product from 4.2 percent in 2012, the Czech Statistics Office announced on Tuesday. That performance would put the country in line to join the euro zone on the public deficit criterion for the first time since 2008. The government is counting on a public deficit below 3.0 percent this year as well. In separate figures, the office revised downwards its previous growth figure for the last quarter of 2013 to 1.2 percent year on year and 1.8 percent quarter on quarter. The Czech economy shrunk by 0.9 percent over the whole year. 

NewsFinance Ministry plans third VAT rate in 2015

19-03-2014 14:45 | Jan Richter

The Finance Ministry is planning to introduce a third rate of value added tax in 2015, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said. The rate, whose level has not yet been determined, should be lower than the existing rates of 21 and 15 percent, respectively, and should apply to drugs, books, and baby food. The Finance Ministry also wants to make tax collection more effective by establishing a central registry of bank accounts and retail receipts. Details of the Finance Ministry’s plans are yet to be debated within the coalition parties; for its part, the opposition said they would increase the overall tax burden and would make tax evasion easier. 

NewsEconomy growing faster than predicted

06-03-2014 11:47 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech economy grew faster in the last quarter of 2013 than originally predicted with a GDP growth of 1.9 percent against the previous quarter. This constituted a 1.3 percent expansion year on year. In the whole of last year, the GDP contracted by 0.9 percent which was also a better figure than the original estimate. The country came out a drawn-out recession only last year and the boost in growth at the end of 2013 came after the central bank intervened massively to weaken the crown as a means of fighting deflation risks. The forex interventions encouraged consumer spending with shoppers trying to get ahead of expected price rises this year due to costlier imports. 

Current AffairsFormer PM Petr Nečas charged with corruption

12-02-2014 15:11 | Jan Richter

Petr Nečas, photo: CTK The police have charged former prime minister Petr Nečas with corruption. The case is related to a bribery scandal which toppled his government last June and investigators say it could re-define the rules of political deal-making. Mr Nečas, meanwhile, considers the charges a revenge for a lawsuit he filed against the police.  More

NewsAuthor of erroneous government appointment request to be punished

30-01-2014 19:29 | Jan Richter

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said he would punish an employee of the Social Democratic party secretariat who made several mistakes in a formal document addressed to President Zeman requesting the appointment of the new government. Mr Zeman highlighted the errors at the appointment ceremony on Wednesday; the document stated wrong names of two ministers, and requested the appointment of two health ministers, omitting the agriculture portfolio. Mr Sobotka said the errors occurred because the staff was overworked, and said the author of the document would have their salary cut.  

BusinessAndrej Babiš echoes EU findings over poor Czech VAT collection

28-01-2014 16:09 | Chris Johnstone

Photo: Barbora Kmentová Incoming finance minister Andrej Babiš sometimes gives the impression that he is shooting from the hip before he has even warmed the seat of his ministerial chair. But his assertion about the Czechs poor performance on collecting Value Added Tax is pretty much on the mark.  More

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