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Where’s Wall Street in Vilnius?

For the past couple of months officials from various countries across the globe had to face an unusual challenge. Mostly young people would gather in public spaces and declare it as occupied. This, so called “Occupy movement”, as of November 17 has spread in 2,609 towns and cities worldwide, according to their meet-up page.

Legal instruments to fight against the corruption

Every year Transparency International (the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption) is ranking almost 200 countries in terms of perceived levels of corruption. According to corruption perception index, main tool used to assess the level of corruption, in 2010 Lithuania got five points on a scale of ten and Lithuania takes 46th place in the line of 178 countries. Countries which receive highest scores are considered as absolutely no corrupt, low scores – highly corrupt. So Lithuania with its five points should be considered as moderately corrupt country. This corruption perception index in 2010 is so far the best result for Lithuania (in 2009 Lithuania got 4.9 points, 2008 – 4.6 points and 2007 – 4.8 points).

Progressive taxes - not today

Once again, the Social Democratic party has displayed an intention to implement progressive taxes in Lithuania. In the beginning of April they have registered an amendment to the Resident Income Tax law, which has burst out a wide discussion not only about the possibility to implement the tax, but also about the whole fairness and equality of the Lithuania’s economic system and between its subjects. As a leftwing author, I consider progressive taxes to be a positive phenomenon, however, not possible in Lithuania at this time.

Amendment to the Lithuanian law on commercial arbitration

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, where the parties, natural or legal persons, agree to settle existing dispute out of court by submitting the claim to the third party or parties (arbitrators), chosen by them subject to the agreement. Arbitration awards may be recognized and enforced in more than 140 countries and this number is increasing annually.

A chance to go bankrupt

It might sound strange, but in Lithuania a natural person is still unable to go bankrupt, even though such a possibility is functioning nearly in all European Union countries. However, after long discussions the Government has suggested the law of Bankruptcy of natural persons to the Parliament. If the majority of Parliament members will approve it, Lithuanians will be able to go bankrupt from the beginning of 2012.

Arm‘s length principle

After the conclusion of sale-purchase contracts taxpayers are obliged to keep documents proving that while concluding contract between associated persons arm‘s length principle was respected. Tax administrator has a right to evaluate so called controlled contracts by referring to this principle. What is the definition and meaning of the arm‘s length principle?

Lithuania’s claim to be open

Lithuania wants to be an information society. Over and over again this objective is declared in various visions like “Lithuania 2030”, etc. Some time ago our Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius stated that: “One of the most important activities stays the same – to make Lithuania move into direction of modern economy. That in the nearest future it would become the Northern Baltic high-tech service center. We are dedicating a lot of attention for this.” Information society is described as an open, educated and always learning. And while the latter two are mostly connected to the education system of the country, the first one has many areas of influence.

Refund of Value Added Tax

On 12 February 2008 European Council adopted a directive laying down detailed rules for the refund of value added tax, provided for in Directive 2006/112/EC, to taxable persons not established in the Member State of refund but established in another Member State (hereinafter - Directive) which had to be implemented till 1 January 2010. The new value added tax (hereinafter - VAT) refund procedure replaced the paper procedure set out in legislation in 1979. The main goals of the Directive were to simplify and modernise the procedure by allowing the use of modern technologies. Directive creates an electronic system by which the taxable person submits his application for a refund via a web portal developed by the Member State in which he is established. Member States were obliged to make this web portal available on 1st January 2010.

Cash register: a new warrior against the shadow economy

2011 started with an important decision for the Lithuanian Ministry of Finance. The Government accepted the act that by the 1st of May all vendors who are trading food products in closed structures will have to use cash registers. The similar act has been suggested in the beginning of 2009, but then it was cast off, because the Ministry of Economy and the Lithuania’s Small Businesses and Traders Association agreed on a memorandum of understanding.

Consumer credits: new regulation from 1 April 2011

Till 1 April 2011 provision of consumer credits and consumer credits agreements are regulated only by the provisions of Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter - Civil Code) and those provisions are even not applied to all consumer credits. On 23 December 2010 Lithuanian Parliament adopted the law on the Consumer Credits (hereinafter - Law) which will come into force from 1 April 2011.