Naujosios mokesčių sistemos bruožai.
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No legal norm can perform its functions alone and be a live norm. Therefore, legal norms are organised into an integral system and are linked together by the general notion and purpose of law. In a democratic society, the action of a legal norm should be focussed on the achievement of the main goal of law – ensuring security of human rights. Then the single goal is strived for by norms of different branches of law. As a part of the system of law, tax law norms are interdependent; changes in the system of law cause changes in the tax norms and vice versa. In this work, only the essential changes in the tax system are revealed, mentioning the other law branches’ influence over and interconnections with the tax law. Deep understanding and detailed analysis of such changes and interconnections would allow much more exact forecasting of developments in the tax law. Both mass media and responsible officials of the Ministry of Finance call today’s changes in tax law a “tax revolution”. When did this “revolution” start and which stage of it the tax law has reached? When one may say that the “revolution” is over? What is the difference between the tax law norms that had been in force until the beginning of 2003 and those expected in the nearest future? What are the features of the old tax system? What are the forecasts of the Lithuanian tax system for the future? Maybe no “revolution” has taken place, and changes occurring in the tax law are common to those in other branches of law? The diversity of opinions about these changes shows that the processes taking place today are important for many people. Furthermore, changes in the tax law are related to the budget formation and have a direct effect upon the process of establishment of the rule of law, while the latter directly affects developments in the tax law. Every year, many new legal acts are adopted in Lithuania, including tax law acts; and many of them are amended later. Substantial changes in the tax law started in 1990–1991. E. g., the effect of the Republic of Lithuania Temporary Law on Natural Persons’ Income Tax No. I-641 adopted on 5 October 1990 ceased as late as in 2003, after more than twelve years’ operation as a temporary law. It had been amended 50 times, with the last amendment in June 2002. The new Law on Residents’ Income Tax was adopted in July 2002. Other key tax legal acts developed in a similar way. 1995–1996 was an important stage: the Law on Tax Administration was adopted. The year 1998 is important because a government resolution concerning a programme for putting taxation legal framework into order was adopted. Substantially new in its nature, the resolution provided for an orderly reforming of the tax law in accordance with the rules set out in the programme. The significance of acts of tax legislation is equal to that of documents enacted in 1990. All these changes were influenced by various external and internal factors. The improvement of the tax system is aimed at promotion of economic growth and guaranteeing stable budgetary income, fair taxation and competition. Now the changes are to be harmonised with the European Union’s acquis. Development of the taxation system takes place along several lines including improvement of the taxation mechanism itself and improvement of administration. However, the implementation of changes is not uniform. While legal acts governing taxation are harmonised with acquis at a faster pace, changes in administration have not been sufficiently rapid since 1996. The start of elaboration of the Tax Code embracing all tax laws and law enforcement procedures was planned for 1998. The Tax Code is not complete at the present moment. A concept of a national tax ombudsman was presented to the Ministry of Finance in 1999; it has not been implemented so far. In the opinion of the European Commission, the greatest challenge in adopting the internal market legislation by the Member States lies not in the technical uniformity of national and Community legal acts but in the adaptation of national mechanisms and societies to common Community conditions. The European Commission considers that special courts, ombudsmen etc. could serve as administration mechanisms or structures under other names. The EU acquis and mechanisms proposed would secure development and correct operation of a tax system harmonised with the EU requirements.
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