Civic initiatives NGO Demands Simpler Accounting Norms for Non-Profit Organisations24. October 2012 - 11:44 — Dejan Georgievski
Civic Initiatives NGO, demanded yesterday, October 23, 2012, from the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Finance to include provisions in the Draft-Law on Accounting that would simplify accounting for civil society organizations and equalize the status of the church and religious communities with the other non-profit legal entities.
“Contrary to amendments adopted earlier by the Ministry of Finance, the new Draft-Law continues to treat civil society organizations as for-profit entities, while churches and religious communities are exempted from all obligations listed in the Draft-Law”, Civic Initiatives say.
Back in November 2011, the Ministry of Finance accepted all amendments of the CSOs, prepared by the Civic Initiatives and the European Centre for Non-Profit Law, and based on the principles of simplified accounding for CSOs and equal status for the church and other non-profit entities.
The new Government, once it took office, revoked from adoption procedure 73 bills proposed by the previous government of Mirko Cvetković, including the Law on Accounting. The bill, which according to the Ministry of Finance website was subject to public debate from October 17 to October 23, 2012, is partially changed, compared to the November 2011 text, but, Civic Initiatives say, it still doesn't list the key amendments that were proposed by CSOs and adopted by previous government.
The Comments to the Draft-Law on Accounting (in Serbian) list several concrete demands to the Government, including the introduction of foundations and endowments whcih were absent from the Draft-Law, and different treatment for non-profit organisations in terms of requirements related to book-keeping and accounting practices, compared to the for-profit legal entities.
The Comments also demand that churches and religious communities are treated equally to all other private non-profit entities, and to not be exempted from the provision of the Draft-Law. There is also a demand for a simple book-keeping and acocunting for so-called „small“ organisations (those with limited turnover or no funds on their accounts).
Civic Inititives repeated their call to associations, foundations and endowments to support their proposed amenddments to the Draft-Law on Accounting, prepared by the Civic Initiatives in cooperation with the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund, with the support of the European Centre for Non-Profit Law and tax law experts.
The activities for improved legal and financial framework for civil society organizations are implemented under the Civil Society Public Advocacy Initiatives of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, financed by USAID.: Civic Initiatives NGO/CRNPS)
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