Protest in Belgrade Serbia
Photo: NOVA.RS

They want to pay taxes, but not retroactively and not in amounts greater than half of their five-year income. That is why they are looking for negotiations with the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Administration of Serbia in order to finally resolve the status of workers on the Internet – freelancers.

In the meantime, they are asking for an end to what they called “tax prosecution”. These are the two basic demands of workers on the Internet sent from a large protest in front of the National Assembly in Belgrade, Nova.rs reports.

The president of the Association of Internet Workers, Miran Pogačar, stated that the head of the cabinet, Ana Brnabić, called him during the protest.

The state owes a fair system

–  This is the way things are. On Monday, Minister Siniša Mali and Ana Brnabić, Director of the Tax Administration Dragana Marković, will appear in the Government to sit at the negotiating table with us – said Pogačar.

When asked by Nova.rs whether they have formulated a proposal with which to enter into negotiations, Pogačar said before the protest began:

–  The obligations of workers on the Internet should start running from the moment of application of the new law which would precisely define the obligations and rights of freelancers.

Mia Amon, from the Association of the Protector of the Rights of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs, said that the tax system must be fair and progressive.

–  Business conditions must be normal. This is what the officials of this state are obliged to provide. Rights and obligations also apply to the state, and not only to us having an obligation without having rights. We will not pay for other people’s mistakes. This country owes us a fair system in which the economy can develop normally. Stop repression, stop forced collection. Stop paying for other people’s mistakes. Stop the unfair tax system – she stated.

Tatjana Ćopić, a freelancer, said that she works for a foreign company, which has a representative office in Serbia.

–  I am a single mother of a minor child. I started working right after giving birth. Without any rights. I worked on holidays, on weekends with a child in my arms. Now the tax administration is calling me and asking me to pay taxes. They call me, not that firm. I don’t want to pay anything, because I don’t owe anything. I could not enroll my child in kindergarten because I am unemployed. How then can I pay taxes and contributions? I do not feel indebted to this state – said Ćopić.

He won’t give up

Protesters shouted “thieves, thieves.”

Miran Pogačar stated that he will not stop in the fight, he will not give up.

Protesters carry banners that read: “They lack the budget, let 80% give Mali”, “Little listen to Dad, don’t touch my salary”, “I don’t want a code in the insane asylum, I want a code in APR”, “Freelancers are not criminals”, “Our freelancers will wander abroad”, “I am selling a kidney to pay taxes”, “The economic tiger does not eat its children”.

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