The President initiated a draft law to abolish asset declarations for anticorruption activists
The respected draft law was submitted to the parliament by President Poroshenko on July 8, however, its final content is unavailable yet.
The draft law was developed by Presidential administration without consultations with NGO community.
Representatives of some NGOs, including AntAC, were invited to the Presidential Administration on Friday evening July 7, where President Poroshenko first presented the legislative proposals to the activists.
While Presidential Administration conducted consultations regarding the draft law with foreign donors and partners well in advance, NGOs did not have opportunity to prepare their feedback on time.
On Saturday morning, July 8, ANTAC provided Presidential Administration with suggestions to the draft, but did not receive any feedback regarding their consideration or non-consideration.
AntAC’s key concerns regarding draft law presented by President Poroshenko on July 7:
The draft law abolishes asset disclosure requirements for anticorruption activists, however, introduces another tools for authorities to pressure all NGOs in Ukraine by establishing additional mandatory tax reporting.
Specifically, the draft law requires
- NGOs obtaining foreign technical assistance and/or funded from the public funds to submit annual financial report to the tax service. The tax service is obliged to publish it. Failure of the publication of the report triggers sanction of waiving non-profit status from NGOs.
- natural persons-private enterpreneurs to report quarterly to tax service on income received directly or indirectly from foreign donors and on the expenditure of such an income. For the failure to provide such a report the private enterpreneur can lose tax benefits. Private enterpreneurs are not able to differenciate private and enterpreneurial expenditures, therefore they will have to report for all their private expences.
AntAC supports the idea of annual public financial reporting for all NGOs, however considers sanction for failure to report as too strict and vague giving a new tool for authorities to punish unfavorable NGOs.
Finally, provisions on extra reporting and sanctions for private enterpreneurs are discriminatory by nature, lead to publication of private information and provide an opportunity to pressure experts providing their services to NGOs.