Experts from the Swedish Tax Agency visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) within the project “Reform of the Tax System in BiH” supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation with BiH through Sida. This visit aims to meet with the representatives of the tax agencies in BiH with whom they had discussions on how to improve the procedures and increase the efficiency within the tax system.
We would like first to wish you a welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina! You are both employed at the Swedish Tax Agency as experts. Can you tell us about your work and what are your positions at Skatteverket?
Alem Resulović: I have been employed with the Swedish Tax Agency since 2006. I am Head of the Section dealing mostly with external information.
Lana Tomić: My position is also Head of the Section dealing with control and inspectorial matters. I started to work for the Swedish Tax Agency in 2006.
What is the focus of the Swedish Tax Agency’s engagement within the project supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency with BiH?
Alem Resulović: The goal of this project is to improve the services of the tax agencies through cooperation between Swedish Tax Agency and tax agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Lana Tomić: This project includes cooperation with the tax agencies of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and Brčko district and the Indirect Taxation Agency of BiH.
What are the results achieved so far through this cooperation between tax agencies in BiH and the Swedish Tax Agency?
Alem Resulović: The results are already visible, especially in the “pre-filling” of tax returns which to a large extent facilitate tax registration for the citizens.
Lana Tomić: I have to point out that our cooperation with the colleagues from Bosnia and Herzegovina is excellent. They are very professional, knowledgeable and ambitious staff members at all tax agencies that we work with.
What is your opinion - how long does it take to build trust in a taxation system so it becomes one of the most trusted government agencies as is the case in Sweden?
Alem Resulović: Skatteverket, the Swedish Tax Agency, is one of the government agencies that citizens trust the most. It is a long process, it took more than 20 years to create such a system in Sweden.
Lana Tomić: With the efforts of the dedicated and knowledgeable staff at the tax agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina it is definitely possible, in quite a short period, to improve the methods of tax collection in an efficient way, simplify the procedures and gain the trust of the citizens. It is hard to say which time frame to define, perhaps it is possible in several years.