From the tax perspective. therea are 47 operational Tax Treaties for Avoidance of Double Taxation concluded by Moldova with other jurisdictions.
Although not a member of the Organisation for Economic co-operation and Development (OECD), Moldova applies commentaries on the Article of the OECD Model Tax Convention in intrepreting Double Tax Treaties.
Corporate Income Tax
Moldova has a competitive general corporate income tax (CIT) rate in the region – 12%.
The following rates are also applicable:
|Individual entrepreneurs||7% and 18 %|
|Legal entities (small & medium businesses enterprises)||3% **|
* For legal entities whose income is estimated through indirect methods, the 15% CIT rate is applied to the value of income in excess of the amount of gross income recorded in accounting.
** The tax rate applies to income which arises from the operational activity, if conditions for applying this special regime are met (e.g. for small and medium enterprises which fulfil certain conditions).
Read More about Corporate Income Tax and FEZ & IP regulation.
As a general rule, expenses incurred by a company are deductible for CIT purposes, providing these expenses:
- are deemed as ordinary and necessary;
- are aimed at deriving taxable income; and
- are justified with adequate supporting documentation.
|Annual compliance to be considered|
|Ful CIT deductibilitu of R&D costs|
|CIT depreciation based on diminishing balance method (5% to 30%)|
|Three-year fiscal losses carry forward, in equal instalments|
|Expenses incurred and determined by employers for employee transportation, meals and professional studies are deductible under specific conditions|
|Amount paid by taxpayers in the form of union dues and fees are deductible, beiing capped at 0.15% of the labour remuneration fund|
|As of 2015*- TP documentation requirments in line with OECD are expected|
* Based on the information available on Medium Term Budgetary Framework for 2014 – 2016 and a draft law containing express provisions for implementing the transfer pricing regime in Moldova.
Among others, the following expenses are generally CIT deductible:
- Depreciation of fixed assets calculated using the diminishing balance method;
- Amortisation of intangible assets calculated using the straight-line method;
- Research and development expenses incurred during the fiscal year as current expenses, (certain conditions should be met);
- Business trip expenses, representation expenses and expenses on insurance of business entities, within the limits established by the Government;
- Waste, spoilage and expiration expenses, within the annual limitation established by the company’s manager;
- Bad debts, under certain conditions;
- Charity and sponsorship expenses borne for the benefit of specific beneficiaries, up to 10% of taxable income;
- Interest payable, in specific conditions;
- Fiscal losses are carried forward in equal instalments for the following three years under specific conditions.
Taxable gains are generally calculated as 50% of the difference between the sale price and the fiscal value of the capital assets (i.e. all costs related to the acquisition of capital assets). This taxable portion of the capital gain is then taxed at the normal tax rates. This capital gain should be included in the total gross amount of income for the year in which the assets were sold (alienated). Capital gains may be decreased by capital losses registered in the current or previous year. Some examples of capital assets include: shares, plots of land, options to purchase or sell capital assets, etc.
|50% of the difference between the sale price and the fiscal value of the capital assets|
Withholding (WHT) taxes
Dividends received by Moldovan legal entities from foreign legal entities have to be included in the tax return and taxed accordingly at the applicable general 12% CIT rate. The beneficiary of such dividends is entitled to credit the tax paid in the foreign country, within certain limits. Resident legal entities making payments to individuals (other than salary payments) should withhold and pay WHT at the following rates:
7% preliminary WHT of payments made for the benefit of resident individuals, unless such payments are tax ecempt or represent employment income. The beneficiary deducts(i.e. recovers) the 7% WHT from annual income tax due.
|10% final WHT of an individual's income derived from leasing, rent and usufruct of movable and immovable proprety, and advertising campaigns.|
|6% for divident payouts, except for dividends for the profits received in 2008 - 2011, for which the withholding rate is 15%|
15% preliminary WHT from interest paid to individuals. The beneficiary deducts(i.e. recovers) the 15% WHT from annual income tax due.
|12% preliminary WHT from royalties paid to individuals. The beneficiary deducts(i.e. recovers) the 12% WHT from annual income tax due|
Under the 2014 domestic tax provisions, the following WHT rates apply upon payments to non-residents:
|6% for dividend payouts, except for dividends for the profits received in 2008 - 2011, for which the withholdong is 15%|
|7% and 18% employment related income|
|12%for other income|
Value-added tax (VAT)
|20% standard VAT|
|8% certain types of supplies(e.g. bread, bakery products, milk, gas, sugar etc.)|
|0% certain supplies (e.g. exports of goods/ services), international transportation, supplies to and from the territory of Free Economic Zones, import and/ or supply of goods and services destined for technical assistance projects under specific conditions, etc.|
|exepmt certain suplies(e.g. financial services, passenger transportation services, etcv.)|
* With the right to exercise the input VAT deduction
The standard VAT rate is generally applied to local supplies of goods and services as well as to goods subject to import and services subject to the reverse charge mechanism. The reverse charge refers to services rendered by a non-resident supplier to a Moldovan company, with place of supply deemed to be in Moldova (e.g. consulting services, supply of information, supply of staff, etc.) and which do not fall under any specific VAT exemption. Such reverse charge VAT is due by Moldovan company and payable to the Moldovan budget at the date of external payment. The VAT exemption for long-term assets intended to be included in the statutory (social) capital has been reintroduced, as of January 2014, provided certain conditions are met. Input VAT incurred on acquisitions of goods and / or services may be deducted, provided it is incurred by a VAT registered payer to perform VAT-able supplies within its business activity.
A company is required to register for VAT purposes if the total turnover within the last 12 consecutive months reached the threshold of MDL 600,000 (approximately EUR 32,700). The optional registering as a VAT payer may be performed when the threshold of MDL 100,000 (approximately EUR 5,500) is reached and other compliance requirements are observed. Should the company register a deductible input VAT exceeding its output VAT, this balance could be partially refunded, only if the company carries out a specific range of business activities (e.g. export supplies, international transportation services, production of bakery and dairy products, leasing activity, etc.). Otherwise, this VAT amount may be carried forward to the following months and offset against the Company’s future output VAT liabilities.
In addition, VAT payers performing capital investments in Moldova may be entitled to refund the recoverable VAT related to this kind of capital investment. Note that specific conditions should be met and there are a few exceptions to this rule (e.g. buildings and certain transport items). Legal entities not registered as VAT payers and performing capital investments (expenses) related to vehicles for transportation, are entitled to benefit from a refund of VAT under certain conditions.
Taxation of resident individuals
|7%*||annual income up to MDL 27,852(EUR 1.519)|
|18%||annual income exceeding MDL 27,852 (EUR 1.519)|
|6%||dividend income (15% for the period 2008-2011; non-taxable prior to 1 January 2008)|
|6%**||social security contribution at the level of employee|
|23%||social security contribution at the level of employer|
|4%||health insureance contributions at the level of both employee and employer|
|exempt||interest incomes from deposits placed in Moldova until 1 January 2015|
* In the Republic of Moldova, there are two progressive Personal income tax (“PIT”) rates 7% and 18%.
** The 6% employee social security contribution rate is applied to a base capped at five times the national average salary for the year, i.e. MDL 21,125 (approximately EUR 1,152) multiplied by 12.
The legislation provides an annual fixed social security contribution for other categories of taxpayers of MDL 5,748 (approximately EUR 310) and for an annual fixed amount of medical insurance contribution paid by other categories of taxpayers, which constitutes MDL 4,056 (approximately EUR 220).
Taxation of foreign individuals
According to Moldovan tax law, foreign citizens (individuals) become Moldovan tax residents if they stay for at least 183 days during the fiscal year (which corresponds to the calendar year). The income derived by foreign individuals falls under the same PIT rates as for resident individuals. Based on Moldovan tax law, the object of taxation for:
foreign citizens being Moldovan residents is the gross income, derived from (i) any source within Moldova and from (ii) abroad related to the work performed in Moldova; foreign citizens being non-residents of Moldova is the gross income, derived from any source within Moldova. Employee gross remuneration income (both resident and non-resident) includes basic pay, overtime pay, supplementary pay, awards and bonuses, compensation from unused holiday or vacation time, as well as benefits in kind (e.g. housing allowances, compensation for school fees, food, personal expenses etc.). Income obtained by individuals is taxed on a cash basis.
Considering the provision of the domestic law applicable in 2014, no Moldovan social security contributions are due for foreigners seconded to Moldova and working with no local labour agreements in Moldova. Additionally, for foreign citizens and stateless people employed under labour agreements in Moldova, social security contributions are calculated in a similar way as for Moldovan citizens (i.e. 6% at the employee level and 23% at the employer level). No health insurance contributions are required for foreign citizens seconded to Moldova (i.e. no local labour agreement). The respective foreigners may benefit from private optional health insurance. Foreign individuals with local labour agreements have to pay health insurance contributions as Moldovan citizens (4% for each payer category - employers and employees).
Other tax issues
Even though the law does not provide for the possibility of obtaining binding rulings, comfort letters can be obtained. Taxpayers that inadequately calculated tax liabilities due to incorrect written explanations issued by the Moldovan Tax Authorities are not subject to sanctions (i.e. fines and late-payment penalties).
Under the general tax rule, the Moldovan Tax Authorities can assess tax liabilities no later than four years after the last date established for the submission of the relevant tax report or for the settlement of that tax liability (when the submission of the tax report is not required). This limitation term does not apply in cases of tax evasion-related crimes. According to the tax law, taxpayers that erroneously calculated taxes and / or duties, and this fact has not been identified during a previous tax inspection, are exempted, under a repeated tax inspection, from fines and penalties for identified tax violations related to the periods under the repeated tax inspection.
Transfer pricing (TP)
TP regulations are currently at the initial stage of development, as the applicable law does not list any specific TP methods. According to the tax law in force, transactions carried out between related parties should observe the arm’s length principle. Those that do not follow this rule are disregarded for tax purposes. In accordance with the draft Moldovan tax law, a company is considered a taxpayer’s related party if it controls the taxpayer, is controlled by the taxpayer, or both the company and the taxpayer are under the common control of a third party. From a tax perspective, control is the ownership (either directly or through one or more related parties) of 50% or more in value of the capital or voting power of one of the companies. In this case, an individual is treated as owning all equity interest owned directly or indirectly by members of one's family. Two individuals are related parties if they are spouses or relatives up to the fourth degree. Losses incurred in dealings between related parties carried out directly or through intermediaries are treated as non-deductible for CIT purposes. According to current Moldovan tax law, there are no formal TP documentation requirements. It is expected, however, that such requirements may be introduced starting 2015.
Permanent establishments (PEs)
Under the applicable legislation, a PE is not considered as a form of legal organisation. A PE represents a purely tax concept, being registered with the MTA. A PE may be deemed to exist if a non-resident entity carries out, wholly or partly, entrepreneurial activity on the territory of Moldova either:
- directly through a fixed place of business;
- indirectly through a dependent agent.
Under Moldovan tax law, PEs are treated as local legal entities. In general, a PE would be subject to the same tax liabilities / reporting requirements as those applicable to Moldovan companies. Profits attributable to PEs are taxed with 12% CIT in Moldova (rate applied in 2014). Some specific CIT deductibility rules are applicable for PEs in Moldova (e.g. limited deduction for management and general administrative expenses, non-deduction of royalty and interest-related expenses etc.). Based on the recent amendments to the VAT legislation, PEs have to follow the same VAT procedure as applicable for registered legal entities.
Moldova has been a WTO member since 2001. In general, any kind of goods and means of transport may enter and leave the territory of Moldova without any restrictions (certain limitations specifically provided by the legislation are in force, however, which cover goods and means of transport crossing the border by breaching state security, public order, environment, etc).
Both definitive and suspensive customs regimes are provided under Moldovan law. Definitive customs regimes refer to import and export, while suspensive customs regimes comprise: transit, bonded warehouse, inward processing relief (with suspension), processing under customs control, temporary admission, and outward processing relief. Of these customs regimes, the following are deemed to have economic impact: bonded warehouse, inward processing relief, processing under customs control, temporary admission, and outward processing relief. The suspensive customs regimes allow for suspension of import duties payment, usually for a specific (limited) period and provided that certain conditions are fulfilled, whilst a customs regimes with economic impact triggers a specific economic advantage to the benefit of the company applying it (e.g. repayment of customs duties paid upon importation, application of lower customs duty rates or customs duties exemption).
There are also some environmental pollution taxes related to specific packaging and goods that importers should pay. The Law on Customs Tariff establishes standard customs duty rates applicable upon import of goods into Moldova, depending on their specific customs tariff classification code. The Moldovan Customs Tariff is based on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (2007 edition). Customs duty rates are generally indicated as percentages to be applied to the customs value (i.e. ad valorem duty rates) of goods imported into Moldova. The maximum ad valorem standard customs duty rate is 30%. There are also specific customs duty rates established, as well as combined rates. The customs valuation is generally performed in accordance with the customs valuation principles in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The customs value is determined based on one of the six provided valuation methods (i.e. transaction value, transaction value of identical goods, transaction value of similar goods, deductive value, computed value, and reserve method). If the first method is not applicable, then the second method should be applied and so forth. A preferential tariff treatment presumes a reduction of or exemption from customs duty, which may also be applied within a specific allowance (settled either as value or quantity). A preferential tariff treatment is granted for specific categories of goods depending on their origin and in accordance with the free trade arrangements (FTAs) to which Moldova is a party. Moldova has concluded FTAs to date with most of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and is also a Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) contracting state. A favourable tariff treatment presumes a reduction or an exemption from customs duty upon import of specific goods into Moldova, depending on their type or final destination, according to domestic customs law or international agreements to which Moldova is a party.
Moldovan customs law provides the following exemptions, among others, from customs duty:
- Goods imported by individuals for personal use, not exceeding a specific threshold
- Goods released in Moldova under transit, bonded warehouse, or inward processing relief regimes
- Moldovan goods previously exported and released back within a three-year term in the same status, as well as compensatory products obtained under outward processing relief
- Certain movable goods imported by legal entities carrying out leasing activities for the purpose of paying off their contractual liabilities derived from lease agreements concluded with Moldovan individuals or legal entities.
Moldovan customs legislation also provides for:
- the concepts and procedures of post-clearance inspection;
- the obligation of individuals and companies to maintain the necessary documents for customs inspection for six years; and
- the obligation of individuals and companies that perform external trade transactions to maintain the related documents for the purposes of post-clearance inspection for five years