ANIS: The IT sector can continue to be an engine of economic growth only in conditions of fiscal stability and predictability
Opinion by ANIS representatives
In the context of the current debates in the public space, the Employers’ Association of the Software and Services Industry (ANIS) emphasizes that the tax exemption for IT employees is the foundation of fiscal stability and predictability that has allowed the sector a remarkable growth in the last 20 years. The labor market is transforming at an accelerated pace into IT, and the pandemic context has only stimulated this dynamic, towards work-from-anywhere formats that put pressure on employers. In this context, fiscal stability and predictability are major objectives, essential for maintaining the robust growth rate of the sector as well as for stimulating the positive impact that IT has had in recent years both in the evolution of GDP and the growth of Romanian exports.
In 2020, the number of employees in the IT sector who benefited from the tax facility exceeded 103,000 people, a clear proof that the measure is still attractive and of major importance at the industry level. However, the debates on adjusting the fiscal framework with an impact on the sector should start from an impact study capable of presenting the contribution of IT to the economy, as well as labor market pressures and regional trends in this sector. Without this study, the elimination of fiscal facilities has the potential to intensify the imbalance in the IT market, where the phenomenon of tax avoidance through micro-enterprises is out of control by the state.
ANIS has commissioned such a study which, once completed, will be presented to all decision makers so that the solutions they identify are based exclusively on data and figures from the sector, the economy, both reported nationally and regionally. Until the end of the study, we consider it important to point out that Romania is, today, the penultimate in the EU in the share of IT specialists employed compared to total employees in the economy, according to Eurostat (link). There is a chronic shortage of programmers at European level, and Romania is unfortunately at the bottom of this ranking. The current package of fiscal measures has managed to keep the IT sector attractive for investment and employment. Instead of increasing the number of IT professionals and bringing us closer to the European average, the elimination of the income tax exemption for IT professionals risks generating a shock in the local IT market, an extremely fluid and open to the relocation of projects and staff.
ANIS has over 160 members representing over 66% of the industry’s turnover, small and multinational companies, companies with Romanian or foreign capital with over 47,000 employees, highly qualified jobs in the company and a cumulative turnover of over 3 , 4 billion euros. We are supporters of an open and constructive dialogue with all the factors interested in the growth of the economy, of the budget revenues and of the consolidation of Romania’s potential in the digital economy, of the future.