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Georgia

In a significant development for Georgian tax legislation, the president of Georgia on April 19 2002 approved instructions outlining detailed procedures for the registration of taxpayers and the maintenance of a tax registry at district, zonal and regional levels (Decree 155). The instructions include forms to be filled out at the time of registration, reorganization or liquidation, and call for the collection of extensive information on taxpayers.

The registry will contain information on all taxpayers, whether already registered, newly created, reorganized or liquidated. In a measure intended to prevent tax evasion through unregistered changes in management and location, a company must now provide information on its directors and officials, main office, office lease and so on.

Outlined are two methods for the registry's maintenance: computerized and non-computerized. At present, most inspections are done by hand, but this should change in the near future with the implementation of an integrated computerized system, a measure expected to improve greatly the identification of taxpayers and tax collection.

Licensing for entrepreneurs

The Georgian parliament adopted a new law detailing guidelines for the licensing and issue of permits for entrepreneurial activities in Georgia. The new law, adopted on May 14 2002 and due to come into full force on April 1 2003, differentiates between a licence, which has unlimited duration, and a permit, which is restricted to a specific territory and time frame.

Licences will apply to activities such as insurance, banking, medicine and pharmaceuticals, construction, audit, shipping, customs, nuclear power generation, natural resources, and others, while permits will apply to activities such as domestic and international automobile transportation and the carriage of goods, design, the construction and operation of dangerous facilities, works performed on historic and cultural monuments, trade in antiquities, lotteries, and others.

The law provides grounds for the suspension and revocation of a licence, as well as penalties for the violation of any of its provisions.

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