Address of the Head of the UNBA to the President of Ukraine Commission on the Legal Reform on the elimination of discriminatory conditions of taxation of advocacy
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To the Head of the President of Ukraine Commission on the Legal Reform, S.K. Ionushas.
Dear Serhii Konstantynovych!
On behalf of the legal community, I appeal to you as to the Head of the President of Ukraine Commission on the Legal Reform!
The advocacy of Ukraine is an independent constitutional self-governed body, which is functioning to provide professional legal assistance. The Constitution of Ukraine provides the independence of the advocacy. Solely attorney can represent the other person in the court or protect them in criminal proceedings.
Now, the legal community consists of more the sixty thousand attorneys, more than seven thousand attorneys among them provide free legal aid to the vulnerable segments of the population. The number of attorneys in Ukraine increases, which indicates the social prestige of the profession, the trust and respect for such profession in Ukrainian society, and the demand for legal services. Such tendency also increases the general level of the legal culture, forms in the society the practice of civilized legal dispute resolution, the use of legal means to protect their rights and freedoms.
The last year and a half were a special challenge for attorneys` professional activities when numerous restrictions have been imposed in Ukraine due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. In conditions of increased risks to everyone's health, attorneys continued to defend rights and freedoms, to represent the legitimate interests of citizens and legal entities in courts.
At the same time, attorneys carry out their activities in the conditions of discriminatory tax legislation, which does not fully consider the exclusive constitutional and social role of this profession and other features of advocacy that distinguish it from the activities of private entrepreneurs, which work to gain profit. During the period of lockdown, the tax burden was particularly felt, and the economic reasons often forced attorneys to suspend their activities.
According to the legal community, the current situation requires a holistic approach to amending tax laws.
Decree of the President of Ukraine № 231/2021 approved the Justice System and Constitutional Judiciary Development Strategy for 2021-2023. The Strategy defines the priorities of the development of the institute of advocacy, one of which is the improvement of organizational and legal forms of advocacy.
Also, on July 2, 2021, the Bar Council of Ukraine approved the Development Strategy of the UNBA for 2021-2025, which considers the main directions of improving the Bar, provided by the Justice System and Constitutional Judiciary Development Strategy for 2021-2023, approved by the Presidential Decree.
The advocacy supports the necessity of coordinated realization of the two strategic documents based on the open discussion and consolidation of efforts and concrete initiatives.
One of the first joint steps can be the challenging the tax conditions for advocacy. Thus, to strengthen the guarantees of advocacy and professional rights of attorneys, to improve the organizational and legal forms of advocacy, the UNBA initiates proposals (amendments) to the Tax Code of Ukraine on taxation of income received by an individual engaged in independent professional activity. In particular, it concerns the right of an attorney as an individual engaged in an independent professional activity to pay taxes under the simplified system of taxation and to pay a single tax of the relevant group.
The proposals developed by the UNBA meet the real needs of the Bar and will ensure fair and equal conditions for taxation of income received by attorneys as self-employed persons (private entrepreneurs and individuals engaged in independent professional activity).
Considering the abovementioned, we send the developed proposals to the Tax Code of Ukraine on taxation of income received by an individual engaged in independent professional activity and ask you to discuss this initiative within the Commission headed by you, and further propose the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to submit such a bill to the Verkhovna Rada as a part of the Justice System Development Strategy.
With all due respect,
The Head of the UNBA, the BCU, Lydia Izovitova.
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