Non-residents’ rights and obligations in the Republic of Serbia in terms of tax regulations, non-residents’ TINs, and non-resident accounts in a commercial bank.
Given the recent social developments stemming from global and local events, it is only logical that the significant increase in the incidence of entry and stay of foreigners and foreign investors raises the issue as to when non-residents are required to registered with the Tax Administration Head Office to obtain a non-resident’s TIN.
For the purpose of the Individual Income Tax Act defining residents and non-residents:
A non-resident natural person is:
- a person with no residence or the centre of business and vital interests in the Republic of Serbia,
- a person who is staying for less than 183 days, either continuously or with breaks, in a 12-month period.
A non-resident legal person, for the purpose of the Corporate Tax Act, is:
- a legal person established and having the place of effective management and control outside the territory of the Republic of Serbia,
- a legal person who makes profits through its fixed establishment in the territory of Serbia, unless otherwise specified by the international treaty for the avoidance of double taxation.
In the event of obtaining taxable income or property in Serbia, the above persons are required to comply with certain procedures with the Tax Administration in terms of obtaining a TIN (tax identification number; Serbian: PIB) for non-residents, which would help identify the non-resident in the Republic of Serbia tax system. We will explain below why it is important that non-residents should learn about these obligations beforehand.
Is a non-resident real estate owner required to get a TIN when selling their property?
Is a non-resident required to be present and come to Serbia to settle their tax obligations resulting from a real estate transaction?
Let’s use a non-resident natural person, whether a national or not, wishing to buy or sell their real estate in Serbia, as an example.
A real estate transaction generates a tax obligation—a real estate transfer tax and/or capital gain tax. Where a non-resident seller wishes to successfully transfer their funds gained through sale of their property from their non-resident account in a Serbian commercial bank to their personal account abroad, the commercial bank will require a certificate from the Republic of Serbia Tax Administration confirming that the non-resident Seller settled all their tax obligations in Serbia in order to transfer the money earned from the sale.
To obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate, the tax representative must send an application to the competent tax authorities having jurisdiction over the place of the head office of the bank where the non-resident has their non-resident account. The non-resident’s application for the Tax Administration’s Certificate for the money transfer purposes has to be supported with extensive documentation, primarily proving the source of funds on the non-resident account, the proof of balance from the bank, the proof of no outstanding tax obligations by the non-resident, i.e. the real estate transfer tax, capital gain tax, property tax, and tax when acquiring the property.
A non-resident dedicated account in a commercial bank can also be opened based on a duly signed and stamped power of attorney.
All the above actions can be taken without the need for a non-resident to come to Serbia, but based on a duly signed and stamped power of attorney.
Click the following link for more information about the form and content of such a power of attorney:
For the above reasons, non-residents are required to obtain a TIN from the Tax Administration Head Office and inform the Tax Administration in a timely manner of the person who will act as their tax representative.
A tax representative is a person who, within the powers granted, takes actions for and behalf of the relevant taxpayer with respect to the taxpayer’s tax obligations, receives tax documents, files tax returns, pays taxes, etc.
Where can non-residents register and apply for a TIN?
The Tax Administration Head Office registers taxpayers and assigns TINs to non-residents.
The Tax Administration Head Office is located at 3–5 Save Maškovića, 11000 Belgrade.
To register and obtain a TIN, the applicant is required to file a relevant application form, PR-3 or PR-1 for a legal person, accompanied by a stamped power of attorney appointing the tax representative, and other supporting documents (a certified copy of the taxpayer’s passport or ID, an extract from a foreign register together with the translation by a sworn-to court translator in case of a legal person).
How long does it take for a non-resident to get a TIN?
The process of getting a TIN is simple and takes a few days once all documents are submitted to the Tax Administration Head Office.
To avoid wasting your time by going from one help desk to another, we recommend you should get all the information in advance and get familiar with the procedures you need to comply with in order to complete your transactions successfully.
Learn more about tax obligations related to real estate transactions in our upcoming texts.
Autor: Sanja Šarić,