10090 citizens joined the survey, of which 42.9% are individuals – entrepreneurs / self-employed individuals, 29.7% representatives of business entities – legal entities and 27.4% citizens who do not carry out economic activities.
The vast majority of respondents (91%) did not face corruption in the STS’s bodies and 51.8% of respondents rated level of corruption as zero (complete absence of corruption), herewith 20% believe that there is a minimum level of corruption in the STS. Average level of corruption was estimated at 6.6%, but 2.8% of respondents rated it as high. Also, the majority of respondents (38.5%) believe that corruption level in the STS during 2019 – 2020 has decreased significantly, while 3% of surveyed citizens expressed opinion that corruption level has increased; 37% could not answer a question.
Question of granting illegal benefits to employees of the STS bodies was answered in the affirmative form (with provision of illegal benefits to employees of the STS bodies) by 6% of respondents; herewith 4% of respondents believe that this is a common practice.
In addition, 6.3% of respondents believe that when communicating with employees of the STS bodies it is necessary to resort to corrupt practices, provided that there is a violation in the business entity’s activities. The majority of citizens (81.3%) do not consider it necessary to resort to corrupt practices in order to obtain necessary services or speed up the necessary procedures.
At the same time, only 38.7% of respondents believe that all employees of the STS bodies are honest, 23.2% of citizens expressed opinion that a smaller part of the STS employees is honest and 2% consider all STS’s employees as dishonest.
This confirms that facts of corruption offenses committed by the STS employees significantly reduce the taxpayers’ confidence in the tax system and generally have a negative impact on the STS’s image.
Regarding the corruption reasons and corruption-related offenses, the majority of citizens (35%) traditionally consider economic factors (wages and social protection of employees). In addition according to the respondents, significant factors of corruption are the imperfect taxation system (17%), general level of corruption in the state (14%) and a lack of a strict penalties system (6.5%).
According to citizens, the most corruption-related activities of the STS bodies are control and audit measures (45.7%), VAT reimbursement (10%), control over excisable products (7.8%), as well as work of commissions on registration suspension of tax invoices / calculation of adjustments in the Unified register of tax invoices, formation regarding lists of risky taxpayers and provision of administrative services (issuance of certificates).
At the same time, the Anti-Corruption Program of the STS for 2020-2022, approved by Order of the STS as of 19.10.2020 № 575 identifies corruption risks and measures to eliminate them, which are implemented both in the STS and its territorial bodies.
One of the most effective means in the counteraction against corruption, citizens (35.7%) consider an increase of salaries and social security of the STS’s employees, another 22.3% of citizens consider improvement of normative regulations (elimination of norms that have ambiguous interpretation), minimization of contacts with employees of the STS, in particular the wider use of information technology (9.3%), strengthening criminal liability for corruption (9%), transparency and openness in the STS’s activities (7%).
It can be concluded that Priorities of the State Tax Service of Ukraine for 2021, approved by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine on 24.02.2021 and ways to implement them, including improving approaches and procedures of tax audits, introduction of convenient and affordable services for taxpayers, providing quality and prompt advice to taxpayers, effective risk management and increase of analytical capacity should contribute both to the achievement of Strategic goals of the STS by 2022 and to the reduction of corruption.
Regarding the citizens’ awareness about the possibility of reporting violations of the anti-corruption legislation, it should be noted that 27% of respondents are unaware of the “Pulse” service and other means of reporting about corruption and corruption-related offenses.
At the same time, the majority of citizens will complain in case of extortion to the “Pulse” service (33.6%), as well as the Prosecutor’s office, the National Police, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the National Agency for Corruption Prevention and other law enforcement agencies (11%), to the official e-mail address of the Corruption prevention and detection department of the STS (8.5%), to all instances (8.4%). The affirmative answer (I will give the illegal benefit) was given by 0.7% of the surveyed citizens.
In total, 12.7% of surveyed citizens applied to the “Pulse” service.
In order to ensure the dissemination of information about the “Pulse” service and other channels of notification regarding violations of anti-corruption legislation, relevant information is posted on the subsites of territorial bodies of the STS of its official web portal, social networks and information stands in the STS’s bodies.