Freelance is the future of employment — for the lucky ones, though.
If you consider 2020 to be the worst year in your life, then you are either too young or you were born far away from the Balkans.
Not that I complain or try to win anyone’s sympathy, but after living in a twisted simulation of Orwell’s farm, then into an even more sickening version of the Matrix, while surviving a couple of civil wars, economic crashes, hyperinflation, and mafia dictatorship, 2020 does not feel like the end of the world.
Still, all of us faced a new challenge — finding a way to live a decent life, without going full Mad Max over your neighbors or look for a sugar daddy/mamma.
Working hard for the money
While the rest of the world was fighting for toilet paper (you know, this is the most important asset in a post-apocalyptic world), we saw an opportunity to make an extra buck.
Because when you are facing your 100th economic crisis, lost your job for the gazillionth time, you already know the drill — work or starve, eat or you will be eaten. We switched to freelancing and outsourcing our bright minds to the delicate flowers of the West. What slowed down our progress was the government’s nonexistent sentiment for earning money in such an unconventional way.
Last year, one of many struggles fell on the backs of Serbian freelancers.
Here is a story that makes a fine example of how a state only sees freelancers as subjects to fill up their state budget — with the government working against people, not for them.
Positive sides first!
Young Serbs are really passionate about freelancing. And guess what: according to research by the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), freelancing is the only way to earn money for as many as four out of five Serbian freelancers. That being said, 89 percent of them work for a foreign employer. Those numbers started boggling the minds of the Serbian Tax Administration at the end of 2020.
Unfortunately, negatives prevail
Freelancing is such a menace to a traditional working-9-to-5 society, that the Serbian Tax Administration at the Ministry of Finance has decided to impose a tax on freelancers. Not your ordinary tax! They have actually decided to do it retroactively, with additional interest for the last five years. How absurd can they get?
The government’s message explained that everyone who does work in Serbia in any way, shape, or form must know the Serbian taxation system.
The news came out of nowhere and freelancers were in utter disbelief. Tax administration has invited them to VOLUNTARILY pay half of their 5-year income — along with interest rates of up to 80 percent, with the threat of misdemeanor, and criminal liability if they don’t do so.
Freelancers decided to speak up. January this year, freelancers went on Belgrade streets showing disapproval of proposed measures.
They have agreed to pay taxes — but definitely not retroactively and not in amounts greater than half of their five-year income. That is why they are now looking for further negotiations with the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Administration of Serbia in order to finally resolve their status and make freelancing on par with every other job.
You don’t have to protest to make a change
Not all freelance platforms are the same. If this whole situation makes you sick, maybe there’s not even a problem in the government. You’re just using the wrong platform!
CryptoTask makes freelancing as easy and convenient as possible
We are killing off the need for third-party payment processors and all limitations they bring. On top of that, we offer zero percent transaction fees and 3% for escrow. Freelancers who can’t find a job themselves can rely on headhunters to do it for them. This makes our platform the brightest star in the vast freelancing skies.
If you have any inquiries, doubts or you’re plain curious, take a peek at our social platforms!
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