Presidential Decree no. 338 has set new standards for certifications for bookkeeping companies and individual entrepreneurs who work with tax declarations. Basically, the decree establishes that from 1.1.2019 onwards every bookkeeping company and entrepreneur who submits tax declarations on behalf of their clients needs to have at least one employee who has an official Tax Consultant certification. This new certification is received by completing a test arranged by the Ministry of Taxes and Duties.

In other words, companies and entrepreneurs who do bookkeeping and work only with internal reporting do not need this certification, but if they want to submit official tax declarations on behalf of their bookkeeping clients, the certification is required. The certification is also not required if a company simply does its own bookkeeping and submits their own tax declarations.

According to our information, 21 people participated in the first qualification test and 7 of those passed. In case of failure, the test can be re-taken after 3 months have passed. The test as well as the courses offered to prepare for it are not free, the test costs about 50 dollars and the courses around 300-400 dollars. Right now the new regulations are under heated discussion in the Belarusian bookkeeping community.

As the new regulations come into force, we anticipate that especially the individual entrepreneurs who are very numerous in Belarus will face problems with the rather expensive preparation courses and the difficult test. We expect that the following ways of organizing bookkeeping will become more popular:

1. Organizing bookkeeping and reporting 100% within the organization
2. Service providers providing only bookkeeping and reporting, but asking the client companies to submit tax declarations on their own.