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Advantages of a Second Residency in Serbia

Advantages of a Second Residency in Serbia



Having a second residency in Serbia can provide several advantages for individuals looking to diversify their residency or citizenship portfolio. Some key advantages include:



1. Residency benefits:

Holding a second residency in Serbia allows individuals to reside in the country for an extended period. It is very important to emphasize that the new Law on Foreigners in Serbia enables the issuance of temporary residence for a period of three years. This can be particularly beneficial for those who wish to spend more time in Serbia for business, employment, or personal reasons. Tax residency is not granted automatically. Foreign jurisdictions do not restrict obtaining a second residence permit.



2. The path to a second passport:

Residency, one of the paths to citizenship and a second passport, offers a practical option to examine long-term suitability in a new country before completely committing. The reason for this is that Serbian citizenship application criteria include some form of stay requirement.



3. EU Access:

While Serbia is not a part of the European Union (EU), it is a candidate country, and its citizens have the right to visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. Having a Serbian residency can facilitate easier access to the Schengen Zone and, by extension, many EU countries for business and travel purposes.



4. Taxation:

Apart from more than 65 double tax avoidance agreements signed, Serbia has signed free trade agreements with the EU, Russian Federation, Turkey, and China and shares preferred trade mechanisms with the USA. Personal income tax is one of the lowest in Europe; there is no wealth tax, and there are various incentives. Tax resident status can be obtained in accordance with the 183-day rule or if Serbia is the center of your business or personal interests.



5. Business Opportunities:

Serbia has been actively promoting foreign investment and offers various incentives for businesses, including a flat corporate tax rate of 15% and a personal tax rate of 15% maximum. Holding a second residency can provide individuals with easier access to these business opportunities and potentially benefit from the country’s favorable tax environment.



6. Cost of Living:

Compared to many Western European countries, the cost of living in Serbia is relatively lower, making it an attractive option for those seeking a more affordable lifestyle without compromising on the quality of life.



7. Cultural Richness:

Serbia boasts a rich cultural heritage, including historical sites, vibrant traditions, and a diverse cultural scene. Holding a second residency allows individuals to immerse themselves in the country’s rich cultural offerings and explore its unique heritage.



8. Strategic Location:

Serbia’s strategic location in the Balkans provides access to both Western and Eastern European markets, making it an attractive destination for those looking to expand their business operations or explore new market opportunities.



9. Residency Options for Family:

Serbia offers options for family reunification, allowing individuals to bring their family members to reside with them. This can be particularly advantageous for those seeking to relocate with their families or provide their loved ones with access to the benefits of living in Serbia.



It’s important to note that specific benefits may vary depending on the type of residency or visa obtained and individual circumstances. Additionally, the laws and regulations may change over time, so it’s essential to stay updated with the latest information and consult with legal professionals or immigration experts before making any decisions.


Welcome to Serbia is your trusted provider of legal and immigration services for foreigners in Serbia. Our team of experienced attorneys specializes in all aspects of immigration law, including visa applications, work permits, and citizenship. WTS will offer the best immigration path for you and your family.

Receive and send money in Turkish lira through your account in Serbia

Receive and send money in Turkish lira through your account in Serbia.


Transfer money between Turkey and Serbia quickly and with low commissions.



Did you know that you can easily pay in Turkish lira through Serbia? This possibility is available and there is the possibility of paying directly in Turkish lira to/from Serbia. All you need is to fill out a bank form when opening a branch of your foreign legal entity or establishing a company in Serbia, where it is required to indicate basic information about the company.



In order to make a payment to Turkey, it is required to fill out a payment order and attach an invoice or some other document on the basis of which the payment is made, and you will receive the payment instruction from the bank of the end user of the funds.



In order to receive funds from abroad in liras, it is necessary to confirm the payment, that is, attach an invoice or some other document that is the basis for the inflow of funds. All inflows are made within one to two days.




We are at your disposal for any questions related to opening an account in Turkish lira as well as further interaction with banks.

Open Your Serbian Bank Account with WTS

How WTS can assist you in opening a bank account in Serbia



Serbia stands as one of the rare countries where non-residents have the opportunity to:


  • Open a personal or corporate bank account quickly and easily.
  • Opening a bank account does not require a substantial initial deposit.
  • Bank accounts can receive different currencies, such as EUR, USD, RUB, CNY, and RSD.
  • Bank account holders enjoy access to sophisticated banking apps and online banking facilities.
  • Banks apply low banking fees.



As of the current state, Serbia has not yet engaged in the automatic information exchange agreement (AIEA) under the OECD Convention on Common Reporting Standards (CRS).


In recent years, Serbia has observed a surge in applications for personal and business bank accounts from international investors. In fact, it has taken over a significant portion of banking business from other European countries such as Cyprus, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and other well-known international financial jurisdictions.


Serbia is not blacklisted in the European Union, which means there are not many restrictions when it comes to income-generating activities and transactions. Serbian financial institutions have an excellent reputation in the internal banking landscape, which is beneficial for account holders in their business transactions and multinational business ventures.


Prominent international banks from Europe and beyond currently dominate Serbia: NLB Komercijalna Banka (Slovenia), Banca Intesa (Italy), Unicredit (Italy), Erste (Austria), Raiffeisen Bank (Austria), OTP (Hungary), ProCredit Bank (Germany), and Mobi Bank (Czech Republic). Domestic banks include Adriatic Bank (ex-Expobank), Mirabank (UAE), Halkbank (Turkey), Bank of China (China), and Postal Savings Bank, AIK, Alta, and Srpska Banka.




With WTS, you can expect:


  • Ongoing assistance in the bank account opening process
  • An evaluation of your individual or corporate background
  • Preparation of required documents including a tailor-made company profile designed for banks
  • Arranging meetings with the relationship officer at your chosen bank
  • Full assistance during the application and interview process
  • Regular updates on the status of your application



Any financial advisor will emphasize that opening a bank account in Serbia is a prudent decision, particularly if you aim to strategically manage your finances, optimize cash flow, and leverage investment opportunities in Serbia and the wider European region.


When you seek our assistance in opening a bank account in Serbia, we leverage our network within the banking sector to connect you with the most suitable bank and desk that align with your profile, KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, and future transactions. Our team of specialists can assist you in setting up a bank account and completing the application on your behalf.



WTS Scope of Services
Package 1 – Starting from: 500 EUR Assessment and Consutation ·    Evaluation of Company Structure and Operations

·    Assessment of the Shareholder’s Background

·    Assessment of the Affiliated Company

·    1 hour of Consultation after assessment (online or in-person)

Package 2 – Starting from: 1.500 EUR Complete Assistance for Bank Account Opening The service includes:

Part 1

·    Assessment of Company Structure and Operations

·    Assessment of the Shareholder’s Background

·    Assessment of the Affiliated Company

·    Preliminary consultation with bankers about the company structure

·    List of banks accepting the structure of the company with its conditions

Part 2

·    Preparation of required documents, including a company profile tailored for banks

·    Coordination with the Relationship Officer before the account opening application meeting

·    Scheduling a meeting with the Relationship Officer

·    Comprehensive support during the bank account opening application and interview process

Part 3

·    Assistance in addressing Compliance-related Questions

·    Regular follow-up for Compliance approval

Once the account is approved and activated, WTS will assist the client in obtaining the Debit Card and Internet banking access .


WTS can further aid you in dealing with banks after opening a bank account in Serbia through our services such as Business Concierge (assistance in preparing adequate documentation for incoming and outgoing payments, cross-border payments, selecting the correct payment code, and so on) and our licensed accounting agency (assistance in case of account freezing by tax authorities, and so on and so forth).


For more details, please contact us by email.

Business Immigration Consulting

Business Immigration Consulting Services by WTS



WTS specializes in the field of immigration consulting, offering expert guidance to individuals, entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses embarking on the intricate journey of relocating or expanding their enterprises to foreign countries. Our mission is to facilitate the acquisition of essential visas, permits, and approvals required for various business-related immigration purposes.




Here are key highlights of WTS’s business immigration services:


Visa and Work Permit Services: WTS assists clients in obtaining the appropriate visas and permits tailored to their specific business objectives. This encompasses investor visas, entrepreneur visas, employment-based visas, work permits and more.


Business Planning: Collaborating closely with our clients, WTS often assists in crafting comprehensive business plans that align seamlessly with the immigration prerequisites of the destination country. These plans encompass crucial details such as business structure, investment amounts, job creation projections, and other relevant factors.


Bank account opening assistance: When you are setting up a new business entity, banking matters are one of the first few aspects that need to be taken into account. After understanding more about your business, our team of experts will advise on suitable banks that you may wish to consider. We possess in-depth knowledge of the diverse requirements and expectations of each bank.


Investment Immigration: Serbia offers investment immigration programs that allow individuals to obtain visas or permanent residency by making a financial investment in the country. WTS plays a pivotal role in identifying fitting investment opportunities and guiding clients through the application process.


Compliance and Regulations: Adherence to immigration laws and regulations in the destination country is crucial. WTS ensures that clients remain in strict compliance with all requirements and deadlines, ensuring the maintenance of their immigration status.


Due Diligence: WTS conducts thorough due diligence, ensuring that clients make well-informed decisions regarding their immigration options. This process often entails an assessment of the risks and benefits associated with various visa programs.


Documentation Assistance: WTS assists clients in gathering and preparing the necessary documentation for their immigration applications. This can include financial records, business plans, legal documents, and more.


Business Expansion: In addition to helping individuals, WTS may also assist businesses in expanding their operations to foreign markets. This can involve obtaining visas for employees, setting up subsidiaries or branches, and complying with local business regulations.


Citizenship and Permanent Residency: WTS may guide clients through the process of obtaining citizenship or permanent residency in Serbia upon fulfilling specific criteria.


Networking and Liaison: WTS possesses extensive networks and connections with government agencies, legal professionals, and other stakeholders, which prove invaluable in navigating the immigration process effectively.


Immigration Policy Updates: WTS stays informed about changes in immigration policies and regulations in Serbia and provides clients with up-to-date information and strategies.



At WTS, we maintain a dedicated team equipped to assist you in the establishment of one or multiple bank accounts.


Our professionals are at your service, aiding in the opening of commercial bank accounts at leading Serbian financial institutions while expediting the entire process..


Immigration Consulting

Immigration Consulting Services by WTS



At WTS, our highly experienced immigration advisers bring together a unique blend of legal expertise, Home Office insights, and consulting backgrounds to cater to your diverse Serbian immigration requirements.



We’re committed to helping you structure your immigration program effectively. Our comprehensive support encompasses:

  • Understanding Your Needs and Defining Project Parameters
  • Data Analysis
  • Preparation of Advice, Recommendations, and Deliverables



Here are key highlights of WTS immigration consulting services:


1. Visa and Immigration Application Assistance: WTS assists clients in the preparation and submission of visa and immigration applications. Our guidance extends to selecting the appropriate visa category, completing essential forms, and assembling required supporting documents.


2. Document Review: At WTS, we carefully review clients’ documents, including passports, academic transcripts, and work experience certificates, ensuring they align with the stipulations of immigration authorities.


3. Eligibility Assessment: WTS conducts a thorough assessment of a client’s eligibility for various immigration programs and options. This assessment considers factors such as education, work experience, language proficiency, and family connections.


4.  Advice on Immigration Programs: WTS furnishes comprehensive information on the array of available immigration programs, covering family-sponsored immigration, employment-based visas, investor visas, student visas, and refugee/asylum applications.


5. Bank account opening assistance: WTS facilitates the process of opening a personal bank account. Different banks require various documents, and our approach adapts according to individual cases. Based on our clients’ needs and preferences, we offer guidance on selecting suitable and reliable banking options.


6. Immigration Policy Updates: Recognizing the frequent alterations in immigration laws and policies, WTS remains up-to-date with these changes. We diligently inform clients of any updates that might influence their immigration status or applications.


7. Appeal and Representation: In cases where visa applications face denials or delays, WTS stands ready to assist with the appeals process or represent clients in immigration proceedings.


8. Settlement Services: WTS may offer information and resources to help newcomers adapt to their new country, including finding housing, schools, healthcare, and cultural orientation.



Selecting a reputable immigration service is paramount, one staffed with experienced and knowledgeable consultants and attorneys.

Welcome to Serbia is your trusted source for legal and immigration services for foreign nationals in Serbia.

Our team of experienced attorneys specializes in all aspects of immigration law, including visa applications, work permits, and citizenship. At WTS, we’re dedicated to charting the best immigration path for you and your family.


Private banking

There are about 2,000 families in Russia managing capital worth over $10 million. Let’s take a look at what resources and services are available to ultra-wealthy families in the field of consulting, especially in the field of family offices.




Family offices or Private banking


By mid-2023, there were 21.7 million High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) worldwide who own $1 million or more. There is also a category of Ultra HNWI (Ultra HNWI) with wealth over $30 million, their number is about 580 thousand.

Large banks offer special conditions and products for wealthy clients through individual banking (Private Banking). This industry includes several key areas such as investment management, tax and legal advice and a wide range of lifestyle services, from concierge services to real estate transactions.


Despite temporary downturns caused by economic crises, global wealth continues to grow over the long term. It has tripled from 2000 to 2021. According to expert estimates, setting up your own family office becomes advisable when you have assets worth more than $150 million. Such a structure requires a complex of qualified professionals, including investment advisors, brokers, lawyers and art experts.

Since the early 2010s, more affordable structures that provide services to several wealthy families at the same time have been actively developing in the market. These organizations are able to pool more resources than a typical family office, but they are more specialized and compact than banking corporations. This means they may have limited access to additional services such as concierge services or exclusive participation in events.


Large banks around the world, not wanting to lose clients, are actively creating and expanding their own multi-family offices. For example, in 2023, the leader of the Singapore market, DBS Private Bank, launched a similar service. Additionally, J.P. Morgan, as mentioned earlier, opened its own multi-family office in the United States.





Investments and inheritance


According to research by Frank Research Group, conducted jointly with a family office consulting company, there are currently more than 2 thousand families in Russia with a capital of over $10 million. Approximately 10% of them have their own family offices, while another 30% manage their assets and receive non-financial services through trusted agents.


The main focus is on providing a wide range of services needed by wealthy families at different stages of their lives – from managing and investing funds to inheritance issues and creating an inheritance. Special attention is paid to non-financial services.


For example, the Lifestyle line includes not only services for traveling and comfortable life, but also medical and educational services. This means system planning of education for the whole family and sometimes for several families operating in different countries.


While the Inheritance line covers issues from the transfer of inheritance to future generations to philanthropy.





The future of private banking in Russia and the world


According to research conducted by Frank RG research, in 2022 a decline in the volume of funds managed by Russian banks has become noticeable. This is due to several factors: the movement of capital abroad, losses in investment portfolios and investors’ preference for less liquid assets such as gold, real estate and business.


It is interesting to note that the number of people in Russia willing to hold more than $1 million  fluctuates:

In 2020, there were 43.2 thousand of them.
In 2021, their number increased to 46.2 thousand.
In 2022, however, it dropped to 37.8 thousand.


These data are based on Frank RG’s study titled “Private Banking in Russia 2022”, and they refer to the number of clients of Russian banks with liquid assets of $1 million or more.






Belgrade Shines Bright: The Success of BWIF 2023

Belgrade Shines Bright: The Success of BWIF 2023


The iconic Hotel Moskva in Belgrade played host to the Belgrade Wealth and Immigration Forum 2023 (BWIF 2023). As co-organizers, we at Welcome to Serbia had the privilege of witnessing our meticulous planning come to life.


Guests from various parts of the globe, including America, Argentina, Hong Kong, Andorra, Russia, and Africa, attended the event, reinforcing Serbia’s emerging position on the international stage.



BWIF 2023 had the distinction of being supported by 12 esteemed sponsors from diverse sectors such as real estate, immigration, visa consulting, and the legal industry. Their presentations provided in-depth insights into their respective business ventures and programs, which the audience found extremely informative.



More than 100 visitors were engrossed by the presentations, reflecting the keen interest in topics like Residence by Investment, Residence by Buying Real Estate, Citizenship Programs, Luxury Real Estates, Law, and Tax.



It’s important to acknowledge the valuable contributions from Aedes, Startup Visa Services, Ganey Law Group, Coast To Coast, Pafilia, Callamus, VGV Corporation, Luštica Development, The Collection, Alrud, and Credofin. Their input provided a comprehensive view of the contemporary business scene in Serbia and globally. Our collaboration with Henley and Partners was pivotal, embodying the true spirit of teamwork and mutual goals.


The team at Welcome to Serbia is profoundly grateful to have played a role in orchestrating such an influential forum. We believe that BWIF 2023 was not just an event, but a beacon for future opportunities and collaborations.



With heartfelt thanks to all participants, sponsors, and collaborators, we are proud to say that BWIF 2023 has undoubtedly set a high standard. We look forward to facilitating more such impactful events in the coming years!


10 compelling reasons why you should start a startup company in Serbia

Serbia stands out as an exceptionally cost-effective and accessible destination for establishing and operating a company, with the Serbian Government’s unwavering commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship. In essence, substantial resources are allocated to support budding entrepreneurs, even in the face of setbacks, as they endeavor to self-finance their startups.


Whether you plan to launch a business in Serbia or any other location, the decision hinges on a multitude of factors that align with your business objectives, available resources, and market opportunities.


Here are 10 compelling reasons why you should start a startup company in Serbia:


1. Cost-Efficiency:

Serbia presents a highly cost-efficient business environment, particularly when compared to many Western European counterparts. Lower operational costs for office spaces, salaries, and various expenses are particularly appealing for startups aiming to maximize their initial investments


2. Skilled Workforce:

Serbia boasts a well-educated and proficient workforce, particularly in domains such as IT, engineering, and the sciences. This provides a distinct advantage for tech startups or those demanding specialized technical skills.


3. Strategic Location and Connectivity:

Serbia’s strategic geographical location offers convenient access to both Western and Eastern European markets, making it an ideal base for businesses with aspirations for regional expansion.


4. Government Support:

The Serbian Government has been proactively working to enhance the business environment and attract foreign investments. They extend a helping hand to startups through incentives and support mechanisms, including tax benefits and grants.

• A mere 3% corporate income tax (CIT) is levied on revenues generated from intellectual property developed within Serbia.
• Research and development (R&D) expenses are eligible for double deduction.
• Tax Credits for Investments in Startup Enterprises.
• Founders are exempt from income tax


5. Emerging Tech Hub:

Serbia’s technology sector has been growing, fostering a vibrant IT community and a surge in tech startups. Belgrade, the capital city, has earned recognition as a thriving tech hub, hosting a multitude of tech events, conferences, and networking gatherings.


6. Access to EU Markets:

Although not an EU member, Serbia has established a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, granting companies based there favorable trade relations and access to EU markets.


7. Cultural Diversity:

Serbia’s rich cultural diversity provides a strategic advantage to businesses aiming to create products or services tailored to diverse markets. The multicultural environment offers invaluable insights into varying consumer preferences.


8. Flourishing Startup Ecosystem:

Serbia has been developing a supportive startup ecosystem with incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, and networking events. This nurturing environment facilitates connections, learning, and business growth for aspiring entrepreneurs.


9. Untapped Market Potential:

Depending on your industry, there may be untapped or underserved markets within Serbia or neighboring countries ripe for early entry and capture.


10. Quality of Life:

Serbia offers a high quality of life, including an appealing cost of living, making it an enticing prospect for both entrepreneurs and employees. A balanced work-life dynamic can substantially enhance productivity and job satisfaction.



Nevertheless, before embarking on your startup venture in Serbia, conducting comprehensive research and due diligence is crucial. Consider the legal and regulatory requirements, market demand for your product or service, competition, potential challenges, and more. Every location has its unique advantages and challenges, so aligning these factors with your business goals is essential for achieving success.


For more information on launching a startup in Serbia, we invite you to contact Welcome to Serbia.”

Key Amendments to Serbia’s Aliens Act in 2023

In 2023, Serbia introduced significant amendments to its Aliens Act, reshaping the rules and regulations governing foreign residents in the country. While some changes are being praised on social media, these revisions have also imposed stricter rules for foreigners and those facilitating their stay in Serbia. In this blog post, we’ll explore the noteworthy changes and their implications.




Extended Residence Permits


As of August 2023, residence permits can now be granted for up to three years. This longer duration simplifies administrative processes for both the government and residents.



Introduction of the “Single Permit”


The “single permit” concept streamlines the process by combining residence and work permits into a single document, valid for up to three years. This simplification benefits both foreign workers and the authorities.



Permanent Residence permit after 3 years


It is possible to apply for permanent residence permit after three years of living in Serbia on the basis of temporary residence permit.



Pre-Expiry Extension Applications


A welcome change introduced in August 2023 is the ability to apply for an extension of the residence permit before its expiration. This adjustment provides more flexibility to individuals planning to stay in Serbia for an extended period.



Stricter Rules for Foreigners and Their Hosts


The amendments extend their impact not only to foreigners but also to individuals responsible for foreigners’ presence within Serbia. This broader scope ensures greater compliance with the law.



End of Endless Visa Runs


The revised Aliens Act abolishes the practice of endless visa runs. Instead, it clearly defines a rule allowing a maximum stay of 90 days within a 180-day period. This change aims to regulate and monitor foreign visits more effectively.



Scrutiny of Passport Expiry Date


The practice of granting residence permits until the passport’s expiration date is being reviewed. This change may result in adjustments to the issuance of residence permits based on various factors.



No 183 days rule


Article 45, paragraph 2, previously requiring half of the residence permit validity period to be spent in Serbia, has been replaced. The new provision allows the Ministry of Interior to assess applications based on various elements and exercise greater discretion.



Impact on Processing Time frames


While the amendments aim to expedite application processing, the involvement of state security agencies may extend the overall time frame. Applicants should be prepared for potential delays.



Shift from Stickers to Biometric Documents


The familiar practice of placing stickers in passports is evolving into a more secure biometric document for both residence permits and permanent residence, improving document security.



Expanded Supervision Authority


The enforcement of the Aliens Act will no longer be solely the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and security bodies. The employment service and labor inspectorate will also play crucial roles in ensuring compliance.



If you want to learn more about what these changes represent in practice, contact us to get a consultation with one of our experts.

Tax Obligations of Gold Bar Sellers and Purchasers in Serbia

Times of crisis, which are most usually followed by increased inflation, always re-raise the question of how to maintain the value of acquired money, i.e. how to invest it in the best way. The answer to this question depends on the degree of risk you are willing to take, and as you probably already know, there are more than one option.

However, there is one option which the investors now traditionally opt for in the face of unpredictable circumstances, and that’s investment gold. The investment company Goldman Sachs reminds us that the ideal moment for purchasing investment gold is the moment you realize the importance of such investment, apart from it always being the right moment.




Why investing in gold is a better option than buying real estate?


Although investing in real estate is a long-term profitable investment, you should bear in mind that there are certain limitations to it. Some of them include maintenance costs, the unpredictability of price movement and the inability to cash the property quickly, since real estate is by rule a non-liquid asset.


Savings interest rates are currently low, and under the risk of inflation, whereas government bonds are safe, but also bring low profit. On the other hand, cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) carries a potentially high profit, but not without big risk, due to its unpredictability, which is why many compare this type of investment with gambling.


Investment gold has none of the aforementioned flaws. Unlike real estate which captures your money for years and is difficult to sell in the times of crisis, the gold market is very liquid. Furthermore, gold is resistant to recession and political crisis, and according to the words of Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize winner for economy: “Gold is the only currency which survived all inflations and other negative economic phenomena.”


Investment gold is not directly linked to other assets, such as stocks or bonds, which are affected by inflation. Unlike money which governments can endlessly print, the supply of gold is limited, which is why its price is not affected by the increase of money mass.
Unlike investing in cryptocurrency, the risk of losing value with gold is down to a minimum.

When it comes to possessing investment gold, the only thing you should think about is its safeguarding. While some investors keep gold in their houses, others opt for security safes in banks or firms specialized for gold purchase and selling, which has certain costs.





Gold price movement


In economic and political crises, the price of gold increased, which brought profit to its owners in situations when they needed it the most; in favor of which goes the fact that the price of gold in the past 50 years increased for the average of eight per cent a year. It is often said that gold is the only currency whose value increases constantly.


The price for one ounce of gold has been in constant increase since 2018, with little variation. The greatest value of 2,201 dollar per ounce in the world market was marked in April 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak. In the said period, the price of gold marked a 40% increase. Afterwards, a slight decrease in value followed, which spiked again on March 8, 2022 due to the war in Ukraine. One ounce of gold at that time was worth 2,043 dollars. As it became clear that the war in Ukraine would stay on, the price of gold decreased, and on October 6, 2022 it amounted to 1,716 dollars per ounce.


Since gold has already reached high price levels, financial consultants don’t usually recommend investing in gold to those investors who expect high profit in short periods or to those who aim for speculation. However, if you are planning to invest long-term to 10 or 20 years, gold may be a smart choice.





What is investment gold?


According to the VAT Act of the Republic of Serbia, both natural and legal persons may purchase gold in Serbia, and gold investments are considered to be the following:

– gold cast and minted bars, of mass accepted in the capital market, with the degree of fineness equal to 99.5% or more, and

– gold coins (ducats) with the degree of fineness equal to 90% or more, coined after 1800, which are or used to be a legal payment instrument in the country of origin, and which are usually sold at the price not higher than 80% of the value of gold in the open market, included in the coins. An example of such ducats that can often be seen in our regions is the Austrian gold ducat Franjo Josip, i.e. Franz Joseph.


Ducats have traditional distinctiveness, while gold bars have security ornaments of the manufacturer that are impossible to copy, an identification number and an international warranty which is valid and verified across the world. Each gold bar comes in a hermetically closed industrial packaging.


The majority of gold price is the actual value of this precious metal, but the costs of manufacturing, packing, distribution and packaging are also included, so the average price per gram is lower the bigger its mass is. Gold cast and minted bars may vary in weight, which makes it easier for the investors to invest different quantities of money.





Who are gold investors?


The money invested in gold bars usually originates from dividends, self-employed income, savings or selling real estate and ownership shares in some company. Even the legal persons were not immune to the trend of investing in gold, and they have been purchasing gold more and more frequently from undistributed profit. In such situations, the legal person is designated as the gold owner. Companies usually invest in gold in order to protect themselves from potential economic plunges and inflation.


Private transactions which include gold bars are usually dealt by direct contact between the sellers in the private market or through authorized dealers and financial institutions. The National Bank of Serbia regulates the import, export and trade of gold, but does not directly deal with private transactions.   





Tax obligations of investment gold purchasers and sellers


If you are planning to invest in gold bars, it’s important for you to know that purchasing and selling investment gold in Serbia is completely free of tax. However, if the company’s profit increases by selling gold, due to the difference between the selling and purchasing price, this income is subject to income tax at the rate of 15%.


In order to invest in gold in the compliance with the legislation, it is necessary to issue receipts and keep records on all activities related to investment gold. A special rulebook stipulates the manner of conducting payment, transactions and keeping records. The rulebook defines that the tax payer is obligated to keep a special record on the supply, the transactions and the record on the transactions performed through an intermediary. The record must contain details on the investment gold type, quantity and description. The data on the number and date of issued receipts, the name, or the identity of the legal or natural person that investment gold is sold to must also be recorded.


The tax payer is obligated to keep the record on all activities related to investment gold and related documentation until the expiry of the period for VAT assessment and collection. In financial reports, investing in gold is presented according to the invoiced price, i.e. the purchase price or net sales price, depending on which is lower.






The issue of investment gold shortage


The data from the World Gold Council indicates that since 2000 until today, the trend of investing in gold has increased for 12% annually. Interests spike in the face of extreme events, and especially during crises, when the level of uncertainty rises. Such times bring about gold shortages, due to the high demand, and a large number of requests for purchase are impossible to execute.






Future forecast


Rising inflation puts central banks across the world in undesirable positions where they try to keep inflation under control by increasing interest rates. If interest rates became so high that they attract the investors to invest money in savings deposits, the demand for gold could possibly subside.


Still, it’s good to keep in mind that the reasons to invest in gold, except for profit, are its many advantages that make this type of investment less risky. The current global situation is very unpredictable, and in such situations it is best to diversify risk to two or three alternatives since circumstances might change in a matter of only a few days.