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Interests on tax arrears suspended in emergency situation

19 March 2020

In order to alleviate the financial situation of companies, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB) suspends the calculation of interests on their tax arrears for the period of emergency with retroactive effect as from 1 March to 1 May. However, all tax returns must be submitted on time and taxes must be paid whenever it is possible.

Minister of Finance Martin Helme stressed that the interest relief is not a tax relief. "We understand that it is a hard time for all of us, but to ensure the functioning of the State it is of utmost importance that people continue paying taxes as far as possible. In the present circumstances, it is more important than ever," he added.

"Interest relief is the quickest and easy-to-implement short-term measure to support and give confidence to businesses in difficulties – if I get into trouble with taxes, the State takes an understanding attitude. It should not be forgotten that tax is still due," Helme said. "To provide additional support to businesses, we are working on a more comprehensive support package which the Government will put forward in the next few days."

Businesses have to continue filing accurate tax returns by the due date, e.g. VAT returns are due on Friday, 20 March. Otherwise, the State will not be able to get an overview of the situation of our businesses and take the right decisions. Companies in difficulties need to apply for the payment of tax arrears in instalments through the ETCB’s e-service environment. The ETCB is as flexible as possible in debt proceedings and will not initiate compulsory execution in an emergency.

Furthermore, the ETCB has closed down the public debt inquiry tool and the provision of mass information about debtors via the X-tee services since currently available information does not give an adequate picture of companies’ economic situation. Queries from the public procurement register will remain open. For the same reason, the ETCB will not publish any analyses on taxes paid, turnovers or staff numbers on its website.

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