The Chamber together with the Estonian Food Producers Association and Estonian Traders Association turned to the government of the Republic of Estonia in relation to the tax policy planned by the coalition parties. Below you will find the text of the address.
Taxing loans and financing transactions inside a group with a 20% income tax or the so called security income tax is detrimental to the Estonian business environment, without solving the actual problem, state the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Estonian Employers’ Confederation.
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A while ago, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication proposed establishing a road tax on Estonian and foreign vehicles that weigh over 12 tons. Back then, the Chamber agreed to support the proposal only provided that the entire tax revenue received would be used for management of state roads and local roads. The Ministry has informed the Chamber that this condition will be introduced into the draft act. However, so far, the Chamber’s proposal to decrease the fee rates has not been taken into account.
The Chamber is against the proposal of the trade unions to allow for establishing more flexible guard time conditions (time, payment) with only extended collective agreements. In the Chamber’s opinion, this proposal serves only the interests of trade unions, but does not solve today’s problem. Additionally, the applicable provision for extending collective agreements contradicts the Constitution. Therefore the Chamber considers it necessary to establish more flexible guard time conditions in the Employment Contracts Act.
The Chamber does not support the state’s plan to impose for entrepreneurs the packaging excise duty on bringing to the market because in the Chamber’s opinion, it does not help the environmental goals set in the law’s drafting intentions. On the contrary, establishing a new tax places excessive administrative and tax burden on entrepreneurs, increases the probability of avoiding the law and is primarily meant for filling the state treasury.
Entrepreneurs have been interested in knowing which taxes must be paid and what should be kept in mind when a personal vehicle is used for business purposes.
The Chamber has sent an opinion to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication in regarding the drafted plan to start taxing the use of roads by trucks. Namely, the state is planning to start collecting a time-based road use fee from trucks that weigh over 12 tons. The Chamber is ready to support such plan of the state, provided that the entire revenue from such fee is used for road maintenance and development of road transport. This solution is an opportunity to increase financing of road maintenance by an additional 16 million euros per year. Additionally, the Chamber is of the opinion that the annual rates of the road use fee should be lower than planned and promote the use of environmentally friendly trucks.
The Chamber has sent a letter to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas expressing concern over the quality of legislative drafting. The Chamber reminds the government that the principles of good legislative drafting are very important in a democratic country because they facilitate achieving a more open, transparent and knowledge-based governance.
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The Parliament passed two draft acts amending significantly the Aliens Act. As a result of the amendments, the possibilities for foreign entrepreneurs for receiving a residence permit for operating in Estonia will be expanded. Furthermore, the salary conditions for foreign workers will become more unified and the conditions for short-term employment in Estonia will become more flexible.