Coalition's new tax amendments to increase budget deficit ({{commentsTotal}})

A vote of no confidence against Minister of Finance Sven Sester (IRL) failed on June 1, 2017.
A vote of no confidence against Minister of Finance Sven Sester (IRL) failed on June 1, 2017. Source: (Riigikogu)

The tax amendments agreed upon by representatives of the parties of Estonia's ruling coalition on Thursday would increase the budget deficit by approximately €20 million over the course of four years, figures from the Ministry of Finance and calculations by BNS show.

Exactly by how much the budget deficit will increase is difficult to say, as the coalition parties have not yet reached an agreement on some important details. For example, it is not clear in what form the excise duty on packaging will be imposed or how and when the taxation of Estonian companies' loans to parent or subsidiary companies abroad not paid back within five years will be introduced.

The Ministry of Finance has said that the new solution for limiting the transfer to other countries of profit earned in Estonia instead of the deposit income tax will give the state €34 million over the course of four years. While there is still no definitive agreement regarding the new solution, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) has made a proposal to start levying income tax on intragroup loans which have not been paid back in five years.

Figures published by the Finance Ministry show that more effective use of the state's real estate will give a total of €25 million in income and savings during the next four years. The state's income from social tax will increase by €18 million in four years due to the subsistence benefit reform.

In the four-year perspective, cutting the state's administrative expenses by 3 percent will cut the state's expenses by approximately €7.6 million altogether, or €1.9 million per year. Cuts to the state's administrative costs do not concern priority areas like the ambulance service and internal security, including the police and the rescue service, as well as constitutional institutions and the jurisdictions of the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including IT institutions, museums, and constitutional institutions like the Office of the President, the parliament, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, the National Audit Office and the Supreme Court.

Not increasing the volume of purchases of land under nature protection will reduce the state's expenses by €5.6 million altogether or €1.4 million per year.

Forgoing the deposit income tax will mean a loss in income of €18 million for the state in both 2020 and 2021.

The impact of not imposing an excise duty on packaging will mean a decrease of €15 million in the state's income in 2018. The coalition will analyze the ways how to best organize packaging and waste management in the course of the year and then decide the next steps.

Amendments to be made to joint tax returns of spouses will mean a loss of €14.4 million over the course of four years or €3.6 million per year in the state's income. In the future, spouses will have the option to file joint tax returns and the basic exemption valid for them will be €180 a month.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS



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