Tax revenues to February this year fell by 2.3 percent on year to €512.3 million, Tax and Customs Board (MTA) says. Much of the fall comes from reductions in VAT paid by the private sector, as the coronavirus pandemic's effects start to make their presence known.
In the first to months of this year, 14 percent of tax revenues planned for the state budget for the whole year had been fulfilled, compared with 15.1 percent at the same time last year.
Personal income tax paid in January-February 2020 on the other hand increased on year, by €20 million. This was explained by a growth in salaries over that time, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.
VAT payments for February decreased by 7.7 percent on year.
"This is due to the increased tax debt due to the emergency situation, which amounted to €31 million at the end of March. Unlike last year, in March this year the economy did not fully function under normal conditions, by the time it came to companies declaring VAT and paid fees," said Margus Tuvikene of the finance ministry's fiscal policy department.
Of the activities, the obligation to pay VAT increased in February, ie declarations the most in retail trade and construction, where the obligation increased by 13 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively, compared to the same month of 2019.
While the coronavirus emergency situation had not been declared in February, since the deadline for paying VAT for that month was the end of March, by which time it had, the crisis has had an effect, Margus Tuvikene said.
Total revenue from excise duties for the first two months of 2020 came to €101.3 million, 38 percent less than at the same time last year. At the same time, excise paid on fuel for the first two months of the year came ahead of cuts on diesel, natural gas and electricity, which the Estonian government has made as an effort to breathe life into the economy in the wake of the pandemic.
"Receipts of fuel excise duty have fallen the most, as fuel sellers have been selling stocks acquired at the end of last year, whose excise duty was paid before the turn of the year," Tuvikene said.
"These stocks, most of them diesel, are estimated to last for another three months," he added.
While tobacco excise duties have been raised, receipts were still 7.1 percent down on the first two months of 2019.
Editor: Andrew Whyte