The domestic sales of Estonian companies in April decreased by 19.9 percent, or €738 million, on year, it appears from VAT declarations submitted to the Tax and Customs Board (MTA) last month.
Sales fell most, by 77 percent, in the accommodation and catering sector, and in arts and entertainment, by 75 percent. Large decreases — of 46.9, 42.9 ad 41.1 percent, respectively — were also recorded in retail and wholesale trade of motor vehicles, health and social welfare and other service activities.
Companies owe the state a total of €16 million in VAT for April. The most difficult situation is in the accommodation and catering sector, where 42 percent of declared VAT is unpaid. This is followed by transport and storage with 18 percent and other service activities with 16 percent of declared VAT unpaid.
Broken down by county, the situation is fairly even. Companies in Jõgeva County have failed to pay 18.2 percent of declared VAT, while companies in Saare County have failed to pay 13.9 and companies in Ida-Viru County 13.2 percent.
As of May 26, companies had submitted 91,000 VAT returns for April. Of these, 47 percent declared a total amount due of €242.2 million to be paid, which is €48 million less than in the previous month and €57.5 million less on year.
A further 5,200 VAT returns have not been submitted. The MTA emphasized that declarations must be submitted even if it's not possible to pay taxes owed right away. Timely declarations are a precondition for requesting a deferral of a tax debt and a lower interest rate, but a deferral is necessary to prevent the debt from being recovered.
Editor: Aili Vahtla