Finance ministry: First half of 2021 tax take up nearly 14 percent on year

The 'superministry' building in Tallinn houses the finance ministry, as well as the economic affairs and communications ministry, the justice ministry and the social ministry.
The 'superministry' building in Tallinn houses the finance ministry, as well as the economic affairs and communications ministry, the justice ministry and the social ministry. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tax take for the first half of 2021 stands at €3.95 billion, a rise of 13.8 percent on the same period in 2020, the finance ministry says, suggesting recovery since the pandemic arrived that year.

€778.8 million of the total came from June alone, the ministry says, while each individual month, January to June, saw a rise on year, with growth particularly strong in the first three months, Merliin Laos, finance ministry fiscal policy department analyst told ERR.

Laos said: "While both last year and this year, constraints related to the COVID-19 pandemic mainly affected the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021), the significant increase in tax debt reduced revenues in Q1 2020, making the starting base lower."

Excise duties up 15.9 percent

Excise duty payments rose by 15.9 percent on year, over the same period, which Laos said was due to: "On the one hand, the low level of fuel excise duty last year, resulting from the inventories sold last year, and on the other hand, the increase in this year's declarations." Laos said.

On the other hand, alcohol excise duties, whose rates were cut by the preceding administration back in the summer of 2019, have not demonstrated recovery, mainly due to a lack of tourism during the pandemic, which is hardly likely to pick up after summer is over in any case.

VAT payments up over 9 percent

VAT payments January-June stood at €1.3 billion, €109 million more than in 2019 a rise of over 9 percent which, according to Laos, hints at recovery from the crisis. 

Vehicle sales and wholesale contributed most to VAT payment rises, and the two sectors' payments rose 36 percent and 14 percent respectively, on year.

"Another a positive signal is the fall in the volume of VAT arrears, by €15 million or minus 8 percent, year-on-year, to €177 million," Laos said.

Meanwhile, total corporate turnover accelerated to 26 percent in Q2 2021, ERR reports.

Tax take quick facts January-June 2021, change on year

  • Wage bill affecting the labor taxes, excluding the unemployment benefit, amounted to 7.7 per cent.
  • Number of workplaces down 0.8 percent, to the same level as in July 2019.
  • Alcohol excise duty payments started to rise in Q2 2021; payment in the first half of the year rose 3.7 percent on year.
  • Average salary rises prompted salary fund increase of 8.7 percent.
  • Social tax payments rose by 7.7 percent, partly due to the low base level of the previous year, though labor market development better than earlier forecast.
  • Six-month wage bill growth driven by health care (18.4 per cent), followed by IT and communications (16.2 per cent).
  • €23 million in income tax from those cashing out of second pillar of the pensions scheme.
  • 10.6 per cent more motor fuels consumed, both retail and wholesale; gasoline up 3.7 per cent and diesel 13.1 per cent, despite rises in crude oil prices.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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