Survey: Estonian residents show high level of willingness to pay taxes

Tax and Customs Board (MTA) logo.
Tax and Customs Board (MTA) logo. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

A survey commissioned by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) reveals that 91 percent of residents of Estonia say they feel that paying taxes is an important duty for them.

Ninety-percent of respondents also said that they understand the connection between paying taxes and receiving the benefits of state services in return, while the MTA's reputation as regards reliability and efficiency remains high, ERR reports.

Raigo Uukkivi, MTA Director General, said: "There have been no major changes to Estonian the tax system in recent years.

"The system is familiar to people and as a result, willingness to contribute taxes, one aspect of which is awareness, is high," Uukivi continued, via a press release.

According to the 2022 tax willingness survey (link in Estonian), 93 percent of residents say they always pay their taxes in order with the rules, and 96 percent say they always pay them on time. 

Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they know how to pay taxes, and what taxes are due on (eg. salary, additional income, etc.), while 90 percent say they are aware that services are received from the state, in return for tax payuments. 

However, 20 percent of residents responding to the survey say they think that it is easy to avoid paying taxes.

Uukkivi added that: "One of the most important results to arise from the survey, one which we must take into account when planning our activities for the next year, is the connection between this tax willingness and economic well-being."

"The more difficult things are for people, the more attractive tax avoidance can appear. This will be especially decisive in the context of an economic recession," Uukivi added.

As in previous years, in 2022 the MTA has received the best assessments with regard to the institution's reliability and efficiency, while the assessment of cooperation and willingness to guide people has improved the most.

Uukkivi said: "The ratings of our willingness to cooperate with people, and the guiding direction taken with our customer service, have improved the most. This demonstrates that the advisory and supportive approach adopted by our customer support has borne fruit, while people who contact the MTA also feel that cooperation is improving. We can be completely satisfied with these assessments of the Estonian people; it is the result of some targeted work and it must be carried on."

This year's Tax Willingness Survey was the fifth to be organized by the MTA, and was in 2022 conducted by pollsters KantarEmor.

A total of 1,329 Estonian citizens and residents were surveyed.

The survey's stated purpose is to find out the attitudes and beliefs of Estonian residents aged 15-74 about paying taxes, about the MTA, tax norms, risks and penalties, and the tax system in Estonia. 

The study then permits the evaluation of the development during the past few years, in comparison with the results of the tax willingness surveys of 2018-2021, and in this way provides the MTA with information for the further development of its field.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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