Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise said that the provision according to which people working on the basis of several employment contracts can choose only one, for example the employer paying a monthly wage of €500, upon which to implement tax-free income is in accordance with the new tax-free income calculation regulation and the Constitution.
The Income Tax Act stipulates that if a recipient of payment receives taxable income from several employers or income tax withholding agents, the taxable income deduction can only be applied to the one chosen by the taxpayer.
"A person working on the basis of several employment contracts can choose also choose the employer paying a smaller wage, for example €500, as the one with which to implement tax-free income," Madise said. "In this case, they will have the opportunity to delay fulfilling their tax obligation partly until they have to pay extra income tax on the basis of the income tax return."
According to Madise, someone working for several employers can therefore use the money during the taxable period, which they will have to pay after submitting an income tax return. "If one invests the money successfully, the opportunity of postponing the fulfillment of the tax obligation can definitely be interpreted as an advantage," she noted. "On the other hand, this kind of possibility does not free anyone of the obligation to pay income tax, but only postpones the fulfillment of it."
She added that the obligation to pay income tax delayed in such a way may turn out to be more burdensome than expected when the deadline arrives. The Estonian Tax and Customs Board has thus suggested that, in the event of receiving payment from several jobs, people completely or partly give up the right of tax-free income deduction.
"A situation in which an employee receives a so-called credit from the state may occur in other cases as well," Madise said. "For example, if a person receives income from which income tax is not deducted, or dividends, which usually is not the recipient's taxable income, but is considered when calculating tax-free income. At the same time, an employee may decide for a greater monthly tax obligation so that they do not have to pay extra income tax after submitting a tax return. In this case, they submit an application to the employer that the tax-free income deducted from their salary is reduced."
In the event of such an income tax system where the size of tax-free income depends on annual income, aforementioned fluctuations inevitably happen. However, taking into account the entire taxable period, people with an equal taxable income will still be taxed equally.
Editor: Aili Vahtla