This June, all state agencies vitally linked to administrative load got together to discuss how to cut reporting by businesses. The aim isn’t some small changes but a radical reform – as at 2013, the public sector featured 201 various reports and declarations, to which add Statistical Office and Eesti Pank reports. And this, say all those involved, is too much.
Brainstorming done, two trends emerged and got grandly Christened «D-Day or Restart Day» and «Reporting 3.0».
The former means that professional associations will collect proposal by members regarding superfluous reports or data rows which will be forwarded to agencies dealing with data; and, finally, the proposal with state-level substantiation lands on the «crocodiles committee» table.
The committee is composed of representatives of entrepreneurs and public sector, who economy minister Kristen Michal vows will be the particularly mean kind. «We’ll rather take the stand that if the need for something cannot convincingly be argued, we will delete the reporting. In essence, what will happen is the review and deletion of the entire inheritance. No need to collect data just because we have always collected data,» said Mr Michal, visibly elated by the project.
The aim is for entrepreneurs and the state to establish constant communication about it and that the latter would feel pressurised to shrink the reporting. «A measure of reporting is needed, naturally, but the issue is to what extent. Where do we draw the line? If somebody gets the idea to ask for some kind of data, should all entrepreneurs indeed take the load,» asked Mr Michal.
By December already, the initial proposals are planned to be collected. «In January, then, we’ll get the teeth going at the crocodiles committee,» said Mr Michal. The other direction is automated reporting i.e. a new e-Tax Board which is supposed to mainly make reporting as easy for SMEs as doing the taxes currently is for private persons.
The system would be voluntary and for a small business it would be enough to categorise its transactions. Tax Board Marek Helm says they want to create a solution where an enterprise must not enter their environment to forward data, but could send the data directly from its bank or bookkeeping programme.
Mr Helm would assure us this will not mean they will gain constant access to data and bank accounts of businessmen. «The goal is that on the 20th of each month no-one should sit down at the table and submit an e-declaration to the Tax Board. Today, this is not needed. The bookkeeper would simply work with her system and would tell it to forward the selected data on the specified date and time,» described Mr Helm.