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The Riigikogu passed four Acts and three Resolutions

The Act on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (493 UA), which the President of the Republic had refused to proclaim, was approved with 45 votes in favour (30 against) in the second legislative proceeding. Its aim is to reduce opportunities for underreporting turnover, to improve the conditions of competition, and to increase tax receipts through reduction of damage caused by violation of the Value Added Tax Act. 

As major amendments in the Act, it can be pointed out that data to which the obligation of professional secrecy extends on the basis of an Act will not be reflected in the annex to the value added tax return. Also, in consideration of the opinions of interests groups, the Act has been specified with implementing provisions which should allow for a smoother transition to the new regulation. First, it was decided to give the tax authority the right to apply fixed-term exceptions and to apply a “transition period” so that businesses would have sufficient time for infotechnological developments as necessary. Second, it will be possible to present the totals of invoices as added up, broken down by transaction partner, in the annex to the value added tax return until 20 January 2016. Also, the amendment of the Accounting Act was abandoned. 

The annex to the value added tax return will reflect the data of the invoices issued to and received from legal persons, sole proprietors or state, rural municipality or city authorities, and the registry code issued to the transaction partner in Estonia, and the personal identification code in the case of a notary or bailiff. The invoices issued to natural persons who are not sole proprietors will not be reflected in the annex. Thus, in retail, non-personal sales will not be reflected in the annex to the value added tax return. For example, if the purchaser has not turned to the vendor with a request to issue the invoice in the name of the business, it is regarded as non-personal sale, and the data of such invoice will not be reflected in the annex to the value added tax return. 

The annex to the value added tax return will reflect invoices in which the transferor of goods or the service provider has specified the turnover taxable at the 20 per cent and 9 per cent VAT rates, with the exception of invoices issued under the special scheme, when the total amount of invoices exclusive of value added tax is at least 1000 euro per transaction partner in the taxable period. The threshold based on the transaction partner will be calculated separately for purchase invoices and sales invoices. 

Aivar Riisalu, Remo Holsmer, Tõnis Palts and Rannar Vassiljev took the floor during the debate. 

The Act on Amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (545 SE), initiated by the Government, which amends the procedure for determining procedural expenses applied in civil proceedings, was passed with 73 votes in favour. The Act creates the possibility to make the determination of the financial amount of procedural expenses and the ordering of the payment thereof from the opposing party in civil proceedings significantly speedier for parties to proceedings. The procedure for determining procedural expenses was established, where the expenses are determined within the framework of the particular proceedings in which the expenses were incurred. If, so far, in most cases assistant judges adjudicated the matters relating to the determination of procedural expenses, then in the future the judge who conducts proceedings in the main case will determine procedural expenses. 

The Act on Amendments to the Packaging Act and the Packaging Excise Duty Act (561 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 71 votes in favour. With it, recovery of waste, in particular recycling as material will be made significantly environmentally cleaner.

“More extensive recovery of packaging waste has a direct positive environmental impact through the use of recycled materials,” Chairman of the Environment Committee Rainer Vakra said. He explained that, in the legislative proceeding of the Act, the logic had been followed that all packagings placed on the market need to be collected by type of material. This allows them to be recycled or at least recovered, which is of significant importance in terms of environmental protection. A precondition for collection by type is installation of relevant containers. Vakra underlined that the residents’ situation as regards the shipment of waste will improve considerably thanks to the increasing of the number of containers.”The Act regulates in more detail the activities of packaging recovery organisations functioning on the principle of producer responsibility. This will enhance control over their activities. Current practice has shown that the packaging and packaging waste collection system does not function at the necessary level and does not ensure the meeting of the recovery obligation of the state,” Vakra said. 

With the Act, the fine for failure to perform the obligation to recover packaging waste and for failure to perform the obligation to accept back and for violation of the requirements for accepting back packaging and packaging waste is increased from 3200 euro to 32 000 euro. The basis for increasing the fine is the need to raise the fine rates to the same level as the fine rates related to producer responsibility provided by the Waste Act. 

The Act on Amendments to the Public Information Act and the Electronic Communications Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (649 SE), initiated by the Government, which specifies the tasks and supervision competence of the Estonian Information System Authority and the procedure for supervision, was passed with 71 votes in favour. As of 1 June 2011, the Estonian Informatics Centre was reorganised into the Estonian Information System Authority. Thereby a governmental authority was established with the statutory task of exercising supervision over compliance with the Public Information Act and legislation established on the basis thereof upon taking into use of a database and administration of a database. The Act also amends the provisions concerning the organisation and supervision of the electronic communications field at the national level. The tasks distributed between two subunits of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will be brought into the competence of one regulator. The tasks, rights and obligations of the Competition Authority as the regulator of the communications market will be transferred to the competence of the Technical Surveillance Authority as of 1 July 2014. The amendment will ensure optimal organisation of this field. The Technical Surveillance Authority will have a legal basis to charge a state fee for reviewing an application for a television and radio services activity licence. 

The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the State Budget Control Select Committee”” (638 OE), submitted by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was passed with 53 votes in favour. It provides for the appointment of Tatjana Jaanson as a member of the Select Committee instead of Neeme Suur, and appointment of Marianne Mikko as her alternate member instead of Indrek Saar, and Maimu Berg as an alternate member instead of the current alternate member Urve Palo. Also, the appointment of Aivar Rosenberg as a member of the Select Committee instead of Andre Sepp

The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee”” (639 OE), submitted by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was passed with 50 votes in favour. It provides for the appointment of Tiit Tammsaar as a member of the Select Committee instead of Heljo Pikhof. It also provides for the appointment of Heljo Pikhof as an alternate member instead of Eiki Nestor

The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee”” (640 OE), submitted by the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction, was passed with 48 votes in favour. It provides for the appointment of Siim Valmar Kiisler as a member of the Select Committee instead of Ülo Tulik, and Ken-Marti Vaher as an alternate member instead of Kaja Kreisman

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the European Union Common Agricultural Policy Implementation Act and the Act on Amendments to and Implementation of the Maintenance of Law and Order Act (628 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill brings national law into conformity with EU law. The main amendment is that, upon application for direct payments, the requirement of the reference year of 2003 which was in force until now will be eliminated and a direct payment can be applied for for all agricultural land which is actually used. The Bill also specifies the provisions concerning the measures for the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products, including the provisions relating to the school fruit and vegetables scheme, intervention purchases and producer organisations. The Act is amended by adding an implementing provision which allows for preparations to be made for the selection of the provider of advisory services. Many amendments simplify procedures and are of technical nature. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of four Bills: 

The Bill on Amendments to the Pre-school Child Care Institutions Act (641 SE), initiated by the Government, specifies the content of the obligation of cities and rural municipalities in ensuring kindergarten places, and the proportions of adults and children in pre-school child care institutions as the basis for the organisation of the work of pre-school child care institutions. The aim of the Bill is to allow for more flexible child care opportunities. Also, to enable at least 95% of children to receive preschool education at pre-school child care institutions, and to enable the right of children of the same family to attend the same kindergarten. 

Mailis Reps, Mart Meri and Andrus Ansip took the floor during the debate. 

The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The result of voting: 25 votes in favour, 45 against. The motion was not supported. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (637 SE), initiated by the Government, provides for the use an electronic accompanying document upon transport of excise goods in Estonia in the case when excise goods are dispatched from an excise warehouse. The electronic management system for national accompanying documents of excise goods allows for the submission of an electronic application for reimbursement of excise duty, the submission of the accompanying document of excise goods subject to excise duty dispatched to another Member State, and the pre-completion of excise reports according to the data of accompanying documents. The implementation of the electronic system will simplify the preparation and submission of accompanying documents and reports, reduce paper waste, and allow for better monitoring of the movement of excise goods for fiscal control purposes. In addition, the rules for the measurement of excise goods are specified. 

The amendments proposed in the Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (644 SE) restrict the deductibility of the VAT paid upon purchase of automobiles and use of automobiles under contract for use (including upon rental and lease), and upon purchasing goods and services related to them (motor fuel, repair, maintenance, etc.), instead of the taxation of self-supply of automobiles, with the aim of fairer taxation of the use of automobiles which will at the same time increase state budget receipts. 

Sven Sester, Aivar Riisalu and Andrus Ansip took the floor during the debate. 

The Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The result of voting: 16 votes in favour, 42 against. The motion was not supported. 

The aim of the Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act (643 SE), initiated by the Government, is to organise the rules of tax exemption for the compensation paid for service or employment related use of a personal automobile, and to increase the limit of the compensation exempt from tax. 

Sven Sester and Andrus Ansip took the floor during the debate. 

The Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The result of voting: 8 votes in favour, 35 against. The motion was not supported. 

The sitting ended at 6.29 p.m. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

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