Lifeline for 36000 companies: filing reports will become totally automated


How much did I spend on workforce this last quarter? Did someone leave and did I have to pay out overdue holiday fees? Now, which agency needed that information?


These are all questions that an average business owner must deal with daily. Not only it is annoying, it is also extremely time-consuming. This however, might soon be the exception rather than the norm, as the Reporting 3.0 initiative is expected to go live as early as 2018.

As the head of Estonian Tax and Customs Board Marek Helm put it: “We wish, that by January of 2018, necessary information could be filed with the government automatically, without the need for entrepreneurs to spend any time or money to file reports about salary or workforce costs to various agencies.”

He went on to explain that filing a report will be automated. Data will be sent directly by the software used at the company, so no employee needs to find the website of a specific agency to enter their data. “As long as the original information is entered correctly, the filing of a report will become a background activity,” Helm added.

Simple solution, incredible results


Reporting 3.0 in its essence is incredibly simple; it enables business owners to dedicate more time to their business affairs and spend less time dealing with red tape and other bureaucracy hurdles that governments usually throw in an entrepreneur’s way.

It does so by developing an automated system that feeds all the necessary data automatically into various government-agency databases, thus eliminating the need for an actual human being collecting all the information and filing it with the appropriate authorities. As the first step, salary and various workforce costs can be declared automatically, without the need for any employee to take further additional steps.

But it doesn’t all end with an automated system. The goals of the initiative are much broader than that. For example, starting next year, small-scale business no longer need to file a declaration to pay VAT and social taxes on the most common payments. “Potentially, this simplification could impact 36000 companies,” Helm said. The first companies to enjoy this solution are those who pay salaries through LHV bank.

Automated system is just the beginning


On top of all that, it’s expected that the total amount of declarations and reports that need to be filed by companies will be cut down dramatically, as the Reporting 3.0 initiative aims to make sure that no two agencies require the same data from companies, to ensure that the info collected is actually used and if not, to stop requesting said information and make sure that only data which is relevant is collected from companies. This way firms will not have to spend time with reports that in reality yield no benefit whatsoever.

“It’s estimated that, in an average company, it takes about one and a half working-positions a year to file reports, which is a non-productive activity,” said Helm.

Given all that, in the coming years it should become noticeably easier for business owners to deal with government bureaucracy when compared to the present. And the ease-of-use is not meant only for the locals; e-residents can also enjoy the benefits of the Estonian digital systems and they too can use the solutions developed for the Reporting 3.0 initiative.