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Environmental charges

Environmental charges are paid for the right to use the environment and the purpose for the implementation thereof is to avoid or decrease possible damages related to the use of natural resources, emission of pollutants into the environment and waste disposal.

The holders of environmental permit as well as persons, whose scope or manner of activity obligates to have an environmental permit, have the obligation to pay environmental charges. More information on the requirements of holding the permit can be found in the sections of the following areas: ambient airwaterearth’s crustwaste and integrated environmental permit.

The rates of the environmental charges have been provided by the Environmental Charges Act. Upon the use of the environment without permit or in a higher-than-permitted quantity, an increased rate of environmental charge is applied.

As of 23 March 2014, the date of declaration and payment of environmental charge is the 17th day following the reporting quarter. If the 17th day falls on a day off, then the date of declaration and payment is the first working day following the 17th day.

The declaration and payment of the environmental charge is regulated by the following legislation:
 the Environmental Charges Act,

• the Taxation Act,

• regulation No. 22 “The form of the environmental charges declaration and the procedure for filling it and the procedure for the submission of the report on the volume of extraction of mineral resources” of the Minister of the Environment.

The process for the declaration and payment of environmental charges and the support services related thereto have been described in the service standard.

Rates of environmental charges

The rates of environmental charges can be found in various acts concerning environmental protection and the rates are reviewed each year.

Environmental charge with increased rate

Environmental charge with an increased rate must be paid when the activity exceeds the limits set by the permit or if activities are carried out without required permit or in a volume which requires environmental permit.

NB! Pursuant to clause 34 (6) of the Income Tax Act, a charge with increased rate is income which shall not be deducted from business income and, therefore, it is subjected to income tax.

Activity without permit

Pursuant to the Environmental Charges Act, environmental charge shall also be paid by a person who has an obligation to have an environmental permit, but who has operated without having a permit. Upon activity without permit, environmental charge is calculated at an increased rate. If a company has operated without a permit before the environmental permit entered into force, then the information on the use of the environment, which took place during the period without a permit, has to be submitted to the Environmental Board. The information to be submitted has to include the volume of the activity, time period and emissions of pollutants. The application for permit under proceeding shall not be equivalent to holding the permit, thus, during the proceeding of the application for permit, the activity is performed without a permit.

Declaration of environmental charge

The declaration forms of the environmental charge are provided by a regulation by the Minister of the Environment and declarations may be submitted as follows:

From the mentioned possibilities, we favour and recommend to submit the declaration at the website of e-service of the Environmental Board. If you need help in the declaration or there are errors related to the submission of declarations in the information system of the Environment Board, please contact the customer service of the Environmental Board (6625 999, klienditugi@keskkonnaamet.ee).

Payment of environmental charges

Environmental charges are paid to the prepayment account opened by the Tax and Customs Board where each tax payer has a personal reference number.

It is recommended to transfer the money to the prepayment account well before the due date of the obligation: the obligation is taken from the prepayment account automatically when the due date of the obligation arrives.

Pursuant to subsection 115 (1) of the Taxation Act, if there are no means in the prepayment account when the due date of the obligation arrives, then the tax payer is required to calculate and pay interest on the amount of tax outstanding by the due date.

The monetary obligations of a taxable person shall be taken from the prepayment account in the order the obligations are created, whereas the claims with one and the same due date shall be fulfilled on the basis of the order based on tax type (see section 105 of the Taxation Act).


 


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