THE STATE is forecast to have collected €261 million more in taxes and levies in 2013 than expected in the previous estimate of November, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír reported at a press conference on February 15, citing data from the latest tax prognosis drawn up by the ministry’s Financial Policy Institute (IFP).

Kažimír emphasised that the gradual boost is mostly from better VAT collection, which rose from 12.5 percent in 2Q12 to 13.7 percent in 4Q13. Experts from the IFP suggest that last year the state managed to collect €166 million more in VAT alone compared to the November estimate, the TASR newswire reported.

Furthermore, regarding the 2014 estimate, the state is expected to secure €189 million more than previously forecast.

“This is yet the third prognosis in a row to indicate the good news that income from taxes and levies has been growing,” stressed Kažimír.

The minister added that the prognosis did not factor in the introduction (as of January 1) of the so-called electronic VAT report, however. This is because businesses required to present their reports are set to do so by February 25. Kažimír expects the measure will lead to further improvements in tax collection.

Also at the press conference was Prime Minister Robert Fico, who stated that one of the government’s priorities is to make tax collection more effective and that this aim is being met. The premier pointed to recent statistics, according to which Slovakia’s economy achieved the fourth highest growth in 4Q13 among all 17 eurozone countries.