FAQ: Paper tax return for self-employed no longer accepted starting July

The self-employed need to prepare for the new, obligatory electronic communication with tax officials.

Electronic tax administration, illustrative stock photoElectronic tax administration, illustrative stock photo (Source: Sme - Gabriel Kuchta)

Regardless of whether you are a mason, a farmer, a translator or an accountant, the new duty includes all the self-employed and it will become effective as of July 1. From that date, it will not longer be possible to file tax returns printed on paper via post or personally – only electronically.

The obligatory electronic communication with tax officials was enforced last year by the Finance Ministry but is not a completely new concept. Some self-employed who, apart from income tax also pay the value-added tax (VAT), have already been communicating with the tax offices electronically. However, those who have no experience with the online version of the tax documents should prepare for the change.

The self-employed that postponed their income tax returns in March will be the first to undergo this test.

As June 30 – the maximum deadline for the delay – falls on Saturday this year, it is possible to file the tax return, and to pay the tax, on the first working day, i.e. July 2.

According to the Interior Ministry, there are about 400,000 natural persons registered in Slovakia – i.e. businesspeople with a valid self-employed license. The ministry cannot state, however, how many of them have a chip identity card.

The Sme daily brings the most frequent questions and answers concerning the new duty of the self-employed.

1. Whom does the new duty concern?

The duty to communicate with the tax office electronically starting July 1 concerns all natural persons (businesspeople) registered for paying income taxes, i.e. not just the self-employed but also freelancers and farmers. Those self-employed who regularly file VAT returns have already been communicating with tax offices online.

Natural persons who have regular employment and have simultaneous income from rental of real estate do not have to communicate electronically. The income from the real estate’s rent alone does not amount to doing business.

2. Do I need to arrange an electronic ID card?

Not necessarily. To be able to send returns or received messages from tax officials, e.g. about the tax imposed, you need to open an e-post-box on the Financial Administration’s website. This can be done in three ways, two of which require an e-ID card.

The third way – based on so-called agreement – does not require an e-ID card but it takes longer to register on the tax office’s website.

3. I have a chip ID-card but it does not work. Why?

The certificate for the electronic signature is probably invalid; last year, the state cancelled them after information on the risks of abuse surfaced. Since then, documents’ police departments have been replacing the certificates for safer ones, which is free and handled while you are waiting.

“Soon, the service of replacing the certificates online will also be available and not just for remote replacement but also for the first enquiry, without the need to visit the due office in person, and for various other updates,” Interior Ministry claims.

4. How can I establish an e-box for sending the tax returns?

At the top of the Financial Administration website, you will find the term Registrácia (Registration). Of the three possibilities of how to register, only one does not require an e-ID card. You need to choose a password and identification code and also fill in the personal data.

After you have sent the form, you will receive a verification email and after you have confirmed it, you will get a notification email to your mail-box. You will be able to create the e-box in a few steps but you can use it only after the registration has been completed.

If you have a chip ID-card and activate it, together with the electronic signature, you are able to complete the registration online. Otherwise, you need to print the notification email and bring it in person to the tax office.

The entrepreneur who does not have – or does not want – an e-ID card, can sign an agreement with the Tax Administration on the electronic mail delivery. The due form is available on the FA website and if you decide to use this possibility, you should also bring the filled-in agreement with the notification email to the office.

You can also establish the e-mailbox remotely, without personally visiting the office. However, a notary or a registry office has to verify the agreement on electronic delivery first.

Then, it is enough to send the verified agreement through post to the Tax Office. If the office does not respond within 10 days, it is best to inform via telephone what has happened to your registration.

5. How long does the arrangements for electronic access take?

It takes only a few minutes to fill in the form. Moreover, if you also have the e-ID card with an e-signature, the establishment of an e-mailbox should last until the next working day at the latest.

If you do not have the chip ID-card with a signature, it can take several days to establish the e-box, as you have to include a visit to the office in person. If you deal with the issue via post it can take 10 or more days.

6. Do I also have to activate the e-mailbox at Slovensko.sk?

If your e-box at the Financial Administration is already activated you do not have to activate the e-box at Slovensko.sk as they are two different e-boxes. While the first is meant only for news and messages for the tax officials, after activation, theSlovensko.sk e-box is meant for any official post.

7. How do I file a tax return?

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