Czech Republic: Since 1 January 2014 already, legal entities and a certain subset of natural persons have been obliged to file their VAT returns electronically
Businesses in the Czech Republic are required on an increasing scale to use electronic means of communication in their interactions with government agencies and authorities. This trend will continue also in 2015.
Already as of 1 January 2014, electronic VAT returns, recapitulative statements, and annexes have become mandatory under an amendment to the VAT Act. This obligation currently extends to all taxpayers that are legal entities and to those natural persons whose turnover over the preceding period of no more than twelve consecutive calendar months exceeds CZK 6 million.
The rules for the strictly electronic filing of tax returns will become tighter as of 1 January 2015, when an amendment to the General Fiscal Code widens the circle of people who are obliged to own a databox. Obligatory databoxes for all taxpayers as of that date had been anticipated, given that all communication with the Czech Social Security Administration (ČSSZ) would have unavoidably been conducted electronically, and thus all taxpayers would have had to send their tax returns to the revenue service in electronic form (under a rule which says that a taxpayer who has a databox must file electronically).
However, the ČSSZ has since issued a communiqué informing the public that it continues to be prepared to accept filings in paper form, because small business owners are not yet ready to switch to purely electronic communication. Hence, these individuals are not obliged to own a databox (unless this obligation arises for a different reason).
For the sake of completeness, we note that selected forms in the .xml format can even now be submitted to the ČSSZ electronically. In order to sign up for e-filing with the ČSSZ, one must fill in a Notice: Oznámení o pověření k zajištění všech úkonů souvisejících s e-Podáním ČSSZ. A detailed description of how to communicate electronically with the ČSSZ can be found on the Social Security Administration’s website.