It’s not only at the cadastre that we pay extra
The fee for entry into the Land Registry will double to CZK 2,000. This means that every time you sell or donate a property, you will pay 1000 CZK more. This was decided by the majority in the Chamber of Deputies, which outvoted the Senate. The government, as the proposer of this regulation, argues inflation since 2012, when the fee was raised from CZK 500 to CZK 1,000, and mainly the alleged higher administrative complexity of the cadastral office’s agenda. The change was supposed to be effective as of 1 January 2020, but it has not yet been finally announced. However, we will be happy to guide you through the procedure at the cadastre.
Higher taxation of alcohol, cigarettes and gambling also passed in the Chamber of Deputies. These changes are also intended to increase the state budget’s revenue, but they also serve to reduce inappropriate consumption and, in the long term, to save money in the health sector, according to the proponents.
However, other controversial steps are also in the pipeline for the coming years. These include the intention to introduce a so-called digital tax for giants such as Facebook or Google, i.e. internet operators with a global turnover of over EUR 750 million and an annual turnover in the Czech Republic of over CZK 100 million. The base of the digital tax with a rate of 7% is to be calculated on sales of online services for Czech clients, not on profits, so it will be quite harsh.
Who all will be affected by the new EET and how to prepare?
The EET will now also include entrepreneurs who have not had to participate in it so far thanks to the Constitutional Court. Some time ago, the court cancelled further waves of the EET for unconstitutionality. However, a modified third and fourth wave will come after all. It will affect artisans, freelancers (including us lawyers), transport and agricultural entrepreneurs, basically all businesses that accept cash. The new obligation will kick in from May 2020.
It is possible to avoid it by cancelling cash payments, but we recommend not to underestimate the matter and to download the appropriate applications in time if you will be accepting any cash after all.
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Changes in ecommerce
In the introduction we talked about the digital tax. However, this is still the music of the future. In contrast, the Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediary services is already a reality, mandating all comparison and search engines to have clear and understandable terms and conditions. These are intended to set out precise operating rules for all participating e-shops and other competitors. In practice, the issue is how the search algorithm works, how the ranking of results can be influenced and how to prevent exclusion from such searches.
Operators also face new regulation. The Electronic Communications Act now prohibits penalising switching to a competitor if the contract is for at least three months. For shorter contracts, operators can only charge a maximum penalty of 5%.
Changes in social and labour law
The most numerous changes are probably to be found in labour and social security law. The minimum wage will increase by CZK 1,250 to CZK 14,6000. There are several reasons for the increase – rising average wages and a growing economy, but also, and perhaps most importantly, pressure from trade unions. At the same time, it is often forgotten that the guaranteed wage, i.e. the minimum wage for qualified workers, is also rising.
MEPs also approved an increase in parental allowance to CZK 300 000. However, despite the senators’ opposition, only families of children up to the age of four who have not yet exhausted the allowance are to be entitled to it. It is likely that the discriminatory nature of the new regulation will be reviewed by the Constitutional Court.
From the beginning of next year, an electronic sick leave will also be introduced, which was originally due to come into force a year ago. Doctors will therefore only issue sick leave to people electronically. This is an opportunity to make the current system more transparent, but some doctors have criticised the new system as being insufficiently prepared.
Compulsory chips for dogs
The amendment to the Veterinary Act effective from 1 January 2020, together with the EU Regulation on non-commercial movements of pet animals, tightens the obligation to chip every dog. Violation of this rule is punishable by a fine of up to CZK 20,000 and problems with the validity of vaccinations. In fact, unchipped dogs will not be recognised even if they have been properly vaccinated.