Processing of personal data

On this page, we provide an overview of how we process your private information. The processing of personal data is any activity involving personal data (collection, preservation, transmission, etc.). The following explanations do not apply to the processing of the data of legal persons.

Data protection conditions

We process personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, the Personal Data Protection Act, the Public Information Act and other legislation regulating our activities.

According to the Taxation Act, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB) is the administrator of state taxes. A taxable person is a taxpayer, withholding agent, or other persons responsible for the tax liability of a taxpayer or withholding agent pursuant to law or a contract. The tax authority, its officials, and employees are obliged to keep confidential any information concerning the taxable person, even after the termination of the service relationship. The rights, obligations, and responsibilities of the tax authority and the taxable person, the procedure for tax proceedings, and the procedure for resolving tax disputes shall be established by the Taxation Act.

When processing your personal data, we adhere to the principle that personal data may only be collected in a fair and lawful manner for the purpose of achieving legitimate aims. The purpose of our activities is to perform the functions provided for in the statutes of the ETCB. We collect personal data to the extent which is necessary to achieve the specified objectives. We process personal data electronically within our information system, and to a lesser extent on paper. To protect your personal data, we have implemented security measures to protect against unintentional or unauthorized processing, disclosure, or destruction. Our internal organisation of work guarantees the protection of your privacy from unauthorized persons.

Contacts

In the duties of a data protection officer: Tõnis Kuuse
Chief information security officer: Thea Sogenbits

For questions related to data protection and information security, please write to infoturve@emta.ee.

Correspondence data is visible in the public view of our document register, in accordance with the Public Information Act. In our correspondence with a private person, we do not disclose the content of the letter and display ‘private person’ instead of his or her name. The name and exact title of a private person are only visible internally. Generally, our correspondence is intended for internal use only, with restrictions on access established under the Public Information Act. Upon registration in the document register, the letter sent by you to us is generally classified as restricted-access information pursuant to clause 35 (1) 12) of the Public Information Act (significantly breaches the inviolability of private life) and clause 35 (1) 19) of the Public Information Act, and subsection 26 (1) of the Taxation Act (other information provided by law – with the law being the Taxation Act, which refers to tax secrecy). In the case of special (previously referred to as sensitive) types of personal data in correspondence, notation clause 35 (1) 11) of the Public Information Act (special types of personal data) shall be added as a basis for access restriction.

When we respond to your letter or create another document, the author of the document will mark the document as ‘for internal use’ at the time of its creation, to protect your personal data from disclosure.

To submit a request for information, a request for clarification and a memoranda, please write to emta@emta.ee.

Request for information

A request for information is considered to be a request for a specific document or documents.

As a rule, we will respond to your request for information within five working days; however, depending on the volume of information requested, it may take up to 15 working days to respond. We will notify you of the extension of the term for responding and the reason behind that decision. However, our answer must be based on whether or not there have been legal restrictions established on the information requested.

Request for explanation

Not all of your enquiries may be requests for information. We will treat your enquiry as a request for clarification, the granting of which requires an analysis or synthesis of information or the collection of additional information, or as an enquiry in which you are asking about the legislation serving as the basis for the activities of our agency or our competence. Pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Response to Memoranda and Requests for Explanations Act, we will respond to memoranda and requests for explanations no later than 30 days after registering the request for an explanation. Depending on the complexity of the response, the term for responding may be extended by up to two months. We will be sure to inform you about any extension of the term for responding and the reason for it.

Memoranda

You can send us suggestions for better organization of the agency via a memoranda. If your letter requires a reply, the deadlines for replying are the same as for the request for clarification.

In the course of procedural acts, we collect your personal data to the extent necessary to conduct the proceedings.

In tax proceedings, the tax auditor will explain your rights and obligations to you. You have the right to access information concerning you that was collected by the tax auditor and to make copies or extracts of such information (subsection 14 (3) of the Taxation Act). This means that the tax auditor will allow you to inspect the materials collected about you at each stage of the proceedings. The tax auditor has the right to refuse to provide information to a person if this would affect the ascertainment of the truth in criminal proceedings.

Information will not be disclosed to you if it was obtained in the context of international professional assistance and the tax authority of another country requests, in writing, that the information provided by it be withheld as a result of an international tax treaty. Data will not be published even if it has been declared secret (by an EU institution, such as the European Commission).

Our officials have access to the data in accordance with their duties, and improper processing of the data is punishable. The targeted use of your data is controlled by the Internal Control Department of the ETCB.

Documents, including administrative acts, summonses and notices, shall be delivered against a signature, delivered by post or electronically or published in a periodical publication. We may choose the manner of delivery unless a mandatory manner of delivery is provided by law. The different methods of delivery are explained in Chapter 4 ‘Delivery of Documents’ of the Taxation Act.

When delivering documents, we use address data that the participant in the proceedings has disclosed to us or that is available from the population register. If information concerning your address is missing or incorrect and your actual whereabouts are unknown, we may publish the resolution contained in the document in the official publication Ametlikud Teadaanded. In that case, the resolution is deemed to have been delivered after 10 days as of the publication thereof.

The conducting of misdemeanour proceedings is regulated in detail by the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure together with the Code of Criminal Procedure.

We will disclose the information of the person who made the misdemeanour report to the other participants in the proceedings, to the extent prescribed by the codes of procedure and necessary for resolving the matter.

The person subject to the proceedings and his or her defence counsel may examine the materials pursuant to the procedure prescribed in the codes of procedure. The person who made a misdemeanour report may inspect the materials upon submission of a request for information, taking into account the established access restrictions.

When conducting misdemeanour proceedings, we use the e-File system, which includes using the e-File system to exchange data with other authorities (for example, in cases, when transmitting information concerning punishment to the Criminal Records Database and to an enforcement agent). The e-File system is a closed system and can be accessed by logging in with an ID-card or mobile-ID. Access to the system is limited to competent officials. A party to proceedings may view his or her procedural information and submit and receive procedural documents via the public e-File to the extent provided in the code of procedure. It is also possible, by agreement, to send documents by e-mail or post via registered mail.

Misdemeanour decisions are not subject to publication on the ETCB website. Misdemeanour decisions that have entered into force may be requested by submitting a request for information. A misdemeanour decision that has entered into force may also be subject to access restrictions. The name and personal identification code of a person punished by way of misdemeanour procedure are public data, the data of other persons are not disclosed.

The law allows us to disclose circumstances related to misdemeanour proceedings only in exceptional cases, on the basis of § 62 of the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure and clause 27 (1) 10) of the Taxation Act. We only exercise this right when absolutely necessary, refraining from an undue invasion of privacy.

Punishments for misdemeanours that have entered into force shall be entered in the Criminal Records Database. Access to the Criminal Records Database is restricted, information can be requested pursuant to the procedure provided for in Chapter 3 of the Criminal Records Database Act.

Decisions are not always made by an official, instead taking place automatically in the data processing system. For example, our data processing system makes automatic decisions regarding income tax refunds in FIDEK, the income tax return processing system for natural persons. An automatic decision is made on the basis of the data you have entered in the e-services environment e-MTA of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. You confirm the accuracy of the information provided at the end of the declaration. If your application for an income tax refund is in accordance with the law, it will be accepted by the data processing system. Notice of the decision to satisfy or refusal to satisfy the application will also be sent to you automatically in the e-MTA.

If you submit a tax return to us on paper, our official will enter the information you provide into the data processing system, and the decision to refund your income tax will again be made automatically. If your income tax refund application is not accepted, the notice will be sent to the residential address indicated in the Population Register or to the address last provided by you to the tax authority. You will not be notified separately in writing regarding the satisfaction of your application for an income tax refund.

The refunded amount will be credited to the bank account you provided on your tax return form.

If your application submitted within the e-MTA or on paper is not satisfied, we will contact you in the manner described above and the procedure will be continued from that point on by one of our officials, who will make a decision at the end of the proceeding, with the decision no longer being automatic.

Our data processing system also prepares other automatic decisions, such as decisions on the payment of tax arrears in instalments. In this case, a notice is added to the document stating that the document was created automatically. You have the right to express your views on the decision and to receive explanations from us. You also have the right to challenge the automatic decision.

If you would like us to review our own decision or action which affects your rights, you have the right to appeal within 30 days of becoming aware of the contested decision or action. A challenge cannot be filed if you have taken the same matter to court. The dispute will be resolved within 30 days. This term may be extended by up to 10 days. You can find more detailed requirements for a challenge in Chapter 14 ‘Challenge Proceedings’ of the Taxation Act, and in Chapter 5 of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The personal data used by the ETCB, including your contact information, is a tax secret on the basis of subsection 26 (1) of the Taxation Act, in other words, tax secrecy is all information that the Estonian Tax and Customs Board has about a taxable person. Sections 27–30 of the Taxation Act provide to whom a tax secret may be disclosed.

In tax proceedings, a participant in the proceedings has the right to introduce the personal data of third parties related to the given specific matter, except for specific types of personal data. The part of the bank statements that we use as evidence in this same specific tax proceeding can be described.

We use video surveillance to protect the territory and property of the Board, as well as public policy. The use of security cameras is revealed by the signs installed on the building or territory.

The ETCB uses mobile devices (mobile phones, dictaphones, video cameras, cameras, body worn cameras, and cameras installed in surveillance vehicles) to carry out state supervision, record important facts and evidence, and use them in procedural acts. The official will inform you before using they begin using a device, with the appropriate stickers having been affixed to the surveillance vehicle.

We automatically notify you of the recording of telephone calls before starting the call. The purpose of recording telephone calls is to assess the quality of service and ensure the best quality of service.

Personal data processed in the described manner shall be preserved securely in the information system of the Board, the rights of access to the data and the terms of storage shall be regulated by the internal procedure of the Board and in accordance with legislation.

The purpose of the Public Information Act is to ensure that the public and every person has the opportunity to access information intended for public use, based on the principles of a democratic and social rule of law and an open society, and to create opportunities for the public to monitor the performance of public duties. At the same time, we refrain from excessively infringing upon the privacy of those involved. Among other things, we reserve the right, if a person himself or herself presents procedural information to the public, to provide public explanations about his or her activities, if necessary.

Twice a year, we ask for the opinion of customers who have recent experience using services via our e-services environment e-MTA or who have visited our service offices, called or written to our customer support.

Feedback from users is very important to us and helps us to better see our services and the quality of those services through your eyes. In this way, we can better assess what is already working and what requires further development in order to provide the best experience that meets expectations.

The measurement of satisfaction with the web environment service is provided to us by our contractual partner OÜ Recommender. We use the Promoter Index methodology to measure satisfaction.

Answering the questionnaire is optional, you can unsubscribe by clicking the ‘Remove email address from list’ link found at the end of the e-mailed questionnaire.

We store customer responses in the Recommy web environment, without personal data, for a period of two years. This is necessary in order to compare the results of the current year with the results of the previous year.

A public competition will be announced to recruit staff. The competition is announced on the web-page "Public competitions" of the Ministry of Finance, web-page of the ETCB and in other employment mediation environments. Recruitment is organized by the Personnel Department and the recruitment process usually takes place over a period of 2–4 months.

Depending on the complexity of the position to be filled, the following methods, in addition to the structured interview, will be used to assess candidates:

  • test assignment – a practical task related to the duties of the position;
  • compatibility study – with the permission of the candidate, his or her submitted references will be interviewed, and previous professional behaviour, cooperation skills, personal characteristics and possible coping in the new position will be studied.

The recruitment specialist will send an e-mail to the candidates who have reached the final round asking for signed consent to conduct a background check. Consent from candidates will be forwarded to the Head of the Internal Control Department. A background check is performed by an authorized official of the Internal Control Department on the basis of data obtained from databases being used by the ETCB, and the CV is reviewed via Talendipank. The legal basis for conducting a background check is provided for in section 812 of the Taxation Act and section 10 of the Customs Act.

The next best candidate may be appointed to the post in the cases provided for in § 18 of the Public Service Act. In this case, a new competition will not be announced.

The person who won the competition and the candidates who were not selected shall be notified of the final results of the public competition in a format enabling reproduction in a written form within 14 calendar days following the date of making the decision.

References

Procedural documents relating to your personal data will be preserved in accordance with the time limits laid down in the Board’s list of documents, including in accordance with applicable law. For example, decisions on collecting tax arrears and the payment thereof in instalments have a retention period of seven years, while tax audits and control files have a retention period of 10 years after the end of the inspection. Customs examination minutes are preserved for seven years. Challenge files are preserved for seven years after the end of the challenge procedure and misdemeanour documents for 10 years.

When recruiting staff, we will preserve any documents received during the competition for a period of one year, for the purpose of resolving any legal disputes that may arise during the recruitment process, to nominate the next best candidate for the position, and to propose a future competition with the consent of the candidates.

You have the right to make inquiries about the processing of your personal data and to access the data we have collected about you. Please send inquiries to the e-mail address emta@emta.ee. Your request will be registered and forwarded to either a data protection specialist or the competent department for a response.

In accordance with Article 12 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, we will reply to you without undue delay and in any event within one month of receipt of the request. This period may be extended by two further months where necessary, taking into account the complexity and number of the requests. We shall inform you of any such extension within one month of receipt of the request.

We are not obligated to comply with your request for access, only if doing so may:

  • harm the rights and freedoms of another person;
  • impede or prejudice the prevention and detection of an offence, the performance of offence proceedings, or the execution of a punishment;
  • endanger national security.

We will notify you of a decision to refuse to provide data or information.

You have the right to file a complaint with the Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate if your rights have been violated during the processing of personal data.

Contact details of the Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate: telephone: +372 627 4135, e-mail: info@aki.ee, address: Tatari 39, 10134 Tallinn

Last updated: 11.11.2022

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