Brno, Dec 15 (CTK) – Czech Constitutional Court (US) today abolished the planned introduction of the last two phases of the disputed system of the compulsory electronic registration of sales (EET) and scrapped parts of the first two phases that came into force in December 2016 and March 2017, respectively.

Nevertheless, the EET law as a whole has survived and remains in effect.

The law pursues a legitimate goal which is an effective collection of taxes and securing fair business conditions, the US said.

The US reacted to a complaint against the EET by a group of right-wing deputies who filed it in the previous election term.

The EET third phase was to apply to freelance professions and those in transport and agriculture, and the fourth phase to selected crafts and production branches.

A new law is needed for these phases to be possibly implemented.

The US said it is necessary to thoroughly consider the third and the fourth phases’ impact on different groups of the subjects involved.

“In a law-abiding state, the saying You have to break an egg to make an omelette is unacceptable as an argument in support of a regulatory measure,” judge Josef Fiala said.

The deleted parts of the first and second phases, applying to restaurants, accommodation facilities, wholesalers and retailers, will cease to be valid within a few months.

Possible exemptions from the EET must be anchored in a law, not merely by a government directive, which is why the US has scrapped a series of the law’s paragraphs that authorised the government to make exemptions and simplifications in the EET system.

For example, the government directive exempting the sales of Christmas carps and the businesses of those with heavily impaired sight from the EET duty will remain in effect until the end of 2018 only.

The complainants also successfully challenged the law’s paragraphs applying to online shops, whose deals are cashless and information on them well available, but still they are unnecessarily burdened with the EET duty. The law’s relevant para has been abolished as of March 2018, as has been the binding shape of the EET printed receipt that must no longer contain the personal identification numbers of entrepreneurs.

As for the early cutting of the lower house’s debate preceding its EET vote in 2016, also challenged by the complainants, the US said it was at variance with the lower house’s order of procedure, but before, the opposition had enough space to present their positions.

The former centre-left government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) pushed the EET law through as a measure to curb tax evasion and secure fair business conditions. The bill was initiated and drafted by the Finance Ministry headed by Andrej Babis (ANO), who became prime minister earlier this month.

The rightist opposition warned that the EET would harm small tradespeople by hampering their work and raising their expenditures.

rtj/dr/kva

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