Prague, Dec 3 (CTK) – About five hundred people took part in a protest against the introduction of the electronic registration of sales (EET) organised by the Association of Businesspeople and Managers in a central square of the Czech capital city Saturday.
The association’s head Radomil Babek said the EET system was a despotic instrument through which the state spied on the self-employed.
“If Babis wants to reduce the grey economy, he must start with something else, not with the self-employed people,” he said.
Babek label the EET a socialist revolution.
Hotels and restaurants were the first to obligatorily join the system that Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) introduced on December 1. Retail and wholesale traders will join the EET next March and other business sectors will follow.
The basic principle of EET consists in permanent on-line connection of entrepreneurs to tax administration servers, with each bill being registered in the system immediately after it is issued.
According to the Financial Administration, more than 37,000 restaurant and hotel operators have registered over 6.7 million bills in the system so far.
Financial Administration spokeswoman Petra Petlachova said the EET system was operating smoothly.
The protesters who gathered in Prague’s Wenceslas Square called for free enterprise and they rejected state dictatorship.
Civic Democrat (right-wing opposition ODS) deputy chairwoman Alexandra Udzenija said the current centre-left government overburdened the entrepreneurs and considered them thieves.
She said the billionaire Babis would like to employ everybody in his giant socialist Agrofert holding.
Daniel Pitek, who attended the protest, said he ran a pub on the peak of the Milesovka mountain but had to close it down due to the introduction of the EET. “I feel like the Red Indians whose territory had been taken away from them, who were sent into reserves and depended on the alms from the white man,” he said.
The government hopes that the EET will curb grey economy and prevent tax evasions, while the right-wing opposition claims that the new system will liquidate many small entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurs who join the EET will be able to use a one-off discount of up to 5,000 crowns for the costs connected with the system introduction. In addition, VAT rate for catering services, with the exception of alcoholic drinks, will be cut from the current 21 to 15 percent.
Last week, Babis proposed that tradespeople who pay a lump-sum tax and whose annual business revenues do not exceed 250,000 crowns be exempted from the system.