The e-residency programme has earned Estonia €31 million in tax revenues

Estonia’s e-residency programme has since its launch earned the state €41 million – €31 million of which is direct tax revenue, the team behind the state-owned initiative announced.

Businesses founded by Estonia’s e-residents have earned the state close to €31 million in tax revenue since the programme’s launch in December 2014, the Tallinn-based e-residency team announced in a statement. Adding the fees paid by e-residents, the state has earned €41 million, according to the programme.

The focus of the e-residency programme has shifted from rapid growth in the number of e-residents to encouraging them to establish strong businesses in various economic sectors to foster their growing tax payment in Estonia.

Ott Vatter, the director of the e-residency programme, said in a statement that tax payments by e-residents’ businesses to the state budget now total over €1.3 million each month. “E-residents have created over 13,000 businesses in Estonia. They are predominantly individual entrepreneurs and creators of small businesses in development stage,” Vatter said. He added that the companies started by e-residents employ over 1,800 people in Estonia.

Ott Vatter. Photo courtesy of e-residency programme.

Poll shows local support

The e-residency programme also said that a recent poll by Norstat, a data solutions provider, shows the programme’s “beneficial effects on Estonia’s economy are also appreciated by Estonian residents”. According to the poll, 63% said they deem e-residents tax payments to the state budget important.

“The survey showed that over half of Estonia’s residents are aware that the IT updates and e-services developed by public authorities as part of the e-residency programme will also be made available to the Estonian people,” Vatter said. “For example, the opportunity to have transactions certified by a notary public via a video link, which was made possible in February, will be of help in business processes both to Estonians working remotely from the forests of southern Estonia and abroad as well as German, British and other nationals who are e-residents of Estonia.”

According to the poll, the contribution of the programme is also regarded as important in terms of job creation by 62% of the Estonian population.

The e-residency programme was created in 2014 with the aim of providing foreign citizens with secure access to the digital services of the Estonian state. With their digital identity card, e-residents can digitally sign documents and log into portals and information systems that recognise the Estonian ID card. E-residency does not grant citizenship, tax residence or a residence or entry permit to Estonia or the European Union. The country has now over 60,000 e-residents.

Cover: Estonia’s e-residency ID card.

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