Labour Market

Platform work could bring up to 68 million euro in tax revenues

Encouraging the people working through digital platforms to use business account could annually bring up to 68 million euros in tax revenues into the state budget, shows the Foresight Centre study “Platform Work in Estonia in 2021”, which was published on 2 June.

“The importance of platform work will most probably increase on the future labour market and therefore it needs stronger regulation,” Head of the Foresight Centre Tea Danilov said. “For example, the work done through digital platforms and its taxation is not clearly and unambiguously regulated.”

In the opinion of an Expert of the Foresight Centre Johanna Vallistu, better regulation and taxation of platform work are great problems in many countries due to the innovative nature of this way of working. “Estonia is actually in a better position than other countries, because in Estonia it is possible to encourage platform workers to use the business account, which ensures automatic and easy taxation, and if the turnover threshold is met, it also provides health insurance,” Vallistu remarked. “If all Estonian platform workers who are not entrepreneurs and who do not use business account started to use the business account, the maximum revenue per year would reach 340 million euro, of which 68 million euro would be collected as taxes.” Only 2% of platform workers use the business account.

  • Nearly 56,000 people, or 7% of the working-age population, work through digital platforms every week in Estonia. During the last year, more than 160,000 people have done platform work at least once, and on average, they earn nearly a fifth (18.4%) of their income from platform work.
  • In comparison with the study conducted in 2018, the number of those who do platform work from time to time has increased. Nearly 100,000 people do it at least once a month.
  • Platform work means doing gigs found through digital labour mediation platforms for different customers. Platform work may be both location-based and web-based and require little skill or specialised skills. The best-known types of platform work are ride-sharing, delivery services, as well as IT, work and graphic design on web platforms. The study conducted by the Foresight Centre deals with the eight most widely spread types of platform work.

In March 2021, the consultancy company SaarPoll conducted a study with a representative statistical sample on using platform work as a way of working in Estonia. The study was commissioned by the Foresight Centre within the framework of the study project “Future of Work”. See also the results of the 2018 study. 

On Wednesday, 2 June, the Foresight Centre of the Riigikogu published the study “Platform Work in Estonia in 2021”, which gives an overview of the trends in the work done through digital labour mediating platforms by the people of Estonia through the last three years.

The study was introduced by Head of the Foresight Centre Tea Danilov and Expert of the Centre Johanna Vallistu and commented by CEO of the Estonian Employers’ Confederation Arto Aas and Deputy Secretary General on Labour and Employment Policy, Ministry of Social Affairs Sten Andreas Ehrlich.

Download the files of the study:

The Foresight Centre is a think tank at the Chancellery of the Riigikogu that analyses long-term developments in society and the economy. The Centre conducts research projects to analyse the long-term developments in Estonian society, and to identify new trends and development directions.

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