What's the story of the Tax Board blacklist?

Added by Annegrete Peek 2018/12/29

This post in “Open Data and Journalism” series looks into tax debtors. Estonian Tax and Customs Board (EMTA) publishes once a month a list of companies in debt. Let’s look at how big is the biggest debt, how much debt a TOP 10, 20, 50, and 100 companies make. In addition, we will compare the list published in December with the November list.

As of the first day of each month, the tax office reviews the tax debtor list and publishes it on the next business day. The data is located here. The EMTA page explains (in Estonian) who is shown in the given list. Not all debtors are subject to disclosure. For example, in this dataset there are only companies with a tax debt of over € 1000, whose debt is older than 30 days and who do not have a repayment schedule.

In December’s list, there are 4401 companies with a total debt of over 170 million euros. The tax debt of INV T OÜ is 16.5 million euros, which makes it a company with the biggest debt.

Debts have been contested for 4 million euros and more than 31 million euros (19% of the total amount) is owed by 276 bankrupt companies. Bankrupt companies have, on average, more debt than other companies.

There are 4401 companies in this dataset. How much of the total debt is made by TOP 10, 20, 50 or 100 companies?

Since many of the largest debtors are in the bankruptcy, we are looking at the biggest debts among all companies and companies without bankruptcy. If the 10 largest debts of all companies account for 25% of the total debt, then in the case of non-bankrupt companies, the top 10 accounts for 28%. The largest 100 debts in both cases account for 49% of the total debt.

What companies have disappeared in December? Who are the newcomers?

499 companies have disappeared from the dataset. These companies were listed in November but not in December. Their total debt was over 8 million euros. At the same time, there were 392 newcomers aka companies that were not on the November list. Their total debt is over 4.5 million euros.

This is a density plot (aka “smoothed” histogram). Since y-axis values are not easy to interpret and we do not need them at the moment, they are not shown in this figure. Just comparing blue and gray areas is enough for us to form an opinion. These areas are almost completely overlapping, so despite the number of debts, new and disappeared debts are very similar.

In conclusion, the largest debtor owes the Estonian government almost 10% of the total debt. TOP 10 and 100 companies account for 25% and 49% of total debt, respectively. Compared to the previous month, there are 107 fewer companies on the list, but the new ones are similar to disappeared ones.

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European Union Regional Developmen Fund

The Open Data Portal's content is created as part of the EU structural funds' programme "Raising Public Awareness about the Information Society" financed through the EU Regional Development Fund.