Estonia has a very transparent tax system and it is easy to understand for the foreigners, because of the flat tax rates. Here are some of the main tax benefits of an Estonian company.
The most important aspect about Estonian company’s taxes is that you only pay corporate income tax when you distribute dividends. If you don’t distribute dividends, then you don’t have to pay corporate income tax. So, you can use all the money that goes to your business bank account for reinvesting and growing the business and you won’t be taxed for that. In that sense, Estonia is the ideal place for growing your business compared to many other European countries where you have to pay taxes as soon as you earn income.
In some cases, you can take out tax-free dividends, for example if you have a permanent establishment or when you receive dividends from a subsidiary. We will discuss permanent establishment separately in the upcoming sections.
And lastly, a unique regulation about the Estonian tax system is that you, as a private person, don’t have to pay personal income tax additionally to the corporate income tax when the company pays you dividends. However, this applies only when you, as a private person, are a tax resident of Estonia. This is unique, because in most of the countries a private persons must pay personal income tax when they receive dividends. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you, as a private person, don’t have to pay the personal income tax in your homeland.
It is very important to understand that there are different taxes for the company, and you as a private person. Therefore, you have to keep your personal and company’s money separate, as these are two independent persons: a natural person and a legal person.
This also means that it is not considered as double taxation when the company distributes dividends and pays corporate income tax, and when a private person receives dividends and pays personal income tax on that. We will discuss how double taxation works in the following section.