Datová Schránka - What is it, when will it come? 2023?
The Datová Schránka is not really something new. It exists since 2009. The idea is that all Czech authorities (Tax Office, Social Office, Health Care, Population Register and a host of other services) will no longer communicate by post, but instead by an electronic system (but not by email).
Why would I want one?The paper letters obviously have a disadvantage: it is possible they never reach you. Most common reasons are: your name is not on the letter box, you moved within CZ and did not inform the foreign police / authorities properly, or you even moved abroad and have no longer access to the mail address.
Also, if an accountant wants to process your Income Tax Return for your Trade License, it is handy to know how much Social and Health was paid during the year. Before GDPR we would simply call, but now this information is not provided anymore and as such we need the overviews sent by the Social Security and Public Health Care.
The Datová Schránka in theory solves these problems - but not all is well. If not set up properly, access is blocked and messages disappear automatically without a trace after 90 days (!). More information about that later.
Who must have a Datová Schránka?Since 2009, SROs automatically get a Datová Schránka assigned at formation.
During 2022 information appeared that also for Trade Licenses and other independent professions the Datová Schránka would be an obligation starting 2023 and that it would be assigned automatically, as with sros.
At the date of writing this article (17/12/2022) it is still not clear when implementation will happen. If asked at point-blank, my guestimate is that it will follow after the filing deadline for Income Tax Returns as implementation during the 'tax season' could lead to chaos with all novice users.
Of course it is possible to voluntarily register a Datová Schránka already now - in that case be careful you register the right one. As a private person you can have 2: one for you as physical person (fyzická osoba), and the second for you as your trade license business (podnikající fyzická osoba). This is a needles complication, but there is nothing you can do about it.
More information (in Czech) here: Zřízení datové schránky na žádost
What do I have to do for filing the 2022 Income Tax Return?There are 4 ways to file taxes:
- As paper document at the podatelna of the Tax Office (not possible for businesses)
- Through the tax portal of the Ministry of Finance Moje Dane
- As XML file though your own Datová Schránka
- As XML file though the Datová Schránka of your accountant
Setting up a Datová Schránka properlyIn order to get a Datová Schránka you must apply for one. There are several methods:
- online with a 'Identitu občana' or 'bankovní identita',
- personally at Czech POINT, where an ID check will be made,
- By mailing to the Ministry of Interior a form with a notarized signature.
- Once you get a registration letter, you have only 30 days to activate.
- The password keeps expiring every 90 days. This can be changed in settings
- Unless you activate notification by sms or email, you will not know when / if something gets to your data box. This can be changed in settings. By email costs nothing, by sms is 3CZK per notification.
- It is possible to set up a second user to your databox - your accountant, for example. Handy, if you lose your access, at least somebody else will still have it
- Messages will be flushed after 90 days. To prevent this, you have to order a Datový trezor ('Data safe'). It is a paid service.