Great confusion when setting up data: entrepreneurs massively cancel their business because of them

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has installed over 1.2 million data boxes since the beginning of the year. More to come. Persons with suspended business, as well as representatives of associations, foundations or communities of unit owners, will also find a letter in their inbox about a fundamental change in communication with the authorities. Critics are annoyed by the chaos and insufficient preparedness of the state.

Data box. Illustrative photo.

| Photo: ČTK/Photobank ČTK/Martin Štěrba

Seventy-two-year-old Karl from Pilsen received a letter from the Ministry of Internal Affairs a few days ago. What do you have instructions to the electronic mailbox they do, they have no idea. “I don’t understand why I got it if I’m not an entrepreneur. I thought it was none of my business,” he claims.

He was employed all his life, although many years ago he also had a vocational qualification for work. However, he thought he had canceled it a long time ago. The catch is that he just suspended him. “I have no idea how to proceed, I’m not very good with the internet. I don’t want a data box. Nowhere in the letter does it say whether the data box is for me as a business owner or an individual. I’m afraid that now I won’t find out important things that would otherwise arrive by mail,” he worries.

A whole series emerges from earlier research people with business licenses for natural persons is not commercially active. This was also confirmed by Monika Mrázová from the management of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Craftsmen of the Czech Republic, which fought in vain for the postponement of the new obligation. “No one has explained to us why data boxes are being set up even for people whose jobs have been terminated,” she noted.

Revolutionary change is here. One million self-employed people will learn about the establishment of a data box from the letter

The MUP confirmed to Denik that even inactive entrepreneurs who have not canceled their business by the end of the year will receive an information letter about the automatically created data box no later than March 31. The office announced in advance that the suspension of operations has no effect on its establishment or deactivation.

So what options do pensioner Karel and others like him have? “They can cancel their jobs,” said Ondřej Krátoška from the department’s press department. He added that the requests to the authorities for the termination or termination of the group of inactive self-employed persons do not affect the termination or termination of the data box.

Only a natural person can make it unavailable at their request, and the authorities will then communicate with the citizen again by mail. “Sleeping entrepreneurs” have no choice but to formally close their business.

Do you prefer black?

According to information from the Association of Entrepreneurs and Craftsmen of the Czech Republic, many are already doing this. Including self-employed, who just don’t want a date card. According to Mrázova, such a consequence of coercion by the state is counterproductive. “We have reports that since the end of last year, many people are returning their work permits and closing their businesses to a greater extent than in the same period of previous years. Either they will stop providing services, or they will continue in the dark,” says Mrázová.

As a result, according to her, thousands of new unnecessary data boxes are created. At the request of the Journal, MUP officials sent data on the number of new mailboxes from the beginning of the year to February 12. A total of 1,241,854 of them were installed by natural and legal entities during this period, and 847,607 of them have been made available so far, so they are halfway through the plan.

Based on the Law on Electronic Conversion of Documents, the Ministry of Internal Affairs will install around 2.2 million new mailboxes within three months. This applies to self-employed persons with a personal identification number, associations, communities of owners of housing units or foundations, entities registered in the register of persons. After all, not ordinary citizens. “Using a databox, you can solve 96 percent of agendas with the state and municipalities online. We will start to convince the citizens even more of the benefits”, said Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan earlier.

Tax return.  Illustrative image

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According to the data of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Craftsmen of the Czech Republic, it was late yesterday. “Data boxes are not set up in a sexy way for the self-employed. We are not against digitization, it is necessary. Currently, however, the country is not ready for such a large system of data boxes. Previous governments got away with it. The onus now falls on self-employed individuals, association representatives or unit owner association members who have not yet voluntarily edited the data boxes. They are forced to do it,” complains Mrázová.

She mentioned that she recently received a call from a woman who told her that she had been out of work for seventeen years and still had the information to sign up for a new data card. “The introduction of the system does not avoid mistakes, it looks like chaos. It is important to understand that there are fewer digitally savvy people among us, and not all of them have children and grandchildren to help them with this. The state should have created better conditions for regeneration, for example, to create a place for help and short training in every village, office or library,” she pointed out.

Saving tens of millions

She pointed out that just establishing a data box is just the beginning. Users will receive all communications from the state in their inbox from the moment they become available after the first application or automatically after fifteen days from the establishment.

According to the Ministry of Interior, compared to paper letters or e-mail, it is more efficient, cheaper, more reliable and secure channel of communication. In addition, the state should save tens of millions of crowns annually for sending paper packages.

The Association of Entrepreneurs and Craftsmen perceives this change as insufficient. “First of all, converting a document from paper to electronic does not save the officer a lot of work for other activities. Automation of simple processes is needed, in which the Czech Republic unfortunately does not reach the level of digital transformation as, for example, the Baltic countries. In addition, the ministries did not sweep in front of their own doorstep, they postponed the digitization of their own plans for 2025/2026,” says Mrázková.

Data boxes have been working with us for thirteen years. Through them it is possible, for example, to communicate with the social administration, health insurance or tax administration, through them tax returns or requests for a driver’s license are sent. Until now, data cards for the self-employed were only voluntary, but as of the new year, the state is establishing them for all entrepreneurs.

Beware of deleting messages

There are four types of data boxes: for a natural person, for a natural person doing business, for a legal person and for public authorities. “Those who have already set up a data box can expect to receive information about setting up a new one in their existing data box. It’s definitely not worth not putting it into operation,” explained Michal Jelínek, partner of the consulting group V4 Group.

Data box.  Illustrative photo.

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In practice, a self-employed person, member of an association or foundation may inadvertently have multiple data boxes. This is also a target of criticism. “People have to be careful that they solve the given plan in relation to the real one. If they send something to their pension, they have to from personal, if from tax, from business. When they get confused and scattered, a problem arises,” said Mrázová. She added that people who have access to ten or more boxes of data are no exception.

Inexperienced users are worried about missing the data message. As Jelínek pointed out, each box of data is kept for three months and then deleted. However, you can pay extra for the so-called data vault. “People also need to beware of delivery fiction. This means that if you receive a notice, after ten days it is considered delivered even if you have not read it. If you don’t want to constantly check the data box, it’s possible to set the message delivery notifications to e-mail or SMS,” Jelínek described, adding that the data box works even if the owner doesn’t activate it.

Data boxes (created / available)
– legal entities: 189,343 / 179,950
– natural persons of entrepreneurs: 1,052,511 / 667,657
– total: 1,241,854 / 847,607

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