The Electronic Service of Documents Act (“ESDA”) is coming into force on 5 October 2021 after the initial commencement has been postponed from 1 July 2021.
ESDA will replace service of documents by traditional mail operated by the designated public operator with registered electronic service. This procedure will have to be followed by various entities, including businesses registered in the KRS (commercial companies and partnerships) or in the CEiDG (sole traders). Individuals not in business will be allowed but not required to use the procedure.
How does this affect businesses?
1. Commercial companies/partnerships registered in the KRS before 5 July 2022 must create an electronic service address until 30 September 2022:
- the electronic service address will be automatically registered in the KRS without charge;
- the electronic service address will be created upon an electronic application signed using a qualified electronic stamp or signature, a trusted signature (ePUAP) or a personal signature.
2. For commercial companies/partnerships incorporated on or after 5 July 2022:
- their KRS registration application will have to include data needed to create an electronic service address for them;
- after they registered with the KRS, the data needed to create their electronic service address will be automatically transferred to register the address in the electronic address database; the address will be automatically disclosed in the KRS without charge.
3. Sole traders (individuals in business):
- registered in CEiDG on or before 31 January 2023 must apply for an electronic service address until 30 September 2026;
- registered in CEiDG after 31 January 2023 must ensure their registration applications sets out data needed to create an electronic service address for them;
- will have their electronic service addresses automatically registered in the CEiDG, once created.
ESDA provides for staggered dates for the commencement of the electronic service requirements, for example:
- government administration, including National Revenue Administration, must use electronic service of documents as of 5 July 2022, but if after that date it is unable to deliver any document electronically, it will use the hybrid delivery service (the authority will send the document electronically so that it can be turned into a hard-copy version that will be delivered to the addressee);
- local authorities must use electronic service of documents as of 1 January 2024;
- courts, tribunals, court enforcement officers, prosecution services, law enforcement authorities and Prison Administration must use electronic service of documents as of 1 October 2029.
- each non-public entity will be allowed to have only one electronic service address;
- when an electronic service address is disclosed in the electronic address database, the owner of the address (including a private individual for whom having such an address is an option) will be deemed to have requested public entities to serve documents at that address;
- any correspondence remaining in the ePUAP drop box will be available until 30 September 2029, after which time it will be removed.
If this issue pertains to your business and you are interested in additional information please contact our tax experts at WTS&SAJA.