Coronacrisis: important issues for the charity sector

The coronavirus is gaining more and more control over Dutch society. The measures taken to curb the further spread of the virus are far-reaching and have caused uncertainty and changes to the Dutch way of life, as charitable organisations are also noticing. The RIVM instructions also function as guidelines for most charitable organisations.

To help people and organizations at risk of encountering problems, the government has recently taken a series of extra measures. Below is a summary of measures that are also relevant to charitable organisations.

Special deferment of Payment

To ensure that organisations can cope with liquidity problems, it is possible to request a special deferment of payment on income tax, corporate income tax, turnover tax (vat) and payroll tax. The Tax and Customs Administration will automatically grant deferment of payment for three months if the organisation provides a written justification that it has run into problems as a result of the coronacrisis. As soon as the Tax and Customs Administration has received the request for postponement, it will halt collection. Individual assessment of the request will take place at a later date. This arrangement is subject to the condition that a tax return has been filed and an assessment has been received.

Emergency fund for bridging of employment (NOW)

Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid (NOW) is the temporary measure that replaces the short-time working scheme (regeling werktijdverkorting - wtv). NOW is applicable to a situation where the applicant expects a loss of turnover of at least 20%. With the application, the employer commits himself in advance to the obligation not to apply for dismissal on the grounds of business economics for his employees during the period for which the allowance is received.

The application is valid for a period of three months, which may be extended once for a further three months (further conditions may be attached to the extension).

On the basis of your application, the UWV will provide an advance payment equal to 80% of the expected total benefit. An adjustment may be made when the final compensation is determined if there has been a reduction in the wage bill (this may lead to an obligation to repay).

Decree on granting assistance to the self-employed

Self-employed workers (Zzp’ers), do not employ any staff and cannot make use of the short-time working scheme. If they run into problems as a result of the coronavirus, they can appeal to the decree on assistance for the self-employed 2004 (Besluit bijstandsverlening zelfstandigen 2004, Bbz). Self-employed workers who meet the conditions for this scheme must apply to the municipality where they are registered.

Social security premium differentiation (WAB)

The measure introduced on January 1 of this year for a high WW (unemployment and social security contribution) premium for flexible contracts is adjusted. Employers who have applied for the so-called low WW premium will not be confronted with a high premium if at the end of the financial year it appears that the employee in question worked 30% more hours than contractually obliged.

Collection and tax interest

If a tax assessment is not paid on time, a 4% collection interest must normally be paid from the moment the payment term has expired. In order to facilitate organisations in easily applying for deferment of payment, the cabinet will temporarily reduce the collection interest from 4% to 0.01% for all tax debts from March 23, 2020.

The tax interest rate will also be temporarily reduced to 0.01% for all taxes subject to interest (currently this is 8% for corporate income tax and 4% for other taxes). This reduction will take effect June 1, 2020 for all taxes, personal income tax excepted. For income tax, the reduction will take effect from July 1, 2020.

Collection of energy taxes

The collection of the energy tax and/or the fees of Renewable Energy Storage (Opslag Duurzame Energie - ODE) for companies in the second, third and fourth tax brackets have been temporarily postponed.