Additional measures against the economic impact of the coronavirus

18 March 2020 – The Ministry of Finance has taken additional measures to decrease the coronavirus' impact in the Netherlands. We have compiled a list of these measures, which may be relevant to your business operations and payment of taxes.

SPECIAL DEFERMENT OF PAYMENT

In order to cope with liquidity problems, entrepreneurs can apply to the Tax and Customs Administration for a special deferment of payment of income tax, corporation tax, turnover tax and wage tax. The application must be submitted after receipt of the (additional) tax assessment. The Tax and Customs Administration will grant a deferment of payment if the entrepreneur can substantiate, in writing, that the payment problems are due to the coronavirus. The Tax and Customs Administration will halt the collection of the relevant tax as soon as it receives the application for deferment. The applications will be individually assessed at a later stage. The entrepreneur must send the Tax and Customs Administration a statement from a third-party expert within four weeks. At present, the authorities are still looking into how the process can be made as simple as possible. Therefore, the application procedure and process is expected to be subject to change.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED

For the self-employed (which includes independent workers without employees, so-called zzp'ers), the government has introduced a two-part scheme. On the one hand, it provides for an income supplement that will increase the income to the social minimum (the social assistance benefit level). This is not subject to a means test or a partner income test, and the income supplement does not have to be repaid at a later stage. On the other hand, self-employed workers can apply for a loan at a decreased interest rate, and can be granted a postponement for the repayment.

The intention is to provide income support for maintenance within four weeks, for a maximum of three months. Advance payments can be made.

The amount of the income support depends on the income and the household composition, with a maximum of approx. € 1,500.00 per month (net).

Details on the application procedure will be announced in due course.

SME LOANS GUARANTEE (BORGSTELLING MKB-KREDIETEN – BMKB)

The BMKB is intended for companies with a maximum of 250 employees (FTE) with an annual turnover of up to € 50 million or a balance sheet total of € 43 million. With the BMKB, the government provides partial surety for companies that wish to take out a loan, but are unable to provide the relevant lender (usually a bank) sufficient security. In the regular scheme, the loan under the government guarantee amounts to 50% of the loan the lender (usually a bank) provides. The government surety covers 90% of the loan under the government guarantee.

The coronavirus can lead to liquidity problems for companies. In connection with that, SMEs will be able to benefit from a temporary adjustment of the conditions of the BMKB, which will be made more advantageous. The expanded scheme will apply from Monday 16 March 2020. This expansion measure will increase the amount of the loan under the BMKB government guarantee from 50% to 75%. In addition, the scheme will also apply for bridging loans and overdraft facilities with a term of up to two years. This will assist companies in continuing to comply with their daily payment obligations.

ADJUSTMENT OF PROVISIONAL TAX ASSESSMENTS

If you have received a provisional income tax or corporation tax assessment and are expecting that, due to the coronavirus, the profit will be lower than indicated in the assessment, you can apply for an adjustment of the provisional assessment.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT PREMIUM DIFFERENTIATION (DUTCH BALANCED LABOUR MARKET ACT (WET ARBEIDSMARKT IN BALANS – WAB))

The measure for a high unemployment insurance contribution for flexible contracts, which was introduced on 1 January of this year, will be adjusted. Employers who have applied the low unemployment insurance contribution while, at the end of the financial year, it turns out that the relevant employee worked 30% more hours than the number agreed in the contract, will not be confronted with a high contribution. As this provision can lead to undesired consequences in sectors where the coronavirus means a lot of overtime is required (such as the care sector), this scheme will be adjusted.

In addition, employers will be given more time (until 30 June of this year) to draw up a permanent employment agreement. This is required in connection with the new rules under the Dutch Balanced Labour Market Act (Wet arbeidsmarkt in balans – WAB) that allow for the low employment insurance contribution to be applied. The deadline used to be 31 March, but has now been deferred by three months.

These measures are still being developed.

INTEREST ON TAX AND OVERDUE TAX TEMPORARILY DECREASED

If a tax assessment is not paid in time, taxpayers normally owe 4% overdue tax interest from the time the payment term expires. To make it easier for entrepreneurs to apply for a deferment of payment, the government will – from 23 March 2020 onwards – temporarily decrease the overdue tax interest from 4% to 0.01% for all tax debts.

The tax interest percentage will be temporarily decreased to 0.01% for all taxes that are subject to tax interest as well (at present, this is 8% for corporation tax and 4% for other taxes). This decrease will apply from 1 June 2020 for all taxes, except for income tax. For income tax, the decrease will apply from 1 July 2020.

TEMPORARY DEFERMENT OF ENERGY TAX LEVY 

The government wishes to temporarily postpone the levy of energy tax and/or the levy of the Surcharge for Sustainable Energy (Opslag Duurzame Energie – ODE) for companies in the second, third and fourth tax bracket. How this is going to be implemented is still being determined.

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If you require more information, please feel free to contact your Mazars contact person. He or she will be able to assist you in submitting an application or bring you into contact with our experts. We will be happy to help you.

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Your challenges during the coronacrisis

These are special times where we face major challenges. The impact of the coronavirus is significant and the situation is constantly changing. We will inform you about new developments and measures and are of course at your disposal to support you where necessary with your current challenges. Do you have questions? Please contact your trusted Mazars adviser or use the contact form.