On 12 March 2020, the Cabinet informed the House of Representatives that it will take a number of measures to mitigate the negative economic consequences of the corona virus for companies.
1. Reduction of working hours
Companies that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak and meet a number of conditions may be eligible for the current working time reduction scheme. These are companies that are temporarily out of work for (a part of) their staff, which has arisen due to circumstances (which fall outside the normal business risk). The coronavirus outbreak is such a special circumstance. This allows more companies to make use of this scheme.
Self-employed persons cannot benefit from this working time reduction scheme. The Cabinet would like to point out to self-employed workers who are in trouble because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, that they can invoke the Decree on assistance for self-employed persons 2004 (Bbz) under certain conditions. Bbz is carried out by municipalities. Self-employed persons who want to appeal to the Bbz can contact the municipality where they are registered.
2. Broadening the SME Loan Guarantee (BMKB)
When SMEs are in financial difficulties due to the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, they can turn to the BMKB. There will be a new temporary measure (valid until 1 April 2021) whereby the State will offer a higher guarantee share in the BMKB. This allows SMEs to financially increase a bridging loan or the overdraft with a financier.
3. Special deferral of payment
In order to ensure that companies can cope with liquidity problems, there is a possibility to request special deferral of payment in income tax, corporate income tax, turnover tax and wage tax. The Tax Authorities will grant deferment of payment if the company provides a written motivation that it has run into problems due to the corona crisis. As soon as the request for postponement has been received by the Tax Authorities, the Tax Authorities will stop the collection. Individual assessment of the request will take place later. The usual deferral requirements remain. In the coming period, the Tax Authorities will omit or reverse a default penalty for late payment. These requests for postponement must be handled manually, so that handling times can increase if many requests are received.
4. Reduction of provisional assessment
Many companies currently pay tax on the basis of a provisional assessment of income tax or corporate tax. A number of companies are expected to realize lower profits this year due to the corona virus. The Cabinet reminds these companies that they can submit a request to the Tax Authorities for a reduction of the provisional assessment, so that they immediately pay less tax. These requests will be granted by the Tax Authorities.