Ecovis Global > Corona-Pandemic: Immediate Taxation, Legal Measures and Financial Aid in Greece, Poland, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco
Corona-Pandemic: Immediate Taxation, Legal Measures and Financial Aid in Greece, Poland, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco
27. March 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 is a disaster for many businesses. Countries around the world are working at full speed to provide assistance. In Poland, for example, “zero zones” have been created, with strict control measures. More and more governments are introducing new measures to limit the damage to their economies.
On 23 March 2020, as a result of the dangerous spread of COVID-19, the Greek Government announced important measures to protect businesses in the face of the adverse consequences they may face. These include providing relief, allowances and benefits in the corporate, tax and employment sectors.
Employment: In addition to asking people to work remotely where possible, the government announced an extension of the deadline or suspension of payment of certified debts relating to social security contributions, as well as arrangements for paying social security debt payments in instalments. There is also some additional suspension of employers’ obligations.
Enterprise taxation – VAT related measures: Suspension of VAT debt collection for businesses affected by the outbreak and spread of COVID-19; suspension of debt payments resulting from VAT returns; extension of the deadline for VAT payment; reduction of the VAT rates from 24% to 6% for products needed to protect against coronavirus and prevent its transmission; extensions to debt payment deadlines and suspension of debt payments to the tax authorities are also in force.
Financial aid: The government is planning an initial company rescue budget of EUR 1 billion. Financing is being prepared for small and medium sized enterprises with an amount up to EUR 3 billion. There is a 4-month suspension of tax obligations for real estate owners.
Ecovis Greece has prepared all the details of the packages to enable fast and efficient processing for clients once the need arises.
On 20 March 2020, the Polish Government announced a state of “epidemic emergency”, effective from 20 March until further notice.
Among other things, the state of epidemic emergency allows the introduction of a temporary restriction on the specific movement of people and the functioning of institutions or workplaces. It allows the Council of Ministers to determine the affected area and define several types of zones. These can be, for example, so-called “zero zones”, which are defined as areas where epidemic conditions have occurred, directly around the virus outbreak. They are subject to bans, orders and control measures. The authorities may prohibit people who are or are suspected of being ill from leaving zero zones. A buffer zone may extend around the zero zone. This is an area subject to such restrictions as a ban on the movement of people.
The Prime Minister also announced an increase in the penalty for violating the quarantine rules, from PLN (Polish zloty) 5,000 up to PLN 30,000.
On 24 March, the Polish government announced more strict restrictions on movement, in particular a ban on leaving home except when necessary (going to work, shopping, going to a pharmacy, visiting a doctor, quick walk), a ban on gatherings of more than 2 people (except for close family or people living together).
Ecovis Poland is committed to delivering the latest legal regulations so all clients can safely survive through this pandemic. We will confirm quickly once all the approved financial aid packages and tax postponements have been put into effect.
The government has following new measures in force:
Tax debts accruing from 16th March 2020 onwards are not made public.
Default interest on tax debts is suspended for two months.
Possibility of paying tax debts in instalments with a lower interest rate.
Aid to sole traders in paying social tax.
Temporary suspension of compulsory pension contributions
Salary compensation is available for up to two months from March to May 2020. Financial aid is provided to companies who suffer revenue losses higher than 30%, in order to secure employment stability.
Additional sureties provided for the repayment of bank loans by companies (up to EUR 5 million per company).
Loans for working capital made available (up to EUR 5 million per company; interest rate approximately 5%).
Limited availability of investment loans.
Limited compensation for sports and cultural events scheduled for March or April 2020 but now forced to cancelled.
Ecovis Estonia is continuing its professional services and will assist clients in applying for the necessary support from the authorities.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has taken extreme measures in dealing with COVID-19 from the early stages. On 18 March 2020, the government requested all those in the private sector to work remotely, with the exception of certain businesses and services.
From 20 March, all domestic flights, public transportation, busses, trains and taxis have been cancelled for a period of 15 days. On 23 March, the government passed a curfew from 7 pm to 6 am, with limited exceptions.
Due dates for tax filing and payment are postponed for 3 months from the original due dates. This includes income tax, VAT, excise tax, WHT, and Zakat.
Suspension of penalties related to late payments of instalments, changes in tax returns, audit penalties.
Acceptance of requests for payments of tax due in instalments without the provision of financial guarantees.
Accelerated payment of VAT refunds.
Payment of customs fees postponed for 30 days.
Exemption of monthly labor fees amounting to SR800\month\labor for a period of 3 months. This is the working permit fee for non-resident employees.
Reimbursement of issued visas, extension of exit/re-entry visas and postponement of payment of government and municipality fees.
Ecovis KSA has prepared a new tax due date timetable for all clients to meet the new deadlines. We can provide customers with information about financial solutions for clients to overcome the current difficulties.
The government has announced measures in three areas:
Micro companies, SMEs and professional activities
All measures are put in force until 20 April 2020, with potential extensions.
Measures for micro companies, SMEs and professional activities (e.g. freelancers):
Companies in difficulty can request the postponement of bank credits until the end of June.
Leasing dates can also be postponed until the end of June.
Companies that continue their activity, but encounter cash flow difficulties can request additional credit lines from banks by benefiting from additional guarantees which will be implemented shortly by the CCG (Central Guarantee Fund).
Suspension of the payment of social charges.
Deferral of tax declarations and payment of tax due on 31 March 2020 to June 2020 for companies with turnover less than MAD 20 Million.
Tax audits and third-party notices are suspended until 30 June 2020.
Companies affected by the crisis, such as tourism and hospitality, with turnover exceeding MAD 20 million can claim the same postponement.
Ecovis Morocco continues to provide professional services during the pandemic and can provide all clients with specific documents and assistance in order to comply with the new measures. We are working on providing information to clients about the extension of tax measures in the coming days.