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I hope this email finds you, your families and your colleagues safe and well during the current health crisis.
Please find attached Tauil & Chequer update on tax measures related to the COVID-19 crises
We will be sending you updates as new measures are taken by the Government.
We hope you and all your colleagues are well.
Please find attached news from Switzerland re the Covid-19 measures.
Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. We will keep you updated.
We hope you and your team are well.
As requested, please see attached a summary of all emergency regulations issued by the different Argentine public entities, including tax measures issued by the National Tax Authorities (AFIP) and the President.
We will keep you informed about any changes on these matters.
Hopefully you and your families are all healthy and safe.
These are crazy times and I look forward to meeting up again with all of you once this threat has passed away.
Should you need any COVID-19 related information regarding Austria and Eastern Europe, please do not hesitate to look up our dedicated website at www.wolftheiss.com/covid19 or to get in touch with me.
As pandemic epicenter in Europe I would have liked to have written this email earlier but as you can imagine the situation here in Italy is quite complicated. This email just to share the Italian experience against the spread of the covid-19 and briefly illustrate the main provisions introduced by the Italian government to strengthen the National Health Service and provide economic aid for families, workers and businesses to cope with the COVID-19 epidemiological emergency.
As you surely know a national lockdown came on 10 March 2020 when quarantine measures were expanded to the entire country. On 21 March, our prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced a further enlargement of the lockdown, by shutting down all non-necessary businesses and industries. This measure came after a rise in the number of cases and deaths in the previous days, and after multiple institutions – including trade unions, mayors, and regional presidents – asked for a generalized shutdown of the Italian production system.
Nobody knows how this situation will develop in the next future, but fortunately I can say that in Italy these restrictive measures seem to be working and in the last days we have been starting to record reversal of the contagion curve. In addition, let me say that we can be quite proud of the Italian health system that engaged in this “war” with the virus is demonstrating to be a good system.
On 17 March 2020 the Italian government enacted a Law Decree (injecting euro 25 billion of cash into the system) which is divided into five headings covering: (i) provisions to strengthen the National Health Service; (ii) provisions to support employment; (iii) provisions to support financial needs through the banking system; (iv) fiscal provisions to support families and enterprises; (v) and further provisions. injects euro 25 billion of cash into the system.
Among the different provisions, the main pillars are:
- Extension of special measures consisting of social shock absorbers throughout the country: in case of reduced or suspended business activity due to Covid-19, certain existing social shock absorbers will be funded and made available to qualifying employers, like “CIGO”, “Fondi di Solidarietà Bilaterali Alternativi” and “FIS”. Each one of these social shock absorbers has specific requirements that will be implemented in the coming days by provisions issued at ministerial and regional level. In addition to the above, a special unemployment fund, known as “CIGD”, will be made available for employers who do not qualify for the above listed social shock absorbers.
- Tax provisions: (i) postponement of withholding tax payments, social security and welfare contributions and compulsory insurance premiums; (ii) postponement of tax and social security contributions payments and compliance deadlines and postponement of VAT payments for certain taxpayers; (iii) employees bonus; (iv) tax credit for workplace sanitization costs; (v) tax credit for shops and stores; (vi) tax deduction for gifts in support of the Covid-19 epidemiological emergency; (vii) postponement of the deadlines for payment of the debts administered by the collection agent; etc.
A new Decree should be released in the coming weeks to complete these measures aimed at providing economic aid for families, workers and businesses.
We will continue to update you with the latest Italian tax responses relating to the covid-19.
We wish you and your loved ones to remain in good health and our thoughts are out to those who are affected in any way by this current crisis.
The French Government has taken several far-reaching emergency measures to help businesses through the current health crisis.
The Government will guarantee business short-term loans up to 300 billion euros to avoid bankruptcy. These loans will be guaranteed by the State up to 90% of the principal and interests. They concern most businesses.
Loan application are to be made directly to your banks.
Tax measures have also been taken. A 3-month postponement of all tax and social charges deadlines can be requested without any justification - but VAT is still due. It is also possible to apply for direct tax reliefs. Applications will be examined on a case-by-case basis.
Please find hereafter the other measures taken as of today:
- Stability of employment through partial unemployment schemes made simpler and covered by the State
- Immediate financial support of 1,500€ for small and micro-businesses and self-employed workers
- Postponement of rents and water, gas and electricity bills for small ailing businesses
- Deferred repayment of bank loans is made easier
We remain at your disposal to help you get through these particular times.
The current position in the UK is that we have now gone into a form of lockdown although, as with all things British, it is more by request than order. With many ignoring the advice it is a constantly changing situation so there seems to be something new every day.
At Hardwick & Morris we have been following the financial measures announced to help and are receiving many calls from clients, contacts and other advisers. I attach our current comment on the measures although, again, this changes on a daily basis as more detail is available and further measures are announced. In particular, at the time of writing, there appears to be little help for the self-employed and those who trade through their own service company. Hopefully this will change soon.
If you have any questions then let me know. Otherwise I wish everyone well and hope to see you soon.
Telles has been working hard to support our clients in these unprecedented times. To try and help clients make sense of what is going on, we have prepared the attached document, in English, which sets out the main measures that were introduced following the declaration of the state of emergency in Portugal.
Furthermore, note that the Portuguese Government has also announced a series of measures aimed at supporting the economy in these difficult times. Here we summarise, very briefly, the key measures announced. Please note that some of these initiatives have been announced in the last few days in press conferences by members of the Government, but have not yet been legislated. Therefore, there are some doubts as to how they will apply in practice.
We would be very grateful if you could circulate the below and the attached to the ITSG members, and let them know that we are fully at their disposal to assist, and their clients, if and when required. Members are also free to distribute this information to their clients in case this is seen as being helpful.
Finally and most importantly, we wish all the best to all ITSG members, their family and staff. We will get through this together and, hopefully, will be meeting in November, in the usual festive way, to discuss all that we went through in these last few months!
Summary of key initiatives relating to companies:
In general terms, it should be noted that companies that fire workers during this period of time will not be able to access any of the below-mentioned initiatives, although simple lay-off procedures have been approved. This is because the main priority of the Government is to ensure that workers continue to have income so as to avoid a total collapse of the economy which would arise if massive job cuts were carried out by companies.
In this context, the following initiatives have been published / approved:
- Companies are able to lay-off workers in a simplified form if certain conditions are met. This simplified lay-off procedure has already been legislated and will, in turn, allow companies to access certain benefits, namely:
- Pay only part of the salaries of the workers;
- Not pay social security of workers or pay them in lower amounts than usual.
Workers affected by the simplified lay-off are able to maintain 66% of their base income, with a cap of around €1900.
At the end of the health emergency period, workers would return to their jobs, as before.
- In any case (even outside of the simplified lay-off framework) and provided that the relevant conditions are met, companies, can benefit from:
- Extended timeframes for tax filings;
- Extended timeframes for tax payments;
- Tax payments in three instalments or six instalments without having to provide guarantee and without penalties or tax payments in six instalments without having to provide guarantee and with a small interest charge on the last three payments;
- Social security payments in three or six instalments without having to provide guarantee and without penalties or tax payments in six instalments without having to provide guarantee and with a small interest charge on the last three payments.
Furthermore, from an access to liquidity perspective:
- Banks have started to provide companies with a series of financing options, guaranteed by the Government;
- Banks are finalising plans to allow companies that meet certain conditions to not pay the capital or interest of their financings for certain periods of time;
- Banks are allowing the extension of payments on financings, without charges.
Summary of key initiatives relating to workers:
As mentioned above, workers that have been affected by simplified lay-off proceedings will continue to be paid 66% of their base salary, with a maximum cap.
It is expected that the capital and interest moratorium will benefit not only companies, but also individuals. As such, within a lay-off situation, for example, where all workers are having a significant reduction in their income, they may be able to request banks a reduction or even suspension of certain payments they have to do. In this context, we are assisting companies and their workers in their communications with the banks, to ensure that the banks can allow them to not pay the capital and interest on their loans for a certain period of time. We expect this to apply to mortgages, but not to consumer loans. Again, legislation is expected by the end of March.
It may also be possible to re-negotiate rental contract although here this is expected to be of more difficult negotiation, on a case by case basis.
In any case, evictions and re-possessions of houses are not allowed during the state of emergency period and whilst the health emergency persists.
Extraordinary French Tax Relief Measures for Entreprises
As you might know, the French President, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, has installed a general confinement of the French population as of noon of today (17th of March 2020), due to the most recent and very concerning evolutions of the spread of the covid-19 / coronavirus in France.
The French government and particularly the French tax authorities have already started to put in place extraordinary measures to relieve French or foreign enterprises which might be taxable in France.
As such, it is possible for enterprises to request from their respective competent French tax bureaus the postponement without penalties of their next payable direct taxes or their advance payments (such as the French corporate tax for instance). If advance payments have already been initiated in March, enterprises may try to oppose their executions directly with their banks. Or, if the payments have already been completed, enterprises may request a refund with their respective French tax bureaus.
To simplify such requests, enterprises may use the new and special forms provided on the website of the French tax authorities (follow this link). In case of any difficulties to pay their taxes, enterprises should not hesitate to contact their respective tax bureaus via their specific and secured taxpayer accounts, via e-mail or telephone.
Our law firm, BMH Avocats, has been transitioning to full teleworking as of yesterday afternoon, but we remain of course fully operational and reachable via e-mail or telephone and remain at the full disposal of our clients and contacts.
We will continue to update you with the latest French tax responses relating to the covid-19 / coronavirus.
We wish everyone to remain well and healthy in these difficult times and our thoughts and sympathy are out to those who are affected in any way by this current crisis.