COVID-19 outbreak and various measures
The COVID‑19 outbreak has prompted the Dutch government to implement several emergency measures of a fiscal nature to stop business owners falling victim to liquidity problems. A summary of the various measures is set out below.
Adjustment of provisional income and corporation tax assessments for 2019 and 2020
If it looks likely to you that your 2020 earnings will suffer due to the COVID‑19 situation, you can submit a request to the Tax and Customs Administration for adjustment of your current provisional tax assessment(s), to lower your tax payments with immediate effect or render you eligible for a refund of some of the tax payments you have already made, so as to boost your cash position with immediate effect
The option has moreover been made available until the first of May 2020 to modify the provisional income and corporation tax assessments for 2019 without interest on outstanding taxes – of up to eight percent per annum! – being charged.
Deferral of tax payment
The option is available of applying for special deferral of payment of income tax, corporation tax, turnover tax and payroll tax. In order for the Tax and Customs Administration to grant the application in question, it is essential that the business owner whom it concerns should provide it with a duly substantiated written account of how the COVID‑19 crisis has got him into trouble. The Tax and Customs Administration will suspend collection with immediate effect on receipt of the application for deferred payment. Its individual assessment of the application will take place at a later date.
No default surcharges for tardy payment or non-payment
The Tax and Customs Administration is to refrain in the coming period from levying default surcharges for tardy payment or non-payment, or reverse any such surcharges as have already been levied. The tax office processes all applications for deferred payment manually, which may well cause a substantial increase in its processing times depending on the number of incoming applications.
Government-guaranteed scheme for loans to SMEs
The government-guaranteed scheme for loans to SMEs involves the State partially warranting the performance of companies that wish to take out a loan but are not able to provide their lender (particularly where this is a bank) with the requisite security. Efforts are under way to ensure that the options of the scheme should temporarily be widened by the end of March. This would enable SMEs affected by the COVID‑19 outbreak resulting in their suffering liquidity problems temporarily to be offered particularly favourable borrowing conditions.
Although no direct tax measures have been announced in this respect, this does not make it any less important as an area for (potential) implementation of emergency measures. If you have employees working for your business and the COVID‑19 outbreak causes their billable hours to take a significant hit, you could consider filing a part-time unemployment benefit application to help tide them, and you, over.
Dutch version: Coronavirus en fiscale maatregelen