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EU

Austria (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

The latest information on emergency VAT measures by the Austrian Tax Authorities can be found here https://www.pwc.at/de/newsletter/austrian-tax-news/2020/atn-special-issue-covid-2.html#artikel-3

 

Update 18/03/2020

Measures of the Austrian Tax Authorities are outlined in this newsletter.

For more information please contact  christine.weinzierl@pwc.com 

Belgium (Last updated: 30/03/2020)

Update 30/03/2020

All those submitting VAT monthly returns - including those who do not have a monthly refund authorisation and who are not considered to be a 'starter' - will be able to benefit from an accelerated refund of the VAT credit on their current account (with effect from 31 March 2020) under the conditions set out below.

For all monthly VAT filers who wish to benefit from this accelerated refund (starters, licence holders 'monthly refund' and all others), the filing deadline for the February 2020 return will be brought forward to 3 April 2020. This declaration must be submitted via Intervat. The refund will only be made if the box 'Application for refund' is ticked.
Up to and including 3 April 2020, the taxpayer can submit an improved tax return via Intervat in order to change this option.
The other basic conditions will continue to apply, among other things:

- minimum amount of € 245

- ll declarations for the current calendar year must have been submitted

- the administration knows your account number for VAT refunds

- there must be no opposition to this repayment (by '3rd party seizure' or transfer of debt)

Instead of reimbursement on 29 May 2020, or even on 30 June 2020 at the latest, reimbursement under this measure will take place no later than 30 April 2020.

This credit can possibly be subject to a retention or application to another outstanding debt and / or to a 'verification of the VAT credit'.

This submission deadline does not affect the possibility to submit the other monthly declarations of February 2020 (which do not show any credit or for which no refund is requested) on time until 6 April 2020.

https://financien.belgium.be/nl/Actueel/bijkomende-steunmaatregelen-coronacrisis-btw-teruggaven-maandaangiften   

Update 20/03/2020

Please follow this link to see the latest measures introduced by the Belgian Tax Authorities in relation to VAT and Customs.

Update 18/03/2020

 - February VAT return must be submitted by 6 April 2020* at the latest (instead of 20 March 2020) and any VAT due for February must be paid by 20 May 2020 at the latest (instead of 20 March 2020).

*for starters and for VAT payers with a monthly VAT refund license, the filing deadline is 24 March 2020

- March VAT return or the Q1/2020 VAT return must be submitted by 7 May 2020 at the latest and any VAT due for March must be paid by 20 June 2020 at the latest

- Annual Client Listing for 2019 must be submitted at the latest by 30 April 2020 (instead of 30/03);

- EC Sales listing for February must be submitted no later than 6 April 2020 (instead of 20/03);

- The EC Sales listing for March or Q1/2020 must be submitted no later than 7 May 2020.   

Update 12/03/2020

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Belgian government has recently introduced the possibility for companies to request for supportive financial measures. To the extent that companies are facing financial difficulties directly resulting from the coronavirus spread (to be demonstrated and subject to additional conditions), payment arrangements (such as the Belgian corporate taxes, VAT or Belgian professional withholding taxes) can be requested to the competent authorities by filing a formal request prior to 30 June 2020. In order to understand it better and to have a further discussion with PwC consultants, please launch the attached publication, Advance tax payments and recently announced measures from the Belgian government, dated 10 March, 2020. 

For more information please contact manuel.van.der.veken@pwc.com.

Bulgaria (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

No specific measure implemented yet.

For more information please contact vladislav.handzhiev@pwc.com

Croatia (Last updated: 20/03/2020)

No Indirect tax measures have been put in place as yet.

For more information please contact  marko.marusic@pwc.com

Cyprus (Last updated: 30/03/2020)

Update 30/03/2020

Temporary suspension of the obligation to pay VAT for reasons of business liquidity, without the imposition of any penalties and interest for the periods ending 29 February 2020, 31 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, until 10 November 2020, provided that the relevant VAT returns are submitted within the prescribed deadlines.

The temporary suspension of the obligation to pay VAT will apply to all taxable persons, established and non established in Cyprus, with the exception of taxable persons whose activities fall within the prescribed trading codes as specified below:

  1. 35111 - production of electricity

  2. 36001 - water collection, treatment and supply 

  3. 47111 - Retail sale in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating

  4. 47112 - mini markets

  5. 47191 -retail sale of a large variety of goods of which food products, beverages or tobacco are not predominant

  6. 47211 - retail sale of fruit and vegetables in specialised stores

  7. 47221- retail sale of meat and meat products (including poultry

  8. 47231- Retail sale of fish, crustaceans and molluscs in specialised stores

  9. 47241 - Baking and pre-baked bread rolls

  10. 47242- Retail sale of cakes, flour confectionery and sugar confectionery in specialised store

  11. 47301- retail sale of fuel

  12. 47411- retailers of computers, peripheral units and software in specialised stores

  13. 47611 - retail sale of books in specialised stores

  14. 47621- retail sale of newspapers and stationery in specialised stores

  15. 47651 - retail sale of games and toys in specialised stores

  16. 47731-  retail sale of pharmaceuticals

  17. 61101- Cyprus Telecommunications Authority

  18. 61201- wireless telecommunications activities

  19. 61301- satellite telecommunication activities

  20. 61901 - other telecommunication activities

Update 26/03/2020

VAT measures are currently being finalised by the Council of Ministers and the intention is to submit them to The House of Parliament tomorrow for voting.
The measures will not include reduction in the VAT rates. They will include deferral in payment of VAT and tax liabilities as well as extension in the filing of the VAT and tax returns

Update 20/03/2020

The Cyprus government announced that they will not be proceeding with the previously announced measures. The reduction in VAT rates reported earlier is no longer anticipated. The government will review the measures with an intention to proceed with implementation and relevant law updates by Tuesday, 24 March 2020. 

Update 18/03/2020

The following VAT measures have been introduced:

The VAT measures will require legislative amendments. The draft law is expected to be voted in Parliament this coming Thursday 19 March 2020.

Obligation to pay VAT Temporary suspension for two months of the obligation to pay VAT for reasons of business liquidity, without the imposition of any penalties and interest. It relates to companies whose turnover did not exceed € 1 million according to tax declarations submitted in 2019 and whose turnover was reduced by more than 25%. It is noted that arrangements will be made so that the debts will be paid progressively until November 11, 2020.

Reduction of VAT rates

Temporary reduction of VAT rates from 19% to 17% for a period of two months and from 9% to 7% for a period of three and a half months, as soon as the relevant legislation has been passed, to enhance the purchasing power of citizens and stimulate consumption.

Direct Tax Measures

Tax return submission

Extension of the deadline for the submission of tax returns due by 31.3.2020 by two months to 31.5.2020.

Please see this newsletter for additional information.

Update 12/03/2020

No measures taken in Cyprus as yet although some developments are expected early next week. The next VAT return filing deadline is 10 April for the VAT return covering the period 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020.

For more information please contact chrysilios.pelekanos@pwc.com

Czech Republic (Last updated: 01/04/2020)

Update 01/04/2020

The Ministry of Finance has not extended the deadline for the submission of VAT reports or payment of VAT liability as such. In terms of VAT, the following measures apply:

- A general waiver of the CZK 1,000 penalty for failure to submit a control statement, only if the liability to settle such a penalty arises in the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 July 2020.

- If the VAT payer is able to prove the failure is in any way related to the COVID-19 outbreak (typically an illness or quarantine of accountants or other key employees whose absence made it impossible to fulfil VAT obligations; a substantial drop in revenues due to the outbreak), the following measures apply:
a) A waiver of the late payment interest.
b) A waiver of interest connected to the deferral of VAT payment or VAT payment instalment schedule.
c) An automatic waiver of the sanction for the late submission of the VAT return if the tax office grants one of the two above waivers as well.
d) A waiver of other sanctions for the late submission of the control statement (all sanctions from CZK 10,000 to CZK 50,000). This applies to cases when the appeal is issued within the period of 1 March 2020 to 31 July 2020.
e) A general waiver of administrative fees for the filing of the respective requests.

- All sanctions can be waived only after the related VAT liability is paid and the respective control statement(s) are submitted.

- There is a waiver of VAT payment for the free-of-charge delivery of selected medical supplies to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. These include, for example, respirators, masks, gloves, face shields, or disinfectants and raw materials for their manufacture. The waiver covers the period from 12 March 2020 until the end of the state of emergency. 

Update 30/03/2020

The latest updates on the latest Indirect Tax measures introduced by the Czech Republic Tax Authorities can be found here 

Update 17/03/2020

Due to the emergency state in connection to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Czech Government has approved liberation tax package providing for remission of selected sanctions for late submission of the tax reports and payment of tax liability. In the VAT area, the following measures apply:

General waiver of the penalty for failure to submit a control statement of CZK 1,000 if the liability to pay this penalty arises in the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 July 2020;

If the VAT payer proves the reasons in any way related to COVID-19 outbreak (typically an illness or quarantine of accountants or other key employees whose absence made it impossible to fulfill VAT obligations; substantial drop in revenues due to the outbreak):

- Waiver of the late payment interest;

- Waiver of the interest connected to deferral of VAT payment or VAT payment installment schedule;

- Automatic waiver of the sanction for late submission of the VAT return if the tax office grants one of the two above waivers as well;

- Waiver of other sanctions for late submission of the control statement (all sanctions from CZK 10,000 to CZK 50,000). This applies on cases when the appeal is issued within period of 1 March 2020 to 31 July 2020;

- General waiver of administrative fees for filing of the respective requests.

- All sanctions can be waived only after the related VAT liability is paid and respective control statement(s) submitted.

- The Ministry of Finance has not extended deadline for submission of the VAT reports or payment of VAT liability as such.

Update 15/03/2020

Following the State Security Council decision to severely limit free movement in the Czech Republic (from midnight March 16, 2020 to 6 a.m. March 24, 2020), the Ministry of Finance has published liberation tax package in connection with the state of emergency in the Czech Republic. In the VAT area, the following measures will apply:

- Waiver of sanction for late submission of VAT returns and sanction for non-submission of control statements in all cases where the VAT payer individually requests the waiver and proves the reasons in any way related to coronavirus. Typically, this may be an illness or quarantine of accountants or other key employees whose absence makes it impossible to fulfill VAT obligations;

- General waiver of the second penalty for failure to submit a control report of CZK 1,000 in 2020 without having to prove the reasons related to coronavirus. Today the first fine of CZK 1,000 is automatically waived by law.

- The General Financial Directorate will modify the guidelines to allow for individual waivers of sanctions in relation to control statement, without time limit, if the VAT payer proves the reasons in any way related to coronavirus;

- Flat-rate waiver of an administrative fee of CZK 400 for filing an individual application for deferral of payment or partial payment of VAT liability, if the VAT payer proves the reasons in any way related to coronavirus, until 31 July 2020.

The Ministry of Finance has not extended deadline for submission of the VAT reports or for payment of VAT liability as yet.

For further information please contact  tomas.vlk@pwc.com

Denmark (Last updated: 17/03/2020)

Update 17/03/2020
Last week The Minister of Taxation made a proposal to prolong the deadline for reporting and payment of VAT for companies who report on a monthly basis. This assistance is now being extended to the companies who report on a quarterly and semi-annual basis. 
Quarterly reporting companies

- These companies are now allowed - but not obligated - to combine the VAT returns for Q1 and Q2 2020 and report/pay the VAT no later than 1 September 2020. This means that companies now have an extra three months to report and pay the VAT for Q1 2020.

- If VAT due for Q1 is negative, companies do not have to wait to submit VAT. They may submit VAT for Q1 as soon as Q2 starts, and the Danish Tax Agency will deal with these in accordance with the general rules for negative VAT due.

Semi-annual reporting companies

- These companies are now allowed - but not obligated - to combine the VAT returns for the whole year 2020 and report/pay the VAT no later than 1 March 2021. This means that companies now have an extra six months to report and pay the VAT for the first half of 2020.

- If VAT due for the first half of 2020 is negative, companies do not have to wait to submit VAT. They may submit VAT for the first half of 2020 as soon as the second half of 2020 starts, and the Danish Tax Agency will deal with these in accordance with the general rules for negative VAT due.

Last week The Minister of Taxation made a proposal to prolong the deadline for reporting and payment of VAT for companies who report on a monthly basis. This assistance is now being extended to the companies who report on a quarterly and semi-annual basis. 
Quarterly reporting companies

- These companies are now allowed - but not obligated - to combine the VAT returns for Q1 and Q2 2020 and report/pay the VAT no later than 1 September 2020. This means that companies now have an extra three months to report and pay the VAT for Q1 2020.

- If VAT due for Q1 is negative, companies do not have to wait to submit VAT. They may submit VAT for Q1 as soon as Q2 starts, and the Danish Tax Agency will deal with these in accordance with the general rules for negative VAT due.

Semi-annual reporting companies

- These companies are now allowed - but not obligated - to combine the VAT returns for the whole year 2020 and report/pay the VAT no later than 1 March 2021. This means that companies now have an extra six months to report and pay the VAT for the first half of 2020.

- If VAT due for the first half of 2020 is negative, companies do not have to wait to submit VAT. They may submit VAT for the first half of 2020 as soon as the second half of 2020 starts, and the Danish Tax Agency will deal with these in accordance with the general rules for negative VAT due.

Update 13/03/2020

The following measures have been implemented in Denmark:

- VAT monthly returns (for businesses with a turnover that exceeds DKK 50 mill.)

- March - ordinary deadline 27 April - new deadline 25 May

- April - ordinary deadline 25 May - new deadline 25 June

- May - ordinary deadline 25 June - new deadline 27 July

Quarterly reporting companies

- These companies are now allowed - but not obliged - to combine their VAT returns for Q1 and Q2 2020 and report/pay VAT no later than 1 September 2020. This means that companies now have extra three months to report and pay VAT for Q1 2020.

- If VAT due for Q1 is negative, companie may submit VAT for Q1 as soon as Q2 starts. The Danish Tax Agency will deal with these in accordance with the general rules for negative VAT due.

Semi-annual reporting companies

These companies are now allowed - but not obliged - to combine their VAT returns for the whole year 2020 and report/pay VAT no later than 1 March 2021. This means that companies now have extra six months to report and pay the VAT for the first half of 2020.

If VAT due for the first half of 2020 is negative, companies may submit VAT for the first half of 2020 as soon as the second half of 2020 starts. The Danish Tax Agency will deal with these in accordance with the general rules for negative VAT due.

For more information please contact sandra.erichsen@pwc.com

Estonia (Last updated: 23/03/2020)

Update: 23/02/2020

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB) suspends the calculation of interests on their tax arrears for the period of emergency with retroactive effect as from 1 March to 1 May. However, all tax returns must be submitted on time and taxes must be paid whenever it is possible. https://www.emta.ee/eng/interests-tax-arrears-suspended-emergency-situation

Update 16/03/2020

No official measures yet regarding postponement of ITX filing deadlines or payments.

There is an announcement on the tax authorities' website that customs checkpoints at Estonian borders are closed (only electronic filing of customs declarations is available) as well as the authorities' service bureaus everywhere in Estonia. https://www.emta.ee/et/ariklient

For further information, please contact tanja.kriisa@pwc.com

Finland (Last updated: 16/03/2020)

Finnish Tax Authorities’ actions to support companies during the COVID-19 epidemia.

On 15 March 2020, the Finnish Tax Authorities published actions to support companies with challenges they might face during the COVID-19 epidemia.

There have been no changes to filing or payment due dates, however the Finnish Tax Authorities have listed the following measures:

- Extension can be applied for filing of the corporate income tax return.

- Penalty related to late filing of the corporate income tax return may not be collected.

- Companies can apply for payment arrangement for taxes and possible late payment interest may not be collected.

- The Finnish Tax Authorities enhance the handling of refunds related to value added taxes (VAT).

- Penalty related to late filing of the VAT return may not be collected.

- In cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, the Finnish Tax Authorities are looking into possible reliefs related to payment arrangements.

The Finnish Tax Authorities are reminding companies to amend the assessed advance taxes where needed. The authorities are also enhancing the handling of the above listed matters.

Applying for extension for filing of tax returns and collection of late filing penalties

Companies can apply for extension for corporate income tax return filing based on specific reasons of which one is a situation where a key person has fallen ill and the company cannot file the tax return by the statutory due date. Extension can be applied for either electronically in MyTax or on a paper form. Please note that the extension needs to be applied for latest on the statutory due date.

There is no possibility to apply for extension for filing of the VAT return, however in case a VAT or corporate income tax return is filed late, companies can request that the Finnish Tax Authorities not collect the late filing penalty.

Payment arrangements

If a company faces difficulties with making their tax payments on time, a payment arrangement can be applied for on the phone or in MyTax. In certain circumstances, for example where a key person has fallen ill, the company can request the Finnish Tax Authorities not to collect late payment interest on tax payments.

Possible reliefs related to payment arrangements are under discussion and the Finnish Tax Authorities will release more information in due course

For further information please contact  maarit.pokkinen@pwc.com

 

France (Last updated: 30/03/2020)

Update 30/03/2020

Measures as at 19 March 2020

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, on 12 March 2020 the French government introduced measures to support companies.

These measures notably include extended deadlines for the payment of taxes and/or social security contributions. For companies facing great financial difficulties, a tax holiday can be considered after examination of individual requests.

However, these measures concern only direct taxes (corporate income tax, payroll tax and local taxes: CVAE and CFE).

In this context, no measures have been announced regarding value added tax. Although the initial announcements by the government did not mention the scope of the taxes affected by these measures, a press release from URSSAF (Social Security administration) and DGFiP (French tax administration) dated 13 March 2020 clearly stated that the extended payment deadlines granted to companies only apply to direct taxes.

In particular, a special form has been introduced for companies wishing to request extended payment deadlines or a tax holiday. It is clearly specified in the form that requests for deferred payment or a tax holiday concern "all company taxes excluding VAT and similar taxes".

A document circulated by Medef (National Confederation of the French Employers) to its members dated 14 March 2020 confirms that, as VAT is an indirect tax collected by companies on behalf of the state, "there currently exists no provision for deferred payment". The French tax administration confirmed again this position on March 18, 2020.

Accordingly, the filing of VAT returns and the payment of any VAT due for February 2020 must be made within the normal deadlines in March. The same position should apply to other indirect tax obligations (DEB trade of goods declarations, ancillary taxes due on the VAT return, payment of import VAT, customs duties, etc.).

It should be noted, however, that the tax authorities have undertaken to accelerate the refund of VAT credits.

For additional information, the government has made it possible for companies to contact a dedicated expert at DIRECCTE with remit for each region (https://www.economie.gouv.fr/coronavirus-soutien-entreprises). 

Furthermore, the Ministre de l’Action et des Comptes publics (Budget Minister) announced today the suspension of ongoing tax inspections and a moratorium on new inspections. Special arrangements are also being considered for the enforced recovery of tax debts.

It is therefore appropriate to wait for any new measures that may be introduced in the coming days in the rapidly changing context of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update 20/03/2020

VAT returns and VAT payments due for the month of February 2020 will follow the usual deadlines during March 2020. The situation is currently the same in relation to other obligations in terms of indirect tax (Declaration of exchange of goods, ancillary taxes due on the VAT declaration, payment of import VAT, customs duties, etc.).

For more information, please contact jose.manuel.moreno@pwcavocats.com

Germany (Last updated: 07/04/2020)

Update 07/04/2020

The Federal Ministry of Finance has issued a FAQ listing explaining the decree dated 19 March 2020 in more detail. The requirement of persons “directly” affected by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic seems to be interpreted broadly. Apart from the measures already mentioned in the said decree, inter alia the FAQ introduce the repayment of the special prepayment for permanent filing extension as a general measure apparently applicable in all German Federal States, and, under certain additional conditions such as an application, allow for a prolongation of the deadline e. g. for the annual VAT return 2018 until 31 May 2020 for taxable persons represented by tax advisors and equated persons. It should be noted that, as the FAQ provide, penalties for late filing of returns shall not be levied until further notice.

Update 30/03/2020

The tax administrations of all German Federal States have published application forms for deferment of tax etc. or at least some guidance about placing such an application. In addition, an increasing number of Federal States allows for a refund of the special prepayment for permanent filing extension (which becomes due upon application of permanent extension of the deadline for filing monthly VAT returns). This refund does not affect the (extended) deadlines for submitting monthly VAT returns. 

Update 23/03/2020

On 19 March 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Finance has issued a decree about tax measures to take account of the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This decree deals with deferral and enforcement measures and the adjustment of advance payments. While it is applicable for most taxes levied in Germany (including but not limited to income and corporation tax and VAT), the below text deals with the decree as far as VAT is concerned.

The measures are limited to taxable persons "directly" affected by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also necessary that a taxable person is affected "to a considerable extent". However, these conditions shall not be put to an in-depth test by the tax office. Upon application (and if these conditions are met), deferment for VAT for which the taxable person has become liable, or will become liable, can be granted upon application until 31 December 2020. As the Federal Ministry of Finance makes clear, no strict requirements are to be set when reviewing the conditions for deferral. For VAT that becomes liable after the above date, the application must be substantiated in detail. Please note that an application for deferral should be filed in time, to avoid overstepping of time limits for payment and possible penalties for late payment. The decree also deals with a possible suspension of enforcement measures until 31 December 2020 as well as of the waiver of penalties for late payment.

Update 16/03/2020

 

The Government has published plans to postpone the due date for tax payments upon application of the taxpayer, free of charge.

In order to improve companies’ liquidity situation, the options for deferring tax payments and reducing prepayments will be enhanced, and enforcement rules will be adapted. Overall, businesses will be able to defer billions of euros in tax payments. The Federal Ministry of Finance has already initiated the necessary coordination process with the Länder. The measures are described in detail below:

- It will be easier to grant tax deferrals. Revenue authorities will be able to defer taxes if their collection would lead to significant hardship. The revenue authorities will be instructed to not impose strict conditions in this respect. This will support taxpayers’ liquidity, because the timing of tax payments will be delayed.

- It will be easier to adapt tax prepayments. As soon as it becomes clear that a taxpayer’s income in the current year is expected to be lower than in the previous year, tax prepayments will be reduced in a swift and straightforward manner. This will improve the liquidity situation.

- Enforcement measures (e.g. attachment of bank accounts) and late-payment penalties will be waived until 31 December 2020 if the debtor of a pending tax payment is directly affected by the coronavirus. With regard to taxes that are administered by the customs administration (e.g. energy duty and aviation tax), the Central Customs Authority (Generalzolldirektion) has been instructed to make appropriate concessions to taxpayers. The same applies to the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern), which will proceed accordingly with regard to insurance tax and value added tax, which fall within its remit. 

For further information please contact  frank.gehring@pwc.com

Greece (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

Update 27/03/2020

- Extension of deadlines for the payment of tax debts and suspension of payment of certified tax debts and installments, and the payment of VAT debts and suspension of payment of certified VAT debts and installments.

VAT exemption on supply of goods and/or provision of services to the Greek State in the form of donations of movable and immovable property for charitable purposes, that could also cover some cases of donations for the protection of the transmission of COVID-19.

- Accelerated refunds of up to EUR 30,000 for income tax and VAT for all open tax audit cases.

- VAT reduction from 24% to 6% as of 20 March 2020 for products needed to protect against coronavirus and to prevent its transmission.

- Extension of suspension of VAT payment for September and October for businesses that had transactions with “Thomas Cook Group

- Extension of the deadline for the submission of a property correction statement.

- Extension of reporting of tax documents for the purposes of information cross-checking (MYF).

- The calculation of the Uniform Tax on Ownership of Real Estate Property will be based on the currently applicable objective values.

Update 16/03/2020

According to article 1 of Legislative Decree No FEK Α' 55/11-03-2020, for entities affected financially due to the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, the VAT payment deadline may be extended and the collection of debts established through the filing of (debit) VAT returns may be suspended. During the time extension, the amounts due are not subject to interest or surcharges. The affected entities per sector and region and the time extension are defined by Decision of the Minister for Finance, upon the recommendation of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.

For the time being, no Decisions have been published.

For more information please contact mariza.sakellaridou@gr.pwc.com

Hungary (Last updated: 17/03/2020)

No official measures have been put in place yet.

For more information please contact  laszlo.deak@pwc.com

Ireland (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020

Please see this link for an update on Customs Duty and VAT

Update 03/04/2020

The charging of interest on late payments is suspended for March/April VAT and April PAYE (Employers) liabilities.

This is in addition to the earlier announcement that the charging of interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.

Update 16/03/2020

Small and medium enterprise (SME) Businesses* 

- Tax Returns: businesses experiencing temporary cash flow difficulties should continue to send in tax returns on time.

- Application of Interest: the application of interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.

- Debt Enforcement: All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.

- Tax Clearance: current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses over the coming months.

Larger Businesses (Non SME Businesses)

Businesses, other than SMEs, who are experiencing temporary cash flow or trading difficulties should contact the Collector-General’s office on (01) 7383663. Alternatively, these businesses can engage directly with their branch contacts in Revenue’s Large Corporates Division or Medium Enterprises Division.  

Customs 

Critical pharmaceutical products and medicines will be given a Customs ‘green routing’ to facilitate uninterrupted importation and supply.the Minister for Finance has said that "larger companies are expected to make payments as normal but he would expect that Tax Authority might need to review the position before April and extend it more broadly. 

The Minister did fully recognise that the hospitality and tourism sectors are immediately and heavily impacted by the current situation and he would not rule anything in or out for any sector at this stage. 

Further measures may be announced in the coming weeks.

For further information, please contact sean.brodie@pwc.com

Italy (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020

Law Decree no.18/ 2020, so called "Cura Italia Law Decree", provides that, for taxpayers having their tax domicile, registered office or place of business in Italy, VAT filings (other than VAT payments) originally due during the period between 8 March 2020 and 31 May 2020 are kept on hold. VAT filings are due by 30 June 2020. 
 
The Italian tax authorities, through the Circular letter issued on 3 April 2020, no. 8/E, have now clarified that the above measures do not apply to "foreign persons". Therefore, it appears that such measures should not apply to non-established businesses directly registered for VAT purposes in Italy as well as those who appointed an Italian fiscal representative.  

Update 02/04/2020

2019 Italian annual VAT return deadline extended from 30th April to 30th June 2020.

Update 25/03/2020

Please see the below link for information on the latest guidelines in relation to Customs rules.

Italian Customs Authorities – Guidelines to manage COVID-19 emergency

Update 23/03/2020

On March 19, 2020, the Italian Customs Authorities provided operative instructions related to the following:
1) export of personal protective equipment;
2) import of goods to be used in order to face the COVID-19 emergency under relief from customs duties and VAT.
With reference to the first point, the Customs Authorities list the tariff codes (i.e. the Combined Nomenclature codes) for the personal protective equipment as, for example, visors, masks, gloves, etc. whose export is subject, from March 15, 2020, to a specific authorization, as provided by EU Reg. 2020/402. The above-mentioned authorization is released by the Office X of the DG for the international trade Policy. The Customs Authorities specify that, in the box 44 of the SAD, it should be reported the code CO86, related to the goods for which the EU Reg. 2020/402 should be applied.
As to the second point, the Customs Authorities clarified that, in the light of the art. 57 of the EU Reg. 1186/2009, instruments and apparatus intended for medical research, establishing medical diagnoses or carrying out medical treatments which are donated either by a charitable or philanthropic organization or by a private individual to health authorities, hospital departments or medical research institutions, approved by the competent authorities of the Member States are admitted free of import duties. This is applicable also in case the above-mentioned instruments and apparatus are purchased directly by health authorities, hospitals or medical research institutions entirely with funds donated by a charitable or philanthropic organization or with voluntary contributions, provided that: (a) the donation of the instruments or apparatus does not conceal any commercial intent from the donor; b) the donor is in no way connected with the manufacturer of the instruments or apparatus for which the relief is requested.
Moreover, the Customs Authorities clarify that, in this case, the VAT, normally due for the importations, could not be charged if the goods have been donated by public entities or recognized organization or foundations with the sole purposes of assistance, charitable, education, study and research activities or if the goods have been donated in favor of populations affected by natural disasters or catastrophes.   All the other importations of goods, carried out by State entities or with charitable or philanthropic purposes, necessary to face the current emergency situation, could be performed under customs duties and VAT relief, provided these subjects are authorized by the Customs Authorities, as provided by the special customs and VAT regime for the imports of goods in favor of disaster’ victims.
In the same way, prior authorization of the Customs Authorities, also the importation of goods, carried out by authorities or entities, aimed to face the COVID19 emergency, are exempted from customs duties and VAT, if qualified as donations received in the context of international relations between public authorities or by entities that perform functions of public interest.
From a practical point of view, in the customs bills of import, in the box 37, after the code 40, indicating the definitive importation, the following codes will be reported: C17, C26 and C28, as provided by the EU Reg. 2016/341. Moreover, in order to speed up the customs clearance procedures, it will be possible to give evidence of the specific destination of the goods, reporting in the box 22 of the customs bills the additional code 17YY.

Update 18/03/2020

Comments regarding the tax measures of the decree "Cura Italia" can be found using this link.

Update 17/03/2020

The deadline for February F24 tax payments has been extended from the 16th March to the 20th of March 2020. This is included in the draft decree and expected to be published.

Update 15/03/2020

The Italian Ministry of Finance has communicated that all the tax payments (among them VAT) due by March 16, 2020 will be postponed.

The details of the above together with other tax measures will be included in a law decree which should be issued shortly.

For more information please contact  alessia.zanatto@pwc.com

 

Latvia (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

- Any VAT overpay approved by the SRS appearing on a VAT return filed after 31 March 2020 will be refunded within 30 days after the filing deadline (or after the filing date if filed late or adjusted).

- Any VAT overpay approved by 31 March 2020 but carried forward to the next tax period until the end of the tax year (including any amount overpaid by a deregistered taxable person) will be refunded to the taxpayer by 14 April 2020.

- Any VAT overpay appearing on VAT returns filed by 31 March 2020 but not yet approved will be checked, approved and refunded by the SRS within 30 days after the VAT return was filed.

- If the deadline for approving any VAT overpaid by 31 March 2020 has been extended, the SRS will refund the overpay by the next working day after it is approved.

As before, all taxes and duties administered by the SRS as well as other national and related charges must be paid in accordance with the Taxes and Duties Act before the approved VAT overpay can be refunded. And the existing procedure under which the SRS may adjust the VAT overpay following a tax audit remains unchanged.
 
Excise
 
Given the increased demand for disinfectants and the shortage of denatured alcohol, disinfectants can be made from non-denatured alcohol, which will be exempt from excise. A disinfectant manufacturer must obtain an SRS permit for the purchase of alcoholic drinks.
 
To boost the production of disinfectants without substantially raising the required excise security, alcohol manufacturers holding an approved warehousekeeper licence are eligible for an up to 90% reduction in general excise security from the SRS. Alcohol manufacturers must notify the SRS one working day before starting alcohol production.
 
A disinfectant manufacturer who as temporarily registered consignee imports or receives alcohol from another member state based on an SRS permit for the purchase of alcoholic drinks may submit excise security with a 100% reduction.
 
To minimise interpersonal contact during the outbreak of COVID-19, sales of excise goods will be allowed under distance agreements subject to a ban on tobacco products and e-liquids, and it is illegal to sell alcoholic drinks to persons aged under 18 and between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
For more information please contact ilze.rauza@pwc.com

Lithuania (Last updated: 01/04/2020)

Update 01/04/2020

Input VAT incurred on goods with a short expiration date which could no longer be used in business due to COVID-19 restrictions can remain unadjusted. VAT registered persons that were included in the Tax Authority's list of businesses impacted by COVID-19 are allowed not to notify the Tax Authority about the losses. The relief mostly applies to shopping centers, retailers not selling foodstuff, restaurant businesses, cinemas, etc. Other businesses should follow general rules regarding inventory lost due COVID-19 and await a decision of the Tax Authority to allow not to adjust VAT deduction.

 

Update 30/03/2020

The Lithuanian Government abolished value thresholds applicable to goods provided as charity, if the goods are provided for the purpose of managing and prevention of COVID-19 situation. This means that giving-away goods as charity in support for COVID-19 will not be regarded as private use for VAT purposes. The amendment has retroactive effect from 26 February 2020. 

Update 26/03/2020

There are no measures specifically for ITX in effect.
 
However, based on the draft legislation of 24 March 2020, the Government intends to abolish value thresholds applicable to goods provided as charity, if the goods are provided for the purpose of managing and prevention of COVID-19 situation. This means that giving-away goods as charity in support for COVID-19 will not be regarded as private use for VAT purposes. This amendment was submitted by the Ministry of Finance and is highly likely to be adopted. Suggested date of coming into force is 26 February 2020.
 
Also, pending discussions at the Parliament, a draft law suggesting 9% VAT rate (currently 21%) on catering services (except for alcohol beverages) has been submitted on 25 March 2020.

Update 16/03/2020

Tax payment deferral or tax loan agreement possibility

Based on existing rules, tax payers experiencing temporary financial difficulties may ask the Tax Authority to delay the payment or to have the payment in scheduled installments.
Currently, a possibility to apply this measure to personal income tax is discussed (regular deadline 16 March). For concluding tax loan agreements, the Tax Authority's procedure is fully digital.

Relief from filing a tax return

Tax payers that temporarily do not perform business (do not conclude or perform any transactions, payments, receive no income except for the interest on funds held in bank accounts) may be relieved from filing tax returns or other documents.

Advance corporate income tax return and payment deadline postponed.

Advance CIT return and payment deadline postponed until 30 March 2020 (regular deadline 16 March 2020).
There is a possibility to opt for a different advance CIT payment calculation method - not based on the last year's results but on the envisaged results.

For further information, please contact ausra.miltenyte@pwc.com

Luxembourg (Last updated: 19/03/2020)

Update 19/03/2020

No administrative fines will be decided for late filing of VAT returns until further notice.

Update 18/03/2020

The first indirect tax measure announced by the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance is all VAT receivable balances under 10,000 EUR will be refunded in order to help to cope with first possible liquidity issues.

Update 16/03/2020

No measures are currently in place.

For further information please contact frederic.wersand@pwc.com

Malta (Last updated: 23/03/2020)

Update 23/03/2020

VAT payments due in March and April 2020 are to be deferred and are to be settled in two equal instalments with the two quarterly returns immediately following the quarter whose dues would have been deferred. Specifically excluded are companies and self-employed persons which have failed to comply with their tax obligations (submission of documents / returns and payments) falling due by the 31st December 2019.

Update 19/03/2020

Please see this newsletter in relation to the upcoming VAT return deadlines. 

For more information please contact david.ferry@pwc.com

Netherlands (Last updated: 07/04/2020)

Update 07/04/2020

The latest update on the Dutch customs measures can be found here

Update 03/04/2020

The Dutch government has just confirmed officially that the payment extension rules have been simplified further and the policy has now been extended to taxes falling due in the period until and including June 18, 2020. It now also applies to lottery tax, excise duties, soda tax (verbruiksbelasting), insurance premium tax, energy tax and other environmental taxes.

Update 27/03/2020

On 26 March 2020, the Dutch customs authorities have officially announced a package of measures to support companies which are facing challenges due to the coronavirus epidemic. Affected businesses can be granted more time to pay their duties, penalties are eased and tailormade solutions will be made available regarding legal terms and licenses.

Deferred payment

- The Dutch customs authorities will grant companies deferment of payment of import duties. A company needs to file a formal request if it wants to defer the payment. The deferment will ultimately apply until the 15th day of the month following the month in which the installed measures to deal with the Coronavirus are terminated.

- Payments of customs duties are generally made by your logistic service provider after which the duties are charged on to the company for whom the service is provided for. In order to be able to make use of the deferment, timely execution of precautions is advised. Reach out to your logistic service provider as soon as possible to discuss next steps and align on the best approach.

- Deferment of payment of excise duties and consumption tax can be requested after the (excise) tax assessment (‘naheffingsaanslag’) is issued.


Penalties and fines

- The Dutch customs authorities will take on a flexible approach in dealing with companies who are not able to comply with customs obligations in time if this is caused by the Corona crisis.

- If no violations or criminal acts and/or no intent or blame is in play, no penalties will be imposed.


Legal terms

- The Dutch customs authorities will provide tailored solutions for companies that cannot comply with strict legal deadlines (f.e. the submitting of the supplementary declaration).

- File applications for repayment or objections in a pro-forma manner (i.e. without detailed information on why the request is filed). In case of exceeding of the legal term the special circumstances will be taken into consideration and one will be allowed to further substantiate the request / appeal at a later stage.

- Non-compliance in legal terms in relation to transit procedures resulting from installed measures necessary to deal with the Corona virus will be regarded as acceptable failure to comply with the time limit. 


Licenses

- The Dutch customs authorities will provide tailored solutions for companies that cannot comply with financial solvency requirements in relation to their AEO-status, the appointment of the customs representative or the reduction or exemption of the guarantee on the basis of the comprehensive guarantee authorization.

- The terms for pending license applications which cannot be completed in time as a result of the Coronavirus shall be suspended (in case of electronic filing one is asked to report the delay themselves).


Practical points of interest and next steps
At PwC we see opportunities for companies to cope with problems they are facing as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. This package of measures installed by the Dutch customs authorities endorse the willingness of the Dutch government to assist companies in these challenging times. On another note application of these measures in practice will prove to be a big challenge. Align with your business associates to make sure all necessary precautions are taken into consideration. 

Update 23/03/2020

Dutch Customs has announced a further postponement of the implementation of the new exporter definition, due to the COVID-19-crisis. So far, it is an informal notification, but we shortly expect an official publication as well.

https://www.pwc.nl/en/insights-and-publications/tax-news/vat/new-exporter-definition-further-postponed.html

On 20 March the Dutch tax authorities announced as of then a generic three month extension of the payment deadline for all taxpayers in respect of corporate and personal income tax, VAT and wage taxes. This extension still needs to be obtained through a written request. Longer extensions are possible, but in that case indeed the evidence as mentioned in our 18 March 2020 update needs to be provided, for which further details will be published later. More information can be found here: https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/nl/ondernemers/content/coronavirus-belastingmaatregelen-om-ondernemers-te-helpen

Update 20/03/2020

On 14 March 2020 a Regulation was published that an export license is required for certain protective equipment (e.g. face shields, mouth - nose-protection equipment, gloves, protective garments, protective spectacles & visors). 

Update 18/03/2020

The Dutch tax authorities have opened the possibility for an extension of the payment deadline for various taxes including VAT. This was further simplified as part of an emergency measures package on 17 March 2020 (view this webpage for full details: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/nieuws/2020/03/17/coronavirus-kabinet-neemt-pakket-nieuwe-maatregelen-voor-banen-en-economie). 

The request needs to be submitted in writing and should contain an explanation why the covid-19 virus has impacted your company as well as a declaration from a third party to ascertain the viability of your company. This declaration can now be provided within four weeks from filing the request and further details on what the declaration should contain will follow within soon. Late payment interest for VAT is reduced temporarily from 4% to 0.01% from 1 June 2020, whereas collection interest is also reduced from 4% to 0.01% per 23 March 2020. Finally, penalties for not timely paying VAT due will be waived. Further details can be found here: https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/berichten/nieuws/uitstel-betaling-gevolgen-coronavirus

Please see below more measures in addition to the ones posted on 17/03/2020:

Foreign VAT reclaims
The deadline for reclaiming VAT for the year 2019 from other EU territories is by 30 September 2020. When amounts are significant enough, it may be considered to bring 2020 claims forward already now since the de minimis thresholds for EU VAT reclaims are EUR 400 / 3 month-period for a claim and EUR 50 on an annual basis.

Update 17/03/2020

The Dutch tax authorities have opened the possibility for an extension of the payment deadline for all taxes including VAT. The request needs to be submitted in writing and should contain an explanation why the covid-19 virus has impacted your company as well as a declaration from a third party to ascertain the viability of your company. Further details can be found here: https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/berichten/nieuws/uitstel-betaling-gevolgen-coronavirus

Below you can find a couple of measures you can take to better manage the impact of VAT on your net working capital position.

VAT and bad debts
In these challenging times, your customers may be facing bankruptcy and/or payment difficulties. Since 1 January 2017, Dutch VAT law prescribes that all receivables outstanding for more than one year from the moment they fell due (i.e. after the payment due date), are automatically treated as bad debts and VAT charged on transactions performed to these customers can be reclaimed via the regular VAT return. We recommend to check your outstanding receivables bearing in mind this criterion to optimise your VAT recovery position.

Cancellation fees and VAT
In case of a cancellation, non-fulfillment of contractual obligations, no-shows and comparable situations, it is worth noting that any VAT charged may not be due anymore / open for VAT recovery. VAT should not become an expense for your company in a situation caused by COVID-19 if:
- you are no longer able to use the goods or services you have purchased or manufactured;
- an advance payment or deposit has been received but the transaction will no longer be carried out;
- there is an obligation to pay for damage or loss.
We are happy to support investigating any potential VAT refund reclaims referring to the aforementioned situations.

Offsetting VAT receivable and wage tax payable
It is possible to offset VAT receivable with wage tax payable upon request with the Dutch tax authorities. This enables you to bring the moment of the VAT receivable forward instead of waiting for the VAT to be paid out by the Dutch tax authorities following the filing of the VAT return.

VAT return filing period
The VAT return filing period is quarterly by default in the Netherlands. In case you are currently filing VAT returns on a monthly basis, it is possible to switch to quarterly VAT returns upon request in order to better manage cash-flow for VAT payable or from quarterly to monthly in case you are in a VAT receivable position.

Timing of invoices
When invoices are issued at the beginning of the month, based on the payment terms agreed with customers, the payment (including VAT) will often have been received before the filing due date of the VAT return. This means that you don’t have to pre-finance output VAT. On the other hand, invoices from suppliers are preferably issued at the end of the month, so that you can reclaim the VAT already, before the payment deadline towards the customers, meaning that you bring forward your input VAT position.

VAT grouping
Under circumstances it is possible to form a VAT group between companies which meet the required economic, financial and organisational links. This enables the companies to file one combined VAT return and charges between entities in the VAT group are outside the scope of VAT, i.e. not impact cash-flow. Furthermore, it is not required to issue invoices for transactions within the VAT group. Downside is joint and several liability for VAT debts among entities included in a VAT group.

Import VAT deferment
When you import goods on a regular basis, it is possible to apply for import VAT deferment, whereby the payment of import VAT is shifted indefinitely to the VAT return and import VAT is no longer due upon customs clearance at the border. Please note that this does not apply for any import duties due.

Update 12/03/2020

Guidance from the local tax authority. Dedicated page from PWC Netherlands to be shared when ready (in Dutch only for now)

For more information please contact manon.ultee@pwc.com.

Poland (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

INTRASTAT statistical declarations for the month of March 2020 can be submitted by the 20th of April 2020. Submission of INTRASTAT statistical declaration for March 2020 after the 10th of April will have not any negative consequences for persons obliged to submit the declarations.

1. Rates:  

- Products manufactured or purchased by the companies for the fight against the coronavirus are subject to a "zero" VAT rate;

- The new matrix of VAT rates will become effective from July 1, 2020.

2. Payment /time limits: 

- Taxpayers may apply for tax debt write-off or delay of payment deadline;

- The tax payment date extension fee shall not be charged during epidemic state.  

3. Filing of returns /frequency - no amendments.
4. Other:

- Possibility of providing the customer with a fiscal receipt in electronic form (with the consent and in the manner agreed with the customer);

- Extension of the deadline (from 3 to 14 days) for submission of notification of payment to an account not included in the list of VAT taxpayers (so-called “white list”);

- Possibility to refrain from imposing penalties for errors in SAF-T file;

- Extension of deadline for implementation of new VAT standard audit file for taxes (JPK_VDEK / SAF_T VDEK) to 1 July 2020 (The deadline for implementation of SAF_T VDEK shall be delayed. Originally this new schema of standard audit file for taxes was meant to be applicable to large enterprises starting 1 April 2020);

- Possibility to suspend on-going tax proceedings, including tax audits;

- There will be options to suspend administrative enforcement proceedings for cash receivables.

Update 23/03/2020

 Payment /time limits
-Taxpayers may apply for tax debt write-off or delay of payment deadline.    

- The tax payment date extension fee shall not be charged during epidemic state.  

3. Filing of returns /frequency - no amendments.
4. Other:

-Extension of deadline for implementation of new VAT standard audit file for taxes (JPK_VDEK / SAF_T VDEK) to 1 July 2020 (originally this new schema of standard audit file for taxes was meant to be applicable to large enterprises starting 1 April 2020).

-Possibility to suspend on-going tax proceedings, including tax audits.

-There will be options to suspend administrative enforcement proceedings for cash receivables.

Update 12/03/2020

The extension of SAF-T is delayed to 1 July (Legislation has not been published yet but has been announced by Ministry of Finance officials). No further update from the local tax authority as yet.

For more information please contact tomasz.kassel@pwc.com

Portugal (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

VAT payments to be postponed. Further update to follow. 

For more information please contact  susana.claro@pwc.com

Romania (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

No VAT applies imports of medical equipment and drugs for combatting COVID-19 during the state of emergency and for a further period of 30 days after the government lifts it.

https://www.pwc.ro/en/tax-legal/alerts/government-emergency-ordinance-no--33-2020-regarding-some-fiscal.html

Update 17/03/2020

Considering the economic context caused by the spread of the COVID – 19 virus, Romania’s National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) has prepared several measures aimed at supporting the business environment. Some of the steps to be taken are:

- Suspension or decision not to initiate enforced collection of budget claims; to achieve this, no orders for payment, garnishment over available funds and over revenues and property seizure will be issued. This will not include any amounts ordered under court judgements in criminal cases;

- VAT refunds during March for all processed returns / claims for which refund decisions have been issued;

- Implementation of a new VAT refund mechanism intended to speed up refund claim processing, starting 1 April 2020;

- Suspension of tax audit proceedings (tax inspections, anti-fraud checks), except for checks that can be performed remotely and except for tax evasion cases, where relevant indications are available;

- Suspension of the antifraud activities related to Filter 2 and of the specific activities at the Hungarian and Bulgarian border checkpoints.

These measures will apply throughout the duration of the state of emergency in Romania and for 30 days after the termination thereof.

The 25 March 2020 deadline for filing tax returns is postponed to 25 April 2020.

Update 13/03/2020

No measures have been undertaken yet, however, business associations have been requested to postpone the reporting calendar. No official feedback has been received yet from the Romanian tax authorities. 

For more information please contact  inge.abdulcair@pwc.com

Slovakia (Last updates: 23/03/2020)

VAT return submission deadlines remain the same.  Established and non-established businesses can apply for the deadlines extension if they provide reasonable explanations as to why the deadlines could not be met.

For more information please contact dmytro.x.myroshnychenko@pwc.com

Slovenia (Last updated: 30/03/2020)

Taxable persons may ask for a deferral of tax payment for up to 2 years or payment of tax in maximum of 24 monthly instalments by submitting a form in the e-Tax system or exceptionally by email. No interest shall be charged for the time of deferral/instalments.

For more information please contact mojca.bartol.lesar@pwc.com

Spain (Last updated: 31/03/2020)

Update 31/03/2020
Last Friday 27 March 2020, the Customs and Excise Duties Department published an Informative Note whereby it gives certain instructions derived from the "State of Alarm" declared by the Spanish Government last 14 March 2020. The duration of these instructions will be fully linked to the duration of the "State of Alarm". In brief, the main purpose of this informative note is to simplify formal requirements (removal of the standard authorisation by the Spanish Drugs and Sanitary Products Agency under certain conditions) for the importation of protection goods  such as face masks, boots, gloves or personal protection equipments. 
Update 24/03/2020
The Canary Island Tax Authorities published an Order on 23 March 2020 whereby submission deadlines for 1Q IGIC return (initially due by 20 April) are extended until next 1 June 2020 for SMEs and self-employed workers whose turnover has not exceeded 6 mio Eur in 2019.
Update 19/03/2020

On 18 March 2020, the Spanish Government published Royal Law-Decree 8/2020 with extraordinary and urgent measures for tackling the economic and social impact derived from COVID-19.

TAX MEASURES:  Replaces those contained in the previous RD 463/2020 of 14 March as far as TAX PROCEDURES are concerned. 

1) The following terms and deadline which had already started BEFORE 18 March are automatically extended until next 30 April 2020:

- Terms and deadlines in connection with outstanding payments related to tax debts settled by the Spanish Tax Authorities that are either in the voluntary or compulsory collection periods. Note:  As already noted in previous updates, this measure does not affect tax debts resulting from tax declarations and returns self-settled by taxpayers, e.g. resulting from monthly/quarterly VAT return filings, i.e. February VAT return still to be submitted and paid by 30 March 2021. For automatic tax deferral available for SMEs and professionals please refer to the earlier update.

- Terms and deadlines in connection with tax debts already postponed.

- Terms and deadlines for attending tax info requests received from the STA.

- Terms and deadlines for submitting allegations within the frame of tax management, tax penalty, refund of unduly paid taxes and other procedures.

- All the above-mentioned terms and deadlines which started from 18 March 2020 are automatically extended until  20 May 2020.

2) DEADLINES FOR APPEALS

Deadlines for: i) Appeal for Reconsideration previous to the economic-administrative claim; ii) Economic-Administrative Claim either before Regional Courts or Central Court started before  16 March 2020 are not suspended.

Deadlines for: i) Appeal for Reconsideration previous to the economic-administrative claim; ii) Economic-Administrative Claim either before Regional Courts or Central Court, started after 18 March 2020 will not be deemed initiated until 30 April 2021.

Deadline for filing allegations within the frame of the Economic-Administrative procedure started before 18 March 2020 is not extended.

Deadline for filing allegations within the frame of the Economic-Administrative procedure started after 18 March 2020 is extended until  20 May 2021.

3) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AND EXPIRY TERMS

The period between 18 March and 30 April is not computed for the purpose of the maximum duration of tax management, tax penalty and tax appeal procedures according to the law.

In general terms, the period between 18 March and 30 April is NOT computed for the purpose of the Statute of Limitations and expiry terms, e.g. the 4 years term in order to exercise the right to deduct input VAT quotas.

4) CUSTOMS PROCEDURES

The above-mentioned rules will not affect deadlines governed by customs law provisions.

Besides, aimed at guaranteeing the continuity of customs traffic, the Customs and Excise Duties Department at the State Tax Agency will be able to decide that any administrative body or any officer in charge of Customs and Excise is allowed to execute both the customs declaration procedure and dispatch of goods.

Update in connection with the measures implemented by the Spanish Customs Authorities regarding COVID-19:

Today, 17 March 2020, the Customs and Excise Duties Department of the Spanish Tax Authorities published an Informative Note whereby it publishes certain instructions derived from the "State of Alarm" declared by the Spanish Government last 14 March 2020. The duration of these instructions will be fully linked to the duration of the "State of Alarm" which initial duration is 15 calendar days.

Briefly explained, the main purpose of the note is informing that most of the activities conducted by the Department will be performed remotely, being the only services to be physically rendered by the Customs Authorities those related with the clearance of the goods for the import/export and related with travellers.

Additionally, special rules will apply in relation to guarantees (original documents will not be requested and scanned copies will be accepted, irrespective of the potential request to be conducted at any future point); Certificates of origin EUR-1 (its subsequent issuance will be accepted during this timeframe); ATA carnet (a scanned copy will be accepted by the Customs Authorities) and transit sealed procedure (a precise description of the goods could replace the seal of the goods).

Update 16/03/2020

The STA have published the following statement on its website: 
"IMPORTANT NOTICE: EXTENSION OF DEADLINES IN TAX PROCEDURES
Deadlines in tax procedures will be extended by means of an imminent legislative change.  All visits can be postponed. The tax agency will contact the business to rearrange visits.  
It is not clear at this point whether this will affect all tax procedures. 
Up to now, only Spanish version of the above mentioned text available in the STA's webpage.
AUTOMATIC TAX DEFERRALS
Provisional instructions to be followed in order to apply for a tax deferral in accordance with the Royal Law-Decree 7/2020, of 12 March, just for SMEs and professionals are now available on the STA's webpage.
A deferral for tax payment will be automatically granted to all those tax returns (including VAT returns) with a deadline between 13 March 2020 and 30 May 2020, both inclusive, for tax debts up to 30.000 EUR.
As a mandatory requirement tax debtors cannot exceed 6 Mio turnover during the precedent year, i.e. 2019.
Deferrals will be subject to the following conditions:

- Term for deferral will be 6 months (e.g. February VAT return to be filed by next 30 March 2020 will be deferred until next 30 September 2020)

- No delay interest will be due for the first three months 

Up to now, only Spanish version of instructions available on how to apply for a deferral. 
On 14 March 2020, The Spanish Government published its RD 463/2020 whereby it officially declares the "State of Alarm" for managing the sanitary crisis in all the territory of the country. Initial duration of 15 calendar days (can be extended if necessary).
In terms of Indirect Tax measures this means the following: 
1) AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF ALL JUDICIAL TERMS AND DEADLINES

Terms and deadlines in connection with all Judicial Procedures substantiated before Spanish Courts for all jurisdictions (including the contentious-administrative courts in charge of all tax matters) are automatically SUSPENDED/INTERRUPTED as from 14 March 2020. Terms and deadlines will be restarted as soon as the State of Alarm is declared ended.

2) AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF ALL ADMINISTRATIVE TERMS AND DEADLINES

Terms and deadlines in connection with all Administrative Procedures (including all tax procedures) are automatically SUSPENDED/INTERRUPTED as from 14 March 2020. Terms and deadlines will be restarted as soon as the State of Alarm is declared ended.

It seems as if this measure does NOT affect to the filing of tax returns (including VAT returns), e.g. February VAT return still to be submitted by next 30 March.

3) AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF LIMITATION PERIODS

Statute of limitations and deadlines for exercising whatever actions or rights are automatically SUSPENDED as from 14 March while in force the "State of Alarm". 

4) CUSTOMS TRAFFIC

Customs Authorities will adopt whatever measures are needed in order to guarantee customs traffic in all entry and border check-points at ports and airports. In this particular respect, priority will be given to essential goods reason why customs procedures in connection with the rest of the goods (not deemed essential) may suffer delays.

For more information please contact  alfonso.viejo@pwc.com

Sweden (Last updated: 30/03/2020)

Update 30/03/2020

The Swedish parliament has decided to agree to the government's proposed measures regarding a time limited opportunity for deferral with payments of taxes and fees (deducted preliminary tax on wages, employer’s social security fees and VAT). The amendments aim to quickly moderate the temporary liquidity issues that companies may suffer as a result of the spread of Covid-19. 

The new rules regarding deferral of VAT will be applicable for businesses that report their VAT monthly, quarterly or yearly. The accounting periods are January to September 2020 (monthly or quarterly). For businesses with yearly reporting it shall be VAT that are reported between 27 December 2019 and 17 January 2021.

The deferral time is 12 months. It should be noted that the refund can cover a maximum of 3 months paid taxes. The rules will enter into force on 30 March 2020 (instead of previously stated 7 April). The rules will apply to companies with an acceptable financial track record. The rules will furthermore not apply to companies with larger tax debts.

Businesses that already have paid the above taxes to their tax account at the beginning of 2020 are eligible to have that tax refunded. 

Interest rate of 1,25 % (on a daily basis) and a monthly fee of 0,3 % of the deferred amount shall be paid when the deferral ends.

Note that is also possible to apply for deferral according to the general rules of deferral, these rules are applicable on most of the taxes in Sweden. In that case the amounts, time, accounting periods etc must be assessed in the individual case and the business must be able to show that is has specific reasons for a deferral.

Update 25/03/2020

There has been a change in the Swedish proposal of the temporary rules for deferral of tax payments. The rules will come into force 30 March 2020 instead of 7 April 2020.

Further update to follow. 

Update 17/03/2020

Extended deadlines and payment refund of payroll taxes, preliminary tax (on salary) and VAT. The rules regarding VAT are only applicable on businesses that declare their VAT monthly or quarterly.

Businesses that have paid the above taxes to their tax account from 1 January 2020 to March 2020 are eligible to have that tax refunded. The taxes must however be repaid, including interest, by the taxpayer within 12 months. It should be noted that the refund can cover a maximum of 3 months paid taxes.

The rules will apply to companies with an acceptable financial track record. The rules will furthermore not apply to companies with larger tax debts.

The rules are expected to come into force on April 7 2020, but can be applied retrospectively from January 1, 2020. 

Further information to follow. 

For more information please contact cecilia.rasmusson@pwc.com

For more information please contact  cecilia.rasmusson@pwc.com

Rest of Europe

Azerbaijan (Last updated: 02/04/2020)

The program of tax benefits, privileges and holidays for businesses operating in areas affected by the pandemic was approved on 1 April 2020. Please note that the approved program is only a general framework document. The development of special measures to be taken under the programs is expected in the near future.
 
The program includes also the Value added tax related section which include the following general proposed measures (deadlines, exempted taxpayers, exempted products and other particulars needs be determined:

- VAT exemption of some taxpayers for the specific period;

- Temporary exemption from VAT of some products necessary for food and medical needs of the population (VAT exemption on import and sale of some products);

- VAT exemption of raw materials related to the production of food, medicine and other essential products in order to satisfy the population's demand for food, medicine and other necessary products in a timely and more flexible manner;

- Application of zero (0) rate VAT to the supply of free services provided by the taxpayer in connection with the prevention of the epidemic.

And some general measures, which are also related to VAT:

- Extension of the deadline for submission of tax returns as well as the deadline for payment of taxes;

- Exemption from current tax payments for the relevant period for the specific industries.

For more information please contact gunel.sadiyeva@pwc.com

Belarus (Last updated: 02/04/2020)

No specific measures have been implemented yet.

For more information, please contact eugenia.chetverikova@pwc.com

Bosnia and Herzegovina (Last updated 03/04/2020)

The only measure adopted so far relates to the BiH Council of Ministers' adopting a Decision on exemption from calculation and payment of indirect taxes and refunds of paid indirect taxes on equipment and assets donated by domestic and international entities for the purpose of prevention, suppression and elimination of the epidemic caused by the coronal virus (COVID 19). The Decision is adopted based on proposal of the BiH Ministry of Security.

Respective equipment and assets include face masks, gloves, disinfectants, protective clothing for medical staff, as well as respirators and other essential equipment to combat the coronary virus.
Exemption from payment of indirect taxes, during release of donated goods in free circulation, is allowed if the donation is provided only to public bodies in BiH, responsible for protecting people‘s life and health. 
Acting upon the Decision is obligatory for all entities to which the Decision applies, only during the state of a natural or other disaster in the territory of BiH.
The decision entered into force on 24th March 2020.
For more information please contact mubera.brkovic@pwc.com

Channel Islands (Last updated: 20 March 2020)

Jersey

Please follow this link to see the latest guidance from the Government of Jersey in relation to COVID-19

Kazakhstan (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

VAT:
As per the Decree of the Kazakhstan Government No. 141 dated 27 March 2020, 8% VAT rate would be applied upon sale and import of goods included into the List of socially-essential food products.
 
Customs:

- Green route for socially important goods

The State Revenue Committee opened a “green route” for import of socially important goods.
Major importers of socially important goods are exempt from customs control during customs clearance (customs inspection, expert study and control of the customs value of goods).

- Waived customs duties

According to the Decision of the Eurasian Economic Commission No. 21 of 16 March, customs duties will not be applied for goods included in the List of goods imported into the Eurasian Economic Union (“EAEU”) territory to implement measures aimed at prevention of COVID-19 (e.g. talcum powder for the production of masks and gloves, products used for production of disinfectants, vaccines, etc.). This incentive is applicable as from 3 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.

- Customs inspection

According to the information provided by the State Revenue Committee, the following inspection measures were suspended or cancelled:

- physical provision of customs inspection documents, as well as verification of customs documents and records (acts of inspections, notifications, requirements) is suspended;

- on-field customs inspections appointed but not started as of 16 March 2020 were cancelled;

- appointment of on-field customs inspections has been suspended, except for reasons envisaged by the Criminal Code;

- consultations between declarants and state revenue authorities has been suspended;

Update 18/03/2020

The following measures have been put in place: 

- Deadlines for filing tax returns (for both legal entities and individuals) is extended to 30 calendar days 

- Desk audit notifications and Ministry of Finance Appeal Committee meetings for consideration of audit acts are suspended for the term of announced State of Emergency (until 15 April 2020);

- Commencement of planned tax inspections suspended until 15 April 2020. 

For further information please contact nazira.nurbayeva@kz.pwc.com

Moldova (Last updated: 02/04/2020)

- The deadline for review of the customs infringements or appeals submitted during the emergency period has been extended until 29 May 2020 .
- The Government is considering to reduce VAT rate for HoReCa from 20% to 15%.

Norway (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020

The obligation to prepare the SAF-T file for accounting documentation purposes within the deadline 10 April 2020 is postponed if the business is in a position to verify that the delay to prepare such documentation is due to the current COVID-19 situation

Update 01/04/2020

Reduced VAT rate has been changed to 6% on certain supplies. 

Please see our latest news article on this matter https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/lower-vat-rate-reduced-to-6-from-1-april

Update 25/03/2020

It is confirmed by the Government that payments of VAT which are due on April 10 (this year due to Easter falling due on 14 April) for the reporting and payment of VAT for the first VAT period (January-February) of 2020, will be deferred until the deadline for the next VAT period 10 June 2020.

Daily fines for late submission of VAT returns for VAT period 1 and 2 will not be issued. The tax authorities still urge companies to submit the returns at their earliest convenience.
The earlier announced decrease in the low VAT rate from 12 % to 8 % will take effect from 1 April 2020 (and not as earlier proposed from 1 January 2020) and last until 31 October 2020. 

Update 18/03/2020

On 17 March 2020 the Norwegian government introduced some new measures regarding VAT in Norway due to the COVID-19 virus situation. These measures have been approved in the first hearing by the Parliament, and are expected to be given effect by the government on Friday this week. Further guidelines around the interpretation of the new rules are expected to be provided by the Norwegian tax administration soon. 

The VAT related measures are as follows:  

- Payments of VAT which are due on April 10 (deadline for reporting and payment of VAT for the first VAT period (January-February) of 2020), will be deferred. There are ongoing discussions by the Norwegian tax administration for how long the payment will be deferred. We have reason to believe that the deferment will at least last till the deadline for the next VAT period 10 June 2020. It is expected that this will improve the cash flow situation many corporations are now facing.

- The low VAT rate of 12% is reduced to 8% with effect from 1 January 2020. The temporary reduction in the VAT rate is expected to last until end of October 2020. The low rate is applicable to services consisting of passenger transport, accommodation, public broadcasting and the access to cinema, sporting events, funfairs and adventure centers. The intention of lowering the VAT rate is to both improve the cash flow impact of the businesses facing a big impact of the market situation due to COVID-19 and also stimulate the market for these services.

Update 12/03/2020

The Norwegian Government did not introduce any measures impacting VAT or customs reporting or payment in Norway through its press release today. However, the air passenger duty will be abolished for flights taking effect from 1 January 2020 - 31 October 2020. All airport related duties in Norway will also be abolished till 30 June 2020. There are also several measures with respect to Corporate Income Tax.

For more information please contact espen.qvist@pwc.com

Russia (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

No deferral on VAT payments announced. 

For more information please contact vladimir.konstantinov@pwc.com

Switzerland (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

The latest update from the Swiss Federal Customs Administration can be found here https://www.pwc.ch/en/insights/tax/federal-customs-administration-supports-companies-in-covid-19-crisis.html

Update 26/03/2020

Swiss Federal Council has decided to implement a package of measures to mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19 (https://www.admin.ch/gov/de/start/dokumentation/medienmitteilungen/bundesrat.msg-id-78515.html).

Businesses should have the possibility to extend payment periods without having to pay interest on overdue payments. For this reason, the interest rate for value added tax, customs duties, special excise taxes and incentive taxes is reduced to 0.0 percent in the period from 21 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. No late payment interest will be charged during this period.

The filing and payment deadline can be extended by three months without justification via online portal ESTV SuisseTAX or on the Federal Tax Authorities' (FTA) homepage. Any request to defer the payment deadline for more than three months needs to be justified. Please follow this link (https://www.estv.admin.ch/estv/de/home/covid19/news.html ) to see the latest information and FAQs pushlished by the FTA in German, French and Italian language. 

Finally, the the FTA has been instructed to pay out VAT credits as quickly as possible without taking advantage of the payment deadlines.

General information about emergency cash tax points for Swiss companies and groups are outlined in this (https://www.pwc.ch/en/publications/2020/emergency-cash-tax-points-switzerland-en-web-flyer.pdf ) newsletter.

For more information please contact thomas.patt@ch.pwc.com.

Turkey (Last updated: 30/03/2020)

Update 30/03/2020

- Tax authority declared force majeure for several sectors, including the hospitality sector (Communiqué no.518, published on 24 March)

Being within the scope of force majeure relief means extension for complying with certain tax formalities and for paying certain tax liabilities. For details with respect to impacted tax obligations and the new deadline. Please be informed that tour operators and travel agents are also covered within this measure.

- Implementation of the new accommodation tax has been pushed forward to the year 2021 (Law no.7226, published on 26 March)

- Payment deadline for usufruct fees, revenue sharing payments and ecrimisil due in the period of  1 April - 30 June has been extended by 6 months.  (Law no.7226, published on 26 March)

- VAT on domestic flights is reduced to 1% for a 3-month period from 1 April to 30 June 2020 (regulation published on 22 March)

Please see our latest news articles on this matter here 

Update 27/03/2020

1. All periods regarding the origin, use or termination of a right, including filing a lawsuit, initiating enforcement proceedings, application, complaint, objection, notice, notice, submission and timeout periods, deprivation times and mandatory administrative application periods; the periods determined in terms of the parties in the Administrative Judicial Procedure Law, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Law of Civil Procedure and other laws including procedural provisions, and the periods determined by the judge in this context and the periods in mediation and reconciliation institutions will be suspended starting from 13 March 2020 (including this date) to 30 April 2020 (including this date).
2. The periods specified in the Execution and Bankruptcy Law and other laws related to the follow-up law and the periods determined by the judge and the enforcement and bankruptcy offices (except for the execution proceedings related to the maintenance receivables), all execution and bankruptcy proceedings, parties and follow-up procedures, new enforcement and bankruptcy, the proceedings regarding the receipt of follow-up requests, the execution and execution of the injunction foreclosure decisions will be suspended from 22 March 2020 (including this date) until 30 April 2020 (including this date).
- February 2020 VAT return declaration and payment deadlines have been postponed to 24th April 2020.
- February 2020 Monthly BA-BS forms' (Sales and purchase reconciliation forms) submission deadlines have been postponed to 30th April 2020.
- December 2019 e-Ledger submission deadline has been postponed to 30th April 2020 only for those that use special accounting period. For companies with normal accounting period (1st January - 31st December), December 2019 e-Ledger submission deadline is still 30th April 2020 according to e-Ledger legislation.

Update 25/03/2020

1. Tax Procedural Law Circulars No.126 - Feb 2020 VAT return and BA-BS (Monthly sales and purchase reconciliation) declarations and e-Ledger summary file submissions.
February 2020 VAT return submission and payment deadline has been postponed to 24 April 2020.
February 2020 BA-BS form submission deadline  has been postponed to 24 April 2020.
December 2019 e-Ledger summary files submission deadline (only for the taxpayers that have special accounting period - taxpayers with standard accounting period are out of scope)  has been postponed to 30 April 2020.
2. Tax Procedural Law Communique No.518 - Force Majeure Conditions for Specified Industries
According to the Turkish Tax Procedural Law General Communique No.518 published on the Provisional Official Gazette dated 24th March 2020, taxpayers in specific industries are assessed under "force majeure" conditions in terms of tax return and other declaration obligations.
Specified group of taxpayers are referred as below:
1. Taxpayers that have income tax liabilities due to their commercial, agricultural and professional revenues,
2. Taxpayers that have directly affected from coronavirus due to their main operations:
Including shopping centers;
- Retailers
- Health services
- Furniture manufacturers
- Iron, steel and metal industry
- Mining industry
- Construction services
- Industrial kitchen manufacturers
- Automotive manufacturers, spare part and accessory manufacturers
- Car leasing companies
- Logistics companies including storage
- Cinema and theatre
- Book, newspaper and other publishing services
- Accommodation services including tour operators and travel agencies
- Restaurants, cafes and food beverage services
- Textile manufacturers and merchandisers
- PR, organisation and other activity companies
Above mentioned taxpayers' tax liabilities and other declaration obligations have been postponed as follows:
- 2020 March Income Tax and Social Security Premium Returns, VAT Return Returns and BA-BS forms declaration deadline has been postponed to 27 July 2020. Payment deadline has been postponed to 27 October 2020. December 2019 and January 2020 e-Ledger summary file submission deadline has been postponed to 27 July 2020.
- 2020 April Income Tax and Social Security Premium Returns, VAT Return Returns and BA-BS forms declaration deadline has been postponed to 27 July 2020. Payment deadline has been postponed to 27 November 2020. February 2020 e-Ledger summary file submission deadline has been postponed to 27 July 2020.
-  2020 May Income Tax and Social Security Premium Returns, VAT Return Returns and BA-BS forms declaration deadline has been postponed to 27 July 2020. Payment deadline has been postponed to 28 December 2020. March 2020 e-Ledger summary file submission deadline has been postponed to 27 July 2020.

Update 23/03/2020

The VAT on domestic air travel will be cut from 18% to 1% for a temporary period of 3 months.

https://www.pwc.com.tr/en/hizmetlerimiz/vergi/bultenler/2020/covid-19-emergency-tax-measures-for-turkish-companies.html?utm_source=euromessage&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Tax+Bulletin&utm_content=covid-19-emergency-tax-measures-for-turkish-companies

For more information please contact  sibel.ozturk@pwc.com

UK (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

Coronavirus: payment of Customs and Excise duties

Following HMRC’s deferral of VAT payments due in the period to 30 June 2020, PwC’s Customs and Excise specialists have been in discussions with HMRC concerning Customs and Excise duty payments, and HMRC has confirmed that there are a number of ongoing discussions on this at Policy level and further guidance will be issued in the next few days given upcoming payments in mid to end of April.

However, the following points have been confirmed in discussions:

1. The automatic VAT deferral does not include import VAT which will need to be paid or agreed as part of a deferral or TTP arrangement with HMRC.

2. Duty deferment processes will continue to operate as normal and HMRC will continue to collect direct debits. If a taxpayer is unable to meet the direct debit, it should contact its CCM, Duty Deferment Team or the Covid-19 helpline and request a Time To Pay arrangement. Currently HMRC will not be suspending any accounts due to unpaid direct debits.

These are complex areas with multiple stakeholders in HMRC and government and we would advise early engagement with HMRC on areas such as amounts due by tax type (import VAT, excise and customs). Please connect with a member of the Customs, Excise and International Trade Team for more help.

Customs authorisations and moving goods during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

To assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the tax authority, HMRC, has introduced temporary changes to customs policy, authorisations, and moving goods through Customs.

HMRC has published Customs authorisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) which gives full details of the policy changes concerning:

  • changes to customs authorisations;
  • applying for customs authorisations and guarantees;
  • visiting you about your customs authorisation application; and
  • renewing your existing authorisation.

These changes may affect you if you are authorised or applying to be authorised by HMRC to:

  • use temporary storage or customs special procedures such as inward processing or customs warehousing;
  • use simplified declarations such as entry in your own records;
  • have a guarantee;
  • operate as an Authorised Economic Operator.

HMRC will update their guidance when this change ends.

HMRC has also published Moving goods through customs during the coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance provides advice on:

  • changes to the way you operate;
  • exports less than €3000 in value;
  • delays during transit of your goods;
  • completing supplementary declarations; and
  • how to submit an estimated figure.

If you would like to discuss any aspect in more detail, please contact the author, Matthew Clark, (+44 (0) 7718 339388) or your usual PwC Indirect Tax adviser.

Update 01/04/2020

Chancellor waives duties and VAT on vital medical imports. Please see follow this link for further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-waives-duties-and-vat-on-vital-medical-imports?utm_source=dd2fac69-23b7-46fc-ae3e-8e8cd03c50a7&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Please see our latest news article on this matter https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/covid-19-import-duty-and-vat-relief-on-medical-supplies

Update 30/03/2020

As previously reported, on Friday 20 March, the Chancellor announced that VAT registered businesses will be permitted to defer their VAT payments falling due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 to the end of the 2020/2021 tax year. The tax authority, HMRC, has published some further information for those affected and, in discussions with HMRC, we have now clarified some further points. 

In his speech on the latest measures to alleviate the economic impact of coronavirus, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the deferral of VAT payments falling due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until the end of the financial year. Some further information was published in an updated version of ‘COVID-19: support for businesses’, and the tax authority, HMRC, has now published 'Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)'.

The additional information in that publication is:

  • deferral is optional;
  • VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) payments are not deferred;
  • no interest or penalties will be charged as a result of deferral;
  • VAT returns must still be submitted on time;
  • the deferred VAT will be due to HMRC on or before 31 March 2021;
  • you do not need to tell HMRC that you are deferring your VAT payment;
  • direct debits must be cancelled, and can be cancelled online by those with online banking facilities; and
  • VAT payments due following the end of the deferral period will have to be paid as normal.

We have been discussing a number of additional points with HMRC, and we are now able to clarify the following points:

  • the deferral scheme covers VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, i.e. you need to look at the payment due date, rather than the return period. So, the May return period with payment due date of 7 July would not be covered by the scheme;
  • payments relating to monthly and quarterly returns, and payments on account are included;
  • payments related to disclosures, assessments, import VAT, duties and other indirect taxes are not included. If businesses cannot pay these other tax liabilities then the Time To Pay process needs to be engaged;
  • non-established taxable persons (NETPs) are included;
  • there will be no change to the bad debt relief provisions;
  • moving from quarterly to monthly returns can be processed as normal through the Making Tax Digital account;
  • businesses that had already agreed Time To Pay arrangements, before the Chancellor's announcement, can still benefit from the deferral scheme. HMRC is still considering how to manage the process from an admin perspective, i.e. whether any further action will need to be taken to close out the prior agreement.

One point that remains to be clarified is whether deferral of a payment precludes an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.

HMRC has also published ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline’, and ‘Payment problems’.

It is expected that HMRC will issue updated guidance on these issues during the course of this week, and GVO will report once the further guidance becomes available. 

In an update to its 'Making Tax Digital' programme, HMRC has also today confirmed that the deadlines for businesses to put in place digital links between all parts of their functional compatible software have been deferred until the first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021.

This means that both the 1 April 2020 and 1 October 2020 deadlines are now merged and moved to 1 April 2021.

The ability to get a specific direction on a deferral beyond the deadline, now 1 April 2021, will still exist. In addition, where a trader already has a deferral in place that extends beyond 1 April 2021, this agreement will remain extant.

These deferrals will clearly help a lot of organisations who have many other pressing issues to deal with right now.  However, it also shows HMRC's commitment remains in seeking to enable a more digitally robust future, as a key objective of the regime.

Update 25/03/2020

The tax authority, HMRC, has advised taxpayers who normally pay by direct debit to cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay, and to do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect the tax on receipt of the VAT return.

Time to pay and duty deferment of customs, excise and import VAT are likely to be in respect of businesses in financial crisis and those experiencing cash flow issues in settling accounts. We will provide further details of how this will operate in practice shortly.

Update 20/03/2020

On Friday 20 March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that VAT registered businesses will be permitted to defer their VAT payments falling due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 to the end of the 2020/2021 tax year. For VAT purposes, that tax year will end on 31 March, 30 April, or 31 May 2021, depending on the business' VAT return stagger. The tax authority, HMRC, will not be requiring businesses to apply for permission to defer, as this will be automatic. And businesses in a VAT repayment situation will continue to receive their refunds. Businesses with outstanding tax liabilities to HMRC are also invited to apply for time to pay.

In his speech on the latest measures to alleviate the economic impact of coronavirus, the Chancellor announced:

“I’m also announcing today further cash flow support through the tax system.

To help businesses pay people and keep them in work, I am deferring the next quarter of VAT payments.

That means no business will pay any from now until the end of June; and you will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.”

More detail is available in an updated version of ‘COVID-19: support for businesses’:

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

VAT

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility

You are eligible if your business:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.”

Although not explicitly addressed in the information published so far, it is to be hoped that HMRC will defer payments not only for VAT returns but also for Payments on Account and Import VAT Deferment payments falling due between 20 March and 30 June, and for Non Established Taxable Persons registered for UK VAT. GVO news will report as further details become available. 

Update 19/03/2020

In the recent UK Budget, the Chancellor set out a £12 billion package of temporary measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19. All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s 'Time To Pay' service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. Affected businesses can contact HMRC’s new dedicated COVID-19 helpline from 11 March 2020 for advice and support. To ensure ongoing support, HMRC have made a further 2,000 experienced call handlers available to support firms and individuals when needed.

The Chancellor subsequently set out a further package of temporary and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The additional measures to support businesses include:

- a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs;

- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England;

- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;

- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000;

- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank; and 

- a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.

For more information please contact danny.campbell@pwc.com

Isle of Man

Update 23/03/2020

Isle of Man

- The Isle of Man Government is allowing businesses to defer the making of VAT payments to help support businesses with their cash flows. 
- VAT payments due to the Treasury between now and the end of June 2020 will be deferred. No business will have to make a VAT payment to the Isle of Man Treasury, Customs & Excise Division (IOMC&E) in that period.    

Update 20/03/2020

No specific measure have been introduced yet.

For more information please contact  phil.morris@pwc.com

Ukraine (Last updated: 23/03/2020)

Update 23/03/2020

No changes in VAT rates have been implemented. 

Late payment interest will not be accrued for the period 1 March 2020 - 31 May 2020. Payment requirements remain the same.

No changes in filing of VAT returns. 

 For a three-month period (starting from 18.03.2020), the import of medicine, medical goods and medical equipment needed for performing of measures against coronavirus, is temporarily exempt from VAT and customs duty.  The list of medicines and medical equipment is defined by the Government of Ukraine. Сustoms clearance procedures of such items should be carried out with priority. The importer can file a preliminary or temporary customs declaration for such items. Until 2022 VAT exemption shall apply on: import/first supply (by producers) of medicine, medical goods and medical equipment if respective purchases are made for state budget funds by the entity authorised respectively; further supply of such items within the healthcare system up to the patients.

Non-established businesses: no changes, i.e. currently foreign companies without registered presence in Ukraine are not required to register for VAT and pay VAT in Ukraine. This may potentially be changed in the near future.

Update 20/03/2020
On 17 March 2020 the Ukrainian parliament adopted two draft laws1 aimed at supporting businesses during the quarantine period in Ukraine. They will come into force after their official publication (some provisions will come into force later). 
General tax administration during March 1 – May 31, 2020

- most penalties for violating tax legislation shall not be applied

- late payment interest shall not be accrued 

- a moratorium on desk and document audits is introduced (except tax audits of VAT refunds)

- all ongoing tax audits are suspended till 31 May 2020

- an updated official Schedule of Tax Audits will be published by the State Tax Service of Ukraine before 30 March 2020

- the period of the statute of limitations for taxation purposes is suspended till  31 May 2020

1 Bills numbered 3219 and 3220 

For more information please contact slava.vlasov@pwc.com

Asia Pacific

China (Last updated: 25/03/2020)

The Chinese government authorities (including the Ministry of Finance, the State Taxation Administration,etc.) have released series of policy and tax measures in response to COVID-19 situation.  The main indirect tax measures include:

A. Expanding the scope for VAT exemption

The importation of goods and materials needed to overcome the COVID-19 crisis is eligible for VAT exemption treatment.

The income derived from the transportation of the important goods and materials needed to overcome the COVID-19 crisis is included in VAT exemption scope.

In addition, the taxpayers in the following industries are eligible for temporary VAT exemption treatment for relevant income starting from 1 January 2020:

-  Public transportation
-  Consumer services
-  Postage/courier services to deliver daily necessities to residents

When the temporary VAT exemption treatment will come the an end has not yet been announced.

B.  VAT preferential policy for small-scale VAT Payers
Small-scale VAT payers located in Hubei Province is exempted from VAT temporarily
-  For small-scale VAT payers located outside Hubei Province, the VAT levy rate (under the simplified VAT calculation method) is reduced from 3% to 1%

C.  Expanding the scope of VAT exemption treatment on qualified donation

The donation of goods to charitable organization, municipal and upper-level government bodies and hospitals responsible for COVID-19 treatment is eligible for VAT exemption treatment (instead of deemed sales treatment).

D.  Refund of excess input VAT credit

For qualified key materials production enterprises,100% of incremental amount of excess input VAT credit will be refunded.

E.  Extension of the due date of monthly VAT filing

The filing due date for February and March 2020 is extended for two weeks and one week respectively. 
For more information please contact robert.li@cn.pwc.com

India (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) recently issued notifications and circulars giving effect to the relief measures announced by the Finance Minister in view of COVID-19. While there is no extension of due dates for filing Form GSTR 3B for February 2020 to April 2020, and Form GSTR 1 for March 2020 to May 2020, the CBIC has notified the waiver of late fees and the benefit of a reduced rate of interest for delayed payment of tax. In addition, the due dates for filing Form GSTR 3B for February to April 2020 will be extended to 30 June 2020 for taxpayers having aggregate turnover up to INR 50m, and interest, late fees and penalties will be waived.
Update 02/04/2020
Customs measures: 

- Nodal Officer of Custom notified on all India basis to be contacted for any clearance related problems

- 24 X7 helpdesk and customs clearances

- Waiver of late fee charges on delayed filing of Bills of Entry

- Finalization of prior and advance Bill of Entry, amendment and delivery of Bill of Entry for cleared goods by email

- Endorsement and acknowledgement over emails

- Warehousing permission without demurrage charges for cargo where importer is facing difficulties in clearances

- Last date for filing of appeal, refund applications etc. extended to 30 June 2020 for cases falling in specified period (20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020)
Update 01/04/2020
Service Exports from India Scheme
-  The last date of filing Service Exports from India Scheme for 2018-19 stands
extended to 31 December 2020.
- The eligible service categories and the rate of reward for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 will be notified separately.
- For the services rendered from 1 April 2020, the decision on continuation of scheme will be taken later.
Update 01/04/2020
Service Exports from India Scheme. 
-  The last date of filing Service Exports from India Scheme for 2018-19 stands
extended to 31 December 2020.
- The eligible service categories and the rate of reward for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 will be notified separately.
- For the services rendered from 1 April 2020, the decision on continuation of scheme will be taken later.
Update 25/03/2020

The due date for payment of tax and filing Form GSTR 3B for the months of March to May 2020 has been extended to 30 June 2020 for taxpayers having an aggregate turnover up to INR 50m; interest, late fee and penalty has also been waived.
For other taxpayers, a reduced rate of interest at 9% per annum would be charged 15 days after the due date of payment of tax and filing of Form GCTR 3B, although the applicable late fee and penalty would be waived.
Due dates (under the CGST Act, Customs Act and other allied laws) falling between 20 March 2020 to 29 March 2020 have also been extended to 30 June 2020 for the following events:
─ issue of notices, notifications, approval orders, sanction orders;

─ filing of appeals;

─ furnishing of returns, statements, applications, reports;

─ any other documents not specified above.

The due date for payments under the Sabka Vishwas Scheme has been extended to 30 June 2020 from 31 March 2020. Interest on this period will be waived if payment is made by 30 June 2020.
Customs clearances to be undertaken around the clock until 30 June 2020, for which a notification has already been issued.
The due date for filing GST annual returns of FY 18-19 has been extended to 30 June 2020 for which a notification has already been issued.

Update 23/03/2020
Customs duty

- 24*7 Customs clearances introduced at all Customs formations to help cope with supply chain disruptions 

- Export policy revised making surgical masks/ disposal masks ( except 2/3 ply masks), ventilators and textile raw material for masks and coverall prohibited for exports.  

- Relaxations provided to personnel working in demarcated Customs free zones such as Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs), Export Oriented Units (EOUs), SEZ (Special Economic Zones) in accordance with the governing policies and regulations.

- Deferment of proposed tamper proof e-sealing of goods procedures for movement into and from a Custom Bonded Warehouse. The new procedure was to be operationalized by 15 March 2020. However, the same has been deferred to 30 April 2020. 

- Major Customs Houses have issued Public Notices regarding waiver of late fee for delayed filing of Bills of Entry for goods imported from China, due to non availability of import documents

- Recognizing the need for support to those engaged in exports/ imports - a dedicated help desk has been set up for Export/ Import related issue resolution.

Compliance deadlines

- Deferment of E-invoicing requirements - The dates for implementation of e-invoicing requirements extended to 1 October 2020. Further, specific classes of registered persons (insurance companies, banking companies, financial institutions, NBFSc, Transporters) to be exempted from e-invoicing requirements.

- Annual Return - Due date for filing Annual Return/ Reconciliation Statement for financial year 2018-19 to be extended to 30 June 2020. Certain relaxations have also been proposed for taxpayers with aggregate turnover below prescribed threshold.

Litigation

- Appellate authorities such as Tax Tribunals including regional benches have been suspended. Only urgent matters will be heard in exceptional cases.

Other than the above, the Prime Minister has announced a one day nationwide curfew on 22 March and mandatory work from home for Private Companies as well as urged further self-quarantine related precautions. Thus, we are expecting more trade facilitation measures from an Indirect tax perspective over the next few days.
For more information please contact keerti.ujwal@pwc.com

Japan (Last updated: 23/03/2020)

Update 23/03/2020

Filing and payment due date for Individual (not corporate) taxpayer for 2019 is extended until 16 April 2020.

Update 12/03/2020

Newsletter from PwC Japan.

For more information please contact takashi.a.murakami@pwc.com

Kyrgyzstan (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

The state emergency is announced for the period of 25 March - 15 April 2020 in Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Decree of Kyrgyzstan Government dated 30 March 2020, the following projects on fiscalization of tax procedures were extended:

- an obligatory issuance of e-invoice for VAT payers, exporters and importers from 1 April 2020 was extended to 1 July 2020;

- an obligatory use of virtual cash register from 1 April 2020 was extended to 1 July 2020.

According to the Decision of Kyrgyzstan Government dated 24 March 2020, the deadline for submission of united tax return by individuals was extended to 1 September 2020.

For more information please contact nazira.nurbayeva@pwc.com

Malaysia (Last updated: 01/04/2020)

Update 01/04/2020

Manufacturers can now apply to the Ministry of Finance for an exemption of import duty, excise duty and sales tax on the purchase of undenatured ethyl alcohol and denatured ethyl alcohol to be used as raw materials in the manufacture of hand sanitizer.

Update 26/03/2020

Following the announcement by the Government on 25 March 2020 to extend the Movement Control Order period until 14 April 2020, a further extension of the deadline to 30 April 2020 is granted for:

- the submission of any return to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department which has a deadline of 31 March 2020; and

- the payment of duty or tax arising from that return.

Update 25/03/2020

The following indirect tax measures have been announced by the Government of Malaysia as at 24 March 2020:


- Hotel and accommodation premises operators have been given an exemption from charging service tax on accommodation and other related services provided during the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020.

- Port operators are exempted from payment of import duty and sales tax on equipment and machinery used directly in the operations of the ports. The exemption is for equipment and machinery imported or purchased locally during the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023.

- The submission of any return to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) which has a deadline of 31 March 2020 will have that deadline extended until 15 April 2020. The deadline for payment of any duty or tax arising from the return is also extended until 15 April 2020.

- Importation and local purchase of certain types of face mask are exempted from import duty and sales tax with effect from midnight of 23 March 2020.

- Certain equipment and devices required to mitigate the Covid-19 outbreak (e.g. medical
equipment, personal protective equipment and disposable devices) acquired by any person for the purpose of donating to the Ministry of Health is exempt from import duty and sales tax with effect from midnight of 25 March 2020 subject to certain conditions.
It should be noted that on 25 March 2020, the Government of Malaysia announced that the Movement Control Order, originally put in place from 18 to 31 March 2019 will be extended until 14 April 2020. We would anticipate that filing deadlines may be updated to reflect this.

For more information please contact raja.kumaran@pwc.com

Pakistan (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020

1- Import and subsequent supply of these items in Pakistan have been made exempt from federal sales tax for a period of three months; and
2- Government of Punjab has notified various services at zero rate (previously chargeable at various rates ranging from 10 to 16 percent) for a period till June 30, 2020 subject to the restriction on input tax adjustment.
For more information please contact taqi-ud-din.ahmad@pwc.com

Update 02/04/2020

Extension of payment date for Sales Tax and Excise until 12 April 2020. Please follow this link for further information https://www.fbr.gov.pk/

Philippines (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020

The importation of these products shall be exempt from value-added tax, excise tax and other fees and shall be released from the Bureau of Custom (BOC) without need of an ATRIG.

Update 27/03/2020

The latest updates on VAT return filing procedures during the Quarantine can be found here

Update 23/03/2020

Update 23/03/2020

New deadlines for filing VAT returns are outlined here

Update 16/03/2020

No official directive from Philippine tax authorities has been issued at this point. An official release of a relevant directive is expected from the local tax Authority. 

For further information, please contact malou.p.lim@pwc.com

Singapore (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020

On 4 April 2020, the Singapore tax authority has announced that the filing due date for the GST returns due in April 2020 will be extended to 11 May 2020. The payment due date will also be 11 May 2020, except for those on GIRO (auto bank payment arrangement) where the deduction date will remain as 15 May 2020.  

Update 13/03/2020

In the Singapore Budget 2020 this February, the government announced that the GST rate hike that is planned to be implemented some time between 2021 to 2025, will not take effect in 2021. The GST rate is to be increased from 7% to 9%. Link to PwC Budget Commentary 2020.

For more information please contact rushan.ls.lee@pwc.com

Taiwan (Last updated: 16/03/2020)

For any VAT return filings due between March 2020 to May 2020, fifteen days extension will be granted if the incharge person cannot work due to COVID-19. 
For further information, please contact li-li.chou@pwc.com

Vietnam (Last updated: 01/04/2020)

Update 01/04/2020

The proposals regarding the extensions for VAT payments and PIT payments remain unchanged.

Update 20/03/2020

This newsletter outlines the latest proposed measures. These measures have not been put in place yet.

Update 13/03/2020

Local Newsletter to be published and shared shortly.

For more information please contact annett.perschmann@pwc.com.

Africa

Algeria (Last updated: 06/04/2020)

Update 06/04/2020

Monthly Tax Filing & Payment

As per the measures instructed in the recent announcement dated on 4 April 2020 of the Tax Directorate General (DGI), the filing deadline of monthly declarations and payments of payable taxes under G50 form for the month of February and March are extended to May 20, 2020. As a result, taxpayers will be required to submit three declarations (February-March-April) and pay the corresponding taxes by the aforementioned date at the latest. However, taxpayers registered under the Directorate of Major Enterprises (DGE), will continue to e-file and e-pay of taxes and duties payable via the e-filing platform (Jibayatic) in a regular manner.

Quarterly Tax Filing & Payment

Quarterly declaration deadline under the form G50-ter are extended to 20 May 2020. This concerns particularly taxpayers falling under the IFU declaration and payment of the IRG/salaries for the first quarter of 2020 (January-February-March).

Under the real regime, however, the deadline for payment of the first provisional personal income tax (PIT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) instalment is extended to the 20 June 2020.

Annual Tax Return Filing

The announcement of the DGI also includes a deadline extension for the annual tax return filing (balance sheet and annexes) under the real regime, to 30 June 2020 instead of 31 April 2020 (under G04 form). A different deadline extension is put in place for companies that report directly to the DGE, namely, to 31 May 2020 in place of 30 April 2020. It is reiterated that the deadline for payment of the balance of liquidation of the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) is twenty (20) days from the date of the annual tax return filing. This deadline is also relevant for withholding tax declaration (under G23 from), salary declaration (under G29 form) and customers declaration (under 104 form).

With regard to the annual tax return filing for natural person under the personal income tax (PIT), namely, sole proprietorships, the deadline is extended to 30 July 2020 repealing the regular deadline at this time.

Postponement of the tax filing and payment deadline of February 2020 tax returns (G50 form) from 20 March 2020 to 20 April 2020 for all taxpayers, except those registered with the Large Taxpayers Directorate (Direction des Grandes Enterprises” DGE”), those taxpayers declare through e-declaration system.

Please see our latest newsletter here https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/algeria-covid-19-emergency-measures

For more information please contact lazhar.sahbani@avocats.pwc.com

Egypt (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

No official measures yet. 

For more information please contact  jeanine.daou@pwc.com 

Ghana (Last updated: 01/04/2020)

On 30 March 2020, Ghana’s Minister for Finance presented a statement to the Parliament of Ghana on the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Economy of Ghana. In that statement, he presented a programme he describes as the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) to Parliament for approval. The CAP seeks to address the disruption in economic activities and the hardship of our people by proposing measures to rescue and revitalise our industries from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The indirect tax measures outlined to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are explained below:

- A donor may have a duty to account for tax - VAT, National Health Insurance Levy and Ghana Education Trust Fund Levy – to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for making donations to charitable organisations. This duty will not arise for goods donated in support of the fight against COVID-19;

- The GRA is required to assess interest and penalties for non-compliance with tax laws. Penalties on principal debts will be cancelled upon payment of outstanding debts due to the Ghana Revenue Authority up to 30 June 2020;

- The payment of tax and filing of tax returns is typically done in person at respective tax offices. Going forward, the GRA will widely disseminate information to aid the payment of taxes by bank transfer and filing of returns by email.

Other actions and proposed tax measures presented to Parliament are explained as follows:

- Not all donations qualify as a tax-deductible expense in determining the amount of income that will be taxed. However, COVID-19 donations will be considered as deductible expenses for income tax purposes and so will reduce the amount of income subject to tax and the resulting tax to be paid;

- The withdrawal of non-exempt accrued benefits under a third-tier (which is a statutory pension/provident fund) scheme attracts income tax at 15%. This tax will be waived for some selected third-tier schemes.

- The deadline for filing annual income tax returns will be extended by two months. As a result, individuals and partnerships will now be required to file their 2019 income tax returns by 30 June 2020 instead of 30 April 2020. Others (including companies) will now have six (instead of four) months after the end of their financial year to file their income tax returns.  

In addition to Parliament approving the CAP, some of the above tax measures may require presentation of separate Bills to Parliament for approval for that proposed measure to take effect.

For more information please contact  abeku.gyan-quansah@pwc.com

Kenya (Last updated: 07/04/2020)

Update 07/04/2020

The Government of Kenya has issued a Tax Laws Amendment Bill with a raft of ITX measures. Please see here the analysis of the Bill by PWC Kenya.

Update 27/03/2020

Proposed VAT amendments can be found here

Update 26/03/2020

The Government of Kenya announced the following Indirect Tax measures: 

The National Treasury shall cause immediate reduction of the VAT rate from 16% to 14%, effective 1st April,2020;

All Ministries and Departments shall cause the payment of at least of Ksh. 13 Billion of the verified pending bills, within three weeks from the date hereof.  Similarly, private sector is also encouraged to clear all outstanding payments among themselves; within three weeks from the date hereof.

The Kenya Revenue Authority shall expedite the payment of all verified VAT refund claims amounting to Ksh. 10 Billion within 3 weeks; or in the alternative, allow for offsetting of Withholding VAT, in order to improve cashflow for businesses.

Update 20/03/2020

The Government has requested the mobile telecommunication providers and banks to waive mobile money transfer fees of a value below KES 1,000 (approximately USD 10) in an attempt to limit handling of physical banknotes and coins in an effort to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. This by extension implies a reduction in excise duty collections by the government as mobile money transfers fees attract excise duty at a rate of either 20% (for banks) or 12% for transactions through mobile phones. 

The Government has also ordered for the release to manufacturers of hand sanitizers of illegally imported ethanol for no charge - the ethanol had confiscated and held by the state pending prosecution of the importers. The manufacturers are to supply the hand sanitizers to the public for no charge. This measure implies the government forfeiting customs duty, import VAT and excise duty at a rate of upto 100% of the value of the illegally imported ethanol.

The Government has also committed that the Ministry of Treasury is currently exploring other tax relief measures to be communicated to the public in due course - these measures are likely to relate to a deferment of tax filing deadlines as opposed to an outright forfeiture/remission of taxes. Monthly tax obligations include PAYE due on the 9th day of the month, WHT and VAT due on the 20th day of the month.

 

For more information please contact job.kabochi@pwc.com

Lesotho (Last updated 03/04/2020)

No specific measures have been implemented. 

For more information please contact  herman.fourie@pwc.com

Madagascar (Last updated: 24/03/2020)

Deferral of returns and payment of the Synthetic Tax until May 15, 2020.

No deferral of VAT and Salary tax (IRSA) filings and payment.

For more information please contact andriamisa.ravelomanana@pwc.com

South Africa (Last updated: 26/03/2020)

Update 26/03/2020

Latest news alert from South Africa can be found here 

Update 12/03/2020

No measures are currently in place.

For more information please contact rodney.govender@pwc.com

Zambia (Last updated: 24/03/2020

No specific measures announced. 

For more information please contact  jyoti.mistry@pwc.com

Zimbabwe (Last updated: 16/03/2020)

No official measures yet regarding postponement of ITX filing deadlines or payments.

For further information, please contact david.masaya@pwc.com

North America

Canada (Last updated: 01/04/2020)

Update 01/04/2020

In brief

In a response to the World Health Organization characterization of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic, the Canadian Government, in Customs Notice 20-11 (the Notice) issued March 27 has extended deadlines for the payment of tariffs on commercial goods under section 10.1 of the Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations (the Regulations).

In the United States, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on March 20 announced that it would approve on a case-by-case basis additional days for payment of estimated duties, taxes, and fees due to the COVID-19 emergency. On March 27, CBP announced that it no longer was accepting requests for additional days for payment but that it will retain the right to allow additional days for narrow circumstances, including a physical inability to file entry or payments, due to technology outages or port closures.

CBP on March 27 and March 30 also released guidance regarding time and method of payments due.

Takeaway


As customs-related expenses can be a significant operating cost for companies that import products into the United States and Canada, all alternatives for relief should be explored. For Canada, where the duty payment obligation now can be deferred, companies can achieve some much-needed relief in the current cash-crunch environment. In the United States, importers currently are not able to leverage a similar mechanism but may be able to reduce customs costs by exploring exclusions more fully. Most importantly, in all instances, importers should remain vigilant to new developments that can give rise to other customs cost-saving opportunities.

Please see our latest newsletter on this matter https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/deferral-of-import-duties-and-taxes-in-response-to-covid-19

Update 31/03/2020

The deadline for businesses to file their returns is unchanged. Those who are able to, should continue to file their GST/HST returns on time reporting their net tax for the reporting period to help facilitate tax compliance and administration. However, recognizing the difficult circumstances faced by businesses, the CRA won’t impose penalties where a return is filed late provided that it is filed by June 30th.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-gst-hst.html

Audits - The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

Collections - activities on new debts will be suspended until further notice, and flexible payment arrangements will be available.

If a taxpayer is prevented from making a payment when due, filing a return on time, or otherwise complying with a tax obligation because of circumstances beyond their control, they can submit a request to cancel penalties and interest. To make a request to the CRA to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled, please use Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief.

Objections - Any objections related to Canadians' entitlement to benefits and credits have been identified as a critical service which will continue to be delivered during COVID-19. As a result, there should not be any delays associated with the processing of these objections.  

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Collections, audits, and appeals

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

Update 30/03/2020

GST/HST Deferral to June 30,2020

The Federal Government has announced deferrals for GST/HST remittances extending the deadline for vendors to remit GST/HST collected to June 30, 2020 as follows:

- Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods by June 30, 2020;

- Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period by June 30, 2020; and

- Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year by June 30, 2020. 

At this time, the deferral does not apply to GST/HST registrants’ filing obligations so that the regular filing deadlines for GST/HST returns continue to apply. (Additional information expected on March 30)

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/additional-support-for-canadian-businesses-from-the-economic-impact-of-covid-19.html

Update 27/03/2020 

Quebec

QST Deferral to June 30, 2020

The deadline for filing QST returns, as well as the related payments, if any, for all QST returns to be filed as of March 27, for any reporting period ending no later than April 30, 2020, is postponed to June 30, 2020.

http://www.finances.gouv.qc.ca/documents/Communiques/en/COMEN_20200327.pdf  

 

With the intent of harmonizing the QST measures with the federal ones, the filing deadlines for QST returns remain unchanged, and taxpayers that are able to file their GST/HST and QST returns should do so within the usual time limits.

However, given the present circumstances, no penalty for late filing will be levied against a person that will have filed its returns at the latest on June 30, 2020.

For any filing deadline after June 1, 2020, the usual payment and filing deadlines will continue to apply.

Update 25/03/2020

Ontario

The Ontario government announced that it was increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million.

The Ontario government also announced interest and penalty relief for provincial taxes. While the tax filing and remittance deadlines remain the same, beginning April 1, 2020, penalties and interest will not apply to Ontario businesses that miss any filing or remittance deadline under for the following provincial taxes:

  • Employer Health Tax
  • Tobacco Tax
  • Fuel Tax
  • Gas Tax
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits Tax
  • Mining Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans
  • Race Tracks Tax

The relief will continue for a period of five months.

https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/relief-measures.html?_ga=2.126322125.1764805535.1585789929-868585716.1585789929

Update 24/03/2020

British Columbia

Effective March 23, 2020:

Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt.

Filings and payments for provincial sales tax (PST), employer health tax, municipal and regional district tax, carbon tax, motor fuel tax and tobacco tax are also deferred until September 30, 2020.

The scheduled increase to the carbon tax rate, and application of PST to e-commerce transactions and sweetened and carbonated drinks, will be delayed.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/tax-changes/covid-19-tax-changes

 Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan businesses who are unable to remit their PST due to cashflow concerns will have three-month relief from penalty and interest charges.

Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.

Audit program and compliance activities have been suspended to allow businesses time to focus on the health and safety of their customers and staff, reduce impacts to their business operations, and minimize the spread of the virus through reduced audit travel.

https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers/support-for-businesses

Manitoba

Filing deadline extended for certain businesses: The April and May filing and payment deadlines for Retail Sales Tax and payroll tax will be extended for up to two additional months for businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000 . For larger businesses, the Department of Finance will consider flexible repayment options.

Manitoba Government Extends Tax Payment Filing Deadlines for Businesses

Update 23/03/2020

As of March 20, no relief has been extended in relation to extensions on filing GST/HST returns.  

Audits - The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

Collections - activities on new debts will be suspended until further notice, and flexible payment arrangements will be available.

If a taxpayer is prevented from making a payment when due, filing a return on time, or otherwise complying with a tax obligation because of circumstances beyond their control, they can submit a request to cancel penalties and interest. To make a request to the CRA to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled, please use Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief.

Objections - Any objections related to Canadians' entitlement to benefits and credits have been identified as a critical service which will continue to be delivered during COVID-19. As a result, there should not be any delays associated with the processing of these objections.  

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Collections, audits, and appeals

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

Quebec

To date, no relief has been extended re: extensions on filing/payments for QST.

All tax audit and collection activities are being suspended, and the organization will show greater flexibility in respect of payment agreements for tax debts.

https://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/press-room/press-releases/details/167319/2020-03-18/

Saskatchewan

To date, no relief has been extended re: extensions on filing for PST.

Penalty and interest on late returns due to COVID-19


Businesses directly impacted by COVID-19 and that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief of penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.

 

IN-2020-03

Information Notice

Update 18/03/2020

No measures have been released yet.

For more information please contact eric.paton@pwc.com

Dominican Republic (Last updated: 20/03/2020)

- Tax authorities will give the option to extend the payment originally due on March 20, 2020 to be made in 4 installments (the information does not specify but likely to be monthly payments) without interest.  
- In case of existing payment agreements, taxpayers can reduce to 50% the remaining installments so duplicating the payment term.
- In case of existing payment agreements with overdue installments, the taxpayers can benefit from payment facilities and penalties waive.
Further measures are expected. 
For more information please contact juan.tejeda@pwc.com

Jamaica (Last updated: 13/03/2020)

In addition to making provision for emergency funding for local response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Jamaica announced that it proposes to reduce the standard General Consumption Tax (GCT) rate from 16.5% to 15% in an effort to provide an economic stimulus to the country.

For more information please contact brian.denning@pwc.com.

Mexico (Last updated: 23/03/2020)

No specific measures implemented. 

Private sector businesses have requested the Government to speed up VAT payments and suspend excise taxes when importing gasoline and other related products.

For more information please contact ivan.jaso@pwc.com

USA (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

This document outlines various Indirect Tax measures implemented by the US states. 

Update 01/04/2020

In brief


In a response to the World Health Organization characterization of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic, the Canadian Government, in Customs Notice 20-11 (the Notice) issued March 27 has extended deadlines for the payment of tariffs on commercial goods under section 10.1 of the Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations (the Regulations).

In the United States, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on March 20 announced that it would approve on a case-by-case basis additional days for payment of estimated duties, taxes, and fees due to the COVID-19 emergency. On March 27, CBP announced that it no longer was accepting requests for additional days for payment but that it will retain the right to allow additional days for narrow circumstances, including a physical inability to file entry or payments, due to technology outages or port closures.

CBP on March 27 and March 30 also released guidance regarding time and method of payments due.

Takeaway


As customs-related expenses can be a significant operating cost for companies that import products into the United States and Canada, all alternatives for relief should be explored. For Canada, where the duty payment obligation now can be deferred, companies can achieve some much-needed relief in the current cash-crunch environment. In the United States, importers currently are not able to leverage a similar mechanism but may be able to reduce customs costs by exploring exclusions more fully. Most importantly, in all instances, importers should remain vigilant to new developments that can give rise to other customs cost-saving opportunities.

Update 26/03/2020 

In a March 20 release related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, the United States Trade
Representative (USTR) has asked for public input on possible action regarding imports of Chinese sourced medical equipment currently subject to tariffs under the Section 301 action initiated last year.
The United States initially exempted equipment such as ventilators, oxygen masks, and nubilators from the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports, and has since granted exclusions for a large number of additional health-related products, such as ‘parts needed for MRI devices, combined PET/CT scanners, certain radiation therapy equipment, air purification equipment, and parts of homecare beds; sterile electrosurgical tools; [and] digital clinical thermometers.’
Now, in light of the ongoing crisis, USTR seeks comments on possible further modifications to ‘products subject to the tariff actions and relevant to the medical response to the coronavirus.’
The USTR release, including a link for comment submissions, may be found here.

Update 25/03/2020

Latest information on Indirect Tax measures can be found in this document

Update 24/03/2020

Please see the below link for FAQ on payments and deadlines in California

https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/covid-19/help-with-covid-19.html 

Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), New York State 

https://www.tax.ny.gov/press/alerts/nys-tax-response-to-covid-19.htm

For further information please contact brian.goldstein@pwc.com

Oceania

Australia (Last updated: 20/03/2020)

The ATO compliance program is still continuing, however those currently subject to a review can expect to be contacted for possible time frame adjustments. The ATO should not commence any new compliance activity at this time with a review decision in the next four weeks. 

For more information please contact shagun.thakur@pwc.com

New Zealand (Last updated: 02/04/2020)

Update 02/04/2020

GST on COVID-19 related payments.

An Order in Council was passed on 24 March 2020 to ensure that the COVID-19 wage subsidy and leave payments made by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) are not subject to GST. However, the Order only applies prospectively and payments have been made since 17 March 2020. The Act ensures that payments made between 17-24 March 2020 are also not subject to GST.

https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/covid-19-economic-support-package-legislation-enacted

Please the latest updates on Tariff Concessions here https://www.customs.govt.nz/about-us/news/important-notices/tariff-concessions-a-response-to-the-covid-19-event/

Update 20/03/2020

For the next two years, use of money interest (UOMI) on late payment of tax will be waived for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The relief will apply
to interest on all tax payments (including provisional, PAYE, and GST) due on or after 14 February 2020.
Affected taxpayers will be required to demonstrate that their inability to pay tax arose as a result of COVID-19.
Details about how this will operate in practice will be released in a subsequent announcement.

Update 12/03/2020

New Zealand Government is moving on wide ranging measures (exporters / importers, bank funding support via industry bodies, employers) and education as per this page.

Inland Revenue has recognised the need to offer tax relief and payment terms as required. Link.

For more information please contact eugen.x.trombitas@nz.pwc.com

South America

Argentina (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

No official measures in place. 

For further information please contact fernando.lopez.menendez@pwc.com

Barbados (Last updated: 03/04/2020)

No specific measures have been introduced. 

For more information please contact  gloria.eduardo@pwc.com

Brazil (Last updated: 23/03/2020)

Update 23/03/2020

COVID-19 – Tax/customs measures to mitigate the economic impacts to companies:

On March 20, 2020, the Brazilian Government enacted the following main tax and customs measures:

(a) Extension of the due date for payment of SIMPLES NACIONAL (tax special regime for small business) for 06 (six) months regarding the period of  March, April and May 2020.

(b) Reduction to zero-rate of the Import Duty for some medical and hospital products until September 2020; 

(c) Delivery of the goods to the importer before the conclusion of customs clearance, upon request to the authority responsible for the dispatch, for importers certified as Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) in the AEO modality - Level 2 Compliance.

(d) The Ministry of Economy authorized the General Attorney of Finance (PGFN) to suspend for 90 days the following deadlines: (i) For taxpayers to present their defenses on administrative proceedings in tax assessments; (ii) For starting new charges against taxpayers; (iii) For submitting outstanding debt to debt protest before third parties; and (iv) For expelling taxpayers of installments programs of debts, due to delay of payments of installments.

Update 17/03/2020

No official measures in place.

For more information please contact  jonathas.gabardo@pwc.com

Colombia (Last updated 03/04/2020)

Commercial airlines, hotels and taxpayers who have as their main economic activity:
9006 "theatrical activities", 9007 "activities of live music shows and 9008 "other live entertainment activities", will have until June 30th, 2020, to pay the bi-monthly period of
March-April 2020, and until June 30th, 2020, to pay the four-month period of January -April 2020.

Please see this newsletter for further information https://www.pwc.com/co/en/publications/COVID-19/Flash%20Coronavirus%20Ingles-marzo-26.pdf

For more information please contact carlos.chaparro@co.pwc.com

Middle East

Bahrain (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

No specific measures have been implemented.

For more information please contact jeanine.daou@pwc.com

Iraq (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

No specific measures have been implemented.

For more information please contact jeanine.daou@pwc.com

Jordan (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

The collection of sales tax will be postponed until the date goods are sold (as opposed
to the date on which the contract is signed / the sale is concluded). This applies to all
local supplies as well as imports of food, medicine and health related goods.

For more information please contact jeanine.daou@pwc.com

Kuwait (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

No specific measures have been implemented.

For more information please contact jeanine.daou@pwc.com

Lebanon (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

Update 27/03/2020

No Indirect Tax measures implemented yet.

Update 17/03/2020

E-filing for all types of income tax declarations is now mandatory. Persons who are not yet registered in the e-filing services can register online.

For more information, please contact jeanine.daou@pwc.com 

Lybia (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

No specific measures have been implemented.

For more information please contact jeanine.daou@pwc.com

Oman (Last updated: 17/03/2020)

PRI filings are currently due by 31 March. If further lockdowns are announced similar to other GCC countries (other than essential services), it is likely an extension would be granted.

For more information please contact  jeanine.daou@pwc.com 

Palestine (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

West Bank: no changes to VAT return filing and payment deadlines.
East Jerusalem (Israeli law):
- Extension to 26 March for monthly VAT filings and payments originally due 16
March; and
- Extension to 27 April for two monthly filings originally due 15 March

For more information please contact  jeanine.daou@pwc.com

 

 

Qatar (Last updated: 27/03/2020)

Update 27/03/2020

The Supreme Committee for Crisis Management has announced an exemption from
customs duties for food and medical goods for a period of six months for the following
sectors:
- Hospitality and tourism;
- Retail;
- Small and medium sized industries; and
- Commercial complexes in exchange for providing services.

For more information please contact  jeanine.daou@pwc.com

Update: 17/03/2020

The income tax filing deadline for year ended 21 Dec 2019 is extended from 30 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.

For more information please contact  jeanine.daou@pwc.com 

Saudi Arabia (Last updated: 17/03/2020)

Update 26/03/2020

Further clarifications regarding deferring FY19 VAT returns can be found here.

Update 23/03/2020

Please find below recent tax measures:

These measures include, amongst many others:
- postponing the payment of VAT, excise, Zakat and income tax for 3 months
- postponing the payment of customs duties for 30 days, with the possibility of extending the postponement period beyond 30 days for the most affected sectors as needed
- postponing the payment of some government services fees and municipal fees for 3 months, with the possibility of extending the postponement period beyond 30 days for the most affected sectors

Update 17/03/2020

The General Secretariat of the Tax Committees “GSTC” announced that all the appointments of the scheduled hearing sessions in front of the Tax Committees (Resolution and Appellate) will be suspended until further notice, and all parties will be notified with the new appointments.

For more information please contact  jeanine.daou@pwc.com

UAE (Last updated: 20/03/2020)

Update 20/03/2020
Dubai Customs has recently introduced a number of measures to ease the cash flow of businesses to help tackling the Covid-19 crisis. Please see below:
  1. 20% customs duty refund for goods imported and sold in the local market - critical and applicable to most of our clients.
  2. 90% reduction of clearance fees - critical to large importers as each customs declaration is subject to a AED 90-110 fee (avg.).
  3. Removal of the bank guarantee requirement to clear goods, so that businesses can free that credit up and use it for other critical purposes.

Update 17/03/2020

Part of the stimulus package released by the Dubai Government includes a refund of 20% on the customs duties paid for locally sold imported goods, cancellation of bank guarantee required to clear goods, and a 90% reduction in customs clearance fees.

For more information please contact  jeanine.daou@pwc.com

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