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GlobalVATOnline

EU

Austria (Last updated: 14/07/2020)

Update 14/07/2020

New rules regarding tax payments

Due to COVID-19, the Austrian tax authorities have granted very generous deferrals of payments for all types of taxation. The standard deferral of payment is until the end of September 2020. In addition, no late payment interest will be charged in this period.

https://www.pwc.at/de/newsletter/austrian-tax-news/2020/atn-new-rules-tax-payments.html

Update 17/06/2020

VAT reduction for gastronomy, culture and the publishing sector


On 12 June 2020, the Austrian Minister of Finance announced a new supporting measure for the gastronomy, tourism and cultural sector. Accordingly, a reduced VAT rate of 5% should for example be applicable for supplies of all food and beverages in restaurants and other catering establishments, to access to museums, cinemas or musical events and supplies in the publishing sector. The reduced tax rate of 5 % should apply for a limited period only, from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.  

The new supporting measure will therefore also further reduce the VAT rate for unbottled non-alcoholic beverages to 5%, for which it has already been announced at the beginning of June that the tax rate would be reduced to 10% for the period of 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.

The legal implementation is outstanding and will include more details on these measures. 

Update 14/04/2020

The Austrian Ministry of Finance has announced that the VAT rate for the supply of respiratory face masks will be reduced from 20% to 0%. The new VAT exemption shall apply for the supply and intra-Community acquisition of respiratory face masks carried out after 13 April 2020, but before 1 August 2020. According to the information announced by the Ministry of Finance, appropriate legislation with retrospective effect should be adopted, although so far, no draft legislation has been published.

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

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: 23/07/2020)

Update 23/07/2020

  • Taxable persons filing monthly VAT returns on 1 December 2020 are not required to make an advance payment of the VAT due over the month of December 2020
  • Taxable persons filing quarterly VAT returns on 1 October 2020 are not required to make an advance payment of the VAT due over the 4th quarter of 2020  

Update 16/07/2020

The Belgian government announced a temporary reduction of the VAT rate from 12% to 6% in respect of restaurant and catering services until the end of 2020. This measure has been adopted with effective date 8 June 2020.

Update 10/06/2020

For the VAT return and the intra-Community sales listings relating to the May 2020 transactions, the usual submission and payment deadline will again apply.

By 20.06.2020 at the latest, tax payers must do the following:

  • submit the VAT return and the intra-Community declaration for the May 2020 transactions;
  • make the payment for the May 2020 transactions.


Tax payers must therefore pay the VAT due of the May 2020 return before the VAT due of the April 2020 return.

In case tax payers have an authorisation for monthly VAT refunds or, as a 'starter', benefit from an accelerated monthly VAT refund, they also must submit the return relating to the transactions of May 2020 by 20.06.2020 at the latest.

https://financien.belgium.be/nl/Actueel/btw-verplichtingen-voor-de-verrichtingen-van-mei-2020-terugkeer-naar-de-gebruikelijke
https://finances.belgium.be/fr/Actualites/obligations-tva-mai-2020-retour-au-delai-habituel-de-depot

Update 05/06/2020

The Belgian government announced a temporary reduction of the VAT rate from 12% to 6% in respect of restaurant and catering services until the end of 2020. This measure is yet to be formally confirmed by the government. Further details to be published shortly.

Update 29/04/2020

Although the deadline for the filing of the March VAT return was extended till 7 May,  companies who want  to benefit from a monthly VAT refund (i.e. start ups or companies which hold a monthly refund license) should file the March VAT return by 3 May (and apply for the refund) 
Guidelines for the monthly VAT return of April 2020
The filing deadline for the monthly VAT return of April 2020 is, as already announced earlier, extended until 05.06.2020.
However companies who want  to benefit from a monthly VAT refund (i.e. start ups or companies which hold a monthly refund license) should file the April VAT return by 24 May.  There is no generalised accelerated VAT refund mechanism for the April 2020 VAT return.

Update 23/04/2020

From a VAT perspective, there are a number of measures that taxpayers can take to optimise their cash tax position, e.g. review the booking process of purchase invoices to ensure early recovery of input VAT, bad debtors to ensure early refund of output VAT, apply for a monthly VAT refund license, apply for VAT grouping to eliminate VAT payments on intercompany transactions, the use of self-billing with possible application of reverse charge, etc.

Please see further details here https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/belgium-covid-19-cash-tax-forecasting

 

Update 14/04/2020

Today the Belgian government announced an extended submission deadline of the periodic VAT return and intra-Community return of April 2020 till  5 June 2020. The related payment deadline is extended to 20 July 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 or claire.de.lepeleire@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: 17/04/2020)

Update 17/04/2020

- VAT exemption is prescribed for the supply of goods and services without consideration (donations) for the purpose of combat against the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, until the expiration of three-month period, starting 20 March 2020. The exemption is applicable starting with VAT liability that is due after 20 March 2020. Currently not further details are available.

- Exemption from VAT and customs is prescribed on the final import of certain goods for the combat against the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. The list of goods, deadlines and the conditions are prescribed within the “COMMISSION DECISION (EU) 2020/491 of 3 April 2020 on relief from import duties and VAT exemption on importation granted for goods needed to combat the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak during 2020.”

- In general, the importers are obliged to pay VAT on import regardless if they have right to deduct this VAT or not. As a new measure the importers, taxable persons registered for VAT do not have to pay VAT on imported goods. Instead the VAT is declared in the VAT return. As a result, there is not actual payment (cash flow), since at the same time in the VAT return the input VAT is declared if taxpayer is entitled to VAT deduction. This measure also applies until the expiration of the three-month period from 20 March 2020.

- Taxpayers affected by COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. taxpayers fulfilling certain criteria as for example drop in revenue for more than 20% comparing to the same month in the previous year) who declare and pay VAT on the accrual basis are entitled to pay VAT as if they were using cash accounting scheme. This measure allows taxpayers that are declaring and paying VAT on the accrual basis to postpone payment of VAT until they collect declared VAT from their buyers.  In other words, VAT liability which payment may be postponed, must arise from issued invoices that are not paid by buyers taking into consideration unpaid bills from vendors.

Update 20/3/2020

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

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

Cyprus (Last updated: 29/06/2020)

Update 29/06/2020

Additional Support Measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in the Cyprus economy - Tourism Industry can be found here 

Update 25/06/2020

On 23 June 2020 the Council of Ministers issued a decree by which the VAT rate is reduced from 9% to 5% for the period from 1 July 2020 to 10 January 2021 for the following services:
  • restaurant and catering 
  • hotel accommodation
  • passenger transportation

Update 29/05/2020

The Minister of Finance  has announced on 28/05/2020 the following proposed measures which require legislative amendments in order to enter into force:
  1. The VAT rate for (a) restaurant and catering services and (b) hotel accommodation services to be reduced from 9% to 5% for the period 1/07/20 to 10/01/21 in an effort to boost the tourism industry
  2. The non imposition of late submission penalties for VAT returns which were due on 10/04/20 and 10/05/20 and which were submitted.

Update 16/04/2020

Certain taxpayers have been notified by the Commissioner of Taxation that their VAT return periods have been amended from quarterly to monthly for the period 30 March to 30 June 2020. The monthly returns will be due for submission by the 27th day of the following month and the resulting VAT liability will be payable on the same day as follows:
1. Full amount payable if your activity falls within any of the prescribed by law categories (mainly retailers)
2. All other taxpayers, 30% of the VAT due for the relevant period, with the remaining falling due within the prescribed by law deadline. The 30% prepayment is calculated including any balance remaining from previous periods.

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: 26/05/2020)

Update 26/05/2020

On 25 May 2020 the Czech Government agreed on the "anti-COVID" amendment of the Czech VAT Act, which should reduce the VAT rate from 15% to 10% on accommodation and admission to cultural and sports events. The amendment is expected to be discussed and confirmed at Parliament shortly.

Update 16/04/2020

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 waiver of the late payment interest.

- A waiver of the interest connected to the deferral of VAT payment or VAT payment instalment schedule.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

On 3 April 2020, the European Commission issued a decision allowing Member States to exempt medical supplies and equipment related to COVID-19 from import duties and VAT.

In this context, the customs authorities have published the conditions under which the exemption will be recognized.

In order to be exempt from customs duties, medical supplies must be imported by a government or other charitable or philanthropic organization with the purpose of distributing them free of charge to persons in need. Furthermore, the acquisition of goods free of charge from a third-party country is also subject to a VAT exemption. Should the goods be paid for, however, the import VAT exemption cannot be granted, irrespective of the status of the importing entity.

Please see further information here: https://www.pwc.com/cz/en/temata/covid-19-pravni-a-danovy-servis.html#VAT

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 exact definition of the goods is given in the Financial Bulletin. The waiver covers the period from 12 March 2020 until the end of the state of emergency.

- On 3 April 2020, the European Commission issued a decision allowing Member States to exempt medical supplies and equipment related to COVID-19 from import duties and VAT.

In this context, the customs authorities have published the conditions under which the exemption will be recognized.

In order to be exempt from customs duties, medical supplies must be imported by a government or other charitable or philanthropic organization with the purpose of distributing them free of charge to persons in need. Furthermore, the acquisition of goods free of charge from a third-party country is also subject to a VAT exemption. Should the goods be paid for, however, the import VAT exemption cannot be granted, irrespective of the status of the importing entity.

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 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: 10/06/2020)

Update 10/06/2020
For large companies payment of the VAT for July and August will be deferred as follows:

VAT period

Normal payment

Deferred payment date

July 2020

25th of August 2020

9th of September 2020

August 2020

25th of September 2020

2nd of October 2020

For companies that submit quarterly VAT-returns the payment of the VAT for 3rd Quarter of 2020 will be deferred from the 1st of December 2020 to the 1st of March 2021. 

Update 23/04/2020
Small and medium sized companies which have filed and paid VAT on 2 March 2020 for the second half and Q4 of 2019, respectively, may apply for having the amount paid out as an interest-free loan.
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: 11/06/2020)

Update 11/06/2020

Excise duties temporarily reduced for the period 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2022
In order to mitigate the consequences of an emergency situation, excise duties on certain fuels and electricity will be temporarily reduced.

Please see more for information on temporary rates of excise duties.

Update 04/05/2020

Personal protective equipment and other medical equipment (so-called crisis goods) used to prevent and stop the spreading of COVID-19 virus shall be provisionally exempted from the customs duty and VAT. This ensures similar conditions for all types of transactions (import of goods, intra-Community acquisitions, domestic sales). Provisional means that the right to use the 0% rate is linked to a decision made by the European Commission. 

Electronic publications: The list of goods and services to which a reduced VAT rate of 9% applies will be extended as of 1.05.2020

https://www.pwc.com/ee/en/press-room/tax-alerts/tax-alert-april-2020.html

Update 24/04/2020

On 15 April 2020 Estonian Parliament approved Supplementary Budget Act that stipulates measures to mitigate the effect of the spreading of corona virus COVID-19. These measures include the following tax measures. Please see further information here https://www.pwc.com/ee/en/press-room/tax-alerts/tax-alert-april-2020.html

Update 23/04/2020

Application of 0% VAT
As was mentioned in the previous update (09.04), personal protective equipment and other medical equipment (so-called crisis goods) used to prevent and stop the spreading of COVID-19 virus shall be provisionally exempted from the customs duty and VAT. This ensures similar conditions for all types of transactions (import of goods, intra-Community acquisitions, domestic sales). Provisional means that the right to use the 0% rate is linked to a decision made by the European Commission. 
The import of crisis goods is exempt from customs duties and import VAT on the basis of the decision of the European Commission on 3.04.2020, which determines the exemption period from 30.01 to 31.07.2020 (could be extended if necessary). Neither the legislation of the European Union or Estonia provides an exhaustive list of goods subject to the exemption, but there is an indicative list used by Estonia in granting it. The exemption is not automatic, but is granted by a decision of the Tax and Customs Board upon the submission of the customs declaration.

Intra-community purchase is tax exempt if import of the same goods is tax exempt.

The 0% VAT rate makes it possible to sell the crisis goods (such as protective masks) imported by an Estonian company, without adding VAT, to the hospital (as an entitled person).
The Ministry of Finance has prepared guidelines for customs and VAT-free imports (only in Estonian).

Electronic publications: The list of goods and services to which a reduced VAT rate of 9% applies will be extended as of 1.05.2020
The aim of this amendment is to extend the reduced rate of 9% applicable to paper publications to publications on other physical media and to electronic publications (books, academic literature, press publications), which are presently subject to the VAT rate of 20%. Publications on physical media other than paper publications are audiobooks that are stored on a CD or other physical medium and that include the same textual information as a paper or electronic book.

Update 09/04/2020

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB) has launched a website for frequently asked questions (FAQ). https://www.emta.ee/eng/etcbs-information-emergency-situation 

It was recently announced by the Ministry of Finance that a reduced 9% VAT rate will be imposed on e-publications (e.g. e-books). The government is also planning to temporarily reduce excise duty rates on certain fuels (e.g. diesel), electricity and natural gas starting from 01.05.2020 until 30.04.2022. The said changes are currently waiting for the approval of the Parliament.

Furthermore, on 7 April Estonian tax authorities have announced that customs duties and VAT are temporarily waived on the import of certain medical equipment from non-EU countries  in accordance with the recent decision adopted by the European Commission (. Please note that the tax exemption does not apply to medical equipment, which is imported by private businesses (or individuals) for the purpose of private use or re-selling.

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: 15/06/2020)

Update 15/06/2020

VAT payments reimbursed as a loan

Companies can request the VAT they have paid in January 2020 - March 2020 to be reimbursed to them as a loan by submitting a request for a payment arrangement. As part of the payment arrangement, the company must agree to repay the VAT at a later date and a 3% interest rate applies to the arrangement. 

This payment arrangement can be applied for starting from 26 May 2020. All payment arrangements granted after 25 March 2020 are subject to the relieved terms presented above.

Car tax and excise duties

A payment arrangement cannot be applied for car tax or excise duties, but companies can apply for an extended time for payment for these taxes on the phone or by sending an open letter to the Finnish Tax Authorities. Please note that the extended time for payment cannot be applied for in MyTax.

https://www.pwc.fi/en/services/tax/tax-news/finnish-tax-authorities-actions-to-support-companies-during-the-covid-19-epidemia.html

Update 28/04/2020

Government is to prepare a proposal that businesses can borrow back the VAT they have already paid in the earlier part of the year. VAT could be reimbursed to businesses as a loan that should be paid back to the State over a period of two years. It is expected that the interest rate would be 3 %. Further details to follow. 

Update 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: 14/05/2020)

Update 14/05/2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for 2019 VAT refunds for non-EU business without VAT-liable operations in France (13th Council Directive 86/560/EEC) will be extended from June 30, 2020 to Septembre 30, 2020

Update 12/05/2020

Following the publication of Law no. 13/2020 on May 7th, concerning, amongst other measures, the application of a reduced 5.5% VAT rate to imports, transfers and intra-community acquisition of masks for respiratory protection and skin disinfectant gel, a ministerial decree has been published which specifies the characteristics of the masks and products subject to the reduced VAT rate of 5.5%, along with Order no. 5335-A/2020, which establishes a series of guidelines to be taken into account in deciding whether skin disinfectant gel can benefit from the reduced VAT rate.

The second Amending Finance Law for 2020 was passed on April 23, 2020. Articles 5 and 6 provide for a reduced VAT rate of 5.5% for intra-EU supplies and acquisitions of:

- Masks and protective clothes adapted to the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus of which the list and the technical characteristics are set by a joint ministerial decree of the minister in charge of health and the minister in charge of the budget. It applies to transactions from March 24, 2020 to December 31, 2021 (article 5);

- Products intended to personal hygiene (as for example hydroalcoholic gels) and adapted to the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus of which the characteristics are set by a joint ministerial decree of the minister in charge of the budget and the minister in charge of the environment. It applies to transactions from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021 (article 6).

The ministerial decree was published on May 7, 2020, and specifies the characteristics of the masks and products intended for personal hygiene, and subject to the reduced VAT rate of 5.5%.

Concerning respiratory protection masks, they must meet the following characteristics:

Concerning the masks for health use:

 For those intended to protect the wearer against the inhalation of droplets: masks with the standard EN 149+A1:2009 (for the three categories FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3) or with a stranger standard which is recognized as equivalent for these categories (only if it doesn’t contain an expiratory valve);
 For those intended to protect the environment of the wearer by avoiding the projection of droplets: masks with the standard EN 14683+AC:2019 or with a stranger standard which is recognized as equivalent.

Concerning the masks for non-health use:

 They must meet the following performance levels: filtration efficiency for 3 microns particles is higher than 70%, the breathability allows a wear for up to 4 hours and the air permeability is higher than 96 liters per square meter per second for a depression of 100 pascal;
 The shape allows for a facial fit with nose and chin coverage and doesn’t include sagittal seam;
 If they are reusable, the performance levels shall be maintained after at least five washes;
 The preceding characteristics are checked under the conditions specified in the Annex of the ministerial decree;
 The marketing takes place under the conditions specified in the Annex of the ministerial decree.

Concerning the Products intended for personal hygiene, they must meet the following characteristics:

 They fall within the product-type 1 as defined on the Annex V to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of May 22, 2012 on the provision on the market and the use of biocidal products;
 They are intended to the effective and speed inactivation of the virus on the skin;
 They respect one of the following conditions:
 The product meets with the standard EN 14476 or;
 The product contains, in a concentration expressed as a volume higher than or equal to 60% in the final product, one of the following active substances: ethanol, propan-1-ol or propan-2-ol.

For further information or assistance, please contact the above-mentioned.

Update 07/05/2020

The latest customs alert can be found here

Update 05/05/2020

COVID-19: Tolerance measure for scanned paper invoices sent by e-mail

Update 11/04/2020

The French Tax Authorities published a ruling on April 8, 2020 in order to allow an exemption from regularization of the VAT initially deducted by the companies in respect of their donations of sanitary equipment (masks, hydro-alcoholic gel, protective clothes and respirators) to health, social and medico-social facilities that care for the elderly, disabled or chronically ill, health professionals, government and local authorities services, during the period of the health emergency. This tolerance also applies where such material is acquired with a view to donation. The donor company shall keep in support of its accounting records the information required to identify the date of the donation, the beneficiary, the nature and the quantities of goods donated. 

Update 08/04/2020

Please see the latest measures introduced by the French Tax Authorities here

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 22/07/2020)

Update 22/07/2020

The Federal Cabinet (“Bundestag”) has passed the second Corona Tax Assistance Act. The Bundesrat has also given its approval.

On Monday, June 29, 2020, the Bundestag approved the bill of the coalition factions for a second Corona Tax Assistance Act as amended by the Finance Committee of the Bundestag, becoming effective on 1 July 2020.

The bill contains a number of amendments to the original draft document of the Federal Ministry of Finance as well as some additions.

Full summary of the measures can be found in this newsletter: https://blog.pwc-tls.it/en/2020/07/15/covid-19-summary-of-measures-introduced-in-germany-part-2-second-corona-tax-assistance-act-passed/

For further information and details, please contact the above PWC contacts.

Update 17/06/2020

The German Federal Cabinet has released the draft bill on the crisis management package aimed at mitigating the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. The bill is due to have its first reading at the Bundestag on 19 June 2020, with the 2nd /3rd readings and the final decision of the Bundesrat expected on 29 June 2020. On this timetable the publication in the Federal Law Gazette should occur on 30 June 2020, with the law becoming effective on 1 July 2020.

https://blogs.pwc.de/german-tax-and-legal-news/2020/06/16/federal-cabinet-releases-draft-bill-for-post-covid-stimulus-package/

Update 04/06/2020

The government announced plans last night to reduce the VAT rates in Germany as one pillar of a very extensive recovery package. According to the plans, the standard VAT rate will be reduced from 19% to 16% and the reduced VAT rate from 7% to 5% for the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. There is no draft bill at the moment, but the scheduled parliamentary sessions would allow for a respective law to pass the legislative procedure in time. This clearly puts enormous pressure on companies to adjust their ERP systems in time.

Update 18/05/2020

Applications for the refund of German input VAT incurred in 2019 by non-EU taxable persons must be lodged until 30 June 2020. This means that the electronic VAT refund application itself and the original invoices and import documents must have reached the responsible Federal Central Office for Taxes (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, or BZSt) within that deadline.

 

However, the BZSt, “in order to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic”, seems exceptionally be willing to accept applications and original documents received after the deadline expiry in cases where taxable persons or their authorized representatives were not able to submit the applications in time. This is subject to condition that the applications and corresponding original documents are submitted by the applicant as soon as possible, and that a brief explanation is provided why the application deadline could not be met. However, it should be noted that applications (and original documents) for the refund of input VAT incurred in 2019 received by the BZSt after 30 September 2020 will only be accepted under far stricter conditions, including but not limited to a detailed explanation for the overstepping of the deadline. 

Update 11/05/2020 

Government releases draft Corona – Tax Assistance Bill

https://blogs.pwc.de/german-tax-and-legal-news/2020/05/08/government-releases-draft-corona-tax-assistance-bill/#more-3427

 

Update 23/04/2020

 Application procedure with regard to tax relief due to the effects of coronavirus

The Länder have published information for tax relief on their websites. Most have also published application forms.

Some of the Länder will also provide a refund of the special advance payment of value added tax. This relates to the VAT provision that entrepreneurs must generally file a preliminary VAT return with their local tax office by the tenth day of the calendar month.  The entrepreneur can apply to have the filing date for the return delayed by a month for the calendar year. This permanent extension is subject to a special advance payment amounting to 1/11 of the total VAT prepayments payable in the previous calendar year.

CUSTOMS INFORMATION: 

Announcements of the General Customs Directorate

The Federal Ministry of Finance has instructed the main customs offices to provide appropriate assistance to taxpayers where the relevant duties are regulated under federal law and administered by the customs administration (e.g. energy tax and air traffic tax). The intention is to prevent the taxpayer suffering undue hardship. In accordance with the Ministry circular of 19 March 2020, measures are to include in particular deferral options, the postponement of enforcement and the reduction of advance payments.

Further information is available here: https://blogs.pwc.de/german-tax-and-legal-news/2020/04/22/covid-19-summary-of-measures-introduced-to-combat-the-effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-sars-cov-2/

 

Update 16/04/2020

In another letter of 9 April 2020, the Federal Ministry of Finance, inter alia, has concretized the previous announcement, mainly focusing on civic action to combat the pandemic as such and to mitigate its social and economic consequences (see the update of 07/04/2020). The letter provides for a number of measures, including but not limited to several VAT provisions. The latter mostly concern the provision of material resources, personnel resources, premises and other services against payment or free of charge. In addition to a simplification, which may be significant for the application of the reduced rate of VAT e. g. for charitable businesses, it comments on the scope of application of certain VAT exemptions, especially of the medical sector, with respect to the provision of human and technical resources as well as of rooms. Also, in the case of the free provision of medical supplies and free provision of personnel for medical purposes by companies to institutions which make an indispensable contribution to overcoming the corona crisis, such as in particular hospitals, clinics, doctors' practices, emergency services, nursing and social services, old people's and nursing homes and other public institutions such as the police and fire brigade, no taxation will be in place for equity reasons.  These regulations, as the Ministry explains, would be applicable retroactively from 1 March 2020 (not, as initially announced, from 3 April) until the end of the year at the latest.

Update 07/04/2020

The German Federal Ministry for Finance has issued an announcement that, as of 3 April until the end of 2020, donations of protective masks and disinfectants to hospitals, medical practices and nursing homes will not be subject to VAT. The same exemption applies if taxable persons second their staff for medical purposes without consideration, and for donations of medical equipment to emergency medical services, medical social workers, retirement homes, or to police and fire brigades. In addition, as the German customs authorities have decreed, the exemption from duties for the import of humanitarian assistance goods under certain conditions will be granted to a larger number of importers.

The Federal Ministry of Finance has also 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: 25/06/2020)

Update 25/06/2020

VAT reduction from 24% to 13% for passenger transport, coffee and non-alcoholic drinks and the provision of services in cafes, restaurants, pastry shops etc. Furthermore, VAT is reduced to 6% for movie tickets. (Art.11 - L.4690/2020 & Ε.2080/2020) for the period 1 June to 31 October 2020. 

VAT on the tourist package is reduced from 80/20 (80% to 13% and 20% to 24%) to 90/10. (Government announcement) for the period 1 June to 31 October 2020. 

Provision of a 25% discount on certified tax liabilities with payment date within May 2020, in case the remaining 75% is paid in due time, with the exemption of VAT and withholding taxes. (Art. 3 L. 4690/2020) (Only for tax liabilities paid within May 2020)

Please see the link below for further information on extensions to payments of VAT https://www.pwc.com/gr/en/newsletters/tax-index/tax-and-legal-measures-covid19.html

Update 10/06/2020

VAT rate reduction from 24% to 13% for taxis and transport is effective as of 1 June 2020 and only up to 31 October 2020

Update 22/05/2020

As per the Decision 1107/2020, the VAT payment deadlines expired within 1.5.2020-29.5.2020 are extended to 30.9.2020 for all entities, whose active main activity or secondary activity with revenues higher than those of the main activity on 20.3.2020 correspond to the NACE activity codes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this respect, there will be no penalties or interest due during this period.

Update 14/04/2020

VAT rate reduction from 23% to 6% for products needed to protect against coronavirus and to prevent its transmission implemented for the period from 20 March 2020 to 30 December 2020. For detailed list of products included in this measure, please check our Globesearch section. 

Update 09/04/2020

Please see the latest updates on emergency measures in relation to Indirect Tax here https://www.pwc.com/gr/en/newsletters/tax-index/tax-and-legal-measures-covid19.html

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: 29/06/2020)

Update 29/06/2020

The Hungarian Tax Authority has recently published an official statement regarding the data reporting obligations applicable as of 1 July 2020 – related to the online invoice data reporting obligation, and the domestic recapitulative statement (M sheets of the VAT return) requirements – and announced a moratorium period for penalties. Please see further information here 

Update 22/06/2020

As of 1 July 2020, the threshold of HUF 100,000 will be decreased to zero, therefore all of domestic purchase invoices should be indicated on the domestic recapitulative statement in which case the taxpayer exercises its VAT deduction right in the current period.

Please see further information here https://www.pwc.com/hu/en/pressroom/2020/significant_changes_filing_VAT_returns_invoice_data_reporting_from_1_July_2020.html

Update 09/06/2020

Significant changes in the filing of VAT returns and in invoice data reporting via the Online Invoicing Platform from 1 July 2020

https://www.pwc.com/hu/en/pressroom/2020/significant_changes_filing_VAT_returns_invoice_data_reporting_from_1_July_2020.html

Update 04/05/2020

Government Decree No. 140/2020 (IV. 21) on Tax Facilities Necessary to Mitigate the Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic within the framework of the Economic Relief Action Plan, has been published in Magyar Közlöny (the official government gazette). The new Decree contains provisions on the facilitative tax measures introduced in connection with the current epidemic situation, and on the adjustment of tax-related deadlines and due dates. In addition to these facilitative measures, the Ministry of Finance announced that certain SMEs may receive their VAT refunds in a maximum of 30 days instead of the previous 75 days, and that period may be further reduced to 20 days for companies that qualify as 'reliable taxpayers'. However, this measure does not apply to 'high-risk taxpayers', who will continue to receive their VAT refunds within the 75 day time limit.

Please see our news item for further information https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/government-decree-on-covid-19-tax-measures

Update 30/04/2020

The special tax on retailers has been re-established for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. However, the new enacting legislation extended the scope of the tax to foreign based e-commerce companies, with the result that popular online sellers could also become taxable entities during the period of the COVID-19 crisis. Generally, the basis of assessment equals the total sales revenue derived from goods dispatched to Hungary with some adjustments, with tax rates ranging from 0.1% to 2.5% depending on the level of turnover, and a tax exemption for retailers with a tax base of less than HUF 500 million (approx. EUR 1.4 million).

The tax payable is the proportionate amount of the special retail tax calculated for the whole financial year, but covering only the days of the crisis period (as defined by the Hungarian Government). Currently, Hungary is deemed to be in crisis from 11 March for an unspecified period.

The tax return has to be submitted within 30 days of the end of the financial year, or the last day of the crisis period (whichever comes first).

Taxpayers are also obliged to pay tax advances on a monthly basis with the first advance payment due on 31 May 2020.

Please see this newsletter - link - for further details.

Update 24/04/2020

As part of its COVID-19 response, Hungary has introduced a 'special tax on credit institutions', based on the special tax on financial institutions. The tax base is the part of the adjusted balance sheet total, calculated based on the annual financial statements prepared for the second financial year preceding the tax year, exceeding HUF 50 billion. The tax rate is 0.19%.

https://www.pwc.com/hu/en/pressroom/2020/special-tax-of-credit-institutions-due-to-COVID-19.html

Update 23/04/2020

The special tax on retailers has been re-established for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. However, the new enacting legislation extended the scope of the tax to foreign based e-commerce companies, with the result that popular online sellers could also become taxable entities during the period of the COVID-19 crisis. Generally, the basis of assessment equals the total sales revenue derived from goods dispatched to Hungary with some adjustments, with tax rates ranging from 0.1% to 2.5% depending on the level of turnover, and a tax exemption for retailers with a tax base of less than HUF 500 million (approx. EUR 1.4 million).

https://www.pwc.com/hu/en/pressroom/2020/corona-special-reatail-tax.html

Update 17/03/2020

 

No official measures have been put in place yet.

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

Ireland (Last updated: 30/07/2020)

Update 30/07/2020

Ireland has announced the extension of the following concessional treatments up to 31 October 2020.

  1. The application of the zero rate of VAT to the supply to the HSE, hospitals and other health care settings of personal protection equipment and medical equipment for use in the treatment of patients with Covid-19.

 

  1. The application of the zero rate to the supply and intra-Community acquisition of personal protection equipment (PPE), thermometers, hand sanitiser, medical ventilators and specialist respiratory equipment such as respirators for intensive and sub-intensive care and other oxygen therapy apparatus including oxygen tents and oxygen when supplied to or acquired by the HSE, hospitals, nursing homes, care homes, GP practices and the like, for use in the delivery of COVID-19 related health care services to their patients.

 

  1. Where a business donates goods as specified in Paragraph 2 above free of charge to the HSE, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities for use in the delivery of Covid-19 related health care services to their patients, those supplies are considered to be self-supplies and liable to the temporary zero rate of VAT.

 

  1. Where a business donates hot meals free of charge to charities and health care providers involved in the response to the Covid-19 crisis for distribution to vulnerable groups or for consumption by frontline staff, Revenue concessionally disregard those supplies for the purposes of determining the business’s entitlement to deductibility.

 

  1. Where a business donates food products (including cold food takeaways) and non-alcoholic drinks free of charge to charities and health care providers involved in the response to the Covid-19 crisis for distribution to vulnerable groups or for consumption by frontline staff, Revenue concessionally not require the business to apply the normal self-supply rules and will allow the business to maintain an entitlement to deductibility in respect of those donations. 

Update 27/07/2020

Ireland has announced Irish VAT rate change for 6 months - decrease from 23% to 21% with effect from 1st September 2020.

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/fc8f1-building-confidence-and-solidarity/

The decision amending “Decision (EU) 2020/491 on relief from import duties and VAT exemption on importation granted for goods needed to combat the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak during 2020” (Extension of the initial validity period until 31 October 2020) was approved by the European Commission and notified to Member States last week.

Update 22/07/2020

he deadline for charities to apply for compensation under the scheme is normally 30 June each year.  Due to the impact of COVID-19, the closing date for submission of claims this year has been extended to 31 August 2020.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/ebrief/2020/no-1402020.aspx

Update 29/06/2020

Revenue publishes 2019 Annual Report

Update 26/05/2020

COVID-19: Warehousing of tax debts and suspension of interest charges https://www.pwc.ie/issues/covid-19/warehousing-tax-debts-suspension-interest-charges.html

Update 20/05/2020

Update from the local tax authority can be found here 

Update 18/05/2020

- Revenue have confirmed that the supply of temporary emergency accommodation to the State/HSE/State Agencies for the purposes of being used as emergency accommodation as necessary to combat COVID-19 Revenue falls within the existing exemption for temporary emergency accommodation. They have also confirmed concessional arrangements concerning any related Capital Goods Scheme adjustments. 

- Where a business makes the following donations Revenue will concessionally disregard these supplies for the purposes of determining the business’s entitlement to deductibility.  This concessional treatment will apply from 9 April 2020 up to 31 July 2020 and is subject to review:

- Donations of hot meals free of charge to charities and health care providers involved in the response to the Covid-19 crisis for distribution to vulnerable groups or for consumption by frontline staff.    

 -Donations of food products (including cold food takeaways) and non-alcoholic drinks free of charge to charities and health care providers involved in the response to the Covid-19 crisis for distribution to vulnerable groups or for consumption by frontline staff.

 

Update 05/05/2020

Warehousing of VAT and Payroll Tax debts for 12-months

On 02/05/2020 the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, announced a further range of economic measures in response to COVID-19. These include legislating to permit Revenue to ‘warehouse’ VAT and Payroll tax debt that arose on foot of the COVID-19 related restrictions.  Following this announcement, Revenue has assured businesses severely impacted by COVID-19 that it will continue to work with them to agree payment arrangements that support both the capacity of the business to resume trading as well as the national recovery, post COVID-19.

While the finer details of this ‘warehousing’ measure have still to be worked out, Revenue has confirmed the following:

- COVID-19 related VAT and Payroll tax debts, due from 1 March 2020 to the date when sectoral restrictions are lifted, will be parked for a period of 12 months

- no interest will accrue on the tax debts during the 12 month period

- thereafter, the COVID-19 related tax debts will carry a reduced interest rate of 3% (down from 10%), until the debt is paid

- the timeframe allowed to pay the ‘warehoused’ debt will be flexible and determined by the ability of the business to pay both COVID-19 related debts as well as meeting its ongoing tax liabilities as they arise in the normal course

- for the warehousing arrangement to apply, all returns must be filed in accordance with the Revenue guidance that has applied since the start of the current pandemic.

Update 20/04/2020

Application of Zero% VAT rate to the supplies of PPE & medical Equipment to Health Executive, Hospitals and other Health Care Settings.

Introduction following a request from the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Revenue will allow the application of the zero rate of VAT to the supply to the HSE, hospitals and other health care settings of personal protection equipment and medical equipment for use in the treatment of patients with Covid-19. 
Revenue will permit the zero rate to apply to the supply and intra-Community acquisition of the goods listed below when supplied to or acquired by the Health Services Executive, hospitals, nursing homes, care homes, GP practices and the like, for use in the delivery of COVID-19 related health care services to their patients: 
- personal protection equipment (PPE) 
- thermometers 
- hand sanitiser 
- medical ventilators and specialist respiratory equipment such as respirators for intensive and sub-intensive care and other oxygen therapy apparatus including oxygen tents 
- oxygen. 
Supplies to any other operators even if they are intended for onward supply to a health care provider do not qualify and are liable at the standard rate. 
This concessional treatment will apply from 9 April 2020 up to 31 July 2020, subject to review. 
In addition to the normal record keeping requirements, suppliers of these goods will need to satisfy themselves that their customer is eligible to receive zero rated supplies. The goods being supplied at the zero rate of VAT should be clearly identified and described on the invoice  

Update 09/04/2020

Today (8 April 2020), Revenue confirmed that it has implemented an EU Commission decision that allows goods to combat COVID-19 to be imported, from outside the EU, free of import duties and VAT. https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2020/pr-080420-relief-from-payment-of-import-duties-VAT-for-goods-imported-to-combat-COVID-19.aspx

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: 15/06/2020)

Update 15/06/2020

On 19 May 2020 the Law Decree no. 34 has been published in the Official Gazette (“Rilancio Decree“). The new emergency decree is in line with the previous Cura Italia and Liquidità Decrees, introducing inter alia measures to support the liquidity the capitalization of enterprises, incentives and tax credits as well as measures in the context of indirect taxation, tax assessment and tax litigation.

The provision postpones further to 16 September 2020 the deadline to execute the following payments of taxes and social security contributions, previously suspended by Liquidità Decree and Cura Italia Decree and detailed therein:

- payments due by enterprises and professionals having revenues and compensations not higher than 50 million euros in the preceding fiscal year which have had a reduction of their turnover for an amount higher than 33% in the months of March and April 2020 compared to the same months in 2019;

- payments due by enterprises and professionals having revenues and compensations  higher than 50 millions euros in the preceding fiscal year which have had a reduction of their turnover for an amount higher than 50% in the months of March and April 2020 compared to the same months in 2019;

- payments due by enterprises and professionals which started their activity after 31st March 2019 and non-commercial entities including non-profit entities and recognized ecclesiastical entities, which carry out institutional activities of general interest not as business activity;

- VAT payments due by VAT taxpayers located in Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza provinces irrespective of the amount of revenues and compensations of the previous fiscal year, having a decrease in the turnover amount higher than 33% in the months of March and April 2020 compared to the same months in 2019;

- payments due by small taxpayers having income not higher than €400,000 in the previous FY which did not subjected to withholding tax at source their income;

- payments due by companies pertaining to tourism sector and other sectors detailed in the previous provision;

- payments due by subjects operating within the sport sector;

- payments due by minor taxpayers having income not higher than €2,000,000 in the previous FY;

- VAT payments due by entrepreneurs and professionals having legal seat, tax domicile or operating seat within the Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza provinces and payments due by those subjects mentioned within Ministerial Decree dated 24 February 2020.

The suspended payments must be made by 16 September 2020 in full, or in four equal installments starting from 16 September 2020.

Update 26/05/2020

"Decreto Rilancio" (n. 34/2020) . 

Article 123 - Cancellation of the safeguard clauses regarding VAT and excise duties

Via the legislative provisions at issue, the safeguard clauses which should have introduced a number of automatic increases in (i) the VAT rates and (ii) excise duty rates on certain fuel products starting from 1 January 2021, have been definitively cancelled.

Therefore, standard VAT rate (22%) and reduced VAT rate (10%) will not change.

Article 124 - Reduced VAT rate for supplies of goods necessary to face emergency due to COVID-19

The 5% VAT reduced rate has been introduced for supplies of medical devices or other devices intended for individual protection. The same supplies will be VAT exempt with right to deduction until 31 December 2020.

Article 129 - Electricity and gas excise duty advance payments

The advance payment of excise duties on electricity and gas is due in 1/12 of the excise duty invoiced in the previous FY. The advance payment for May to September 2020 will be due only for 90% of the above amount. The excise duty due for FY20, to be paid in March 2021, can be paid by 10 installments, from March to December, without interest. The deadline for the payment of the excise duty due on electricity for May 2020 is postponed to May 20, 2020.

 

Article 130 - Postponement of excise duty accomplishment

Some excise duty accomplishments were postponed.

In particular:

(a) the mandatory excise duty authorization for warehouse of excise duty paid energy products having capacity between 10 and 25 mc and from 5 to 10 mc equipped with dispenser is postponed to 1 January 2021;

(b) postponement to 1 October 2020 of the introduction of specific reference for EU supply of lubricant oil;

(c) postponement to 31 December 2020 of IT system for transport and detention of fuel and diesel fuel for warehouse having a capacity higher than 3.000 mc;

(d) postponement to 31 December 2020 of the electronic transport document for fuel and diesel fuel for which excise duty was already paid;

(e) postponement to 30 September 2020 of the implementing Decree in relation to submission of data concerning electricity and gas transported and invoiced to final customers.

Article 131 - Postponement of excise duty payments

The payment of the excise duty for the energetic products released for consumption during March 2020 can be done by May 2020, 25 without penalties or interests.

Article 132 - Energetic products excise duty payments

The payment of the excise duty for the energetic products released for consumption during April-August 2020 can be done for the 80% of the amount due as advance payment while the remaining amount will be due by 16 November 2020 without interests.

The advance payment is due according to the following deadline:

-       by May 25 for the products realised for consumption in April;

-       according to the ordinary deadline for the products realised during May, June, July and August.

  Article 133 - Postponement of Plastic Tax and Sugar Tax

The Financial Law for 2020 introduced the consumption tax on single use plastic products (Plastic Tax) and on sweetened soft drinks (Sugar Tax). The effectiveness was fixed in July 2020 for Plastic Tax and October 2020 for Sugar Tax. The Rilancio Decree defers the effectiveness for both consumption tax in January 2021.

Article 140 - Storage and telematic transmission of daily fee data

The Rilancio Decree extends to January 1, 2021 the disapplication of the penalties provided by article 2, paragraph 6-ter, Legislative Decree no. 127/2015 to taxable persons, with a turnover lower than 400,000 euros, who are not able to adopt a telematic cash register. It remains the obligation, for these subjects, to issue tax receipts or cash till receipt and to register the considerations pursuant to Article 24, Presidential Decree no. 633 of 1972 and to transmit the data of the daily fees to the Italian tax authorities on a monthly basis.

In addition, the decree provides for a postponement from July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021 of the deadline for the adaptation of telematic recorders for the telematic transmission of daily consideration to the Health Insurance system referred to in Article 2, paragraph 6-quater, Legislative Decree no. 127/2015.

Article 141 - Tax receipts lottery

According to the Rilancio Decree, the enter into force of “tax receipts lottery” will be postponed from 1 July 2020 to January 1 2021.

Briefly, the “tax receipt lottery” is introduced within the context of the obligation to transmit the daily considerations to the Italian tax authorities.

 

Article 142 - Postponement of the starting date of the service for the drawing up by the Italian tax authorities of pre-filled drafts of the VAT registers and periodic VAT settlements

The Rilancio Decree provides for a postponement from 1 July 2020 to 1 January  2021 in relation to the introduction, on an experimental basis, of the "pre-filled" drafts of the VAT registers and periodic VAT settlements pursuant to art. 16, Decree Law 124/2019 (conv. Law 157/2019), amending art. 4, Legislative Decree 127/2015.

 

Article 143 - Postponement of the automatic stamp duty settlement procedure on electronic invoices

The Rilancio Decree postpones from 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2021 the application of the provisions of article 12-novies, Decree Law no. 34/2019, which introduces a procedure for the Italian tax authorities to integrate the stamp duty on electronic invoices sent through the Interchange Data System that do not include the annotation of payment of the stamp duty tax.

Article 161 - Postponement of customs duties and import VAT payments

This provision has the aim to postpone for 60 days the payment of import VAT and customs duties for which the deadline is between May 1 and July 31, 2020. No penalties nor interests will be applied.

Article 162 - Excise duty payment by installment

Payment by installment of the excise duty, in case of economic difficulties, for the warehouse keeper of energetic and alcoholic products is immediately applicable.

Article 163 - Postponement of tobacco payments for VAT and excise duty

The payment of the excise duty and VAT due on tobacco and related products for the months from April to May 2020 will be due on 31 October 2020.

Update 07/05/2020

On 6 May 2020 the Italian tax authorities (Circular letter dated 6 May 2020, no. 11/E)  clarified that the suspension of VAT filings other than VAT payments provided by article 62, paragraph 1, Law Decree no.18/ 2020 (so called "Cura Italia Law Decree") as converted, applies not only to fixed establishments of non resident businesses, but also to non-established businesses directly registered for VAT purposes in Italy as well as those who appointed an Italian fiscal representative. Such clarification overcame the previous restrictive interpretation of the Italian tax authorities (Circular letter  issued on 3 April 2020, no. 8/E).   

Update 06/05/2020

The latest summary and clarifications on the emergency measures for Indirect Taxes can be found in this article issued by PWC Italy

Update 11/04/2020

General postponement of VAT payments
According to the decree so called "Cura Italia", VAT payments due by March 16, 2020, were postponed to March 20, 2020.
According to the "Liquidity Decree", no penalties nor interests are due where the above mentioned payments will be carried out by April 16, 2020.

Such measure applies to both established and not established businesses. 

VAT payments due in April and May 2020

VAT payments due in April and May 2020 by taxable persons: 

a) who are having tax domicile, registered office or place of business in Italy and 
b) whose previous fiscal year revenues did not exceed € 50 million and
c)  which can prove a decrease in their turnover for an amount higher than  33% in March 2020 and April 2020 compared to March 2019 and April 2019, 
are suspended until June 30, 2020.  
This VAT due can be then paid in full or in five installments.

- For the above mentioned taxable persons with revenues higher than 50 millions euros, the suspension is allowed in case the reduction of their turnover (as described above) is higher than 50%.  

- Taxable persons having tax domicile, registered office or place of business  in Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza provinces can benefit from the abovementioned suspension, irrespectively from their turnover, provided that they have had a reduction of their turnover for an amount higher than 33% during March or April 2020 if compared to the same months of 2019.  

- Finally, the mentioned benefit can apply also to taxable persons having tax domicile, registered office or place of business  in Italy which have started their business, art or professional activity after March 31, 2019, without any particular limitation.

Payment of the stamp duty on electronic invoices

Payment of stamp duty due on electronic invoices can be done, without interests and penalties:

- For the first quarter, within the deadline provided for the payment of the stamp duty of the second quarter (July 20, 2020), if the amount due for the first quarter of the year is less than 250 euro;

- For the first and second quarters, within the deadline provided for the payment of the stamp duty of the third quarter (October 20, 2020), if the total amount due for the first and second quarter is less than 250 euro.

Free supplies of medicines and drugs used for compassionate use

Free supplies of pharmaceutical goods used for compassionate purposes are out of scope of VAT but entitling input  VAT deduction.

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 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: 12/05/2020)

Update 12/05/2020

The Luxembourg VAT authorities have communicated that in view of the gradual deconfinement of the national economy, the administrative tolerance in matters of VAT return and Subscription Tax is revoked. VAT returns that have not been submitted due to the health crisis are to be submitted promptly. However, forced collection of tax debts remains disabled for the time being

Update 17/04/2020

Extended Intrastat filing deadlines February - May 2020

For the purpose of collecting statistical data, businesses must declare intra-Community exchanges in the Intrastat system on a monthly basis; Operators are exempted if the annual amount of their intra-Community exchanges does not exceed EUR 200,000 for arrivals and EUR 150,000 for dispatches. In Luxembourg, businesses must declare their intra-Community exchanges on a monthly basis to the "Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques" (STATEC) at the latest on the 16th working day of the month following the month of reference if the report is submitted electronically.

In the Covid-19 context, the STATEC have announced tolerance measures relating to Intrastat declarations for the following months:

- Intrastat return for February 2020 >>> deadline is postponed to April 24, 2020
- Intrastat return for March 2020 >>> deadline is postponed to May 15, 2020
- Intrastat return for April 2020 >>> deadline is postponed to June 8, 2020
- Intrastat return for May 2020 >>> deadline is postponed to June 30, 2020

Update 08/04/2020

The Luxembourg VAT authorities released a communication yesterday informing that they would authorise upon request a postponement of the payment of the VAT debts existing before the start of the crisis. The request will be accepted to the extent that the requestor has financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 and/or requested to benefit from the subsidies/specific measures put in place by the government.

Note that this new measure applies in addition to the previous one which indicated that the Luxembourg VAT authorities would not apply any penalties for late filing of the VAT returns that are due since the start of the crisis.

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: 02/06/2020)

Update 02/06/2020

VAT payments due in May and June have also been deferred. In a new notice issued by the Commissioner for Revenue, such amounts are now to be settled by end of October 2020 (previously the notice was that these must be settled in two equal instalments with the two quarterly returns immediately following the quarter whose dues would have been deferred).

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: 03/06/2020)

Update 03/06/2020


Deferment of customs duties

In March 2020, as a response to the financial difficulties companies face due to the corona crisis, Dutch Customs announced that they can grant deferment of customs duties for importing companies upon request. The deferment would apply until the 15th day of the month following the month in which the installed measures to deal with the coronavirus are terminated. Not exactly clear was what these "installed measures" mean.

https://www.pwc.nl/en/insights-and-publications/tax-news/vat/practical-difficulties-when-requesting-deferment-customs-duties.html

Update 14/05/2020

The State Secretary reported to the House of Representatives that the Government has decided to apply the zero rate to domestic sales of mouth masks from 25 May 2020 to 1 September 2020. The purpose of this measure is to make face masks cheaper for consumers who travel by public transport. Application of the zero rate also means that the seller retains his right to deduct input tax. The further interpretation of the zero rate for mouth masks is currently being further elaborated in regulations. The zero rate will be applied to (non-medical) masks that consumers are allowed to use in public transport, as well as to medical masks, regardless of who they are sold to.

Update 13/05/2020

The Ministry of Finance has announced that as of the 25 May up to 1 September 2020 (at the earliest) no VAT is due on the supply of mouth masks irrespective of their use is medical or not.

Update 07/05/2020

Practical issues with REX statements including approach by Dutch Customs.

The Registered Exporter (REX) system was introduced by the EU in 2017 to prove the preferential origin of goods under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP), and replaced the 'Form A' certificates that were issued by the competent authorities in the exporting countries and introduced a system of self-certification.

Because of a rather strict approach by Dutch Customs towards the requirements surrounding the statements of origin under REX, we encourage companies to review the current statements they receive from their suppliers - especially in the situations described above. Please see below our latest news item for more information. 

https://www.pwc.nl/en/insights-and-publications/tax-news/vat/practical-issues-rex-statements.html

 

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: 18/05/2020)

Update 18/05/2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has announced that until 30 June 2020, the supply of disinfectants with bactericidal, fungicidal or virucidal properties in the field of health care, will be subject to the reduced 8% VAT rate. In addition, in the period until the end of the epidemic status in Poland, the 0% VAT rate is applicable to the supply of medicinal products subject to import or intra-Community acquisition in Poland, provided the purchase is financed from public collections, organized by public benefit organizations. There is also the possibility to use the 0% VAT rate for supplies related to fighting COVID-19, provided that the transaction is a free of charge supply of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics tests, personal protective equipment, etc, and such donation is made to hospitals or governmental agencies gathering strategic supplies (this is a temporary measure valid from 1 February to 31 August 2020).

The 0% VAT rate is applicable to the supply of medicinal products subject to the following conditions:

- the products are subject to import or intra-Community acquisition in Poland; 

- the purchase of the products is financed from public collections, organized by public benefit organizations;

- the products are used to carry out therapy, which carrying out outside Poland has become impossible or excessively difficult due to restrictions imposed as a result of the epidemic status;

- the seller has the buyer's confirmation that the funds come from the public collection and that the goods will be used for therapy carried out in Poland.

There is also the possibility to use the 0% VAT rate for supplies related to fighting COVID-19, provided:

- the transaction is a free of charge supply of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics tests, personal protective equipment, etc, and such donation is made to hospitals or governmental agencies gathering strategic supplies;

- there is a written agreement in place between the benefactor and beneficiary (hospital or governmental agency) confirming that the given goods will be used for the purposes of fighting COVID-19.

Update 04/05/2020 

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

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: 03/08/2020)

Update 03/08/2020

Law 29/2020, of 31 July, published in the Official Gazette, establishes COVID-19 pandemic related tax measures to support cooperatives as well as micro, small and medium sized companies (SME), as per the definition in article 2 of the annex to Decree-Law 372/2007, of 6 November.

The refund of withholding taxes, payments on account or VAT in excess of the amounts due is made within 15 days following the fling of the respective return by the taxpayer.

This Law enters into force on 1 August 2020. It applies until the end of the year in which the extraordinary and temporary COVID-19 pandemic measures cease to apply.

Update 21/7/2020

Order no. 259/2020.XXII of the Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, dated as of July 16th, 2020, has extended the deadline for submission of the 2019 annual return (IES/DA) to 15 September 2020.

Additionally, it was established that the submission of the IES/DA and the SAF-T files under the terms foreseen in the Ministerial Order no. 31/2019, of 24 January, is only applicable to the IES/DA for FY 2020 onwards.

Please see this newsletter - link - for further details.

 

Law 26/2020, of 21 July, published in the Official Gazette, transposes Council Directive (EU) 2018/822, of 25 May 2018. It determines the obligation to report to the tax authorities certain internal and cross border tax arrangements.

https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/other/pwc-tax-flash-reportable-cross-border-arrangements-council-directive-eu-2018-822-dac6.html

Update 20/07/2020

An Order of the State Secretary of Tax Affairs extends to the 31st August 2020 the deadline to complete the first PIT payment on account regarding the current year.

https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/pit-and-social-security/pwc-tax-flash-pit-postponement-of-deadline-of-the-first-payment-on-account.html

Update 09/06/2020

 VAT – Refund to event organizers operating in the tourism sector

https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/other/tax-flash-covid-19-economic-and-social-stabilization-program-main-tax-measures.html

Update 11/05/2020

COVID-19 – VAT – Disinfectant gel – Reduced VAT rate https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/other/pwc-tax-flash-covid-19-vat-disinfectant-gel-reduced-vat-rate.html

Update 07/05/2020

Law no. 13/2020, of 7 May, published in the Official Gazette, establishes the following temporary measures

- Exemption from VAT on intraCommunity supply and acquisitions of goods (listed in the annex to the referred Law) necessary to tackle the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak; it applies to acquisitions made by the State and other public bodies or non-profit organizations; this measure applies from the 30th January to the 31st July 2020;

- Application of the reduced VAT rate to imports, as well as intraCommunity supplies and acquisitions of masks for respiratory protection and skin disinfectant gel; the reduced rate applies from the 8th May to the 31st December 2020.

https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/iva-e-impostos-indiretos/pwc-tax-flash-covid-19-vat-exemption-and-reduced-vat-rate-applicable-to-certain-goods.html

Update 29/04/2020

Order 153/2020-XXII, of 24 April, of the State Secretary of Tax Affairs, extends the deadlines to comply with several tax obligations, as well as the deadlines for the payment of taxes.

https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/other/pwc-tax-flash-covid-19-extension-of-deadlines-to-file-tax-statements-and-pay-taxes.html

Update 09/04/2020

Order no. 129/2020-XXII, of March 27, issued by the Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, establishes simplification procedures to adapt compliance reporting obligations to the current circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Please see further information here: https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/iva-e-impostos-indiretos/pwc-tax-flash-vat-covid-19-simplification-measures-for-completion-of-vat-returns-pdf-invoices.html

Update 27/03/2020

VAT payments to be postponed. Further update to follow. 

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

Romania (Last updated: 29/06/2020)

Update 29/06/2020

Until 1 October 2020, the following operations with protective masks and medical fans are exempt from value added tax (VAT) with the right to deduct:

  • deliveries made to public institutions responsible for setting up the rescEU reserve. The supplier justifies the VAT exemption through a declaration of own responsibility regarding the destination of the delivered goods, by the time of delivery;
  • intra-Community imports and purchases by public institutions responsible for setting up the rescEU reserve. Exemption from VAT is justified on the basis of the beneficiary’s declaration of own responsibility, to be lodged with the customs authorities at the time of importation.

https://www.pwc.ro/en/tax-legal/alerts/government-emergency-ordinance-no--99-2020-on-some-fiscal-measur.html

Update 20/05/2020

Please see the latest measures in relation to VAT here 

Update 27/04/2020

Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) no. 48/2020 completes a series of legislative measures adopted as a result of the establishment of the state of emergency. As part of these latest changes, and subject to certain exceptions, requests for VAT refunds will be dealt with by way of a subsequent tax audit which will be decided based on a risk analysis. The new rules apply to VAT refund applications submitted during the state of emergency and for 30 days thereafter, including pending VAT refund claims for which the VAT refund decision has not been issued by the date of entry into force of the new Ordinance (16 April 2020).

In addition, the existing facility for import VAT deferment is granted also for imports of protective mask production machines, during the state of emergency period and the following 30 days, and for completely denatured ethyl alcohol used for the production of disinfectants, but only during the state of emergency period. For imports of completely denatured ethyl alcohol, only importers with an end-user authorisation according to the legal provisions, valid as at the date of import, benefit from the VAT deferment.

Please see this newsletter - link - for further details of these and the other measure introduced by Emergency Ordinance no. 48/2020.

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: 09/06/2020)

Deadlines for VAT reporting and payments remain the same. Established and non-established businesses can get missed deadlines remitted provided the reasons why the deadlines could not be met are reasonably explained.

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: 26/05/2020)

Update 26/05/2020
1) The "State of Alarm" is officially extended up to next 7 June 2020;
2) Administrative terms and deadlines affecting other than tax procedures (tax procedures were extended up to next 30 May) suspended under the validity of Royal Decree 463/2020 (See our 16/03/2020 Update) will be continued/restarted as from next 1 June 2020 by derogating RD 463/2020 in this particular regard as of such date;
3) All judicial terms and deadlines suspended under the validity of Royal Decree 463/2020  will be restarted as from 4 June 2020 by derogating RD 463/2020 in this particular regard as of such date;
4) Statute of limitations and deadlines for exercising whatever actions or rights (except those or which specific measures had been adopted, e.g. within the frame of a tax procedure such as appeals for reconsideration or economic-administrative claims) suspended under the validity of Royal Decree 463/2020 will be continued/restarted as from 4 June 2020 by derogating RD 463/2020 in this particular regard as of such date.
Update 23/04/2020

RDL 15/2020, in force as of 23 April 2020:

1) Temporary (up to next 31 July 2020) zero VAT rate applicable to sanitary products in connection with the intra-EU acquisition, importation and domestic supply of sanitary products used to fight COVID-19 to Public Entities, Hospitals, Clinics and NPOs that complements the previous exemption already applicable to customs duties and import VAT upon the importation of said good for the purpose of donation to Public Entities and NPOs.

2) Super-reduced 4% VAT rate applicable to e-books, newspapers and magazines supplied electronically.

3) New extension of the deadlines initially extended up to 30 April and 20 May 2020. All references to these extended deadlines made in the RDL 8/2020 of 17 March and RDL 11/2012 of 31 March will now be understood as extended until next 30 May (please, see our 18 March update for prior 30 April and 20 May deadlines now extended up to next 30 May).

Furthermore,  RDL 11/2020 published on 1 April, has introduced the possibility to apply for the deferral of tax debts resulting from Customs Import Declarations submitted up to next 30 May, exceeding 100 Eur. but not exceeding 30,000 Eur. and only for SMEs not exceeding 6 Mio Eur turnover during 2019. The deferral will be applied for in the same Customs Declaration and will be granted and notified by the Authorities in accordance with EU customs proceedings applicable to the notification of the customs liability.

Such deferral will not be applicable to the VAT element in those cases where taxpayers are already declaring import VAT through their monthly VAT returns (import VAT deferral scheme).

Deferrals will be granted for 6 months as from the end of the term for customs duties and import VAT payment. No delay interest will be accrued during the first 3 months.

The guarantee submitted for the removal of the goods will be valid for the purpose of the above mentioned deferral.

Update 22/04/2020
VAT rate on e-publications in Spain is to be reduced to 4%. Further information to follow shortly.
Update 16/04/2020
Spanish Government has approved Royal Decree Law 14/2020, of 14 April 2020, which establishes an automatic extension of deadlines in case of SMEs (whose turnover volume has not exceeded 600,000 € in 2019) for the filing and payment of all tax returns (including VAT returns) with a deadline between 15 April and 20 May. Deadlines in case of all these tax returns will be extended up to next 20 May 2020.

Entities applying grouping schemes for CIT or VAT grouping will NOT be able to benefit from this measure irrespective of their turnover volumes.

In case of tax returns to be paid by taxpayers through direct debit the above mentioned deadlines as from 15 April will be extended up to 15 May only (not 20 May since direct debit obliges the tax Authorities to previously run verification on taxpayers' bank accounts).

This measure will not affect Customs Declarations ether.

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: 11/05/2020)

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

Armenia (Last updated: 08/04/2020)

No specific Indirect Tax measures have been implemented. 

For more information please contact hasmik.harutyunyan@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 06/05/2020)

Update 6/5/2020
On 16 April 2020, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the proposal of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, adopted a Decision on amendments to the Decision on Exemption from Calculation and Payment of Indirect Taxes and Refund of Already Paid Indirect Taxes on Equipment and Assets Donated by Domestic and International Entities for the
Prevention, Suppression and Elimination of the Virus Epidemic corona (Covid - 19).

With this amendment of the Decision, medicines and sanitary vehicles are also exempted from the calculation and payment of indirect taxes.  
The Decision was published in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 24/20 dated 30th April 2020.
Update 3/4/2020
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: 20/03/2020)

Jersey

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

Georgia (Last updated: 12/05/2020)

The import and supply of the following goods become exempt from VAT without right to credit until 1 October 2020: protective shields; show covers; gloves; insulating overalls; medical gowns; sets of medical gowns, hats and show covers; plastic goggles; masks; contactless thermometers.

Customs clearance deadline for the vehicles brought into the Georgian territory before 1 April were deferred until 1 September

For further information please contact george.chanturidze@pwc.com

Iceland (Last updated: 22/04/2020)

 Payment due dates for import levies for settlement periods beginning in March 2020 for those companies that use a grace period (deferred payments) will be split into two payment due dates, with authorisation for the entry of all input tax for the period concerned.

- The tax on overnight stays (bed-night tax) will be suspended temporarily from 1 April 2020 through 31 December 2021, and the due date for payments from January through March 2020 will be postponed until February 2022.

- Customs processing fees for ships and aircraft will be suspended temporarily, through year-end 2021.

 Refund of VAT

§  Rules regarding the refund of VAT for construction projects at residential property have been changed to allow a 100% refund of VAT under certain circumstances from 1 March 2020 through to 31 December 2020. The authorisation will also be expanded to include vacation property. Furthermore, it will now cover design and supervision of construction.

§  Those who own or rent residential property can receive reimbursement of 100% of the VAT paid on the labour for work done in connection with household assistance or regular care of the home.

§  Reimbursement of 100% of VAT paid by non-operating individuals from work done for car repair or car painting upon fulfilment of certain conditions.

§  Charitable organisations, sport organisations, rescue squads, the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR), accident prevention associations, and individual units operating under the banner of ICE-SAR can apply for reimbursement of 100% of the VAT they pay on-site for construction, maintenance, or renovation of buildings and structures wholly owned by these organisations, subject to certain conditions. VAT on the purchase of design or supervision of construction is also included.

-Penalties are abolished for VAT payments with due date on 6 April 2020. It is important however to pay before penalty interest is imposed one month from the due date. The tax authorities may also abolish other penalties on VAT payments in the year 2020.

For more information please contact gudrun.a.ludviksdottir@pwc.com

Kazakhstan (Last updated: 23/04/2020)

Update 23/04/2020

- extension of RC VAT payment on (i) technical maintenance services and (ii) legal support of aircrafts leasing for Kazakhstan tax residents engaged into air-passenger transport activities. Such RC VAT should be paid before 1 January 2021 and, if paid, could be taken for offset in a period when purchase of respective services is recognized as VATable turnover;

- extensions of the deadline for submitting tax reports for 2019 tax obligations from 31 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.

Update 20/04/2020

 Further customs measures taken by the Eurasian Economic Commission (“EEC”) due to COVID-19:

- a list of important imported goods for which exemption from customs duties applies has been established (Decree of the EEC Consilium, 3 April 2020 No. 33). The exemption applies for the period 1 April to 30 June 2020. The list includes a number of vegetables, cereals, ready-to-eat products for children, ingredients for production of maternal milk, juices, medicines, certain medical products, thermometers and disinfectors. An exemption is obtained through execution of a customs clearance declaration using the procedure of “release for domestic consumption” before 30 June.

- a prohibition on the export of certain food products up to 30 June 2020 was introduced (Decree of the EEC Board, 31 March 2020 No. 43). The list includes certain vegetables, cereals, soybeans, sunflower seeds, ready-to-eat products from buckwheat. The prohibition does not apply to rice produced in Kazakhstan, goods for humanitarian aid carried by individuals for personal use.

- the procedure for providing a certificate of origin of goods of form “A” to enjoy preferences when importing goods from developing and least developed countries was changed (Decree of the EEC Concilium, 3 April 2020 No. 36). To obtain benefits, a copy of the certificate must be submitted with the obligation to provide the original within six months.

Please click here to see the news alert.

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

Macedonia (Last updated: 11/05/2020)

Update 24/04/2020

The deadlines for submitting VAT returns and payment of VAT are extended.
For monthly VAT payers:
-deadlines for tax period 01.02.2020-29.02.2020 extended from 25 March to 30 April.
-deadlines for tax period 01.03.2020-31.03.2020 extended from 25 April to 30 April.
- deadlines for tax period 01.04.2020-30.04.2020 extended from 25 May to 31 May.   
Quarterly VAT payers:
- deadlines for tax period 01.01.2020-31.03.2020 extended from 25 April to 30 April. 

Update 16/04/2020

-Direct VAT exemption on goods and services that are donated to a budget user for dealing with COVID-19 outbreak.         
-Direct VAT exemption on supply of goods and services that are provided to budget users and are paid with funds received from donations for dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak.

Update 27/03/2020

The process and conditions for issuing electronic invoices for VAT purposes are significantly facilitated.

Update 24/03/2020 

Certain goods are exempted from customs duties such as medical equipment, medical aid and medical consumables imported into the Republic of Macedonia.    

Moldova (Last updated: 06/05/2020)

Update 06/05/2020

 VAT Refund Procedure. 
The entities will be allowed to submit a claim requesting to refund the amount of recoverable VAT. The amount of recovered VAT shall represent the minimum from the following amounts:

- the amount of the recoverable VAT indicated in the last submitted VAT return;

- the total amount of payroll taxes paid during  May - December  2020 (or by the date of claim submission) period;

- the total amount of payroll taxes due for February 2020 period multiplied to the number of periods for which VAT is claimed.

Please note that the taxpayers might submit several claims covering the period mentioned above, however, the total amount of VAT to be refunded under this procedure shall not exceed the amount of recoverable VAT indicated in December 2019 VAT return.  
As a general rule, the VAT law doesn't allow to claim recoverable VAT except:

- the companies that carry out a specific range of business activities (e.g. export supplies, international transportation services, production of bakery and dairy products, leasing activity). 

- the companies performing capital investments in Moldova. The amount of recoverable VAT shall be related to these kinds of capital investments, provided such assets are used for product manufacture, service supply, and execution of works.

Reduced VAT rate for HORECA (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes) sector. 
Starting 1 May 2020, a reduced 15% VAT rate is applied for accommodation services, food, and beverages supplied by entities that provide public accommodation and catering services . 
Standard VAT rate in Moldova is 20%. 

Update 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: 12/05/2020)

Update 12/05/2020

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Government has earlier extended the reporting and due date for a number of taxes and VAT, as well as proposed to extend the submission deadline of the VAT compensation claim

Please see the details here:https://blogg.pwc.no/skattebloggen-en/revised-national-budget-2020-in-norway-corporate-taxation-vat-and-personal-taxation?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=87781709&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--uVeNzwFyjd14nGVp4hvR2GauXz5IDnVNiQJpbK3McCtai92JYDthDx6Jisftw72uo7T-VkiKLsLBOGxwaPaRj0LzUCS--gunAFrVt8h0OQZIKYy4&_hsmi=87781709

Update 11/05/2020

In connection with the COVID-19 epidemic, stricter border controls for passenger traffic have been implemented. Airports and shipping ports are partially closed. However, according to the customs authorities, flow of goods should continue as normal, among other things, to ensure the supply of food and to keep the wheels running for businesses. The customs authorities have stated that they will maintain their capacity related to the flow of goods. As a result of COVID-19 the Customs Directorate has implemented some simplifications in the procedures to ensure that freight traffic may proceed as normal.

Simplification 1: Holders of bonded warehouse licences are usually permitted to transport the goods directly to the importer of record, instead of storing the goods in the actual bonded warehouse (direct-transport of goods). But according to the ordinary rules, the importer is not allowed to unpack or use the goods until the goods are declared, and the goods must be declared to the customs authorities within 10 days.  

As a result of COVID-19, the owner of goods can dispose of direct-transported goods prior to customs clearance, when this is necessary. The deadline for submitting a complete declaration is extended to 30 days if the customs warehouse holder as a result of COVID-19 is unable to comply with the ordinary deadline. The reason for the simplification is that the customs authorities want to ensure that critical deliveries arrive easily and that the goods can be used quickly.

Simplification 2: The EUR.1 certificate shall usually be stamped and certified by the customs authorities upon export. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the customs authorities do not want physical attendance at the customs office. The customs authorities require the EUR.1 certificate to be completed by e-mail. 

Customs authorities also encourage all exporters to use an invoice declaration as proof of origin, as long as the value of the originating products does not exceed NOK 60 000.  

Simplification 3: Norwegian Customs authorities accept on specific terms scanned proofs of origin. Due to the situation, the authorities now also accept black and white copies of proof of origin. 

Simplification 4: Import of emergency shipments with personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to Norway are temporarily exempt from customs duties and import VAT, in connection with the COVID-19 situation. 

 Such consignments must be declared as temporary imports, even if the importer knows that everything will be consumed. Equipment that is not consumed in connection with COVID-19 must either be re-exported or cleared for free circulation, and cannot be resold or consumed. 

Simplification 5: The import of certain plants, fruits and berries normally requires a health certificate issued by the authorities in the country of exportation. Due to the situation with COVID-19, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority may on application grant exemptions from requirements for plant health certificates. This applies to imports of some fresh fruits and berries. The reason is that the corona outbreak has posed challenges in obtaining plant health certificates in some countries.

For more information please contact kjetil.opstad@pwc.com 

Update 23/04/2020

Deferred payment deadline for the first VAT term. The payment was due this year on April 14, but is now postponed to June 10, 2020.

The low value-added tax rate is reduced from 12% to 6% from April 1 until October 31 2020. 

https://blogg.pwc.no/skattebloggen-en/summary-covid-19-financial-measures-updated-april-20-2020?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=86816704&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9V_k-56v1wi0wY8dSwqHpvtA2afbrhh2KCfr9TetOTxgL2Iqt6aJ0I78LGTF-hFzjRUdtpw01mPx8uQSokT7S7k8kJMGWG4nMFxRDHQd1D9ISrHgo&_hsmi=86816704#VAT

Update 07/04/2020

The low value-added tax rate is reduced from 12% to 6% from April 1 until October 31. 

https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/confirmation-of-reduction-in-lower-vat-rate-to-6-from-1-april

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: 29/04/2020)

Update 29/04/2020

VAT filing is postponed from 25 April to 15 May. Please see this tax flash report for further details.

Update 22/04/2020

The Eurasian Economic Commission has published a decree that temporarily exempts certain goods from import duties from 1 April 2020 until 30 June 2020 due to the COVID19 pandemic. 

https://www.pwc.ru/en/tax-consulting-services/assets/legislation/tax-flash-report-2020-21-eng.pdf

Update 08/04/2020

New VAT reporting deadline for Q1 2020 has been announced by the Russian Government. Please see further information here: https://www.pwc.ru/en/services/tax-consulting-services/legislation/tax-flash-report-2020-16.html

Update 27/03/2020

No deferral on VAT payments announced. 

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

Serbia (Last updated: 20/04/2020)

The Customs administration issued an Explanation regarding the customs clearance of goods subject to priority flow with the effect as of April 14, 2020. The procedure will be applied as long as specific measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The goods for which priority flow is ensured are within the following categories: meat and meat products, milk and milk products, vegetables, fruits, cereals, flour, yeast, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, clothing, medical instruments, etc.

Zero VAT rate on donations in goods and services

The Decree on fiscal benefits and direct aid to companies in the private sector and citizens in order to reduce economic consequences of COVID-19 disease envisages:

- Implementation of the VAT exemption on the free of charge supply of goods and services in the Republic of Serbia to the Ministry of Health, the Republic Health Insurance Fund and health institution in public ownership;

 - The right to recover associated input VAT;

 - Application of zero VAT rate on all related supplies made during the state of emergency;

 - Obligation to keep records containing information on the name, address and PIN of the person to whom the supply was made, as well as information on cost price and purchase price of supplied goods / provided services.

Prohibition of export of essential products and medicines

The Government of the Republic of Serbia recently has adopted new Decision on temporary prohibition of export of basic commodities important for population, in force as of April 13. Prohibition shall apply for 30 days. Exceptionally, the export of these products may be approved by a special act of the Serbian Government.

New Decision allows export of refined sunflower oil, yeast (fresh and dry), wipes and napkins. In addition, it restricts the export of mercantile maize (customs tariff number 1005 90 00 00) to 400 thousand tonnes.

As it was prescribed by the previous Decision, prohibition of export does not apply to re-export, i.e. when a domestic entity purchases goods in another country or customs territory if those goods are dispatched from the territory of the Republic of Serbia after the appropriate customs procedure has been completed.

Further, the Serbian Government issued a new Decision which prohibits the export of medicines, applicable starting from April 15, for a period of 30 days. Imposed restrictions are the same as those imposed by the previous Decision, except that its applicability is limited to human medicines.

In line with the further development of COVID-19 situation, new Decisions and measures could be introduced for the purpose of protection of health and the economy.

For more information please contact jovana.stojanovic@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: 30/07/2020)

Update 30/07/2020

The UK has announced the extension of import duty and VAT reliefs on protective equipment, and certain medical devices and equipment brought into the UK from non-EU countries during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The goods must be imported by or on behalf of UK based state organisations, including state bodies, public bodies and other bodies governed by public law, and other charitable or philanthropic organisations approved by the competent authorities.

Please see HMRC's updated guidance for further details

Updated 15/07/2020

VAT payments deferral scheme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics#vat-payments-deferral-scheme

Updated 08/07/2020

Temporary VAT cut for food and non-alcoholic drinks – From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, to support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises across the UK. Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days.

Temporary VAT cut for accommodation and attractions – From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, to support businesses and jobs, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK. Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-plan-for-jobs-documents/a-plan-for-jobs-2020

The below article provides links to publications which the tax authority, HMRC, has issued or updated due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The articles are available via the title links below:

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information about the VAT payments deferral scheme ending on 30 June 2020 has been added.

VAT payments on account

The option to defer VAT payments during coronavirus has come to an end and businesses can no longer defer VAT.

VAT zero rating for personal protective equipment

The end date for the temporary VAT zero rating has been changed from 31 July 2020 to 31 October 2020.

Revenue and Customs Brief 4 (2020): temporary VAT zero rating of personal protective equipment (PPE)

The end date for the temporary VAT zero rating has been changed from 31 July 2020 to 31 October 2020.

Health professionals and pharmaceutical products (VAT Notice 701/57)

The end date for the temporary VAT zero rating has been changed from 31 July 2020 to 31 October 2020.

Updated 06/07/2020

Destroying spoilt beer, cider, wine or made-wine during coronavirus (COVID-19)

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/destroying-spoilt-beer-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Updated 29/06/2020

Member State ambassadors to the EU have reached a preliminary agreement on postponing the introduction of the VAT e-commerce package from 1 January 2021 to 1 July 2021. The postponement is expected to be formally adopted by the Council, without further discussion, once the text has undergone a legal and linguistic review. The European Commission had proposed postponing the entry into force of the new measures to take account of the difficulties that businesses and Member States are facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Council also adopted an amendment allowing Member States an option to defer by up to 6 months the time limits for filing and exchanging information under the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC6).

As expected, the UK tax authority, HMRC, has now confirmed that the EU MDR/DAC6 reporting deadlines will be deferred by six months, in accordance with the EU Council's decision. In summary, the new deadlines are:

  • Information on reportable cross-border arrangements the first step of which was implemented between 25 June 2018 and 30 June 2020 must be filed by 28 February 2021;
  • The period of 30 days for filing information by intermediaries and relevant taxpayers shall begin by 1 January 2021 where the triggering event took place between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020;
  • Where the triggering event takes place after 31 December 2020 reports are due within 30 days of the triggering event;  
  • In the case of marketable arrangements, the first periodic report shall be made by the intermediary by 30 April 2021. 
  • The first automatic exchange of information between Member States shall take place by 30 April 2021.

Updated 25/06/2020

In ‘Revenue and Customs Brief 9 (2020): delayed VAT repayments to overseas businesses’, the tax authority, HMRC, explains that due to COVID-19 and home working, overseas businesses which submitted VAT claims on or before 31 December 2019 under the Overseas Refund Scheme ('13th Directive') for the year 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, may not receive their refunds by the target date of 30 June 2020, and that HMRC intends to pay valid claims by 30 September 2020. HMRC also sets out what businesses need to do if they cannot obtain a certificate of status for the year 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 overseas.

For further details, please see Revenue and Customs Brief 9 (2020): delayed VAT repayments to overseas businesses

Updated 22/06/2020

During the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses have benefited by deferring their VAT payments falling due between 23 March and 30 June 2020. Those which normally paid by Direct Debit (DD) had to cancel their DDs in order to prevent the tax authority, HMRC, collecting the VAT. The deferral period is due to end on 30 June, therefore businesses which have cancelled their DDs will have to ensure that they are reinstated by the due date for payment.

For further details on the deferral scheme, please see this earlier GVO news item and HMRC’s latest update of ‘Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ which has added material on the end of the deferral period.

Unless any last minute change is announced, HMRC will begin to collect all VAT payments falling due on or after 1 July 2020. If businesses have not reinstated their DDs by the payment date, there is a risk that they will fall foul of the default surcharge regime. HMRC recommends that DDs should be reinstated at least 3 working days before payment is due. 

For the same reason, it may be advisable for businesses with other automated payment arrangements to check that they are still operational.

For businesses concerned that they may be unable to meet their indirect tax payments, we strongly recommend that they contact HMRC to arrange time to pay, in which case the VAT default surcharge regime should not apply. For further information, see ‘If you cannot pay your tax bill on time’.

Updated 29/05/2020

Please see below links to publications which HMRC has recently issued or updated due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Exporting personal protective equipment during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Goods exported from the European Union after midnight on Monday 25 May 2020 will no longer require an export authorisation. The export authorisation requirement for personal protective equipment expired on 25 May 2020 and will not be extended.

Changes to notifying an option to tax land and buildings during coronavirus (COVID-19)

HMRC has made temporary changes to the time limit and to how you notify an option, to help businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19). The changes apply to decisions made between 15 February and 30 June 2020 (originally this expired on 31 May). HMRC has also updated Opting to tax land and buildings (VAT Notice 742A) and Tell HMRC about an option to tax land and buildings.

Update 22/05/2020

HM Treasury has announced that VAT it collected from businesses which donated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) between 1 March and 30 April will be donated to two charities which provide support for NHS workers and carers. Affected businesses have until 30 June 2020 to tell HMRC how much VAT has been paid.

The HM Treasury news story Government to give VAT from donated PPE to healthcare charities announces the donation of VAT collected on donated PPE will be given to charities supporting the NHS and care workers.

HMT explains that VAT is due on assets donated by businesses where they paid and reclaimed VAT when they originally purchased the goods. In other words, the donating businesses should have accounted for VAT on a deemed supply of the donated goods until they became zero rated from 1 May 2020 (please see this GVO news item which reported the introduction of the temporary zero rate and this GVO news item which reported further clarification of the PPE qualifying for zero rating).

As regards administration of these donations, HM Treasury will be seeking information from affected businesses in order to determine how much VAT has been paid. We are seeking to obtain further details, and GVO news will publish further information when this becomes available.

Update 19/05/2020

The tax authority, HMRC, has provided some further clarification on the items of PPE which qualify for VAT zero rating during the coronavirus pandemic, and has also clarified how bad debt relief (BDR) will operate in relation to supplies accounted for on VAT returns where payment to HMRC has been deferred.

HMRC has published UK tariffs from 1 January 2021, which provides details on what the tariff applies to, how to check the tariff, and tariff relief on some goods for tackling coronavirus (COVID-19).

PPE

The HMRC clarification was included in notes of a recent meeting with members of the accountancy profession. The information on PPE reads as follows:

“The temporary VAT zero rate will apply to all supplies of PPE which are made between 1 May and 31 July 2020 and which are recommended for use by Public Health England in its guidance dated 24 April 2020 titled ‘Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)’. The relevant Public Health England guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-zero-rating-for-personal-protective-equipment

This guidance is also referenced in the three HMRC documents that are in the public domain and listed below.

Also, the relevant customs commodity codes for items covered by this relief, can be found in the VATHLT2021 guidance.

Guidance VATHLT - https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/vat-health/vathlt2021

Updated VAT Notice 701/57 -  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/health-professionals-pharmaceutical-products-and-vat-notice-70157#section3

New Revenue and Customs Brief 4 (2020): temporary VAT zero rating of personal protective equipment (PPE) - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-and-customs-brief-4-2020-temporary-vat-zero-rating-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe

Update 30/04/2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced that plans to apply a zero rate of VAT to e-publications have been fast tracked, and that effective tomorrow (1 May 2020) the zero rate of VAT will now apply to all e-publications – seven months ahead of the scheduled implementation date of 1 December 2020.

https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/e-publications-vat-zero-rated-effective-1-may-2020

Zero rate for PPE from 1 May 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/458/contents/made

Update 29/04/2020

The tax authority, HMRC, has published advice to businesses which decide to defer the VAT payment due on 7 May 2020. In particular, HMRC reminds those businesses which normally pay by Direct Debit that they must contact their banks to ensure that the Direct Debit is cancelled, in order to ensure that their payments are not drawn automatically.

This earlier GVO news item reported details of the UK's COVID-19 VAT deferral. 

HMRC has now published the following:

“Good Morning,

With the next VAT deadline date of 7 May fast approaching, we wanted to send a reminder of the process for those who wish to utilise the VAT payment deferral announced by the Chancellor in March.

 There's no need to apply for a deferral BUT:

You are still required to file a return through the normal route, including MTD if applicable.

Direct Debit payers will need to cancel their direct debit with their banks. If they don’t HMRC will request payment. There is no automatic deferral of Direct Debit payment.

The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Update 22/04/2020

If you’re no longer able to comply with a condition of your authorisation because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you must get permission from your supervising office in HMRC or Border Force to temporarily vary the conditions of your authorisation.

Update 14/04/2020

HMRC have just updated the force of law section of Public Notice LFT1 (Excise Notice LFT1: a general guide to Landfill Tax) to allow an extension to the 21 day time limit for a prescribed retest for qualifying fines where an LOI test has been failed and the retest deadline cannot be met due to disruption caused by coronavirus.  

The retest has to be done as soon as reasonably possible and evidence must be kept to demonstrate this.

Update 11/04/2020

Businesses in severe financial difficulties may be able to delay payment of the March 2020 import duty/VAT charges under their deferment account which are due on 15 April 2020 (Wednesday next week) subject to obtain prior permission from HMRC under Time to Pay arrangements.

Registered Importers who pay cash or an equivalent and are facing severe financial difficulties as a direct result of Covid-19 can contact HMRC to request an extension to the payment deadline at the time the payment is due. They will be asked to provide an explanation of how Covid-19 has impacted on their business finances. HMRC will consider this request and decide whether or not to agree an additional time to pay. The decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis and could be refused.

HMRC’s contact lines will be staffed over the bank holiday weekend.

Update 09/04/2020

HMRC Policy has confirmed that in these unprecedented times, 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.

Please see the latest customs update from HMRC on this website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/customs-authorisations-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_source=f7792b7a-1c13-4857-a3ef-ce6979aa04eb&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

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: 08/04/2020)

Update 08/04/2020
- Until 31 May 2020 a zero-excise rate is applied to ethyl alcohol used for producing
disinfectants
- Reconciliation of volumes of fuel and ethyl alcohol is postponed until 1 July 2020.
Please see the latest tax flash for more information https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/covid-19-emergency-tax-measures
Update 07/04/2020
Temporary VAT exemption is introduced for local supply of goods needed for performing measures against coronavirus from 17 March 2020 until the end of quarantine. Such exemption should not impact input VAT recovery.
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: 30/06/2020)

Update 30/06/2020

 

S. No.

Notification No.

Amending Notification No.

Particulars

Due dates as per previous extension

Amended due dates

Due date falls between

Due date

Where date falls between

Due date

 

55/2020- Central Tax dated 27 June 2020

35/2020- Central Tax dated 3 April 2020

Time limit for completion of any action by authority or person, including: 

· Completion of any proceeding;

· Passing of order, issuance of notice, intimation, notification or any such sanction or approval by any authority, commission or Tribunal;

· Filing of any appeal, reply or application or furnishing any report, document, return of statement, etc.  

20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020

30 June 2020

20 March 2020 to 30 August 2020

31 August 2020

 

56/2020- Central Tax dated 27 June 2020

46/2020- Central Tax  dated 9 June 2020

Time limit to issue order under section 54(5) read with section 54(7) of the CGST Act (The officer is required to issue refund order within sixty days from the date of receipt of application for refund).

20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020

30 June 2020

20 March 2020 to 30 August 2020

31 August 2020

 

GSR 418E dated 27 June 2020

Section 6 of Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020

Time limits for completion or compliance under: 

· Central Excise Act, 1944;

· Customs Act, 1962;

· Customs Tariff Act, 1975; and

· Service Tax laws (under Finance Act, 1994).

20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020

30 June 2020

20 March 2020 to 29 September   2020

30 September 2020

Update 15/06/2020
The fortieth meeting of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council was held on 12 June 20201 through a video conference. The major recommendations concluded at the GST Council meeting are summarised below.

A. Reduction/ waiver of late fee and interest

S. No.
Particulars
Form
Taxpayer
Period
Relief Provided
1.
Late fee
Form GSTR-3B
All taxpayers
Tax period July 2017 to January 2020
Late fee waived – where there is no tax liability
Maximum late fee capped at INR 500 per return* – where there is tax liability

*The returns must be filed between 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020.
Form GSTR-3B
Turnover upto INR 50m
Supplies effected in May 2020 to July 2020
Late fee waived – if returns furnished by September 2020  (staggered dates to be notified)
2.
Reduced interest in case of late filing of returns
Form GSTR-3B
Turnover upto INR 15m
Supplies effected in February 2020
Interest at 9% from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020
Supplies effected in March 2020
Interest at 9% from 4 July 2020 to 30 September 2020
Supplies effected in April 2020
Interest at 9% from 7 July 2020 to 30 September 2020
Supplies effected in May 2020 to July 2020
Nil, if returns filed by September 2020 (staggered dates to be notified)
Turnover between INR 15m to INR 50m
Supplies effected in February 2020 and March 2020
Interest at 9% from 30 June 2020 to 30 September 2020
Supplies effected in April 2020
Interest at 9% from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020
Supplies effected in May 2020 to July 2020
Nil, if returns filed by September 2020 (staggered dates to be notified)

B. Other Recommendations
  • Time limit for filing application for restoration of registrations cancelled till 12 June 2020 has been extended upto 30 September 2020; and 
  • Certain clauses of the Finance Act, 2020 amending the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 and the Integrated Goods and Service Tax Act, 20172 would be brought into force from 30 June 2020.

PwC comments
The recommendations are welcome and would provide relief, mainly to small taxpayers, who are faced with issues of reduction in revenues and shortage of working capital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may refer to our previous Tax Insight3 on the relief measures announced in April 2020 in this regard.
Update 16/04/2020
In a recent ruling, the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) in the State of Rajasthan held that consideration paid to the directors of a company by way of salary and commission, was liable to GST under the reverse charge mechanism. This ruling is important since many taxpayers have taken a position that such services should be treated as services rendered by an employee to the employer and not subject to GST, per Schedule III of the CGST Act, although the AAR does not provide any specific reason for the transaction to be excluded from Schedule III, i.e. as services provided in the course of employment.
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

Indonesia (Last updated: 12/05/2020)

Update 12/05/2020

To protect the public, the government has waived import restrictions applied on certain products such as 1. masks, thermometers and other personal protective equipment. In addition; 2. onions and garlic; and 3. second hand goods under HS Code 9019.20.00 and 9020.00.00 (18 March - 31 May 2020 (for onion and garlic) 23 March - 30 June 2020 (for other certain products) 2 April - 30 June 2020 (for second hand goods))

Ministry of Finance gives additional days for postponement of excise payment. In common situations, the postponement is 60 days, but for the excise tape ordering document with postponement submitted from 9 April to 9 July 2020, the postponement is 90 days.

To accommodate the use of Certificate of Origin to enjoy a preferential import duty during the COVID-19 situation, the Director General of Customs and Excise exempts importers from submitting the original document during clearance process and requires them to submit it through online systems. Dates: From 30 March 2020 until further notice.

Update 14/04/2020

The Government has introduced a Regulation intended to secure national economic stability during the COVID-19 pandemic via  policy changes in the areas of taxation, government spending and financing. 

The Government has introduced a Regulation intended to secure national economic stability during the COVID-19 pandemic via  policy changes in the areas of taxation, government spending and financing. Many of the changes mirror, but bring forward, the tax law changes envisaged by the Omnibus Tax Bill that was previously proposed and is currently being discussed in Parliament. The measures include the local taxation of e-commerce through subjecting supplies made by 'foreign e-commerce players' to VAT, and a new 'electronic transaction tax' (ETT) that will be applicable to any foreign 'over the top' (OTT) companies, including e-commerce businesses. However, detailed implementing regulations are awaited.

Under the new rules, local VAT will be due on the utilisation in Indonesia of foreign intangible goods or services supplied via an e-commerce system, which will affect foreign sellers, service providers, 'e-commerce organisers' and domestic e-commerce organisers.

For more information please contact  abdullah.azis@id.pwc.com

 

 

Japan (Last updated: 13/05/2020)

Update 13/05/2020

Extension application allowed for METI-issued licenses, and application submission can be an explanation letter on the reasons. Extension can also be applied for import tariff quota licenses and export licenses. The deadline for fulfilment of certain conditions for export licenses have also been automatically extended to 30 June 2020.  

For COVID related supplies provided free of charge (donated), duty and JCT are waived. The goods are also subject to simplified clearance.  
Customs will be flexible in extending the deadlines for delayed Certificates of Origin and security bonds for duty deferral applications.  
For COVID related supplies provided free of charge (donated), the goods are subject to simplified clearance and are duty and JCT free.

Update 15/04/2020

If a taxpayer's sales in a given period are reduced by 50% compared to the previous fiscal year, the taxpayer may elect to change its JCT status to exempt after the start of the fiscal period, subject to obtaining approval from the tax office. This special treatment will apply to periods in which the JCT return filing deadline falls after the enactment of the emergency measures, and where sales have declined between 1 February 2020 and 31 January 2021.

Please see our latest newsletter for further information https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/japan-tax-measures-in-response-to-covid-19

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:

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

- 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: 07/07/2020)

Update 07/07/2020

With effect from 1 July 2020, KN95 surgical/medical face mask with the tariff code of 6307.90.9000 is included in the types of face mask which are exempted from import duty and sales tax.

Update 09/06/2020

The Government had announced the following indirect tax measures in the Short-term Economic Recovery Plan on 5 June 2020:

- Penalties arising during the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020 from late payments of sales tax or service tax will be given a 50% remission.

- Service tax exemption on accommodation and other related services provided by hotel and accommodation premises operators will be extended until 30 June 2021.

- Tourism tax will be fully exempted from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

- Passenger motor vehicles are subject to sales tax of 10%. From 15 June 2020 to 31 December 2020, sales tax exemption of 100% and 50% will be given to the sale of locally assembled passenger motor vehicles and the importation of passenger motor vehicles respectively.

- Crude palm oil and palm kernel oil (unrefined and refined) exported from Malaysia will be given full export duty exemption from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.

Update 02/06/2020

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) has issued an updated notice dated 29 May 2020 to inform that any penalty due to the late payment of levy or tax arising from the submission of the following returns/declarations which have a statutory submission deadline of 31 March 2020, 30 April 2020 or 31 May 2020 will be remitted in full if the payment is received on or before 30 June 2020:

- Sales Tax or Service Tax Return (Form SST-02)

- Service Tax Declaration by Person Other Than Taxable Person (Form SST-02A)

- Tourism Tax Return (Form TTx-03)

- Departure Levy Return (Form DL-02)

In addition, the RMCD has also informed that they will not take any legal action on late submission of returns/declarations which have a statutory submission deadline of 31 March 2020, 30 April 2020 or 31 May 2020.

Update 04/05/2020

Following the announcement by the Government on 23 April 2020 to extend the Movement Control Order period until 12 May 2020, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) has issued an updated notice dated 29 April 2020 to inform that any penalty due to the late payment of levy or tax arising from the submission of the following returns/declarations which have a statutory submission deadline of 31 March 2020 or 30 April 2020 will be remitted in full if the payment is received on or before 31 May 2020:

- Sales Tax or Service Tax Return (Form SST-02)

- Service Tax Declaration by Person Other Than Taxable Person (Form SST-02A)

- Tourism Tax Return (Form TTx-03)

- Departure Levy Return (Form DL-02)

In addition, the RMCD has also informed that they will not take any legal action on late submission of returns/declarations which have a statutory submission deadline of 31 March 2020 or 30 April 2020.

Update 16/04/2020

Following the announcement by the Government on 10 April 2020 to extend the Movement Control Order period until 28 April 2020, a further extension of the deadline to 12 May 2020 is granted for the payment of levy or tax arising from the submission of the following returns/declarations:

- Sales or Service Tax Return, Tourism Tax Return and Departure Levy Return which have a statutory submission deadline of 31 March 2020 or 30 April 2020; and

- Imported Taxable Services Declaration which has a statutory submission deadline of 31 March 2020 or 30 April 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

Mongolia (Last updated: 12/05/2020)

On 9 April 2020, the Parliament of Mongolia enacted the Law on Exemption from Customs Duty and the Law on Exemption from Value Added Tax
Customs duties and VAT will not be levied on the import of diagnostic kits, drugs, medical devices, equipment, disinfectants and face masks for the purpose of treatment or diagnostic of the COVID-19.The Government shall approve the list of applicable products.

09 April:

- The Law on Exemption from Customs Duty approved on 09 April 2020.
Import of sugar, vegetable oil, all kinds of edible rice (rice, brown rice, millet, etc.), 15.0 (fifteen) thousand tons of elite seed wheat required for spring sowing in 2020 and 160.0 (one hundred and sixty) thousand tons of edible wheat required for domestic flour production are exempt from customs duty. Applicable from February 19, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

-The Law on Exemption from VAT approved on 09 April 2020.
Import of sugar, vegetable oil, all kinds of edible rice (rice, brown rice, millet, etc.), 15.0 (fifteen) thousand tons of elite seed wheat required for spring sowing in 2020 and 160.0 (one hundred and sixty) thousand tons of edible wheat required for domestic flour production, and for the purpose of promoting national production, locally produced vegetable oils are exempted from value added tax.
Applicable from February 19, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

The Government of Mongolia is to approve the list of elite wheat seeds, edible wheat, all types of edible rice (rice, brown rice, millet, etc.), sugar and vegetable oil to be exempted from customs duty and /or value added tax in accordance with the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Classification (the “HS”).

For more information please contact tsendmaa.choijamts@pwc.com

Myanmar (Last updated: 22/04/2020)

Increased customs duty rate on alcohol In February 2020, the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry (MOPFI) announced and published new tariff rates for alcohol
imports under HS Heading 2208 (Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 80% vol.; spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages).
The rates have been increased from 40% to 50% on all items under heading 2208, including whiskies, gin, vodka, and other spirituous beverages. The changes took effect from 1 April 2020.

For more information please contact ruben.z.zorge@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: 12/05/2020)

Update 12/05/2020

On top of the regular customs duty, an additional 10% tax is ordered on importation of crude oil and refined petroleum products to the Philippines. The purpose of increasing tax collection is to supplement the government's fund on COVID-18 response.

 https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200502-EO-113-RRD.pdf   

Update 07/05/2020

PwC PH Quarantine Tax Filing and/or Payment Guide can be found here

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: 12/05/2020)

Update 12/05/2020

Singapore Customs released a notice in April advising manufacturers, traders and declaring agents to adopt electronic transmission of Certificates of Origin. This includes electronic transmission of Form D via the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and electronic transmission of Preferential Certificates of Origin (PCO) bound for China under the Electronic Origin Data Exchange System (EODES).

Customs duties for certain alcohol products (mainly medicated samsu and other samsu) have been reduced to $0/L of alcohol as of 15 April 2020.

Update 07/04/2020

Latest update on Customs Duty exemptions can be found here

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

South Korea (Last updated: 16/06/2020)

Update 16/06/2020

Expanded Customs Audit Postponement for Companies Affected by COVID
19 Crisis
The Korean Customs Service (KCS) plans to postpone a customs audit for one year for
certain companies suffering from sharp declines in exports or operations loss due to the
COVID 19 crisis. According to the KCS, a customs audit will be suspended for the
companies engaged in the five categories of industries such as automobile (including auto
parts), aviation, shipping, oil refinery and shipbuilding as well as the companies located in
designated crisis zones (i.e. Daegu and three areas in Gyeongsangbuk-do such as
Geongsan-si, Cheongdo-gun and Bonghwa-gun) from July 2020 through June 2021
regardless of whether they would apply for the postponement of a customs audit. Also, the
KCS will suspend an audit for one year relating to small- and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) which experienced 20% or more decline in exports or sales revenue on a year-overyear basis. In addition, the companies creating or maintaining employment can benefit from
the one year audit suspension if they submit their plans to create jobs and meet the
requirements for maintaining the number of full-time employees. In this context, the
employment of youth workers aged up to 29 will be weighted in calculating the number of
new jobs particularly for those submitting the plans to create jobs.

The suspension of a customs audit is the KCS program that temporarily suspends its audit
to relieve companies of administrative burden and costs associated with the investigation
and concentrate resources on their business activities. It has been granted to a limited
scope of companies contributing to job creations and newly incorporated SMEs, etc. The
KCS has expanded the program to cover companies suffering COVID 19 financial hardships.

Update 20/04/2020

Please see here the latest information on VAT filing and payment deferrals.

Update 16/04/2020

Temporary exemption from VAT payment for simplified VAT taxpayers
The simplified VAT taxpayers having the annual supply price (i.e., revenue) of KRW 30
million or more but less than KRW 48 million would be exempt from VAT payment for the
supply of goods or services until December 31, 2020. Note that before the law revision, the simplified VAT taxpayers refer to the business with the annual revenue of less than KRW 30 million.

https://www.pwc.com/kr/ko/publications/samil-commentary/samilcommentary_apr2020_en.pdf

For more information please contact changho.jo@pwc.com

Sri Lanka (Last updated: 14/07/2020)

Update 14/07/2020
Further extension to VAT return submissions can be found here: 
Update 26/05/2020
The following exemptions have been granted  by administrative notice, subject to formal amendments to the Value Added Tax Act, No. 14 of 2002:
(a) supply of residential accommodation by way of sale of Condominium housing unit by any person has been made exempt from VAT with effect from December 01, 2019.
(b) supply of services in respect of inbound tours by a travel agent registered with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has been made exempt from VAT with effect from 1 April, 2020. 
Furthermore, the supply of services by a hotel, guest house, restaurant or other similar businesses providing similar services, registered with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, if sixty per centum (60%) of the total value of the inputs are sourced from local supplies/sources, has been deemed a "zero rated" supply with effect from 1 December 2019 by gazette notification number 2151/52.
For more information please contact charmaine.tillekeratne@pwc.com

Taiwan (Last updated: 12/05/2020)

Update 12/05/2020
Temporary reduction of general tariff rates from 20% to10% on other undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 90% vol under CCC 2207.1090.22.0 (only applicable to those imported as production material of medicinal alcohol - approval from Ministry of Health and Welfare need to be presented to customs), and from 10% to 0% on masks of textile materials under CCC 6307.9050.
Taiwan Customs Administration clarifies in a news release that reduction of demand from the impact of COVID 19 qualifies as a reason to apply for the extension of the 2-year maximum storage period of goods in bonded warehouse.
Update 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

Thailand (Last updated: 22/04/2020)

The Ministry of Finance introduced a new notification prescribing duty exemptions for imported goods necessary for COVID-19 treatment or prevention. The duty exemptions
apply to imported respirators and surgical masks of tariff codes 6307.90.40 and 6307.90 sub-code 01. In addition, raw materials imported for the production of finished goods
of tariff codes 6307.90.40 and 6307.90.90 are also allowed duty exemptions, although certain conditions apply and pre-approval will need to be obtained. This is covered in
the Ministry of Finance Notification on Duty reduction and exemption under Section 12 of Customs Tariff Decree B.E. 2530 (No.3), which is effective from 24 March 2020 to 30
September 2020.

Electronic data submissions allowed for Single-Point-of-Payment Program (SPPP) during the COVID-19 pandemic The Single-Point-of-Payment Program (SPPP), established by the Thai Customs Department, allows importers to disclose issues of non-compliance and settle payment of tax and duty shortfalls without having to visit multiple ports of entry.

In normal circumstances, an importer who would like to join this program will need to submit their SPPP application and supporting documents in hardcopy to the Post-Audit Clearance Division (PCAD) for consideration. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, importers face difficulties in submitting hardcopy documents to the PCAD in person. To comply with the government’s social distancing policy, Customs has temporarily allowed importers to submit the SPPP application electronically.

For more information, please contact paul.sumner@pwc.com

Vietnam (Last updated: 14/04/2020)

Update 14/04/2020

Decree 41 released on 8 April includes details on extension of VAT payments. Please see further details here: https://www.pwc.com/vn/en/publications/2020/200410-pwc-vietnam-newsbrief-decree-41.pdf

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 the latest information here

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

Angola (Last updated: 04/05/2020)

An exemption from VAT, customs duties and any other fee due for any supply of services, on the import of goods used in containing COVID-19 was granted.

Cape Verde (Last updated: 12/05/2020)

Law no. 88/IX/2020, of 7 May, published in the Official Gazette, establishes an extraordinary and temporary regime of incentives for the import, production and sale of medical devices, personal protective equipment and other goods, within the context of COVID-19. Specifically, the new Law establishes exemption from VAT, custom and excise duties and ecological charge, on both the import and local production of such goods.

https://www.pwc.pt/en/pwcinforfisco/flash/cabo-verde/pwc-tax-flash-cabo-verde-covid-19-extraordinary-and-temporary-incentives-for-the-import-production-and-transfer-of-medical-devices-personal-protective-equipment-and-other-goods.htmlFor further information, please contact susana.caetano@pwc.com

Egypt (Last updated: 22/05/2020)

Update 22/05/2020

The Egyptian Cabinet may extend the deadline for either the submission of the tax returns that must be filed within the COVID-19 period or the tax due settlement (in full or part) of eligible taxpayers, based on the provisions of the Egyptian income tax law and/or the Value Added Tax law, for a period that shall not exceed three months (renewable for a similar three month period).
No delayed fines or additional taxes shall be levied on eligible taxpayers for the extended period(s) referred to above, and they shall not be included while calculating the statute of limitation of their tax due. Please continue to read here https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/services/tax/me-tax-legal-news/2020/egypt-new-set-laws-regulate-recent-covid-19-tax-measures-amend-income-real-estate-social-insurance.html

Update 08/04/2020

The Egyptian Ministry of Finance has recently issued a decree requiring VAT registrant taxpayers to issue electronic invoices, comprising the following information:

- Electronic signature of the invoice issuer (i.e. the supplier or the service provider)

- The unified code of the relevant good and/or service, as pre-approved by the ETA


The Egyptian Ministry of Finance has also recently issued a decree, stipulating that VAT registered taxpayers must submit, along with their electronic VAT returns, all the invoice-related information relevant to their sale and purchase transactions. Otherwise, the submission of VAT returns will be challenged by the Egyptian Tax Authority ("ETA"), and the absence of such information will be construed as tax evasion.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry has recently issued a statement confirming the following:


- Certain documents (such as commercial invoices) will be accepted without accreditation by the Chamber of Commerce, which is usually a requirement for accepting such documents.

- Certificates of Origin will be accepted without authorization by the Egyptian Embassy in the relevant country.

https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/services/tax/me-tax-legal-news/2020/egypt-covid-19-egyptian-tax-measures.html

Update 27/03/2020

No official measures yet. 

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

Ghana (Last updated: 07/05/2020)

Update 07/05/2020

On 1 May 2020, the Parliament of Ghana designated donations of goods to the COVID-19 fight as emergency relief items for VAT purposes. Prior to this, on 27 April 2020, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) issued a public notice to outline new measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Under normal circumstances, supplies of goods made by VAT-registered businesses are subject to the imposition of VAT, and health and education levies (together referred to as VAT). Donations of goods for charitable purposes may trigger VAT liability for the donor. However, no VAT should be effectively charged by a donor and paid on goods contributed in support of efforts against COVID-19. This is because Parliament has approved such taxable donations as emergency relief items under the VAT laws;

- Penalties on principal debts will be cancelled upon payment of outstanding debts due to the GRA up to 30 June 2020; and 

- The GRA has disseminated information to aid the payment of taxes by bank transfer and the filing of returns by email.

Update 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: 06/07/2020)

Update 06/07/2020

On 30 June 2020, the East African Community (“EAC”) Secretariat released the EAC Gazette Notice No. 10 of 2020 (“the Gazette”). The Gazette highlights changes effected by the Council of Ministers (“the Council”) to the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 (“EACCMA”) and the East African Community Common External Tariff (“EAC CET”) with effect from 1 July 2020.
We set out herein some of the key changes affecting individual Partner States and the EAC region as a whole.

https://www.pwc.com/ke/en/assets/pdf/tax-alert-east-african-community-gazette-notice-2020.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sharpspring&sslid=Mze0MDM1NzY0Mjc3AgA&sseid=M7Q0M7MwNTO0NAMA&jobid=fe1b4fcf-7e77-4e72-b240-1f3117059e9f

Update 04/05/2020

Highlights of the Tax Laws Amendment Act, 2020 can be found here

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

Mauritania (Last updated: 04/05/2020)

An exemption from all taxes and fees resulting for the rest of the year for heads of families working in the traditional fishing sector.

 

Mozambique (Last updated: 01/05/2020)

Payment of VAT and custom duties on the importation of food commodities, medicines and other essential goods are subject to a deferral regime.

For more information please contact joao.l.martins@mz.pwc.com

Morocco (Last updated: 04/05/2020)

Tax audits are suspended until June 30th, 2020.

Namibia (Last updated: 30/04/2020)

Accelerated payment of overdue and undisputed VAT refund to taxpayers.

For more information please contact chantell.husselmann@pwc.com

Nigeria (Last updated: 09/04/2020)

VAT exemption for basic food has been expanded while medical and pharmaceutical products are also exempted from VAT.

For more information please contact emuesiri.agbeyi@pwc.com

Republic of Congo (Last updated: 16/04/2020)

Update 17/06/2020

The Congolese Parliament has adopted the Amending Finance Law for the year 2020. This law, which bears the references No. 23-2020 of May 13, 2020, was promulgated by the President of the Republic of the Congo, and published in the Official Gazette, special edition n ° 3-2020, of May 14, 2020.

This law taken in the context of the health crisis that the country is experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has made some amendments to the provisions of the General Tax Code and non-codified texts. 

The amendment on custom duties is as below:

Customs duties

Importation of medical products essential for the fight against Covid-19

The importation of medical products essential for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic benefits from an exceptional exemption from customs duties and taxes import, with the exception of the computer royalties and community taxes. 

The list of these essential medical products will be specified by regulation.

Update 16/04/2020

Customs matters

- Facilitation and acceleration of customs clearance procedures for goods, particularly pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and essential food and hygiene products.

- Non-application of inspection fees, in accordance with the 2020 Finance Act.

- Suspension of post-clearance customs controls for a period of 3 months, starting in March, with the possibility of extension after assessment of the health emergency.

For indirect taxes and third party taxes with monthly payments, for which the company or the legal taxpayer is the collector, the deadlines for declaration and payment are maintained.

Tax matters

- Suspension, for 3 months from April 2020, of all audits initiated in companies by public administrations (IGF, IGE, etc.) as well as those initiated by local government bodies. Audits related to the fight against high prices and security are not concerned.

- Arrangement of companies' tax obligations

- Suspension of ongoing tax audits

 As of 1 April 2020, the tax authorities will suspend all tax inspections (on-the-spot checks, documentary checks, etc.) for a period of three months.

As a result, all response and limitation periods are extended by the same amount. If necessary, this three-month period may be extended depending on the evolution of the health emergency.

Update 14/04/2020

Payment deadline for all taxes due in the month of March 2020 (March 20 at latest) are extended to March 27, 2020 and no penalties will be due.

The Customs Administration has enacted some facilitating measures on March 31, 2020 to ensure social distancing while maintaining economic activities, to include:

  1. The possibility to submit custom clearance documents electronically in lieu of original documents;
  2. Optional requirement to provide a certificate of origin in the absence of a preference or tariff restriction;
  3. Removal of the ETB to allow advance declaration of goods upon electronic registration of the manifest;
  4. Assistance through a hotline;
  5. Possibility to apply online for customs administrative authorisations online and by e-mail.

For more information please contact benic.m.mbanwie@pwc.com

Senegal (Last updated: 01/05/2020)

The Government will refund the VAT credits within the shortest possible time. Extension of the general deadline for payment of suspended VAT recovered by the customs and tax authorities from 12 to 24 months.

For more information please contact matthias.hubert@sn.pwc.com

South Africa (Last updated: 29/06/2020)

Update 29/06/2020

COVID-19 and the 2020 Supplementary Budget: Introduction of Bills containing tax measures to deal with the pandemic.https://www.pwc.co.za/en/publications/tax-alert.html

Update 11/05/2020

SARS has issued a Draft Interpretation Note (‘IN’) dealing with the valueadded tax (‘VAT’) consequences of points-based loyalty programmes. The
IN is intended to clarify the VAT implications resulting from participation in
loyalty programmes for all parties involved

https://www.pwc.co.za/en/assets/pdf/taxalert/tax-alert-vat-and-loyalty-programmes-draft-interpretation-note.pdf

Update 14/04/2020

The nationwide shutdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may affect vendors and qualifying purchasers exporting goods from South Africa, and their ability to comply with the timeframe to obtain prescribed documents, as well as delay applying for a refund from the VAT Refund Administrator. 

n light of the difficulties caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, the South African Revenue Service (‘SARS’) has issued a binding general ruling to provide an extension to these prescribed timeframes

Please see our latest newsletter for more information https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/covid-19-impact-on-import-and-export-of-goods

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

Tunisia (Last updated: 04/05/2020)

Suspension of all tax audits and all deadlines relating to tax audit procedures and opposition deadlines until end of May 2020.

Amnesty of customs duties for industrial companies, which were subject to customs minutes or judgments before March 20, 2020, provided to pay a fine of 10% of the amount of the said duties.

Acceleration of the tax credits refund (CIT, VAT, etc.) through set-up of weekly committees’ meetings for the examination of refund requests instead of meeting twice per month and ensuring a maximum payment period of one month.

VAT rate due on importation of products necessary for the supply, manufacture and sale of personal protection products and their inputs is reduced to 7%.

VAT Exemption of sales of pharmaceuticals by retailers and wholesalers.

All inputs related to the manufacture of personal protection products mentioned in the tables below are exempt from the payment of customs taxes as well as all other duties and taxes due to their imports.

Suspension of delay penalties, relating to payment of taxes for a period of three months, from April 1st to June 30, 2020.Granting certificates of suspension of VAT as well as all tax certificates, for persons who are normally eligible, immediately on request without presentation of the required documents based on a commitment to later provide these.

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: 28/04/2020)

Update 28/04/2020

Please see the latest information on GST/HST & QST filing deadlines for financial institutions here 

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 the latest newsletter here 

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: 12/05/2020)

Update 12/05/2020
- Tax authorities will give the option to extend the payment originally due on March 20, 2020 and April 20, 2020 to be made in 4 monthly installments 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.
No Further measures have been taken in regards with VAT and GST.
Update 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

The Bahamas (Last updated: 29/04/2020)

No impact on VAT, however, certain payments can be deferred. 

For more information please contact peter.hickman@pwc.com

USA (Last updated: 09/07/2020)

Update 09/07/2020

This document summarizes certain state and local tax relief efforts. Impacted taxes generally include corporate income tax, individual income tax, and sales
and use tax. However, although other taxes may also be listed, this document is not intended nor does it address every state or local tax matter or every
update relating to the coronavirus. This document should not be a replacement for independent tax research.

Update 21/04/2020

United States offers three-month tariff deferral to importers significantly affected by financial hardship.

Please see our latest news item for more information https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/us-tax-insights-from-customs-and-international-trade

Update 16/04/2020

As businesses grapple with challenges related to COVID-19, some states and localities continue to extend relief for late filing and payment of sales and use taxes. This relief may require action by the business to qualify; in many instances, the relief varies or is contingent on business size or sales volume.
Further, businesses must determine which periods are eligible for relief and track the extended payment deadlines.

Please see this news item for detailed information on various US states' measures in relation to the above update https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/states-continue-to-provide-sales-tax-relief-implications-for-420-filings

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: 07/07/2020)

Update 07/07/2020
Reform of the GST could deliver Australia a revenue boost of between $14 billion and $40 billion, boosting productivity and economic growth and enabling the abolition of less efficient taxes, as the country recovers from the economic impact of COVID-19.
Update 12/05/2020
 
The Government has introduced a Temporary By-Law providing tariff relief on a range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical items. The Temporary By-Law will cover Item 57 to Schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (Customs Tariff Act) provides a Free rate of customs duty for hygiene or medical products imported to treat, diagnose or prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. Use of the Item and by-law will not affect other taxes and charges that may be payable on the imported goods. The goods must meet the requirements of the item to access the concessional rate of customs duty. https://www.abf.gov.au/help-and-support-subsite/CustomsNotices/2020-20.pdf
Update 29/04/2020
A fundamental component of the JobKeeper program is the use of the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) turnover rules to establish eligibility for relevant businesses. The GST turnover rules require a business to consider both current and project turnover. Usually, these turnover tests are used to establish GST registration thresholds, the JobKeeper program uses them in order to calculate a business' decline in revenue and therefore, eligibility for the program. Depending on the nature and size of the business, the qualifying decline in turnover needs to be greater than 15% for charities and not-for-profits, 30% for small to medium enterprises or 50% for large businesses.
A link to the Australian Taxation Office website regarding the JobKeeper program is attached.

Update 25/03/2020

Taxpayers having difficulty meeting their tax obligations as a result of COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out to their tax agent and/or liaise with the ATO directly as the administrative relief measures available from the ATO are currently being assessed on a case by case basis. There is an additional Large Service Team dedicated to providing assistance to public groups with an annual turnover of $250 million or more.
Administrative relief measures that are potentially available to assist impacted businesses include:
  • Deferring by up to six months the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement (BAS, including Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments, income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise.
  • Allowing businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to gain quicker access to net GST refunds to which they may be entitled. 
  • Allowing businesses to vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter; businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters. No penalties or interest will be charged for variations to PAYG instalments for the 2019-20 year. 
  • Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities.
  • Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low-interest payment plans.
The Australian Government has also announced they will support small to medium size businesses by providing cash back to businesses, meaning that eligible businesses will receive a tax-free cash boost of at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 in order to assist with their temporary cash flow issues as a result of COVID-19. Any small and medium size businesses with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that has employees will be eligible for the cash boost. The cash boost will be administered automatically by way of a credit to eligible entities upcoming Business Activity Statement lodgements. 
Further support is also available to small businesses with an apprentice or trainee in training as at 1 March 2020. Please see this fact sheet for a more detailed explanation on the cash flow assistance available for small and medium size businesses described above.
For further information, please contact michelle.tremain@pwc.com

Update 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: 13/05/2020)

Update 13/05/2020
The Government has agreed to change the Customs and Excise Regulations 1996 to allow businesses whose ability to pay duty on time has been significantly affected by COVID-19, to receive a remission or refund on interest and penalties on late duty payments. Please note, any remission and refund of penalties and interest on late duty payments would be subject to the duty payer meeting the necessary requirements. This will include: - their ability to make a duty payment, including associated levies, on time having been significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak - the duty payer had made contact as soon as reasonably practicable - the duty payer has agreed an instalment plan with Customs or paid the duty in full (late payment). The new system will apply to interest and penalties arising on or after 25 March 2020, and for up to two years. However, the duration would depend on the hardship being suffered by the duty payer and would be negotiated with Customs. This assistance only applies to interest and penalties on late duty payments, the late core duty as agreed with Customs must still be paid. If you're unable to pay duty on time due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Customs on revenue@customs.govt.nz with your client code to discuss payment options. https://www.customs.govt.nz/covid-19/businesses/customs-duties/
Update 07/05/2020
The Government has agreed to change the Customs and Excise Regulations 1996 to allow businesses whose ability to pay duty on time has been significantly affected by COVID-19, to receive a remission or refund on interest and penalties on late duty payments. Please note, any remission and refund of penalties and interest on late duty payments would be subject to the duty payer meeting the necessary requirements. This will include: - their ability to make a duty payment, including associated levies, on time having been significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak - the duty payer had made contact as soon as reasonably practicable - the duty payer has agreed an instalment plan with Customs or paid the duty in full (late payment). The new system will apply to interest and penalties arising on or after 25 March 2020, and for up to two years. However, the duration would depend on the hardship being suffered by the duty payer and would be negotiated with Customs. This assistance only applies to interest and penalties on late duty payments, the late core duty as agreed with Customs must still be paid. If you're unable to pay duty on time due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Customs on revenue@customs.govt.nz with your client code to discuss payment options. https://www.customs.govt.nz/covid-19/businesses/customs-duties/
Update 01/05/2020
Please see PWC New Zealand's the latest publication in relation to tax and customs measures https://www.pwc.co.nz/insights-and-publications/subscribed-publications/tax-tips/tax-tips-alert-1-may-2020.html  
Update 29/04/2020
Zero-rating exported goods IRD has issued a public statement in relation to the requirement that goods zero-rated under s 11(1)(d), (e) or (eb) must be exported within 28 days of the time of supply.   Under the usual rules, the goods zero-rated under the above sections must be exported within 28 days unless the taxpayer has received approval from the Commissioner to extend this time period.  This statement provides that Inland Revenue will give an automatic minimum 3 month extension to all suppliers who are unable to export their goods due to Covid-19 restrictions, i.e. so that they are not required to approach Inland Revenue to seek an extension to the 28-day period as they normally would. The three month extension starts on the day the 28-day period expires e.g. if the 28-day period expired on 1 May 2020 then the extension would mean the goods don't have to be exported until 1 August 2020. This minimum 3 month extension applies to a supply of goods occurring up to and including 31 July 2020 and will not apply for any supplies that occur after 31 July 2020. Any further extensions can be applied for in the normal way i.e. by request to Inland Revenue.   Please see the statement below for further detail: https://www.ird.govt.nz/Updates/News-Folder/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-extended-period-for-zero-rating-exported-goods

Update 24/04/2020

The Minister of Finance, the Hon. Grant Robertson, has announced tax changes as part of a suite of new measures to provide further support for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures include temporary discretionary powers for the Commissioner of Inland Revenue for a period of 18 months to modify all tax filing and payment time frames across the revenue legislation in response to COVID-19. This will allow Inland Revenue to respond quickly and flexibly to businesses struggling to meet tax deadlines as a result of COVID-19.

The key proposed tax changes are intended to be legislated under urgency as soon as Parliament can resume (currently scheduled for the week of 27 April 2020).

https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/covid-19-government-announces-tax-changes-to-support-businesses

New Zealand and Singapore today launched a new trade initiative to ensure supply chain connectivity and the removal of blockages to trade in a list of essential products that includes medicines, medical and surgical equipment. The Declaration setting out the initiative includes a list of COVID-19 related products for which New Zealand and Singapore undertake to remove tariffs, not to impose export restrictions, and to remove non-tariff barriers. It also includes an undertaking to keep supply chains operating effectively for these products.

https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/new-zealand-and-singapore-agree-free-flow-of-covid-19-essential-goods

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

Papua New Guinea (Last updated: 09/04/2020)

GST refund prioritization

Taxpayers in medical services, hospitality, tourism, manufacturing, air transport and agriculture are reaffirmed as being priority cases for GST refunds. Curiously the refunds are considered as part of a “stimulus package and not usual GST refunds”. However, the Commissioner General will continue to be responsible for approving the refunds in line with ordinary practice, as taxpayers are legally entitled to refunds of GST. He has indicated that whilst verification processes will be followed, additional resources are being allocated to expedite refunds.

For more information please contact jason.b.ellis@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

Bolivia (Last updated: 13/05/2020)

Update 13/05/2020

On 8 May 2020, the Bolivian Tax Authorities issued Administrative Resolution 102000000010 which extends the due date of monthly tax returns and payments of February, March, April and May 2020 (with due dates on March, April, May and June 2020, respectively) to those tax obligations of June 2020 (with due date on July 2020) according to the taxpayer's last digit of the Tax ID number. The referred extension includes, among others, monthly VAT tax returns and payments.
Other relevant measures on indirect taxes include the deferral until 31 December 2020 on custom duties payment for the importation of supplies, medicines, medical devices, equipment, reagents and fever detectors, acquired or donated, related to Covid-19 and as detailed in the annex of Decree 4192.

Update 24/04/2020

Input VAT from personal consumption of goods and services related to nutrition, health and education of family members incurred by independent professionals will be considered for determination of their VAT liability until 31 December 2020 (i.e. these input VAT will be offset against output VAT arising from performance of their independent activities).

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

Brazil (Last updated: 08/06/2020)

Update 08/06/2020

 The state of Rio de Janeiro

On the 15th of May, the Rio de Janeiro State Government authorized the ICMS exemption on the amount levied on import operations, domestic and interstate, as well as in the corresponding transport service provision, performed by individuals and legal entities, taxpayers or not, carried out within the scope of the adoption of measures of contagion prevention, coping and contingency of the pandemic caused by the new Coronavirus - COVID-19, with certain equipment, supplies and goods identified by the new legislation.

On the 12th of May, the Brazilian Federal Government extends the deadline for the payment of certain instalments related to instalment programs with RFB and PGFN due to the Covid-19 as follows:

  • Instalments due in May 2020 (due as from May 12, 2020) are to be paid on the last business day of August 2020;
  • Instalments due in June 2020 are to be paid on the last business day of October 2020;
  • Instalments due in July 2020 are to be paid on last business day of December 2020;

The extension on payment deadlines does not eliminate interests, does not allow the reimbursement or offset of amounts eventually already paid, and does not apply to companies under the SIMPLES tax regime.

On the 4th of May, the Federal Government enacted a measure to extend, for one additional year, the deadline of the suspension of tax payments covered by Drawback (special customs clearance regime) with expiry date on 2020.

The aforementioned special regime is the one applied in the acquisition in the domestic market or import of goods for use or consumption in the industrialization of products to be exported, and which involves the suspension of the Import Tax, IPI, PIS / COFINS due on the domestic market and incidents in the import.

On the 16th of April, the Brazilian Federal Government enacted a measure that creates an extraordinary arrangement for the collection of Enforceable Federal Debts (Dívida Ativa da União) as follows:

- a down payment corresponding to 1% of the total debt, to be liquidated in three monthly instalments;

- the remaining portion of the debt to be paid in 81 monthly instalments, for legal entities, or 142 monthly instalments for individuals and others;

- the first instalment of the down payment is deferred for three months, counting from the enrollment into the arrangement. Social Contribution on Payroll may be paid up to 57 monthly instalments, also with a deferral of the payment of the first instalment.

Taxpayers may enrol to the arrangement up to June 30, 2020. 

On the 7th of April, the Rio de Janeiro State Government enacted a measure that provides an extension of the deadlines for payments of Enforceable State Debts (Dívida Ativa do Estado) as follows:

  1. the instalments originally due on March 20, 2020 were extended to June 20, 2020;
  2. the instalments originally due between March 21, 2020 and April 10, 2020 extended to July 10, 2020;

III. the instalments originally due between 11.04.2020 and 20.04.2020 extended to July 20, 2020;

  1. the instalments originally due between April 21, 2020 and May 10, 2020 extended to August 10, 2020;
  2. the instalments originally due between 11.05.2020 and 20.05.2020 extended to August, 20, 2020;
  3. instalments due between May 21, 2020 and May 30. 2020 will expire on September, 10, 2020.

On the 3rd of April, the Brazilian Federal Government enacted the following measures for PIS and Cofins (Contributions on the Gross Revenue):

(a) The deadlines for the lodgement of the PIS and Cofins returns related to the months of April, May and June were postponed: 21st July for the DCTFs and 14th July for the EFD-Contribuicoes (the changes to deadlines are also applicable for the special events relating to mergers and spin-offs)

(b) The deadlines for the payment of both Contributions were postponed: new deadline for the amount due related to March is August and for the amount due related to April is October.

On the 2nd of April, the Brazilian Federal Government enacted the following measure for IOF (Tax on Financial Operations):

- Reduction to zero rate of IOF, for the period between of 3rd of April and 3rd July of 2020, for different types of financial/credit operations, among them, discount, advance to depositor, loans, financing, etc.

The zero rate also applies to the extension, renewal, novation, composition, consolidation, debt confession and similar business of credit operations.

The IOF surcharge was also reduced to zero in the operations mentioned in the new IOF legislation.

On the 1st of April, the Brazilian Federal Government enacted the following measure for IPI (Federal Excise Tax):

- Reduction to zero (0%) rate until October 1st 2020 for certain products, including: ethyl alcohol, sanitizing, antiseptic gel (with 70% ethyl alcohol), glasses and safety visors, specific laboratory and pharmacy items, gloves, mittens as well as clinical thermometers, among other products, utilised in the medical treatment of Covid-19.

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 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 26/05/2020)

Update 26/05/2020

The Government enacted Executive Order 682 of 2020 by which the purchase of certain goods will be free of VAT in some dates which are:

  1. June 19, 2020
  2. July 3, 2020
  3. July 19, 2020

The goods covered by the exemption are:

  1. Clothing (limited to 20 tax units)
  2. Home appliances (limited to 80 tax units)
  3. Sport goods (limited to 80 tax units)
  4. Toys (limited to 10 tax units)
  5. School supplies (limited to 5 tax units)
  6. Goods and supplies for the agricultural sector (limited to 80 tax units)

Sellers can credit input VAT but are not entitled to a refund and must report the exempted sales to the Tax Authority on August 31 at the latest.

The exemption is limited to 3 goods by each gender purchase by the consumer. The payments cannot be made in cash (only debit or credit card or any other electronic means of payment) and the goods must be delivered within 2 weeks to the buyer.

Likewise, VAT on leases for business purposes (different from warehouses and offices) was lifted until July 31, 2020 if certain requirements are met (e.g. the business being closed for at least 2 weeks)

Lastly, the consumption tax applicable for bars and restaurants was lifted until December 31, 2020.

Update 16/04/2020

- Customs duties and import VAT were lifted for goods related to the prevention of the spread of the virus.
- The export of some items needed to tackle the virus has been prohibited.

VAT relief on mobile voice and internet mobile services:

- According to Executive Order 540 of 2020, during a 4-month period mobile voice and internet mobile services will not be subject to VAT if the value of service does not exceed 2 UVT (COP $ 71,214)

- The VAT relief must be reflected in the invoicing starting April 13, 2020.

On the other hand, please find below a recent VAT measure adopted in Colombia:

VAT exemption on imports and sales of some goods:

Executive Order 551 of 2020 established a VAT exemption for some goods for medical use such as fans, mists, latex gloves, filter masks, catheters, syringes, defibrillators, stretchers, antibacterial gels, among others. Any VAT receivable can be carried forward in further VAT returns but is not refundable.   

The VAT exemption is applicable if:

- Invoices must state that the goods are exempted by virtue of Executive Order 417 of 2020.

- Sales and imports must take place during the health emergency.

- Sellers must submit a sales report within 5 days following the end of the month before the Tax Office, in which the sales invoices, dates, amounts, selling price are broken-down.

- Importers must submit a report within 5 days following the end of the month of the imported goods covered by the VAT exemption before the Tax Office, which details the import return, registration number, date, quantity, specification of the goods, value of the operation and the invoice number of the foreign supplier.

- No exemption arises if the requirements set forth at the guidance are not met.

Update 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

Ecuador (Last updated: 29/04/2020)

- National Customs Authority extended the suspension of all terms on procedures until 30 April 2020.
- For VAT same as CIT for VAT payments of April, May and June.
- Customs duties exemptions for goods destined to support Covid-19 actions as well the suspension of all terms on procedures with custom authorities.
 

For more information please contact pablo.aguirre@pwc.com

Paraguay (Last updated: 22/05/2020)

In the framework of the pandemic, the Government establishes that the tax base of the below goods to be reduced to 50%. 
This process is applied to the importation of certain goods (sanitary supplies) and to the local sale of these goods.
This measure will be applicable until June 30 2020 (Decree No. 3477/2020)
For more information please contact nadia.gorostiaga@pwc.com

Uruguay (Last updated: 06/05/20200

The Executive Power established a special regime for import and export of goods considered essential for health purposes. The goods listed in the resolution will be exempt from all taxes and subject to a simplified customs regime.
https://www.pwc.com.uy/es/covid-19/pdfs-covid-19/via-rapida---regimen-especial-importacion-esenciales-covid19.pdf

For more information, please contact ilana.bruck@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: 15/07/2020)

Update 15/07/2020

Reduction in General Sales Tax to 8% (originally 16%) for hotels, tourist resorts and tourist restaurants (excluding the Aqaba Special Economic Zone).

Update 29/04/2020

The Income and Sales Tax Department has extended the filing deadline for sales tax returns for the period of January and February 2020 to 30 April 2020 (originally 28 March 2020), with no penalties and interest imposed.

The following measures in relation to customs have been introduced: 

- Reduction in the the regulatory procedures related to the importation of goods;

- Decrease in the percentage of goods being inspected for local use;

- Limit to the applicable controls related to goods in transit; 

- Adjustment of the the grace period fees and cooling charges due at the Aqaba Port; and 

- Approval for all companies listed on the Golden and Silver Importers List of the Jordanian Customs’ Department to pay their customs duties in installments (being 30% of the amount due upfront and the remaining 70% at a later date), provided that these companies are not subject to any violations.

Update: 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: 29/04/2020)

Update 29/04/2020

As of April 15: Lebanon has extended the filing and payment deadline for quarter one VAT declarations and VAT refunds for this period to 15 May 2020 (original deadline 20 April 2020), under Decision No. 147/1.

Update 16/04/2020

As of 25 March: The Minister of Finance has announced a suspension of the filing, payment and other related administrative processes in respect of all taxes effective immediately (and including any taxes previously postponed), until such time as the Council of Ministers issues a notice confirming the end of the public mobilization.

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: 29/04/2020)

Update 29/04/2020

As of April 6: Royal Oman Police represented by the Directorate General of Customs in cooperation with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced that:

  • Documents accompanying the goods will be considered original documents without collecting the guarantee stipulated in Clause (9) of Article (1) of Customs Decision No. 38/2017 and Customs Circular No. 37/2017.

  • Product authentication labels (including country of origin) will be accepted in case the certificate of origin cannot be submitted

Update 16/04/2020

Royal Oman Police represented by the Directorate General of Customs in cooperation with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced that:

- Documents accompanying the goods will be considered original documents without collecting the guarantee stipulated in Clause (9) of Article (1) of Customs Decision No. 38/2017 and Customs Circular No. 37/2017.

- Product authentication labels (including country of origin) will be accepted in case the certificate of origin cannot be submitted

Update 16/04/2020

Royal Oman Police represented by the Directorate General of Customs in cooperation with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced that:

- Documents accompanying the goods will be considered original documents without collecting the guarantee stipulated in Clause (9) of Article (1) of Customs Decision No. 38/2017 and Customs Circular No. 37/2017.

- Product authentication labels (including country of origin) will be accepted in case the certificate of origin cannot be submitted

Update 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: 29/04/2020)

Update 29/04/2020

As of March 25: West Bank (VAT): The Minister of Finance has announced the following measures effective immediately:

  • Suspension on the issuance of late filing penalties in respect of the submission of monthly VAT returns during the emergency period.

  • The validity of clearance certificates issued by the VAT Department that expired on 1 March 2020 are automatically extended to 15 April 2020; and

  • The postponement of all procedures by the tax authority regarding pending assessments, objections and appeals until the end of the emergency period.

As of March 25: West Bank (Customs): The Minister of Finance has announced the following measures effective immediately:

  • The postponement of all procedures by the tax authority regarding pending assessments, audits, objections and appeals until the end of the emergency period.

Update 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: 07/04/2020)

Update 07/04/2020

On 30 March 2020, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) issued a Public Notice in which it reduced the late payment penalty rate from 5% to 0% - effectively abolishing the penalty.

Please see our latest newsletter for further information https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/temporary-relief-from-late-payment-penalties

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: 15/07/2020)

Update 15/07/2020

In accordance with the directions stipulated in Royal Order Number A/638 dated 15/10/1441 H (corresponding to June 7, 2020), the Board of General Authority of Zakat and Tax (‘GAZT’) has approved a number of amendments/additions to the KSA VAT Implementing Regulations.

Amendments/additions have been made to the following articles of the KSA VAT Implementing Regulations:

Article 6 - Mandatory registration – other provisions
Article 9 - Registration provisions applying to specific circumstances
Article 13 - Deregistration
Article 14 - Taxable supplies in the Kingdom
Article 15 - Nominal supplies
Article 20 - Date of supply in specific circumstance
Article 39 - Value of specific taxable supplies – nominal supplies
Article 53 - Tax invoices
Article 58 - Tax period
Article 59 - Payment of tax
Article 62 - Tax returns
Article 79 - Transitional provisions

https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/amendments-to-implementing-regulations-pursuant-to-vat-rate-increase

Customs

As previously reported, in January 2020, the Saudi Arabian General Authority of Customs ('Saudi Customs') published a new set of guidelines introducing a Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP), enabling importers to declare historic non-compliance with customs laws and/or regulations. The VDP was initially set to be available from 1 January 2020 for a period of six months expiring on 30 June 2020. However, Saudi Customs has considered the disruption to business caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on some importers’ inability to complete and submit their VDP applications within the initial period, therefore a three-month extension until 30 September 2020 has been announced, providing importers with an additional opportunity to take advantage of the benefits offered by Saudi Customs under the scope of the VDP.

Update 22/06/2020

Saudi Customs has published the new list of goods affected by the customs duty increase, along with their corresponding new rates. The list is available on the Saudi Customs website and can be accessed at the following link:
 
Saudi Customs also indicates on its website that the new rates are applicable as of June 20th, 2020.

Update 18/06/2020

On 15/10/1441 H (corresponding to 7 June 2020), Royal Order Number A/638 was issued to enforce the application of the VAT rate increase in KSA effective from 1 July 2020. In this respect, article 2 of the VAT law has been amended to reflect the VAT rate increase from 5% to 15%. The Royal Order also indicated that the related transitional provisions will be determined in Implementing Regulations, which have yet to be released.

Update 11/06/2020

Based on a confirmation issued by Saudi Customs on its official Twitter account on the 10th of June, the application of the increased customs duty rates has been put on hold. 
Saudi Customs stated that the new date of application and the targeted goods will be announced in due course. 
Further information to follow.

Update 31/05/2020

The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (‘KSA’) has announced an increase in the customs duty rates for an extensive range of goods, including foodstuff, mineral and chemical products, plastic, rubber, leather goods, textile and footwear, base metals (e.g. steel, iron, nickel, copper, aluminium), cement, ceramic, machinery, equipment and electrical equipment, toys, furniture, vehicles and various other manufactured goods. The measure affects a total of 57 Chapters and more than 2,000 Tariff Lines of the KSA Integrated Customs Tariff. The announced increase in customs duty rates would be applicable from June 10, 2020 onwards.

Please see follow this link for further information. https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/services/tax/me-tax-legal-news/2020/saudi-arabia-increase-customs-duty-rates-announced-saudi-customs.html

Update 22/05/2020

Please see further guidance on the VAT rate increase here 

Update 11/05/2020

VAT rate to increase to 15% from 1 July 2020.

https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/increase-in-vat-rate-announced-to-address-the-kingdom-s-medium-and-long-term-fiscal-position

Update 21/04/2020

The tax authority, GAZT, has issued a formal notice setting out the VAT / withholding tax/ excise tax incentives that were announced recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include VAT deferral measures and an amnesty program in respect of late registration penalties (among others).

Please see our latest news item for more information. https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/formal-notification-of-covid-19-emergency-tax-measures

Update 07/04/2020

Further to the announced plan by the Saudi Cabinet, which has amounted to more than SAR 120 Billion in an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities and the private sector, the Ministry of Finance has also announced a temporary relief from certain tax related penalties for the period 18 March to 30 June 2020.

The MOF is offering taxpayers a great opportunity to enjoy relief from a significant penalty burden. Thus, it is highly recommended for those who have unfiled returns, returns to be amended, or are late in their registration with GAZT, amongst others, to seize the opportunity to benefit from the penalty relief.

Please see our latest news item for further information https://globalvatonline.pwc.com/news/temporary-relief-from-tax-penalties

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: 22/04/2020)

Update 22/04/2020
In an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UAE businesses and the economy, the The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has decided to extend the deadline for filing and payment of VAT for the tax period ended 31 March 2020 to 28 May 2020 (the original filing deadline was 28 April 2020). Please note that for now, it is only the VAT return filing deadline for the tax period ended March 2020 which has been postponed. GVO news will report on any extension/ postponement of VAT returns for subsequent tax periods.
Update 07/04/2020
On 19 March 2020, Dubai Customs issued Customs Notice No. 1/2020 on the implementation of the Government's Economic Stimulus Package, a set of measures introduced to reduce the cost of doing business and boosting Dubai’s trade sector and local economy. One of the key measures introduced is a 20% refund of the customs duty paid on goods imported and sold locally in the UAE that are subject to the 5% standard customs duty rate. The refund is applicable to imports declared to Dubai Customs between 15 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. Other measures include the refund or cancellation of the AED 50,000 bank or cash guarantee for customs brokers and clearing companies.
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

Central America

Costa Rica (Last updated: 21/04/2020)

On March 20th, it was published in Scope No. 35 to the Diario Oficial la Gaceta No. 55, Law No. 9830, "Tax Relief before COVID-19 Law", which contains a series of regulations aimed at reducing at a tax level the impact the COVID-19 virus consequences.

The Law determines a possibility of a special treatment for certain tax obligations, essentially associated with the payment of instalments or partial payments of the income/profit tax, the value added tax among others, in the months of April, May and June of 2020.

The moratorium refers to the tax payment, which can be postponed for these specific months. However, tax returns still need to be filed timely.

This moratorium can be extended by the Executive Branch for one month but without modifying the payment deadline. It is not detailed if this possibility is a one-off chance.

The formal duties related to each tax will remain intact, so that taxpayers must submit the respective tax returns within the corresponding period, in order to not harm the tax control.
 
All taxes related to this moratorium must be entered no later than December 31, 2020, or make a payment arrangement with the tax administration without incurring interest or fines, under the conditions to be determined by the administration, through the specific regulations.
Additionally, commercial leases are exempt from VAT for the months of April, May and June 2020, as long as the lessee and lessor are registered in the Single Tax Registry (RUT by its initials in Spanish) of the General Directorate of Taxation.
For more information please contact esteban.paniagua@pwc.com

Guatemala (Last updated: 01/05/2020)

No deferrals for Indirect Taxes currently introduced. 

For more information please contact roberto.ozaeta@pwc.com

Nicaragua (Last updated: 30/04/2020)

No legislation has been brought info force.
For more information please contact erwin.rodriguez@pwc.com

Panama (Last updated: 01/05/2020)

Up to 120 days to pay tax without surcharges and interests, except for VAT withholding agents. (Executive Decree 251 - 24 March 2020).

For more information please contact  francisco.barrios@pwc.com

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