Coronavirus support for businesses extended

Good news for business people: the Dutch government has announced that it will extend coronavirus support measures for another three months.

Recognising the effects of the pandemic on businesses' turnover and ability to pay fixed costs, the Dutch state has various measures to provide state subsidies and postpone some payments.

Even though economic predictions have improved, and coronavirus infections and deaths are plummeting, there is still support for firms and freelancers until the end of September.

Delaying tax payments

One benefit that could apply for all businesses is the option to request a delay in tax payments, without any of the usual penalties or interest added. 

"It's still possible for clients to get a payment extension for their taxes, not only for income tax but also for other taxes as: sales tax, corporate tax, health insurance contribution and some other taxes," said a Blue Umbrella advisor. "At first this was a possibility until July 1st but as corona is not yet over, the Dutch tax authority has extended it until October 1st."

It's possible to request a delay in tax payments, even if you have not requested one before; it's also possible to ask for an extension of a previous request. "From October 1st, the Dutch tax authority will send our clients overviews showing how much tax is outstanding and arrange a payment overview. You then have up to 36 months to pay this back and clients don't need to worry about fines or added interest."

If you have been granted this extension, you may get automatic reminders about payments but even if penalties are mentioned, these should be cancelled for this period.

TVL allowance

If your revenue has fallen by more than 30% for three month periods during the coronavirus period, you may be eligible for the TVL allowance, and this has also been extended.

The allowance has been in place for the last three months of 2020, and the first quarter of 2021 and will now also be applied from April to June and July to September this year. It means that your business can claim a subsidy to cover its fixed costs like rent or other monthly bills. The first round of subsidy covered 85% of these costs but now it covers 100%.

"Your fixed costs must be at least €1,500 per quarter, and one of the main conditions is that your office may not be registered at your private address," said the Blue Umbrella adviser. "You must have a separate office where your business is registered. You can apply for this until August 20th, for the second quarter of 2021."

You can choose the best "reference" quarter to demonstrate that your turnover in the second financial quarter of 2021 has dropped by at least 30%, either compared with the second quarter of 2019 or the third quarter of 2020. (If you choose to compare with 2020, government coronavirus support subsidies are not counted as part of your business income).

Other schemes

There are various other schemes that you can apply for through your local municipality or the UWV benefit agency, such Tozo support for freelancers or a NOW ruling to pay up to 68% of a company's wage bill, depending on how much turnover has fallen due to coronavirus restrictions.

However, due to the 'positive' picture in terms of both the spread of the coronavirus and the economy, the Dutch government has said it does not expect to extend its support schemes beyond September.

Companies and freelancers also need to be aware that with some support, which was paid based on estimated drops in income, if there has been an overpayment, this will need to be returned based on actual figures. "With the Tozo, which you apply for at the municipality, some of our clients had to make repayments because they thought their turnover would be less than it was," said the Blue Umbrella adviser. "With other benefits, there might be checks, like whether your business is at your private address, but because they are paid for the last business quarter, once you have been ruled eligible, you would not have to repay them."

One reminder: even if you have had a postponement of tax payment or other subsidies, you still need to submit all your tax filings on time!

For advice on coronavirus support for businesses or any other tax questions, get in touch with an expert from Blue Umbrella.