Tax and Customs Administration corona measures for businesses and employers

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Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has implemented a number of measures to help businesses and employers with payment difficulties due to the corona crisis, and to avoid extra costs. This page lists measures for businesses in general and employers in particular, and gives information on the Customs measures for entrepreneurs during the corona crisis.

For businesses

Payment extension for several taxes

If you applied for, and were granted, a special tax payment extension to the Tax and Customs Administration before 1 October 2020, you can apply for an extra payment extension until 31 December 2020. You can no longer apply for the special tax payment extension if you had not already done so before 1 October. Businesses will have 36 months in which to pay the taxes they were granted the extension for, starting (at the latest) on 1 July 2021.

You can also apply for payment extension of several other taxes and duties: excise duty, landlord levy, environmental taxes, insurance premium tax, and betting and lottery tax. Contact the authority responsible for levying these taxes in your region to find out how to apply.

Lower tax interest rates

The tax collection interest rate was lowered from 4% to nearly 0% at the beginning of the corona crisis. It will remain nearly 0% until 1 December 2021. Tax collection interest is the interest you pay over a tax debt.

The tax interest rate was also lowered, from 8% (corporate income tax) or 4% (other taxes) to nearly 0%. From 1 October 2020, the tax interest rate will be increased to 4% for all taxes, including corporate income tax. Tax interest is the interest you pay if the Tax Administration cannot assess your tax return in time, for instance because you have filed your return too late or incorrectly.

No tax on TOGS and TVL

No tax will be levied on the funds you have received under the schemes Reimbursement for businesses affected by the corona measures (TOGS) and Reimbursement for Fixed Costs SMEs (TVL).

No VAT on face masks

You do not have to pay VAT on the supply of face masks in the period 26 May - 31 December 2020. If you sell face masks, you may continue to deduct pre-tax. The government takes this measure to make face masks more cheaply available, as the use of face masks has been mandatory in public transport since 1 June.

VAT rules eased to help the care sector

Businesses that second care personnel or donate medical equipment or devices will not have to deal with the usual VAT rules concerning these actions. This will ease the administrative and financial burden in the care sector.

Also, the low VAT tariff of 9% applies to cotton tips and bandaging materials used for medical purposes, such as COVID-19 testing. These measures are in place from 16 March through 31 December 2020.

Online sports lessons back to normal VAT tariff

On 1 July, sport schools re-opened. For that reason, the temporary low VAT tariff of 9% no longer applies to online lessons. The low tariff applied from 16 March - 1 July.

Hours criterion relaxed

Some tax deduction schemes such as private business ownership allowance, working partner's abatement and retirement reserve require a minimum number of 1,225 hours spent working in your company per year, or approximately 24 hours per week. The corona crisis may make it impossible for businesses to meet this criterion. For that reason, you are allowed to claim you have spent 24 hours a week on your business during the period 1 March - 1 September, even if you have not.

Corona reserve for corporate tax 2020

The Tax Administration will allow businesses to deduct losses from their profits in the 2019 corporate tax return. This way, businesses can build a corona reserve. This may help to keep your cash flow at an acceptable level.

Customary salary for DGA’s lowered

If you are a director or major shareholder (DGA) in your company, you have to meet a so-called customary salary (‘gebruikelijk loon’), over which your company levies payroll taxes. For 2020, it will be possible to lower your customary salary proportionate to your company’s turnover loss. This means you will have to levy less payroll tax.

More time for some changes in legal structure, mergers or divisions

In some cases, you can take more time to change your company’s legal structure or to arrange a company merger or division. See the conditions (in Dutch) on the Tax Administration website.

More information

See the Dutch Tax Administration website (in Dutch).

Apply for a reduction of your provisionary assessment

Do you expect lower profits due to the coronavirus, and are you currently paying a provisionary assessment for income tax or corporate income tax? You can change your provisionary assessment. Go to the online portal for individuals: MijnBelastingdienst (in Dutch); to change a corporate tax provisionary assessment, go to the business portal: MijnBelastingdienst Zakelijk (in Dutch).

For employers

No tax on reimbursement for face masks

As of 1 June, face masks are mandatory in public transport. If you reimburse your employees for the costs of these face masks, you may do so free of tax.

Measures to ensure low unemployment benefit premiums

The Tax Administration has extended the period during which employers can record permanent contracts, so that they avoid having to pay high unemployment benefit premiums under the Balance Employment-Market Act (Wab). Also, employers will not have to pay high unemployment benefit premiums for permanent staff who have worked more than 30% overtime in 2020.

Payroll taxes and travel allowance rules eased

These rules have been temporarily eased:

  • Payroll taxes for employees who live or work across the Belgian or German border;
  • Travel allowances for employees who have to work from home;
  • Payroll tax administration.

Extension of discretionary scope work-related cost scheme

The work-related cost scheme enables you to use part of the fiscal wages for tax-free allowances, benefits in kind and provisions for your employees. The percentage you can use (the discretionary scope or ‘vrije ruimte’) is increased from 1.7% to 3% for wages of up to €400,000. For fiscal wages of over €400,000 the scope remains 1.2%. You can use the extension to award your employees a courtesy gift, or home working equipment.

More information

See the Dutch Tax Administration website (in Dutch).

Customs and corona

Customs supports businesses with a set of measures. Read about these measures. Do you import or export face masks or other protective equipment? Read the Customs article on this subject.

Check the Corona - consequences for your customs affairs page regularly for updates.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

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Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst