Support and recovery package for jobs and the economy is expanded, but the BIK is cancelled has been saved
Support and recovery package for jobs and the economy is expanded, but the BIK is cancelled
The government has decided to extend the support and recovery package for jobs and the economy until the third quarter of 2021. State aid aspects are the reason why the BIK is cancelled. Instead, the employers’ contribution into the General Unemployment Fund (Awf-premie) will be reduced.
20 July 2021
The great uncertainty about the near future and some companies having run out of reserves have prompted the government to extend the support and recovery package for jobs and the economy through the third quarter of 2021. However, the conditions were tightened on 29 June 2021. Another major development is the cancellation of the Job-related Investment Discount (“BIK”).
Job-related Investment Discount (“BIK”)
A BIK was set to be implemented on 1 January 2021 in the form of a payroll taxes deduction. The government thus wanted to stimulate investments in new business assets in the years 2021 and 2021. One of the requirements for qualifying for the BIK was that qualifying investments would be paid for in full by 31 December 2022. They would subsequently need to be put into use within six months of that payment. However, it has since emerged that the European Commission may consider the scheme to be unlawful state aid. Therefore, the government has decided to cancel the BIK with retroactive effect to 1 January 2021. The available budget will now be used to reduce the employers’ contribution into the General Unemployment Fund, presumably effective from 1 August 2021.
Fixed Costs Grant Scheme (TVL)
SMEs can submit one TVL application for each company, capped at EUR 550,000 per quarter, until the group to which this company belongs has reached the EUR 1.8 million state aid ceiling. Large companies (> 250 employees) can only submit one TVL application per quarter for the group to which they belong. The maximum amount per application for this category is EUR 600,000 per quarter, until the state aid ceiling referred to above has been reached. As a result, SMEs can, on balance, claim a larger amount of TVL. To accommodate this, the government has decided to double the Q-2 TVL for large enterprises on a one-off basis, to a maximum of EUR 1.2 million.
In addition, the TVL will be extended to the months of July, August and September 2021 (Q3). As with the Q-2 TVL, companies can choose between two reference periods. For TVL Q-3, they are Q3 2019 or Q3 2020. The following table shows the key figures.
|TVL||TVL Q2||TVL Q3|
|Maximum grant amount SME companies||€550.000||€550.000|
|Maximum grant amount large companies||€1.200.000||€600.000|
|State aid ceiling (entire aid period)||€1.800.000||€1.800.000|
|Other||- minimum compensation: €1.500
- fixed costs threshold: € 1.500
|- minimum compensation: €1.500
- fixed costs threshold: € 1.500
Extension NOW and concurrence with TVL
The NOW is also extended, to the months of July, August and September 2021. This NOW 4 is largely the same as NOW 3 in terms of conditions. Yet there is an important difference. On 29 June 2021 the Government announced that under NOW 4 a maximum of 80% loss of turnover will be taken into account, whereas under NOW 3 this was still 100%. The grant rate remains unchanged at 85%. The reference month for NOW 4 is February 2021. Applications can be submitted from 26 July 2021 through 30 September 2021.
Until now, the TVL was included in the revenue for NOW purposes. This could lead to the NOW grant having to be repaid. However, the government has introduced a significant relaxation in this respect. It has been decided that when determining the NOW 3 (autumn 2021 to mid-2022) and the NOW 4, the TVL will no longer be included in the revenue for NOW purposes. The following table shows the key data for NOW and TVL.
|NOW||NOW3 (Q2)||NOW 4 (Q3)|
Deferral of payment interest on overdue/overpaid tax
Companies that have run into payment problems as a result of the corona crisis can still apply for a deferral of payment or for the extension of a deferral of payment, until October 2021. Newly arising obligations after that date must be met. The starting date of the payment scheme for tax debts accrued under the -extended - deferral has been postponed to 1 October 2022. The repayment term will likewise be extended, from 36 to 60 months. To prevent the interest burden from increasing too much, the percentage of the interest on overdue/overpaid tax will be increased gradually effective from 1 January 2022, instead of in one go. See the table below.
|1 January 2022||1%|
|1 July 2022||2%|
|1 January 2023||3%|
|1 January 2024||4%
The Tax Administration will propose a detailed payment scheme in due course. No collateral needs to be provided in this respect. Tax refunds will basically not be set off against debts covered by the repayment scheme.
Should this prove to be insufficient, entrepreneurs could appeal to the so-called Time Out Arrangement. The Tax Administration will favourably assess submitted restructuring requests. A new credit facility will be created as well, for entrepreneurs who want to make a restart (TOA credit).
The government has also extended a number of other tax measures until 1 October 2021. These include the following:
- In wage tax, the approvals regarding administrative obligations and the continued payment of untaxed travel allowances are extended. The same applies to the agreement with Germany and Belgium on the taxation of cross-border workers and the exemption of certain German benefits.
- In income tax, the right to interest deduction for owner-occupied home debts continues to exist for taxpayers who are granted a payment break from their mortgage lender and who, as a result, do not meet the repayment requirement. The relaxation of the hours criterion for entrepreneurs, on the other hand, will terminate on 1 July 2021.
- The VAT zero rate on face masks, COVID-19 vaccines and test kits will be extended until 1 October 2021. The reduced VAT rate will continue to apply to online group lessons of gyms, until these group lessons on location are permitted again.
Other, non-tax measures
Various credit guarantee schemes are extended until 31 December 2021. However, the reinsurance of supplier credits will terminate after 30 June 2021. The support packages for the culture and creative, sports, and agriculture and horticulture sectors will be continued in the third quarter of 2021. For zoos, EUR 42.5 million is available in the second quarter for the period in which they were closed.