The storm of the coronavirus crisis has caused a common shock throughout Europe that has caused the reaction of economic plans to companies and self-employed in the highest level of European governments. “The cost of the fiscal measures announced up to the closing date of this Report, which varies greatly by country, generally ranges from 0.5% to 1% of GDP,” notes the Bank of Spain in its quarterly forecasts Spain’s being 1.4% of GDP, similar to that of Italy although below 3.5% in Germany or 1.85% in France, but higher than 1.1% in Portugal. However, when observing the detail there are measures that some omit and others pick up with more ambition. The president of ATA, Lorenzo Amor, calls for the quota of the self-employed to be abolished, as has happened in «France and Italy». The Association of Tax Advisers (Aedaf) recalls that “countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Greece, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, China, Russia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Moldova, the Philippines or Bosnia Herzegovina have already chosen to defer deadlines for filing self-assessment for income taxes or VAT and have introduced relevant tax incentives to grant liquidity to companies. What have other countries around us approved?
France: Suspension of the quota for freelancers and SMEs
Among the measures that the Executive of Emanuel Macron has approved, is the suspension of contributions in the next installment and of taxes during the month of March for SMEs and the self-employed. The rent to those SMEs in difficulties is also suspended in addition to the water, gas and electricity bills in these cases. Likewise, companies that accept an abrupt reduction in activity may delay taxes and fees. It has also developed a solidarity fund with 2,000 million euros for small companies and the self-employed that lose 70% of their activity in March compared to the same month last year and which close. In these cases, the State can give up to 1,500 euros to each company that meets these conditions; Macron’s Executive estimates that 600,000 companies are affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Italy: Deferral of quotes and VAT until June
To face the economic emergency of the coronavirus, unemployment insurance is extended for nine weeks to all sectors, as well as the suspension of payments of social contributions and VAT until May 31 for all companies with a turnover of up to two million euros in taxes and with a higher turnover in the most affected sectors.
The self-employed who do not have access to unemployment will receive 500 euros (only once). Special fifteen-day work permits – 50% paid – are also approved for childcare; As an alternative, 600 euros are offered to pay for caregivers for children, both for employees and the self-employed who, since the schools are closed, have their children at home.
United Kingdom: Johnson will pay 80% of his income
The UK government announced yesterday that it will pay 80% of monthly earnings, up to a limit of £ 2,500 per month (2,750 euros), to self-employed workers affected by the pandemic. Aid for each self-employed will be calculated based on the measured earnings of the last three years and will be active for three months, although it can be extended if necessary, said Economy Minister Rishi Sunak. Self-employed workers with annual earnings of less than £ 50,000 (€ 55,000) who, according to Sunak, account for 95% of the group in the UK will be eligible for this program.
This is a plan similar to that announced for employees at risk of being fired. The Government will take over 80% of their salary, also up to £ 2,500, if the company keeps them on staff during the health crisis.
The Minister assured that the British Treasury will contact the self-employed who meet the requirements, who must fill out a form and “will receive the payment directly into their checking account.” “In the last two weeks we have put aside the ideology and orthodoxy to mobilize all the energy and resources of the British state, “said Sunak.
“These last ten days have shaken our country and our economy like never before,” stressed the minister, who warned that even with the announced measures it will not be possible to “save each of the jobs or protect each of the companies »of the country. The Executive will also allow the self-employed to access loans on advantageous terms and will improve their benefits in the public subsidy system, hoping to reach “an unprecedented level of support” for that sector.
Portugal: Flexibility to face tax obligations
The Executive of the socialist Antonio Costa has also approved a series of measures with a special gap for companies and the self-employed to combat the economic shocks of the coronavirus. To companies that bill up to ten million, the payment of taxes can be made in several installments (the first three months, without interest) and companies with up to 50 employees can postpone part of their social contributions from April, something that can also be welcome the self-employed who reduce their activity by 20% due to the coronavirus crisis.
Along with this, as the Bank of Spain’s quarterly report highlights, it guarantees 66% of the salary in childcare leave and suspends contributions to the company’s Social Security, in addition to guaranteeing a two-thirds temporary unemployment benefit of salary. .