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Governments Go Easy on Taxpayers...

Kitty Miv, Editor
09 April, 2021

As the COVID situation continues to rumble on, different countries are at different stages of their own pandemics and vaccination processes, with some now facing a third or fourth wave, while others continue to function mostly normally.

However, a common thread – regardless of the stage that a particular economy is currently at – is the need for a little understanding from the authorities in dealing with these unprecedented times. So far, most governments seem still to be coming up with the goods, in terms both of deadline and payment extensions for taxes, and of penalty suspensions or reductions.

For example, in Croatia, Curacao and Mauritius, the deadlines for filing returns have recently been extended to help taxpayers affected by COVID, with Croatia's Ministry of Finance announcing that the deadline for filing corporate tax returns has been moved for calendar-year taxpayers to June 30, 2021, Curacao's Tax Inspectorate unveiling an extension to the deadlines for the provisional profit tax returns for 2020 and for 2020 payroll summary statements, and the Mauritius Revenue Authority revealing that tax returns and payments due during March 2021 will not attract interest, surcharges, or penalties if any late return is submitted and tax paid by April 30, 2021.

In Spain, meanwhile, the Government decided to pump the brakes on the administrative requirements relating to the new Financial Transactions Tax, with the tax authority announcing a further extension to compliance deadlines for taxpayers liable to the country's new financial transactions tax.

Spain's financial transactions tax applies to the shares of Spanish companies with a market capitalization of EUR1bn or more. It features a 0.2 percent rate, and bonds and derivatives are excluded from its scope. The tax was introduced in Law 5/2020 of October 15, 2020, on the Tax on Financial Transactions, which became effective on January 16, 2021.

Financial transaction tax returns are to be due monthly. Typically, the return will be due between the 10th and the 20th of the month following the relevant month.

Previously, the tax agency had stated that taxpayers would not be required to submit their returns and payments for January and February 2021 until they submit their relevant payment and return for March, starting April 10, 2021.

The tax agency has now said the first returns and payments will be due by June 10, 2021, in respect of the first five months of the year, January to May 2021.

In Denmark, it was reported this week that that companies will be allowed to defer payment of value-added tax due for the first quarter, as well as payments of A-Tax and AM social security contributions.

And finally, in the United States, the authorities turned their attention to individual taxpayers, with the Internal Revenue Service announcing that that individuals have until May 17, 2021 to meet certain deadlines that would normally fall on April 15, such as making IRA contributions and filing certain claims for refund.

New Notice 2021-21 provides details on the additional tax deadlines which have been postponed until May 17. However, it does not alter the April 15, 2021, deadline for estimated tax payments, which are still due on April 15.

Until next week!


About the Author

Kitty Miv, Editor

Kitty was born in Argentina in 1960 to a Scottish cattle rancher and his Argentine wife. Educated in Edinburgh and at Princeton, Kitty worked for the World Bank as an economist, where she met and married an emigre Iranian banker. During her time with the Bank, Kitty worked in a number of emerging markets, including a spell in the ex-USSR as a Transition Economies Team Leader. Kitty is now a consultant in Brussels and has free-lance writing relationships with a number of prominent economic publications. kitty@lowtax.net


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