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Taxpayers Get A Pandemic Pass

Kitty Miv, Editor
17 July, 2020

Governments internationally are keen to get back to business as (nearly) normal, as quickly as they can, as we saw in last week's column. Nevertheless, they are aware that their economies, and the taxpayers that comprise them, have suffered a significant and prolonged shock, and this has led many administrations to put in place measures and extend deadlines in order to make recovery a little easier.

First up this week is Malta, which recently announced its decision to defer reporting under the EU's sixth Directive on Administrative Cooperation on tax schemes, for six months.

DAC6 entered into force on July 1, 2020, and introduces a new EU mandatory disclosure regime for certain cross-border transactions that could potentially be used for aggressive tax planning.

Malta's Commissioner for Revenue further revealed that guidance will be published in the coming months to help businesses in their preparations to meet their reporting obligations.

Lithuania also announced that it would postpone reporting deadlines under DAC6, with the date for reporting tax planning arrangements put into place in the period from June 25, 2018 (when the directive entered into force) and June 30, 2020, now extended to February 28, 2021.

The 30-day deadline for the reporting of tax planning arrangements put into place from June 30, 2020, or in the first phase of implementation, has been extended to January 31, 2021, and the periodic reporting of tax planning arrangements, due to take place every three months, will commence on April 30, 2021, according to the Lithuanian authorities.

Meanwhile, in Belgium, the Finance Ministry extended the deadline for the filing of corporate tax returns further, from September 24 to October 29, 2020.

Whilst this will no doubt be welcomed by companies located in Belgium, the additional extension to the deadline is more pragmatic than strictly compassionate in nature, being due to modifications required to the Biztax filing system to accommodate COVID-19 support measures provided by the Government.

Andorra also announced a filing deadline extension due to the global pandemic, with the Council of Ministers approving a decree to this end recently. Normally, the corporate tax return deadline is six months plus 30 days after the end of a company's accounting year. For companies with an accounting year end of December 31, 2019, the deadline would be July 30, 2020. The decree approved by the Government has extended this deadline to August 31, 2020. This measure also applies to non-resident entities with a permanent establishment in Andorra.

The Government has also adopted measures requiring the mandatory online submission of the simplified corporate tax return (for businesses with income up to EUR600,000, or about USD678,000), as well as the monthly, quarterly, and half-yearly general indirect tax (IGI) returns.

Nigeria revealed that it would be taking pity on taxpayers both large and small, with an announcement from the Federal Inland Revenue Service that there would be a further extension to the date on which payment must be made under arrangements agreed with the tax agency on tax debts, in order to secure a waiver of penalties and interest.

According to FIRS, the penalty and interest waiver on tax debts owed by businesses and individuals has been extended from June 30 to August 31, 2020. This applies to tax debts associated with tax audits, tax investigations, and desk review assignments, as well as approved instalment plans under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme. However, the tax authority warned that there will be no further extension of the waiver scheme after this.

Then, last but not least, Ireland's Revenue department revealed that it would give employers additional time to comply with Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme compliance checks where they are encountering difficulties responding within the current five day timeframe, according to an announcement from Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Ireland's COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme has been in place since March 26, 2020, and will be administered by the Irish Revenue until August 31, 2020.

Employers who have received subsidy payments under the TWSS are required to provide documentary evidence to establish that they meet the eligibility criteria, that employees are receiving the correct amount of subsidy, and that the subsidy amount is being correctly identified in employee payslips.

However, in a letter to Chartered Accountants Ireland, Revenue explained that employers experiencing difficulties in preparing information in response to letters issued under the TWSS compliance program can contact Revenue and request additional time.

Until next week!


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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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