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Coronavirus in Greece – Staikouras: Where will VAT be reduced and what are it? 15 measures for employees and businesses

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced the plan 4 phases to restart the economy by introducing fifteen new measures for workers and businesses from June…….
Opening schedule and support measures

First phase: March April
Restrictions on economic activity

Second phase: May
Gradual return to normalcy and economic activity

Third phase: June and until October
Progressive economic recovery

Fourth phase
Complete recovery of the economy in case there is no resurgence of the pandemic

In the phase we are going through today, The government continues to support households and businesses - Extends the right to suspend employment contracts - Continues to reduce rents for all affected businesses ".

Mr.. Staikouras then stated:

  • "The suspension of workers' employment contracts is being extended to 100% in tourism catering culture sports and transport. Compensation for special purposes is also extended to these companies.
  • Unemployment benefit to seasonal employees who will not be hired.
  • Suspension of payment of tax debts for those companies that remain closed in June
  • Reduction of rent in June for the affected companies of the aforementioned categories. As well as for students and employees.
  • Second refundable deposit is granted based on the loss of turnover - Reduction of tax advance.
  • VAT on transport is reduced 13% from 1 June to 31 October - in cafes and non-alcoholic beverages - in cinema tickets.
  • A new National Register of Businesses is being created - All "red" borrowers affected by the pandemic are being supported - Consistent borrowers are being strengthened - Payment culture is being cultivated ".

The 15 policies are as follows:

1. It is expanding, for an even longer period of time, the right to suspend workers' employment contracts, reimbursement of special purpose and coverage of their insurance contributions. The possibility of suspending an employment contract continues, at a rate of up to 100%, of workers in the tourism industry, of catering, of Transportation, culture and sports.

2. A new short-term employment support mechanism is being created, to maintain jobs and support entrepreneurship.

3. Unemployment benefits are provided to seasonal employees who will not be hired during the current tourist season. Alongside, Insurance contributions are provided for seasonal part-time employees.

4. It is possible to suspend the payment of the installments of confirmed debts to the tax authority to all companies that remain closed., as well as in the tourism sectors, of catering, of Transportation, culture and sports, and for June. Employees whose contracts are suspended, have the right to suspend the installments of certified debts.

5. The possibility of rent reduction is being extended 40% in June, to all businesses that remain closed and to businesses that belong to the tourism industry, of catering, of Transportation, culture and sports. Furthermore, The same opportunity is given to those companies that opened in May, including retail. in addition to, in businesses belonging to the tourism industry, of Transportation, culture and sports, It is possible to reduce the rent during the months of July and August.

End, right to reduce rent for their first home and the student residence of their dependent members, retain all employees whose employment contracts are on temporary suspension.

6. For owners who rent real estate to affected businesses and employees, the deadlines for the payment of the confirmed debts are suspended. also, for these owners the possibility of offsetting part of the lost income is foreseen, with tax liabilities after July.

7. 2nd "returnable deposit" granted, based on the loss of turnover in March, April and May. The unavailable balance of the first phase, just completed, will be added in the 2nd phase, so that the total amount that has been granted by the end of June, to be formed in 2 billion. euro.

8. It is planned to reduce the advance tax. For companies that will show a decrease in turnover in March, April and May cumulatively above one percent, will be provided to reduce the advance tax they are required to pay within it 2020 for 2021, by a percentage. The percentage will be determined in July, based on turnover data submitted by companies for the previous period.

9. VAT on transport is reduced 24% in the 13%, for the period 1 June- 31 October 2020. Covers passenger transport by train, by metro and tram, by city and intercity buses, with airplane, by boat, with combined transport. The citizens, the minister said, and especially the weaker income strata, will benefit greatly from this state provision.

10. VAT on coffee and non-alcoholic beverages is reduced 24% in the 13% for the period 1 June- 31 October 2020.

11. VAT is reduced on the tourist package from 80/20 (80% with 13% and 20% with 24%) in 90/10 for the period 1 June- 31 October 2020.

12. VAT on cinema tickets is reduced by 24% in the 13% for the period 1 June- 31 October 2020.

13. Expenditure on scientific and technological research is deducted from the gross income of businesses increased by 100%, against 30% is today, for expenses to be incurred from 1 September.

14. A National Register of New Businesses is created, according to international standards, so that there is a coherent framework for the development of targeted ecosystem support policies. Incentives are given to individuals who contribute investment funds for start-ups, in the form of tax deductions on the amount invested.

15. A program is being set up in which the state will subsidize, for a certain period of time, a significant part of the monthly installments of those affected by the effects of corona and have mortgage loans in the first home.

The program, covers all "red loans", both those created before its end 2018, as well as those that later, until today, emerged for citizens affected by the effects of the health crisis. But it covers, and the serviced loans of our compatriots affected by the pandemic. Alongside, puts safety valves, so that strategic defaulters do not benefit from the subsidy.

According to Mr.. Staikouras, with the new program, in addition to extending the existing framework:

* They are strengthened, for the first time, consistent borrowers, with serviced loans, who have been affected by the pandemic.

* All borrowers affected by the health crisis are supported, and have a "red" loan even after its end 2018.

* Payment culture is cultivated.

* The risk of creating a new generation of "red" loans is reduced.

* Social cohesion is strengthened.

* Multiple borrowers are covered in relation to the existing framework.

The four phases of the overall design

The minister made special reference to the four phases of the plan to deal with the crisis, and which in detail are as follows:

During the 1st phase, the government has prioritized and cared for the protection of human life and public health. To this end, it has strengthened the budget of the Ministry of Health, approximately 275 million. euro.

Alongside, with horizontal and timely interventions, spread a wide "safety net" over households and businesses.

* He proceeded with the suspension of payment of tax and insurance obligations.

* It gave tax incentives to employees and employers.

* Reduce business rents, employees and students.

* He proceeded to pay special compensation to employees, professionals and businesses, supporting more the weaker economic strata.

* It provided additional unemployment benefits and supported the long-term unemployed.

In total, strengthened 2.000.000 citizens.

In the 2nd phase, which we are going through today, with the gradual opening of economic activity:

* The possibility of suspending payment of tax and insurance obligations is being extended, to employees and employers.

* The right to suspend employment is extended, reimbursement of special purpose and coverage of insurance contributions.

* Reduction of rents in all affected companies continues.

* Payment of the "refundable deposit" is completed. more than 53.000 companies, mainly small and medium, finalized their application and to date in 34.000 significant sums of money were credited to their accounts. In the next few days, they will be credited to the rest.

Alongside, interest rate subsidy tools are advancing, of working capital, of guarantee mechanisms, the formation of a new institutional framework for small business lending, aimed at boosting business liquidity.

In the 3rd phase, from June to October, the phase of progressive economic recovery, the interventions, are based on four pillars:

1. Continuing and expanding employment support measures.

2. In further enhancing business liquidity.

3. In obtaining targeted tax measures.

4. In dealing with private debt.

End, in the 4th phase, from the fall, as long as the economy stabilizes and reorganizes, as stated by the Minister, "The more opportunities we have to launch policies with more permanent features, so that the country can continue from where it was before the pandemic. Consistent policies, indicatively, in the fields of green economy, extroversion, of innovation and technology, which will be included in our Strategic Plan for Economic Development ".

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