On Tuesday evening, 17. March, the Cabinet presented a comprehensive support package to help Dutch businesses and self-employed people get over the Corona crisis. "Special times call for special measures," Hoekstra said. The support package serves to maintain the liquidity of companies on the one hand, and to avoid mass layoffs on the other. On this page we will keep you informed about the regulations and the consequences for you as an entrepreneur.
Attention: This page was last updated on: 18. March at 6.00 p.m. Of course, the facts and specific situation play a big role in formulating the right answer to the question. Want to be sure what rules apply or what you can do in a specific situation at your organization? In this case, please contact us using the contact details at the bottom of this page. We are happy to help you!
In a nutshell: The measures in place
- The Cabinet introduces a new, much more comprehensive working time reduction scheme to replace the old one: The Emergency Employment Bridging Fund (NOW). The condition is that companies do not lay off their employees during this period and continue to pay their wages. The scheme also applies to flexible workers and people on zero-hours contracts.
- The approximately 1.2 million self-employed in our country will also receive help. This scheme, which is valid for three months, supplements the income of self-employed persons up to the social minimum income (social assistance level). They do not have to repay this amount.
- All entrepreneurs can apply for a special deferral of tax payments. Collection by the tax office will then cease immediately, and the application will be assessed with retroactive effect.
- For the next three months alone, the government is making ten to twenty billion euros available for these measures.
Measure 1: The working time reduction (wtv) scheme will be replaced by the temporary measure of the emergency bridging fund.
As an entrepreneur, do you expect a loss of sales (at least 20%)?? Then you can apply to the UWV for a wage subsidy for a period of three months (maximum 90% of the wage bill, depending on the loss of sales). The UWV will grant an advance of 80% of the aid requested. Retroactively, it then determines what the actual loss in sales has been. The scheme applies to lost sales from 1. March 2020. For large applications, this requires a declaration from an auditor.
The grant pays for the payroll of permanent employees as well as those on a flexible contract, as long as they remain employed during the application period. This period can be extended once for three months. This will allow you to continue to pay your staff. Read more about the Emergency Jobs Bridging Fund (NOW)>
Measure 2: Additional support for the self-employed
The Cabinet establishes a temporary simplified scheme to support the self-employed, which includes freelancers, so that they can continue their operations. The scheme is implemented by the municipalities.
The self-employed can receive support for three months in the form of supplementary aid for living expenses and/or working capital. Living allowance supplements income up to minimum social income and does not have to be repaid. One can also avail of a working capital loan at a reduced interest rate to absorb cash shortages.
In this temporary aid scheme for the self-employed, there is no need for an assets or partners check. The viability check that the Bbz (Decision Granting Aid to the Self-Employed) normally carries out does not apply, so requests can be dealt with quickly. This will provide income support for living expenses within four weeks (instead of the usual thirteen weeks) for a period not exceeding three months. It is possible to work with advances.
Measure 3: The emergency switch
An emergency switch is set up to provide aid for the first distress among entrepreneurs. This is in addition to the other measures listed in this letter. In particular, these are restaurants and other establishments that will have to stop most of their activities by necessity, such as beauty salons and others that may run into problems because of the 1.5 meter distance regulation. Their income largely decreases, while their fixed costs continue as normal and in many cases their expenses have already been incurred. This revenue will also be difficult to recover once the COVID-19 outbreak is over. However, the condition is that they are businesses that have a physical facility away from home. This is a one-time lump sum of €4000 for the period of three months, which only applies if your business meets all the above conditions in terms of type and industry. The conditions are currently being worked out and will be further updated if necessary.
Measure 4: Relaxation of a deferral of payment of taxes and reduction of fines
You can apply to the tax authorities for a special deferral of payments due to the impact of the Corona crisis. This is possible for all income tax, corporate income tax, VAT and payroll tax assessments.
In this application, you ask for a deferral of payments, stating that you are experiencing payment difficulties due to the Corona outbreak. You will automatically receive a deferral of payment for 3 months. It is possible that a deferral of 3 months is too short term for you. You can also apply for a longer deferment. In this case, you will need additional documents, possibly a certificate from an external expert.
You do not have to pay a possible fine for not paying sales or payroll tax on time. The legal interest rate, which normally kicks in after the payment deadline, is temporarily reduced from 4% to almost 0%. The rate of tax interest will also be temporarily reduced to almost 0%. This reduction applies to all taxes to which a tax rate applies. The cabinet will adjust the tax rates as soon as possible.
Reduction of advance tax payments
Expect a lower profit due to the Corona outbreak, and have already been imposed an advance payment for 2020 income tax or 2020 corporate tax? Then the advance payment can be lowered.
- Temporary relaxation of the BMKB scheme (guarantee credit) Under this scheme, the state guarantees 75% of an additional credit (loan or overdraft) granted to cover liquidity shortages. The maximum guarantee is € 1.500.000 and the term will not exceed 8 quarters. The guarantee commission is 3.9%, and the bank determines a risk premium and possibly a closing commission by application.
- Temporary relaxation of the GO (guaranteed corporate finance) regime. The total budget for GO has been increased from € 400 million to € 1.5 billion. In this context, the government guarantees 50% of the new credit facility (bank loans and bank guarantees). The minimum amount per company is € 1.5 million, the maximum amount has been temporarily increased from € 50 million to € 150 million.
- Qredits is an institute that grants microcredits. Qredits offers businesses a temporary deferral of repayments for a maximum period of six months. During this period, interest rates are also reduced to 2.0. The cabinet supports this measure in the maximum amount of € 6 million.
- For agricultural enterprises in the agricultural and horticultural sector, there is also a temporary relaxation of the BL scheme (guarantee for agricultural loans for small and medium-sized enterprises). The guarantee is 70% of the credit with a maximum maturity of 8 quarters.
- There is a coordination between the state and the municipalities about the possibility to stop local taxes (like tourist tax) and to withdraw already imposed tax demands. The state is also consulting with the cultural sector on supportive measures.
In the chamber letter about the emergency package for jobs and economy (NL) you can find an elaborated overview and the justification of emergency measures.
The generous business policy of the banks
- In addition to the government's extensive support package, banks have also worked out joint measures to give business customers a little more leeway. Companies that are fundamentally sound can be granted a six-month grace period for their current loans. ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Volksbank, Triodos Bank and BNG Bank have decided to.
- The joint approach of the banks offers corporate customers of all sectors room for financing up to 2.5 million euros. For the group with a higher liability, banks will be watching closely for further developments. This may lead to further steps in consultation with the government and regulators. This is a minimum regulation under which banks can offer additional tailor-made solutions for corporate clients.
- For the three major banks, ABN AMRO will go the furthest in suspending repayment obligations. For the above mentioned target group, not only the repayment obligation but also the interest payment will be suspended for a standard period of six months. If customers do not want to make use of this option, they must report it.
- There will also be a provision for entrepreneurs who are at risk of having problems with their private financing (e.g., the government).B. of the mortgage for home ownership).
Both Rabobank and ING have opened an online portal where entrepreneurs can submit their request to defer repayment. Applications will be considered individually in the order in which they are received.
Who can you contact as an entrepreneur?
- Banks can submit applications for the extended credit schemes (BMKB and GO) to the "Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland" (NL), the implementing organization of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change. As a company, you can contact your credit institution in this regard.
- With regard to the tax measures, you can contact the company office of the tax office (Belastingdienst Zakelijk) about Belastingdienst.nl/coronavirus (NL). The regulations of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment will be published as soon as possible.
- For other questions about the coronavirus, you can take a look at Rijksoverheid.nl/coronavirus (NL) or to the website of the RIVM (NL).
- Would you like to find out what the labor law consequences are for your employees? Frequently asked questions.
- On our website you will find more information about the emergency fund to bridge the employment situation (NOW) and the consequences of the corona virus for your current contracts.