We’re here to support you – above all, our commitment is to help your business remain at home in Europe. So we have collated the latest Covid-19 VAT news from the EU Tax Authorities so that you can file with confidence and full transparency. We will keep you updated as as the position is constantly evolving.

In some cases, there is limited information available at this stage and we are working with our partners in each country and liaising with the Tax Authorities to gain a full understanding of the measures that are being introduced.  Where there is a change to the deadline for either the submission or payment of a VAT return or other declaration, we will advise you of your specific obligations separately.     

This article was last updated on 1st April 2020 at 08:48 BST. Have a question? Then book a free call with our VAT experts to discuss any of the Covid-19 VAT  updates below in more detail.

Austria

All businesses can apply for a deferral of VAT payments without incurring an interest charge – the VAT payment has to be made by 30 September 2020.  Late payment penalties will still be applied but can be waived on application by explaining to the Tax Authority how the business has been affected by Covid-19.  However filing deadlines and late filing penalties remain in place so returns should be submitted on time.

Belgium

Tax Authorities announced the deadlines for submitting VAT returns and for EC Sales Lists are altered as follows:
  • VAT return for February postponed to 6 April 2020
  • VAT return for March postponed to 7 May 2020
  • First Quarter 2020 postponed to 7 May 2020
If there is a requirement to submit an annual sales listing, it has been deferred to 30 April 2020. Paying VAT for these periods is also delayed as follows:
  • VAT return for February postponed to 20 May 2020
  • VAT return for March postponed to 20 June 2020
  • First Quarter 2020 postponed to 20 June 2020
If payment is made by the revised due date, there will be no penalties or interest imposed. 

Bulgaria

No easements in respect of VAT return filing or payment extensions have been announced and none are expected. 

Czech Republic

Currently, there is no postponement for the filing date and deadline for VAT returns. However, if the submission of a return be delayed or payment made late, it is possible to apply for a waiver of penalties that are imposed as long as the business can demonstrate that the delay was due to Covid-19 and its impact on the business.

Croatia

SMEs can apply for a deferral of VAT payments due within 3 months, starting from April 2020, or apply to pay by interest-free instalments.

Cyprus

The Cypriot Tax Authority has announced temporary extensions of VAT payment deadlines will be enacted for the majority of businesses.  The previous turnover condition has been removed.  It is necessary to submit VAT returns on time to benefit from the deferral and the payment of any deferred VAT must be made before 10 November 2020. The previously proposed VAT rate reductions have been withdrawn.  The businesses that are excluded from the deferral include those involved in the retail of food, books and newspapers, computers and toys.

Denmark

A temporary one-month suspension of VAT payments for businesses with a turnover higher than DKK 50Million. This applies from the March 2020 tax return to 25th May 2020.

Estonia

Businesses are expected to meet the VAT return deadline on 20th March 2020, however the tax authority will show flexibility on collecting VAT debts. The Ministry of Finance is preparing to borrow up to EUR 1 Billion to boost business in a state of crisis due to the spread of Covid-19 and to mitigate the effects of the crisis.

Finland

Businesses can request a removal of the late-filing penalty. However they advise to file VAT returns on time wherever possible.

France

Businesses can apply for a tax payment suspension if they provide evidence of them affected by Covid-19.  However, at present, it appears that it only applies to direct taxes but could be extended to VAT in due course.

Germany

Businesses can apply for a tax payments deferral.  Businesses affected by Covid-19 will be exempted from enforcement of tax debts and late payment penalties until the end of 2020.  There are other measures being discussed which could include extensions to deadlines for submitting VAT returns.

Greece

The Greek government has announced plans for a four-month VAT payment holiday regarding VAT return payments due on 30th March 2020.

Hungary

The Hungarian tax and customs office has issued notice of tax payment deferrals following the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The measures mostly target individuals. However, businesses may apply for tax (including VAT) payment deferrals. But there is a HUF10,000 administrative fee.
The measures for tax and associated penalties and interest include:
  • Postponement of tax payments
  • Step repayment schedule
  • Tax forgiveness

Ireland

Affected businesses advised to continue to file tax returns on time; for SMEs, suspension of interest on late payment penalty fees for January and February 2020; businesses other than SMEs can also request support; and critical pharmaceutical products and medicines will be given a Customs ‘green routing’.

Italy

The Italian Tax Authority has announced a number of measures for tax relief due to COVID-19 (such as suspension of VAT payment deadlines with a due date between 8th March 2020 and 31st May 2020 to 30th June 2020) however currently all easements apply to certain resident businesses only.

Latvia

Business can defer tax payments on request. The Government also decided to facilitate refunds to businesses by requiring the State Revenue Service to reimburse the approved value added tax (VAT) amount to all taxpayers within 30 days of the VAT filing deadline, without accruing tax until the end of the tax year, with effect from 1st April 2020. Accordingly, it is also planned to return the amount of confirmed VAT currently accrued until the end of 2020, in accordance with the VAT returns already submitted for January and February 2020. A revision of the rate of VAT over payment is possible in 2021 if justified reasons are identified.

Lithuania

Affected business have more time to file a tax return and will remove late payment penalties.

Luxembourg

Late penalty fees are removed until further notice. The Government encourages businesses to contact the tax authorities if they have any difficulties in paying taxes. Tax offices still open by appointment.

Malta

No updates from the Government yet.

Netherlands

Businesses can request an automatic three month VAT payment deferral. Longer extensions can be granted with supporting evidence. The Government will also lower late penalty fees from 1 June 2020.

Norway

The Government announced new measures including a VAT payment deferral and reduction of the low VAT rate. You can read our full update on this here. The tax offices closed for face-to-face meetings until further notice.

Poland

The Government confirmed the delay of the extension of the combined SAF-T monthly filing for large companies. They postponed the implementation from the 1st of April 2020 to the 1st of July 2020. Furthermore, businesses who, due to the coronavirus (Covid-19), will have problems paying their taxes on a timely manner can apply for a VAT payment holiday. The tax authorities are also hoping to make VAT refund payments more quickly.

Portugal

The Government announced a series of measures including removal of late payment penalty fees.

Romania

Offices still currently open for face-to-face meetings but recommend remote interaction; the Government published measures to support the business environment including VAT credits.

Slovakia

The Government proposed the postponement of filing tax returns for all taxpayers from 31st March 2020 to 30th June 2020, even if a business filed the tax return in due time. There will also be a postponing the deadline for VAT. Exempt fines for late payments.

Slovenia

No updates from the Government yet.

Spain

The Spanish Tax Authorities have introduced the possibility for certain businesses to apply for a deferral of the payment of the VAT due for returns that have to be submitted in the period from 13th March 2020 to 30th May 2020. This does not apply to businesses that have to submit SII declarations and if the debt is in excess of €30,000.  No interest charged in the first 3 months. Applications have to be made to the Spanish Tax Authorities in order for the deferral to apply. Offices closed for face-to-face meetings.

Sweden

The Government will take measures to support financially affected businesses with late penalty and interest fine easements on VAT payments for up to one year. The new rules apply from 7th April 2020, but can be applied retroactively from 1st January 2020.

Switzerland

The Government announced VAT payment deferrals and interest rate reductions. Businesses must still submit VAT returns as normal and report the VAT due in the period. You can read our full update here.

UK

Following some confusion as to the extent of the 3 month VAT payment holiday put in place by the UK Government, HMRC have provided some welcome clarification on the application of the measures. You can read our update here.

Finally, it has been confirmed that any payments due under the VAT Mini One Stop Shop Regime will have to be paid – this is VAT due to the Tax Authorities in other Member States so the UK Government do not have control of these funds.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as required.

What we’re doing…

As a result of Covid-19, we will be moving to remote working for the whole business from Wednesday 18th March. This in line with Government advice and as a business that already operates flexible working practices.

We’re here to support you – above all, our commitment is to keep your business trading confidently throughout Europe. This is of course an unprecedented and evolving situation. So we will keep you informed and support you to the best of our ability.

Book a free call with our VAT experts to discuss any of the above in more detail.

By |April 1st, 2020|