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Published: July 1, 2020

Coronavirus: Global Guide to Tax Changes

Country-by-country breakdown of the tax changes being made globally to ease the stress that the Coronavirus is putting on the global economy.
Coronavirus VAT changes

The below highlights a country-by-country breakdown of the tax changes being made globally to ease the stress that the Coronavirus is putting on the global economy. Many governments are looking at VAT deferments, tax rate cuts and VAT refunds as a way to help SMEs and large companies alike get through these uncertain

Global VAT changes due to Coronavirus: 

Australia


Australia Tax payment deferrals: If you or your business has been affected by COVID-19, The Australian VAT Authorities will work with businesses to defer some payments and vary any due instalments. These include income tax, activity statement, pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, FBT and excise payments by up to six months. (source)

Low-interest payment plans: If your business has been affected by COVID-19 and you need help to pay your existing and ongoing tax liabilities, you will be able to discuss entering a low-interest payment plan with the Australian tax authorities.

Austria

Update 1/7/2020: Reduction in the VAT rate to 10% on non-alcoholic beverages until the end of 2020. As provided in the law, this applies for supplies made after 30 June 2020 and before 1 January 2021.

Update 19/6/2020: Reduction of VAT rate to 5% from 1 July till 31 December for certain supplies to support the gastronomy, culture and publishing sectors.

Update 19/5/2020: VAT on non-alcoholic beverages halved from 20% to 10% in support of the hospitality industry.

Update 6/5/2020: Deadline for submitting the annual VAT return for 2019 extended to 31 August 2020

Update 20/4/2020 : The VAT rate for respiratory masks has been reduced from 20% to 0% for deliveries and intra-Community purchases. This applies to deliveries and intra-Community acquisitions made after 13 April 2020 and before 1 August 2020. 

Austria VAT Payment Deferment: The taxpayer can apply to his tax office for deferral of payment or payment in instalments if justified.

Low-interest payment plans: The taxpayer can apply to his tax office (e.g. in the application for a deferral or instalment payment) for a reduction of the late payment interest.

Belgium

Update 1/7/2020: VAT rate reduction from 21% to 6% for the hospitality sector until December 31st 2020.

Update: 19/6/2020: Donations of medical devices to medical facilities are VAT exempt between 1 March until  1 September. Payment and filing deadline extended from 1 to 4 weeks for import VAT.

Update 28/5/2020: VAT rate on catering, restaurant and cafe services reduced to 6%

Update 19/5/2020: Goods being utilised in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic are exempt from import customs duties and VAT as per the 3 April 2020 decision of the European Commission. This covers imports into Belgium from 31 March 2020 until 31 July 2020. 

Update 6/5/2020: VAT reduction on import and acquisition of PPE to 6% until 31 December 2020. 

Update 20/4/2020: Belgium VAT payment Deferment: The tax authorities have implemented an automatic deferral for 2 months, without administrative fines or late payment interest being imposed. Businesses may apply for additional time, and a payment plan, if they can show difficulties related to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Payment – February 2020 VAT return: until 20 May 2020
  • Payment – March 2020 VAT return: until 20 June 2020
  • Payment – Q1 2020 VAT return: until 20 June 2020
  • Payment – April 2020 VAT return: until 20 July 2020

Update 30/03/2020:  Output VAT Waived on Medical supplies by VAT registered businesses: the Belgian VAT authorities published a new circular letter (Dutch | French) clarifying that no VAT is due on medical and protective equipment donated to hospitals by VAT registered businesses. In principle, when supplying goods for free, VAT taxpayers who deduct VAT on purchases, or other production costs of those goods should make a correction and pay output VAT in the form of a so-called “self-supply.” This obligation is temporarily waived for supplies made between 1 March and 30 June 2020, provided specific conditions are met. (source)


Belgium VAT payment Deferment:
The tax authorities have implemented an automatic deferral for 2 months, without administrative fines or late payment interest being imposed.

  • Payment – February 2020 VAT return: until 20 May 2020
  • Payment – March 2020 VAT return: until 20 June 2020
  • Payment – Q1 2020 VAT return: until 20 June 2020

Postponed Tax Audits:  The Belgian tax authorities also have postponed all non-essential/less urgent on-site tax audits. Remote tax audits could still be executed, as well as urgent on-site tax audits (to protect the financial interests of the Belgian state).

Bulgaria

Update 1/7/2020: VAT and Duties exemption on Imports of Goods to Combat COVID-19 extended until 31 October 2020.

Update: 19/6/2020: Reduced 9% VAT rate for books, restaurant services and baby diapers.

Update 19/5/2020: VAT for restaurants and places of entertainment registered under the Tourism Act have been cut from 20% to 9%. The measures are effective from this year.

Update 6/5/2020: VAT exemption implemented on imports of goods to combat COVID-19

Bulgaria penalties and interest Waived: There are reports that the deadlines for filing the VAT returns or for paying monthly VAT liabilities will not be adjusted, but it may be that penalties and interest for late filings or payments could be waived. 

Bolivia

Update 6/5/2020: Period to apply for a deferred VAT payment schedule deferred until 29 May 2020, allowing first payments to start in June.

Update 27/03/2020: Bolivia VAT Payment Deferment: VAT payments, submissions and obligations for Feb ad March deferred to May. Tax Refund Requests Submission extension: Submission of tax refund requests due in March deferred to April. 

Canada

Update 19/5/2020: VAT has been waived on certain medical goods, including PPE such as masks and gloves. The relief on these goods will remain in place for as long as necessary to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Canada payments of income tax deferment: Allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period. (source)

China

Update 28/5/2020: Revenue from film screening is exempted from VAT in a bid to support the film industry post the Coronavirus.

Update 19/5/2020: COVID-19 VAT relief for SMEs has been extended until the end of 2020. SMEs will now pay 1% instead of 3% (Hubei province exempt).

Update 6/5/2020: VAT exemption on interest generated from loans to small businesses extended to December 2023.

Update 20/4/2020: China VAT Exemption: Small-scale taxpayers in Hubei have been exempt from VAT. VAT rate for small taxpayers outside Hubei has been lowered from 3 percent to 1 percent, both until end of May

Increased Export VAT Refund Rates:  The export tax rebate rate of 1,084 products such as porcelain sanitary appliances have increased to 13%. The export tax rebate rate of 380 products such as plant growth regulators have been increased to to 9%. These changes are effective from 20 March 2020. The export tax rebate rate applicable to the goods is defined by the export date indicated on the export goods declaration form.

SME Relief: The Chinese government has approved the establishment of a cross-border e-commerce pilot zone and tax incentives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) due to the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement includes: a VAT exemption for interest income from loans made by financial institutions to SMEs up to 1 million Chinese yuan,  a VAT exemption for interest income on loans up to 100,000 yuan from small loan companies, with 90 percent of income included as taxable corporate income.

China has cut VAT on medical services, catering and accommodation services, sundry personal services (e.g., hairdressing, laundry), and public transport. There is also a cut on masks and protective clothing. VAT has also been reduced from 3% to 1% on the cash accounting scheme for small businesses until the end of May.

Colombia

Update 1/7/2020:

  • VAT exemption holidays for consumers on 19 June, 3 July, and 19 July 2020
  • Reduction in the consumption tax rate for restaurants, cafeterias, and other similar food and beverage services is reduced from 8% to 0% until 31 December 2020
  • VAT exemption on leases of commercial property until 31 July 2020

Update 10/6/2020

  • VAT exemption holidays for consumers on 19 June, 3 July, and 19 July 2020
  • Reduction in the consumption tax rate for restaurants, cafeterias, and other similar food and beverage services reduced from 8% to 0% until 31 December 2020
  • VAT exemption on leases of commercial property until 31 July 2020

Update 28/5/2020: Earlier in May, Colombia eliminated VAT for three days in a bid to reactivate its economy.

Update 6/5/2020: Implementation of a 0% VAT rate on 211 goods, chiefly items needed in the fight against the pandemic including medical equipment, soap, antibacterial gel, laundry detergent, some cleaners, special masks, gloves for surgery, nebulizers, vital sign monitors, portable x-ray machines and hospital beds. 

Update 20/4/2020: VAT on certain mobile plans in the context of the coronavirus (Covid-19) threat has been temporarily removed. Non-profit entities are exempt from VAT benefits for donations.

For taxpayers engaged in hoteling services, passenger air travel services, theatrical activities and live show business activities, the VAT payment due for the March – April period (or for the January – April period, if they file the VAT return every four months) was extended to June 30, 2020 (previously from May 12 to May 26, 2020).

For taxpayers engaged in the provision of alcoholic beverages in situ, cafeterias and restaurants, as well as travel agencies and tour operators, the deadline to pay the VAT and national excise tax for the March — April period (or for the January – April period if they pay the VAT every four months) was extended to June 30, 2020 (previously from May 12 to May 26, 2020, depending on the last digit of the taxpayer’s tax identification number). These extensions are for the date of payment, not for filing VAT or the national excise tax returns. (source)

Costa Rica

Update: 19/6/2020: From August 1, 2020, VAT at 13% must be applied to digital sales from foreign digital service providers and intermediaries  that are included on a government list to consumers in Costa Rica.

Update 10/6/2020: Legislative Assembly considering bill to cut the standard VAT rate from 13% to 9%.

Update 28/5/2020: The rate of VAT  applicable for engineering, architecture, topography, and civil works construction services will be 4%, effective 1 July 2020.

Update 19/5/2020: SMEs to be provided VAT exemption on water, electricity and rent until July 2020, after which a reduced rate of 1% will apply for 2 years.

Update 6/5/2020: VAT payments deferral:  Taxpayers must continue to file VAT returns during the months of April, May, and June 2020, but may defer the VAT payments due during these months until 31 December 2020 without the imposition of interest and penalties. Taxpayers requiring a payment plan must submit a request to the tax authorities before 15 October 2020.

Update 20/4/2020: The Tax authorities regulated the VAT exemption on support services rendered to persons with disabilities Taxpayers providing such services do not need to file a VAT exemption request with the Tax Authorities.

Costa Rica has provided a 3-month VAT payment deferment for taxpayers from March 15. Further, there is an exemption from VAT on commercial leases for the months of April, May, and June 2020 if both the lessee and the lessor are registered in the taxpayer registry. (source)



Croatia

Update 20/4/2020: Deferral of payments: VAT payments have been deferred for those entrepreneurs that report VAT on an accrual basis, regardless of the value of supplies of goods and services in the previous year if the entrepreneurs satisfy indicators of an inability to settle tax liabilities due (20% revenue decrease); and the VAT liability arises from invoices that have been issued or are incoming but not yet settled.

The deferral can be applied with regard to a VAT liability arising from the VAT return due for March 2020 (due by 30 April 2020), and the VAT liability arising from the VAT return for April 2020 (due by 31 May 2020).

VAT Exemptions:

  • Goods and services for the purpose of mitigation of adverse COVID-19 effects will be VAT-exempt.
  • Imports of goods for the purpose of mitigation of adverse COVID-19 effects will be exempt from customs and import VAT.

The exemptions apply to goods imported or donated by 20 June 2020, and the first exemption applies to the VAT liability due in April 2020.

Update 7/4/2020: The Croatian government on 2 April 2020 proposed a second set of tax relief measures to address the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. One of the proposals is the deferral of the requirement to remit value added tax (VAT) until invoices are settled. (source)


The Croatian government will allow taxpayers to defer payment or to arrange an instalment payment plan for their tax liabilities, social security contributions and certain non-tax levies without being subject to interest being imposed during the period of deferral of payment (payments in instalments). (source)

Cyprus

Update 1/7/2020: Temporary reduction of the VAT rate applicable to hotel accommodation, restaurant services and certain passenger transport from 9% to 5% from 1 July 2020 until 10 January 2021.

Update: 19/6/2020: Commission approves €33 million Cypriot scheme deferring payment of VAT to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak.

Update 10/6/2020: Plans to temporarily reduce the VAT rate on restaurants and hotel accommodation from 9% to 5% from 1 July 2020 until 10 January 2021.

Update 6/5/2020: Temporary changes in the VAT period and return and payment deadlines for certain taxpayers introduced. A limited number of taxpayers are being switched from quarterly to monthly returns to make advanced VAT payments up until 30 June 2020. They are required to remit the VAT due by the 27 of the month following the reporting month.

Update 20/4/2020: VAT exemption: Vat is exempt on the importing of goods needed to combat the effects of COVID-19.

Update 7/4/2020: After the initial announcement of various VAT measures, the final shape of amending VAT legislation provides for temporary VAT payment deferral to 10 November 2020 applicable for:

  • The majority of entities (except the list of sectors expressly excluded in the amending law) regardless of turnover volume, total outputs or their respective decreases
  • VAT quarters December 2019 – 29 February 2020, January – March 2020 and February – April 2020
  • The deferrals apply as long as those entities timely submit their VAT returns for the above quarters, i.e., by 10 April, 10 May and 10 June 2020 accordingly


The Ministry of Finance in Cyprus announced on March 18 the approval of two VAT bills with which:

VAT Return Suspended: The obligation to submit the VAT return for the period 01/12/2019 – 29/02/2020 is suspended until 30 April 2020 where (a) the VAT payable for the said VAT period is settled not later than 10 November 2020, and (b) the total revenues for the period 01/03/2019 – 29/02/2020 does not exceed EUR 1 million.
VAT Rate Decrease: The standard VAT rate and one of the reduced VAT rates are temporary reduced: – from 19% to 17% for the period 01/04/2020 – 31/05/2020 – from 9% to 7% for the period 01/04/2020 – 15/07/2020.



Czech Republic

Update: 19/6/2020: Czech Parliament approved the 10% reduced VAT rate extension to accommodation services, admission to cultural events and sporting events, admission to sports grounds (including lift tickets), and admission to saunas and other similar facilities.

Update 10/6/2020: The Czech Republic will not be providing an extension on the 13th Directive deadline for Non-European businesses, however it will allow for VAT refund submissions to be sent through electronically.

Update 28/5/2020: VAT on accommodation services and admission to cultural and sporting events reduced from 15% to 10%.

Update:6/5/2020: Change in VAT rates on beer will reduce the value-added tax on draught beer consumed on the pub premises from the 21% to the 10% VAT band.

Update 20/4/2020: Change in VAT Rates: From 1 May 2020 an amendment to the Czech VAT Act will take effect. It changes VAT rates of certain supplies. There are three VAT rates, standard rate of 21%, first reduced rate of 15% and second reduced rate of 10%. After the 1 May, supplies of drinking water and draining of sewage water, catering services, cleaning, care for elderly people and kids and others will be subject to 10% VAT rate.

VAT Exemptions:  In order for goods to be exempt from VAT due to the coronavirus pandemic, the goods must be imported for: 1) governmental, charitable or philanthropic organizations; 2) the benefit of disaster victims; 3) assistance in medical treatment, diagnosis, or research; or 4) maintaining international relations. The exemption applies between January 30 and July 31.

VAT Return Deadline Extended: The deadline for filing tax returns for annual taxable periods shall be automatically extended to four months if tax returns are filed electronically.
VAT reductions: Advances for VAT deduction will allow the tax authority to refund parts of excess deductions not subject to review. The deadline for refunding excess deductions (typically relating to VAT) will be extended from 30 to 45 days; under transitory provisions, the new deadline will apply to taxable periods for which the deadline for filing tax statements expires after the amendment’s effective date.
Czech penalties and interest Waived: The Czech Republic will lift fines for coronavirus-related late filing of corporate income tax returns and value-added tax reporting.  



Denmark

Update 10/6/2020: VAT payment deadlines extended to improve corporate liquidity during the Coronavirus crisis and secure Danish jobs. The measures ease the requirements for the taxation of special groups from 9 March to 30 June 2020.

Update:6/5/2020: VAT Refunds: Small taxpayers may request refund of VAT paid on 2 March 2020 deadline for 2019 VAT periods may now apply for an interest-free loan of the VAT paid. Any refund is then repayable by 1 April 2021. Taxpayers entitled to the scheme include those with a turnover below DKK 5m as well as those with a turnover between DKK 5m and DKK 50m.

VAT Payment Deferral: Deadline for reporting and payment of VAT for companies who report on a monthly basis as well as companies who report on a quarterly and semi-annual basis. (source)
For small businesses:  For small and medium-sized businesses, the tax periods for the first and second quarters and the first and second half years must be added together. This reduces the payment deadline for medium-sized companies for the first quarter of 2020 by 3 months, and for small businesses, the payment deadline for the first half of 2020 is reduced by 6 months. The periods are collected so that you pay as a result of reporting the second period. However, you can still report to the original deadlines and, for example, get negative VAT paid.
For large businesses: 

  • The deadline of April 27 will be moved to May 25, 2020
  • The deadline of 25 May will be moved to 25 June 2020
  • The deadline of 25 June will be moved to 27 July 2020

Egypt

Update: 6/5/2020: The deadline to electronically file the VAT return for February has been extended from 30 April to 10 May 2020. However, VAT should still be paid by the standard deadline.

Update 20/4/2020: VAT registrant taxpayers are required to issue electronic invoices, comprising the following information:

  • Electronic signature of the invoice issuer (i.e. the supplier or the service provider)
  • The unified code of the relevant good and/or service, as pre-approved by the ETA


VAT registered taxpayers must submit, along with their electronic VAT returns, all the invoice-related information relevant to their sale and purchase transactions. Otherwise, the submission of VAT returns will be challenged by the Egyptian Tax Authority, and the absence of such information will be construed as tax evasion.

No announcement has been made on Indirect Tax Measures. (source)

Estonia

Update: 6/5/2020: PPE and other medical equipment used to prevent and stop the spreading of COVID-19 virus are temporarily exempted from VAT. 

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB) has introduced a VAT payment delay for taxpayers until 1 May 2020. VAT will not have to be paid, but returns must be submitted as normal. Companies in difficulties need to apply for the payment of tax arrears in instalments through the ETCB’s e-service environment. In addition, all VAT audits and assessments are suspended. 

Finland

update: 19/6/2020: Finland is authorized to apply an annual turnover threshold of EUR 15,000 for exempting small enterprises from VAT. The new rules will apply from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2024.

Update 10/6/2020: Finland has announced a Fourth Supplementary Budget Proposal. This includes a proposal that the sale of necessary protective equipment to the social and healthcare sector due to the Coronavirus pandemic would, in specific respects, be temporarily exempted from VAT. This temporary arrangement would be applied to the period 30 January to 31 July.

Update 28/5/2020: VAT paid earlier in 2020 can be claimed back and paid later.

Update 19/5/2020: An annual turnover threshold of EUR 15,000 to exempt small enterprises from VAT from January 1, 2021 until December 31, 2024.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT loans accessible during the Coronavirus crisis enabling businesses to apply for a temporary refund of VAT payments against an interest charge of 3%.

Update 20/4/2020: VAT Exemption: VAT is exempt on imported medical devices due to COVID-19

Finland penalties and interest Waived: Penalties related to late filing of VAT returns will not be collected.
No VAT Payment Deferments in Finland: There is no possibility to apply for an extension for the filing of the VAT return. 

France

Update: 19/6/2020: VAT refund (13th Directive) deadline extended to 30 September 2020.

Update 10/6/2020: 5,5% VAT rate applicable to masks, protective suits and personal hygiene products adapted to the fight against COVID-19

Update 28/5/2020: VAT exemption for funds management operations expanded.

Update 19/5/2020: Companies impacted by the  Covid-19 crisis can benefit from an accelerated reimbursement of VAT credit in 2020 . The company must make its request electronically. Order published on reduced VAT rates for PPE: The VAT rate for these products was reduced to 5.5% until 31 December 2021 as part of the Amending Finance Law for 2020. The order defines the characteristics of protective masks and personal hygiene products that qualify for the reduced rate.

Update:6/5/2020: Deadline Extension: The 13th Directive VAT deadline will be extended from 30th June 2020 to 30th September 2020. Reduced VAT Rate:  VAT rate reduced to 5.5% for masks, protective clothing and products intended for personal hygiene.

Update 20/4/2020: VAT Exemption: Donations to healthcare establishments due to Coronavirus are exempt from VAT.

Although France has allowed some deferrals with regards to direct taxes such as corporate taxes and payroll taxes, they have made it clear in their regulation that they will not be granting any deferments or changes to value added tax. 

Germany

Update 1/7/2020: VAT will be reduced for six months from 1 July 2020 from 19 to 16 percent and from 7 to 5 percent. The reduced rates apply until 31 December 2020.

Update: 19/6/2020: The German government approved a cut in value-added tax from 19 to 16 percent for six months starting in July to counter the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update 10/6/2020: VAT rate decrease decision anticipated for 12 June 2020.

Update 28/5/2020: VAT for Restaurant and Catering Services reduced from 19% to 7% from 1 July 2020 until 1 July 2021.

Update 19/5/2020: The German VAT authorities confirm that although they will not be providing an official extension to the 13th Directive VAT deadline, they will allow some easements on late refund applications.

Update 6/5/2020: VAT rates on restaurant and catering services reduced from 19% to 7%. The changes will be effective from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Update 20/4/2020: 2019 annual VAT return deadline is postponed until 31 May 2020. In Hesse, impacted companies have the option to delay VAT declarations and related payments for up to 2 months.VAT advance returns to be submitted by 10 or 14 April 2020 can only be submitted and paid on 10 June 2020 upon application. For 10 May 2020, the deadline for submission and payment will be postponed to 10 July 2020 upon application.

Update 7/4/2020: No VAT on donations: Any donations made including masks or disinfectants to hospitals, doctors or nursing homes can be made without triggering any VAT. The same applies for medical equipment donated to fire brigades, old people’s homes, police, social services or rescue services, or for staff loans for medical purposes without consideration. The rule shall remain in force until end of 2020.


Germany VAT Payment Deferment:
businesses may apply for VAT payment postponement until 31 Dec 2020. 

Greece

Update 1/7/2020: VAT rate in the tourism sector reduced from 9% to 5%. Applicable for the period from the 1st of July, 2020 to the 9th of January, 2021. This includes: hotel accommodation, hotel apartments accommodation and similar establishments, including holiday accommodation; restaurant and catering services; transport of passengers and their accompanied luggage.

Update: 19/6/2020: The Greek Ministry of Finance has announced the extension of the 30% reduction for the islands of Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesbos, and Somos to December 2020.

Update 10/6/2020: VAT in Greece’s tourism sector has been dropped from 24 to 13 percent as part of a series of stimulus measures aimed at helping businesses. VAT for hotels may also be cut from 13 to 6 percent in an effort to give them a boost.

Update 28/5/2020: VAT rates temporarily reduced for a host of items including transport from 24% to 13% from 1 June 2020 until 31 October 2020, transport by train, metro, tram, buses, plane, ship and by combined transport. VAT  on coffee and non-alcoholic beverages as well as cinema tickets reduced from 24% to 13% for the same period (1 June – 31 October 2020).

Update 19/5/2020: Deadline for payment of the confirmed debts from VAT declarations that expire or expired from 1 May 2020 until 29 May 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Government Clarifies COVID-19 25% VAT discount: If the VAT liability for March has already been paid on time without taking advantage of the 25% discount, the resulting excess payment for March will be automatically carried forward to offset the April VAT liability, which may also be reduced for the 25% discount.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT exemption on the import of personal protective equipment, respirators, disinfectants, and other medical goods and equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The exemption is effective with respect to qualifying imports from 30 January to 31 July 2020.

Update 7/4/2020: VAT Payment Deferment: The deadline for payment of April VAT debts has been extended until 31 August 2020.


VAT Rate Decrease:
VAT rate reduction from 24% to 6% for products needed to protect against Coronavirus.
VAT Payment Deferment: There will be a four-month VAT payment delay. By decision of the Minister of Finance, upon recommendation by the Governor of the Independent Public Revenue Authority (AADE), the affected enterprises by sector and by region are specified, the period of extension of the deadline for payment and suspension of VAT collection, as well as any other details necessary for the implementation of this Agreement.

Guatemala

Update 28/5/2020: Items imported to combat the COVID-19 crisis and donated are exempt from VAT.

Update 19/5/2020: VAT exemption on the importing of goods donated to combat COVID-19. The exemption applies from 1 April 2020 until the COVID-19 emergency ends.

Update 7/4/2020: No Vat on donations for the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala.

Update 30/03/2020: Guatemala Tax Payment deferment: Feb VAT returns that were in due in March have been deferred to April and March VAT return has been postponed to May .

Guyana

Update 28/5/2020: VAT exempt on domestic air tickets.

Update 19/5/2020: VAT on electricity exempted as a COVID-19 relief measure.

Update 20/4/2020: VAT on water and electricity in COVID-19 response efforts has been removed.

Update 25/03/2020: VAT Rate Exemptions: VAT exempted for all medical Supplies for testing, prevention and treatment of COVID-19 virus. Exemption valid until 30 June 2020. 

Hungary

Update 10/6/2020: Under VAT changes that are effective 1 July 2020, all invoices issued to Hungarian domestic taxpayers must be reported online to the tax authority; thus, the current threshold of HUF 100,000 for electronic reporting will cease to apply.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Refunds Expedited:  Under this relief measure, the tax authority would be expected to refund VAT to SMEs within 30 days (instead of 75 days) of the filing date of the refund claim. For “reliable taxpayers,” a VAT refund could be made within 20 days of the filing of the refund claim.

Update 7/4/2020: The Hungarian government has appealed to the European Commission to grant VAT exemption for imports of face masks, respirators and other equipment of protection against the coronavirus.


Waiving of tax payment for transport service Companies:
Small taxpayers carrying passenger transport services (e.g. taxis) under the KATA taxation regime are exempted from their tax liability for the months March, April, May and June 2020. 

The Hungarian Authorities have made no mention of VAT payment deferments for companies.

Iceland

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Return Payments Extended: The Jan and Feb return payment has been extended again until 15 May.

Update 7/4/2020: The VAT return deadline for January and February payments has moved 6 April to 16 April. VAT Payment Deferment: Companies will be able to apply for deferment of vat payments until 15 January 2021 on application.


Although the Icelandic tax authorities have passed legislation providing tax provisions for individuals, they are yet to provide VAT provisions or payment deferments for companies. 

India

Update: 6/5/2020: The Goods and Services Tax Council is reviewing targeted help for the following sectors: Catering and hospitality; restaurants and cafes; and airlines. Potential measures include a move to cash-based VAT payments to ease tax payments on bad/slow debts.VAT Return Delay: Q4 VAT returns in Delhi have been delayed from 31 March to 30 June 2020.

The Ministry of Finance has extended the deadlines for filing returns of goods and services tax (GST) in view of the coronavirus crisis and difficulties faced by taxpayers in meeting the compliance norms. (source)

Indonesia

Update 19/5/2020: 10% VAT on digital products sold by non-resident internet companies with significant presence in the Indonesian market imposed from July 2020.

Update: 6/5/2020: The VAT credit refund limit has been increased to IR 5billion.

Update 20/4/2020: Preliminary VAT Refund for ‘Low-Risk’ Taxpayers:  The government will automatically consider certain taxpayers as “low risk” and will accordingly provide a preliminary VAT refund for the following entities based on certain requirements. The VAT refund treatment is available when VAT returns (including amendments) for the fiscal periods April to September 2020 are filed on or before 31 October 2020.

Relaxation of Import Taxes: Relaxation of ITA 22 (PPh Pasal 22) for importers in three months
Speedy VAT Refunds:  for businesses Speeding up the refund of Value Added Tax for three months.

Ireland

Update 10/6/2020: Extension of the closing date for submitting claims of charities’ VAT Compensation Scheme to 31 August 2020.

Update 19/5/2020: Temporary zero VAT rating of supplies of medical equipment for the treatment of patients with Covid-19.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT debts due from 1 March 2020 will be halted for a period of 12 months.

Update 20/4/2020: Vat Exemption: Domestic supply of Personal Protective Equipment.

Update 7/4/2020: An extension on late VAT payments has been made to include April instalments. 


Irish penalties and interest Waived:
Interest on late payments of January and February VAT are to be suspended. This is designed to help small and medium businesses experiencing cash-flow and trading difficulties as a result of the coronavirus.

Israel

Update:6/5/2020: VAT Payment Date Delayed: A second, delayed filing and payment date has been announced. The new payment deadline for the Jan/Feb return is 18 May 2020.

Update 20/4/2020: The reporting and payment deadlines for VAT for January and February 2020 are extended. For dealers reporting VAT on a bi-monthly basis, the reporting and payment deadline has been extended to 27 April 2020.

Israel VAT Payment Deferments: The Israeli tax authorities allowed a 10-day deferment of VAT filings and payments. The tax authorities have also stated that they will be open to any request for further delays or assistance from businesses experiencing difficulties.

Italy

Update 1/7/2020: The deadline for payments of tax due resulting from VAT returns has been extended from 30 June 2020 to 20 July 2020 for certain taxpayers. A 0.4% interest will then apply to late payments made between 21 July 2020 and 20 August 2020.

Update: 19/6/2020: Italian ministers have been considering the prospect of a cut to the standard VAT  rate, which is currently 22%.

Update 10/6/2020: VAT rate increases set forth under the 2019 Budget Law have been permanently removed from 2021.

Update 28/5/2020: VAT exempted on ventilators, monitoring systems, infusion pumps for drugs, endotracheal tubes, and certain protective devices and masks, among many other items. Supplies of eligible goods if made between 19 May 2020 and 31 December 2020 will be VAT-exempt, with the right to recover VAT. from 1 Jan 2021.

Update 19/5/2020: Government has withdrawn a planned VAT increase from 22% to 25% on 1 January 2021. The move is part of a range of measures announced 14 May 2020 to support the economy during the COVID-19 crisis.

Masks exempt from VAT until 31 December 2020.

Update: 6/5/2020: Foreign businesses VAT registered in Italy can benefit from the recent postponement of VAT fulfilments including Annual VAT return filing, and can file 2019 Annual VAT return by 30 June 2020 without penalties.

Update 20/4/2020: Suspension of the payment of VAT will be extended for the month of April and May 2020. The terms of the suspension include that payments are to resume in June 2020, with the possibility of payment in up to 5 instalments. Tax office has confirmed non-resident VAT payers have not been provided with delays VAT payments.

Update 7/4/2020: No delays on returns or VAT payments for non-resident VAT payers. Tax office confirms non-resident VAT payers have not been provided with delays on returns or VAT


VAT Payment Deferments for certain sectors: The aim of this provision is to grant assistance to entities operating in sectors more heavily affected by COVID-19. In particular, the decree postpones the VAT payment deadline for entities that have their legal seat or center of operations in Italy and that operate in sectors including sports, theatres, cinemas, conventions and exhibitions, restaurants, bars or pubs, assistance for the elderly or disabled, childcare, thermal sites (hot springs), and tour guides. For these entities, the deadline for VAT payments due in the month of March 2020 is postponed to 31 May 2020; payment may be made in up to five equal monthly installments if the first installment is paid by 31 May 2020. The deadline is 30 June 2020 for payments by entities in the sports sector.

Jamaica


Tax Rate reduction: Jamaica has lowered its consumption tax rate from 16.5% to 15%.

Japan


Japan local tax late payments:
The Tokyo tax authorities announced an extension of business tax (local tax) due between 27 February 2020 and 15 April 2020 will be extended to 16 April 2020 (except for when a taxpayer closed the business in the middle of the year).

Consumption tax rate: Japan is considering lowering or temporarily abolishing the 10% consumption tax rate in order to support the economy. But they are yet to make a decision. 

Kazakhstan

Update 1/7/2020: Refund for local exporters and VAT exemptions for manufacturers of vehicles and agricultural machinery. Local exporters will enjoy a simplified VAT refund, that is, 50% without inspection, 50% after inspection.

Update 28/5/2020: Civil aviation exempt from VAT.

Update: 6/5/2020: Deferral of VAT payment for non-residents involved in maintenance and legal support of aircraft leasing transactions.  The measure is in force until 1 January 20201. 

Update: 20/4/2020: Sale/import of essential food products will be subject to a Vat rate of 8% until 1 October 2020. Importers of biological assets in the agricultural sector are exempt from VAT until 31 December 2020

Update 7/4/2020: Sale/import of essential food products will be subject to a Vat rate of 8%

Update 30/03/2020: Excise Duties exemption: Excise duties will be exempted on exported petrol and diesel fuel until 31 December 2020. VAT Rate Decrease: sale and import of socially significant alimentary goods will be subject to VAT at the rate of 8% until 1 October 2020.

Korea, South

Update: 20/4/2020: VAT Exemption: Small taxpayers exempt from charging or remitting VAT until 31 December 2020.

South Korea VAT Cuts: South Korea has cut vat for small businesses. 

Luxembourg

Update 10/6/2020: Luxembourg revokes Administrative Tolerance for VAT Declarations.

Update 28/5/2020: The Luxembourg authority for VAT has announced that the administrative tolerance regarding VAT declarations in relation to COVID-19 has been revoked in view of the gradual deconfinement of the national economy.

Update: 6/5/2020: Refunds expedited on VAT credits due to businesses on balances below €10,000

Update: 20/4/2020: VAT Deferral:  Taxpayers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can submit their request for a deferral of the payment of VAT due online using MyGuichet.lu, without having to use a LuxTrust certificate. The instructions do not indicate any particular timeframe for the deferral relief. It is assumed requests will be accepted and approved on a case-by-case basis until the COVID-19 crisis ceases to impact taxpayers in Luxembourg.


Starting this week, the Indirect Tax Administration will reimburse VAT credit balances below €10,000, which should help to improve cash positions of approximately 20,000 enterprises established in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg penalties and interest Waived:
The Indirect Tax Administration announced that due to COVID-19, a possible failure to file VAT returns within the normally applicable deadlines will not be fined. This measure will apply until further notice. 

Malaysia


Malaysia has waived service tax on tourism-related expenses.

Malta

Update 19/5/2020: VAT charged on protective face masks and visors, excluding diving equipment, reduced from 18% to 5%.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT payments due by 15 March 2020 and 15 April 2020 to be settled in two equal instalments. For VAT due in March 2020, by 15 June 2020 and 15 September 2020; and  for VAT due in April 2020, by 15 July 2020 and 15 October 2020.

Malta VAT Payment Deferment: VAT payments due by 15 March 2020 and 15 April 2020 to be settled in two equal instalments with the two quarterly returns immediately following the quarter in relation to which the VAT was deferred. The deadlines for submission of statutory tax documents and notifications will, however, remain unchanged.
Malta penalties and interest Waived: No interest of penalties will be charged on tax payments that are postponed in terms of this measure.
Accelerated VAT refunds: The Commissioner for Revenue has also committed to accelerating pending tax refunds.
VAT Waived on certain expenses: VAT on hotels and accommodation has been waived.

Moldova

Update 10/6/2020: The Ministry of Finance has opened consultations on a draft law simplifying the VAT Refund Programme.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Refund Programme:  The beneficiaries of the programme are business entities registered as VAT payers entitled to carry forward the input VAT in the next tax period. The VAT will be refunded within 25 business days from the application date. The amendments are applicable from 1 May 2020 until 31 December 2020. 

Update: 20/4/2020: VAT cut on hospitality services has been cut to 15% from the usual 20% rate provided by hotel, restaurant, and catering service providers with effect from 1 May 2020.

Update 7/4/2020: VAT cut on hospitality services has been cut to 15% from the usual 20% rate.


VAT waived on certain expenses:
VAT on hotels and accommodation, restaurants and catering have been waived.
VAT Audits postponed: Any VAT investigations or assessments will be paused.

Monaco

Update 28/5/2020: Monaco has extended the 13th Directive VAT Deadline by 3 months in the hope of easing the pressure on non-European businesses who may be struggling to ready their claims for submission while working remotely and in isolation due to Coronavirus.

Netherlands

Update: 19/6/2020

  • VAT invoiced is due to the authorities, even if not deducted by the customer.
  • Reduced (9%) VAT rate for the delivery of a special catheter syringe.
  • A court has ruled that Tax authorities have to pay interest to a VAT entrepreneur if he has paid too much VAT. This also applies if the entrepreneur himself has declared too much VAT and reclaims it through a supplement. The interest is 4% per year. Submit the request for payment of the interest within six weeks after the date of the refund decision.

VAT exemption for imported health-care equipment and supplies used to combat COVID-19.

Update 10/6/2020: Sterile cotton swabs used for medical purposes, such as taking throat and nose swabs to test for COVID-19, are taxed at 9% VAT. Dressing materials are taxed with 9% VAT.  The delivery is charged with 9% VAT.

Update 28/5/2020: VAT exemption for supply of personnel to care for and nurse persons in qualifying institutions.

Update 19/5/2020: Temporary VAT zero rate on supply of protective face masks from 25 May to 1 September 2020.

Update: 20/4/2020: Entrepreneurs who provide medical devices free of charge to healthcare institutions, care institutions and general practitioners do not have to pay VAT on this and have no consequences for the deduction of VAT.  

Update 7/4/2020: The VAT measures have been extended to additional sectors including: Gambling, Insurance premium tax, Accommodation taxes, Environmental Taxes, Excise taxes.


Input VAT returns can be made earlier:
VAT-registered businesses that are typically in a VAT recovery position may adjust quarterly VAT filing to monthly.
Netherlands VAT payment Deferments: VAT-registered businesses that are typically in a VAT remittance position may adjust VAT filing from monthly to quarterly. It may also be requested to credit VAT recovery rights with other tax liabilities (such as wage tax).
Netherlands penalties and interest Waived: The Dutch tax authorities will temporarily impose no administrative penalties on businesses for late tax filing or payment. This will apply to personal income tax, corporate income tax, wage tax and VAT. 

New Zealand


New Zealand penalties and interest Waived: Inland Revenue will be given the authority to write off interest on late payments for those adversely, financially, affected by COVID-19 for tax payments due after 14 February 2020.

Norway

Update 1/7/2020:

  • Sales and leasing of vehicles that use only electricity for propulsion are exempt from VAT
  • Sales of services that are directly related to the construction of embassy buildings are exempt from VAT
  • Sales of newspapers, including electronic newspapers, which mainly contain text and still images, are exempt from VAT

Update 19/5/2020: VAT payment deadline extended from 14 April 2020 until 10 June 2020.

Update:6/5/2020: New VAT Registration Requirement: With effect 1 April 2020, foreign suppliers of B2C low value goods must register for VAT and charge and collect local Norwegian VAT on their sales to Norwegian consumers

Update: 20/4/2020: Low VAT rate (incl. passenger transport, accommodation, cultural sector) reduced from 12% to 8%

Update 7/4/2020: VAT Rate Cuts: The Norwegian VAT Authorities have cut the reduced VAT rate from 12% to 6%. This is for VAT Rate applies to expenses such as cinema admission, public transport, hotel accommodation services, museums and amusement parks. The cut VAT Rate will be in effect from 1 April to 31 October 2020. 

Update 30/03/2020 : VAT Rate Cuts: The Norwegian VAT Authorities have cut the reduced VAT rate from 12% to 7%. This is for VAT Rate applies to expenses such as cinema admission, public transport, hotel accommodation services, museums and amusement parks. The cut VAT Rate will be in effect from 1 April to October 2020. 
Norway VAT Payment Deferment: VAt payments that were due on 10th April deadline have been deferred to the 10th June 2020. 


Although Norway has allowed deferred payments of wealth tax on business assets for the 2020 financial year, they have not made any changes to their VAT scheme.

Oman


The Omani government announced it has taken measures to help small businesses in the sultanate, including tourism and municipality tax breaks.

Philippines

update 1/7/2020

Deadlines for VAT Refund Application for the calendar or fiscal quarters ending between 31 March and 31 May 2018 further extended and new deadline for the quarter ending 30 June 2018 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The VAT refund claims are now due on the following dates:

●        Calendar quarter ended 31 March 2018 –  15 July 2020

●       Fiscal quarter ended 30 April 2018 – 31 July 2020

●       Fiscal quarter ended 31 May 2018 – 15 August 2020

●       Calendar quarter ended 30 June 2018 – 31 August 2020.

Update 10/6/2020: The Philippines are proposing to introduce VAT on the supplies of electronic services by non-resident companies in the country from 1 January 2021.

Update 28/5/2020: Legislation introduced to make digital services subject to VAT.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Refund Applications Extended: Applications for VAT refunds have been extended by a further  15 days. If the deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline shall be the next business day:

  • From 15 May 2020 to 30 May 2020 (for quarter ending 31 March 2018)
  • From 30 May 2020 to 14 June 2020 (for quarter ending 30 April 2018)
  • From 31 May 2020 to 30 June 2020 (for quarter ending 31 May 2018)

Update: 20/4/2020: Payment of monthly/quarterly VAT declarations extended by 30 to 45 days.

Update 7/4/2020: The Philippines has delayed VAT payments for March, for reporting February VAT transactions until 20 April 2020. Quarterly VAT returns for the quarter ending 29 February have been delayed from 25 March to 27 April 2020. There will be no fines or late interest charges for late returns.


Philippines VAT payment Deferment:
The Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue March 19 issued a circular extending the filing deadlines for various taxes, including VAT. Businesses will be allowed to extend their monthly VAT declarations for February and March. 

Poland

Update 1/7/2020:

Change in the VAT regulations related to the import of goods simplification in order to increase the competitiveness of the Polish ports against ports from other EU Member States from 1 July 2020.

New matrix of VAT rates from 1 July. The new matrix of VAT rates was initially to become effective on 1 April 2020.

Update 10/6/2020:

The Polish government took a decision to apply from 1 July 2020 new regulations in the field of import of goods. This includes: 

  • Introducing as a general rule the possibility of settling VAT from the import of goods directly within the VAT return for the registered as an active VAT taxpayers
  • Tax settlement directly in the VAT return will be able to cover all imports of goods, both covered by customs simplifications and covered by customs declarations on general rule

Update 28/5/2020: Mandatory electronic VAT cash registers have been delayed to 31 December 2020 for catering, accomodation and fuel sectors. Other sectors have been postponed until 30 June 2021.

Update: 6/5/2020Reduced Vat Rates: 0% VAT rate applied on the supply and import of certain medical products to combat the effects of the pandemic. 8% VAT rate is also provided until 30 June 2020 on supplies of disinfectants with bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal properties in healthcare.

Postponed VAT deadlines: Postponed deadlines—the effective date of new SAF-T-V7M would be postponed to 1 July 2020 (from 1 April 2020), and value added tax (VAT) settlements would be facilitated.

Portugal

Update 28/5/2020

  • VAT on gyms and health club membership reduced to 6%.
  • VAT exemption and reduced VAT rates on certain goods used in the fight against COVID-19. The temporary measures are intended to reduce the tax burden on taxpayers and support the healthcare industry during the pandemic.
  • Delays to VAT payments as follows:

    March returns to 25 May 2020
    April returns to 25 June 2020
    Q1 returns to 25 June 2020
    Annual returns to 7 August 2020

Update 19/5/2020: VAT exemption on purchases made by the Portuguese state, other public entities or non-profit organizations from 30 January to 31 July 2020. VAT rate reduced to 6% on importation, intra-community supply and acquisition of respiratory protection masks and skin disinfectant gel from 8 May to 31 December 2020.

Update: 6/5/2020: Delayed VAT Return Filing & Payment:  April 2020 VAT return to be filed by 18 May 2020 and May 2020 VAT return to be filed by 18 June 2020. For quarterly VAT payment, the January-March 2020 period can be filed until 22 May 2020. Payment can be made until 25 May 2020. Payment in instalments remains available for eligible taxpayers.

Update: 20/4/2020: Taxpayers offered the option to pay VAT by instalments without incurring late payment penalties or interest.

Portugal VAT Payment Deferment: Postponement of the deadline regarding the first instalment of the special payment on account (due in March) to 30 June 2020, without being subject to any penalty. This is automatic for businesses with less than €10 million turnovers per annum. Businesses that exceed the threshold will have to apply. 

Qatar


Although the General Tax Authority has extended the tax filing period for individual taxpayers, they have not implemented any changes to business-related taxes.

Romania

Update 1/7/2020: Postponement of payments of fiscal obligations including VAT until 25th October.

Update: 19/6/2020: Proposal to exempt accommodation, restaurant and transport services for tourist purposes from VAT until end of 2020.

Update 10/6/2020: If you have imported goods that were used in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and paid customs duties and VAT at the time of the import formalities, you can ask the competent customs authorities to reimburse them.

Update 28/5/2020: Companies’ VAT registration will be performed with a subsequent risk analysis by the tax authorities. Until now, the risk analysis was also performed prior to VAT registration.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT  Exemption: COVID-19 test kits, protective clothing, disinfectants and sterilization products, medical equipment and supplies, medications, and protective mask production machines.

Update: 20/4/2020: Extension of VAT refund with subsequent control

VAT reimbursements brought forward: The reimbursement of VAT tax during the month of March for all the accounts that are settled and for which decisions of reimbursement were issued.
Faster VAT refunds going forward: The implementation of a new mechanism for VAT reimbursement which aims to rapidly solve the VAT reimbursements starting with April 1st, 2020.
Romanian penalties and interest Waived: The Romanian tax authorities will temporarily impose no administrative penalties on businesses for late tax filing or payment. This will apply to personal income tax, corporate income tax, wage tax and VAT. 

Russia

Update 10/6/2020: Gradual reduction of VAT rate from 20% to 18% from 2021; 15% from 2023; and 12% from 2025.

Update 28/5/2020: The sale of medical supplies aimed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to a reduced 10% VAT rate.

Russia VAT deferment: The tourism and airline industries have been given tax deferrals from 1 May 2020. Although the Russian government has given assurances that there will be tax payment reliefs for some distressed sectors of the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, it has still not clarified if this extends to VAT. 

Saudi Arabia

Update: 19/6/2020: Royal Decree issued to amend the VAT law to enforce the application of the VAT rate increase.

Update 19/5/2020: VAT rate triples to 15% from 1 July 2020  to address the Kingdom’s medium and long term fiscal position.

Update: 6/5/2020VAT Refund: Persons not carrying on economic activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and who have incurred VAT costs during the calendar year of 2019, shall apply for a VAT refund by June 30, 2020.

Update 7/4/2020: Non-resident businesses who are carrying out economic activities outside of Saudi Arabia may be eligible for a VAT refund. The deadline for submitting a claim for Saudi Arabian VAT incurred in the calendar year 2019 is 30 June 2020.


Saudi Arabia VAT Payment deferment:
The tax authority has allowed businesses to have a VAT payment deferment for 3 months.  Monthly returns due for February to May will all be delayed to the last days of June to September, respectively. Quarterly returns for Q1 are delayed until 31 July 2020.

Serbia

Update 1/7/2020: Serbian VAT authority has extended the 13th Directive Deadline  (originally set at 30 June 2020) by 3 months. Non-resident companies now have until 30 September 2020 to file their VAT refund claims on expenses incurred in 2019.

Update: 20/4/2020: VAT exemption on supplies of goods and services without consideration to certain health institutions. Taxpayers making such supplies are allowed to deduct input VAT. The exemption applies from 15 March until the state of emergency is ended.

Serbia Tax Payment deferment: For taxpayers granted a deferral for paying taxes during the state of emergency, effective for the instalment due in March 2020, the tax authorities will not cancel a “decision” for a delay of a tax payment or will not initiate a forced collection procedure. During this period, no default interest will be charged on the tax debt. (source) The source is unclear on whether this is in relation to individual taxpayers only or includes businesses. 

Singapore

Update 7/4/2020: The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is providing an automatic extension of deadlines for tax filing for individuals and businesses.


Several financial support packages have been approved by the authorities. However, up to now it appears there are no deferments or postponements of taxation due dates.

Slovakia

Update 28/5/2020: Slovakia to allow late cross border VAT submissions to third countries via the 13th Directive mechanism.

Slovakia VAT Payment deferment: The Slovak Ministry of Finance has published a proposed relaxation of Value Added Tax and other tax rules. This includes an extension of the VAT payment date, currently the 25th of the month, following the reporting month or quarter. There will also be no interest or penalties on late filings.

South Africa

Update 19/5/2020: Government considering allowing small taxpayers to switch to monthly VAT returns during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Update 23/03/2020: VAT Exemption and import VAT refunds on certain goods: A VAT exemption on “essential goods” and full import duty rebate on importation during the COVID-19 pandemic if the goods are imported for the relief of distress of persons impacted by COVID-19. “Essential goods” are broadly goods that may be manufactured or traded with during the COVID-19 pandemic.  


VAT Refunds:
SARS (South African Revenue Service) is considering allowing businesses and workers to reclaim the VAT put on goods that have been purchased specifically for their trade. If it’s an essential tool to facilitate work, businesses may soon be able to apply for a refund on each item. However, this has not been confirmed yet by the government. 

Indications from the South African Revenue Service are that taxpayers need to continue to comply with their tax obligations, but that there may be several unusual value-added tax (VAT) consequences to be considered (source). The details of the actual temporary relief measures are not known at this time. 

Spain

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Rate Reductions:  VAT zero rate applicable to certain supplies of sanitary equipment and  health goods, where the recipient is a public body, a public or private hospital, or a private charitable entity. This is applicable from  23 April 2020 until 31 July 2020.

Update: 20/4/2020: Import VAT and customs duties six-month deferments are possible for amounts between €100 and €30,000

Spain VAT deferment: Earlier in March, Spain had already announced VAT and other tax payment holidays for small businesses. The scheme is not available for large businesses (above €6m turnover) or if the Value Added Tax due is above €30m.

Sri Lanka

Update 28/5/2020: Deadlines for VAT Returns further extended to 15 July 2020.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Exemption: Inbound tour operators will be exempted from VAT from 1 April 2020.

Update 30/03/2020: Sri Lanka VAT Payment Deferment: February and March VAT payments (previously due on 20 March and 20 April) are delayed to 30 April. Penalties and interest waived: There will be no late payments or interest charges.

Sweden

Update 7/4/2020: The Swedish Tax Agency has announced that companies may have the opportunity to change their VAT account due to the corona crisis. This means that companies can change their accounting method or accounting period to temporarily strengthen their liquidity.

Sweden Update to VAT deferments 26 March 2020:  

The previously presented proposal on new opportunities to defer tax payments will be expanded. This means that Value Added Tax reported annually from 27 December 2019 until 17 January 2021 will also be covered by the proposal. In this way, many sole proprietors can defer their VAT payments that otherwise should be paid during the spring, such as on 12 May. Depending on how the situation develops, the proposal can encompass more than SEK 7 billion if the entire liquidity reinforcement is used.  

Sweden penalties and interest waived: Sweden is providing late penalty and interest easements on VAT payments for up to one year.

Switzerland

Update 19/5/2020: Businesses without a Swiss establishment or VAT registration still have until the end of June 2020 to file their refund claim for Swiss VAT incurred in 2019.

Update 7/4/2021: Default interest rate for VAT & other taxes decreased to 0% until 31 December 2020


Switzerland penalties and interest waived:
The Swiss tax authorities have granted late penalty interest relief for VAT  payments until the end of December 2020. Taxpayers must apply for the deferral to their VAT payments. There will be 0% interest charge. VAT returns must be filed as normal to report the unpaid Value Added Tax.

Taiwan

Update 19/5/2020: Importing of masks vat exempt from 27 February 27 to 26 May 2020. VAT on pharmaceutical alcohol reduced to 10%.

Update 7/4/2020: VAT registered businesses have the option to delay both payments and filings from the regular timing of the 15th of the month to the end of the month for March, April and May reporting. An extension for payment delay must be applied for.

Taiwan tax payment deferment: Taiwan will allow tax payment delays of up to one year due to the pandemic (source)

Thailand

Update 1/7/2020:

  • Thailand allows deduction and VAT exemption for donations made by taxpayers.
  • Cabinet approves VAT bill regarding taxation of foreign e-business (digital services).

Update 10/6/2020: Thailand has approved a draft bill requiring foreign digital service providers to pay a VAT, becoming the latest country in Southeast Asia to seek to boost tax revenues from international tech companies.

Update 28/5/2020:

Faster VAT Refunds: Business operators who have been approved as “Good Exporters” by the Revenue Department shall receive VAT refunds within 15 days (normally takes 30 days) from the date of filing the online; or 45 days (normally takes 60 days) from the date of filing in paper form at the Area Revenue Branch Office.

VAT Exemption: Applicable import duties imposed on 66 items categorised as medical supplies or others which help treat, diagnose or prevent COVID-19 will be exempted from 26 March 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Update 19/5/2020: E-filing deadline for monthly VAT returns extended to 1. 1 June from March and April 2. 30 June for May returns 3. 31 July for June returns 4. 31 August for July returns and 5. 30 September for August returns.

Update: 20/4/2020: Deadline extension for the filing and payment of VAT.  March and April 2020 VAT returns are now delayed until 23 May 2020. This includes the remittance of any VAT due.  Filers of reverse charge VAT returns have their March and April submissions postponed until 15 May.

Update 7/4/2020: Thailand has exempted face masks from import VAT .

Faster VAT refunds: VAT refunds will be granted within 15 days, compared to a normal 30-day period, if VAT returns are filed via an e-filing system.  For paper filings, refunds will be granted within 45 days, compared to a normal 60-day period. (source)

Tunisia

Update: 19/6/2020: Scope of goods eligible for VAT reduction and customs exemption expanded.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Rate Reductions: Reduction of VAT rate to 7% on import, production and sale of PPE. Refund of Input VAT Credit: Businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are entitled to the refund of their input VAT credit booked between February and September 2020. The condition of an existence of an input credit for an uninterrupted 6-month period is no longer required. This measure is applicable to refund requests submitted before 31 December 2020.

Update 7/4/2020: VAT credits, due to businesses which have incurred more VAT on purchased items than they have collected on sales, will benefit from express repayments of one more or quicker. Tax debts may also be renegotiated over a period of up to seven years. Fines on late payments will be withheld until 30 June 2020.

Faster VAT refunds: A reduction in the time for VAT credit refunds as well as extra flexibility even if all the requirements are not met, which will be provided to enterprises as soon as possible but in any case within 1 month. 
Tunisia VAT Payment Deferment:  for businesses heavily affected by the outbreak, the spreading of tax debts and payments in instalments over a period of 7 years.  
Tunisia Penalties and interest Payments delay: Companies are allowed to pay any owing penalties and interest later than usual. Payment has been postponed from April to June

Turkey

Update: 20/4/2020: Extension of the deferment period for VAT on delivery of goods destined for export by 3 months

Turkey VAT payment deferment: Several sectors will have their VAT returns for April, May and June delayed until 27 June 2020. VAT payments for April to June are delayed six months out to October to December. The sectors include Automotive; Accommodation; Cinema; Health; Publishing; Public exercise facilities; and Professional services.

Other VAT measures in place until November include:
VAT Rate Reductions: The VAT rate on airline travel is to be cut on domestic flights from 18% to 1%. Hotel accommodation and services are to be zero-rated. 

Ukraine

Update: 19/6/2020: Ukraine wants to abolish VAT on internal flights.

Proposal to set a VAT rate of 14% on the supply of certain types of agricultural products

Update 10/6/2020: Changes to VAT administration including a single reporting period for VAT reporting has been introduced, which is equal to a calendar month ( including for single taxpayers).

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Rate Cuts: Vat Rate  on domestic electricity and utilities  cut to 10%

Update: 20/4/2020: Plans to reduce VAT to 7 percent from 20 percent for high-tech goods due to Corona. No charges on late interest on VAT payments until after May 2020.

VAT Rates Waived on certain items:  The tax authorities have abolished duties and VAT on certain list of medicines and medical equipment. 

United Arab Emirates

Update 19/5/2020: The Ministry of Finance  confirmed on 11 May that there are no current plans for the UAE to increase or make other changes to the VAT rate.

Update: 6/5/2020: VAT Deadline Extension:  The deadline for submission of VAT returns for periods ending 31 March 2020 (either monthly or quarterly) have been extended to 28 May 2020 (from the original due date of 28 April 2020). 

The stimulus package released by the Dubai Government includes a refund of 20% of customs duties paid on imported goods that are sold locally, cancellation of bank guarantee required to clear goods, and a 90% reduction of customs clearance fees. Dubai Customs has also put audits on hold. (source)

United Kingdom

Update: 19/6/2020: VAT payment deferral period ends on 30 June 2020.

Update: 6/5/2020: Temporary VAT zero rate on sales of PPE in the period from 1 May to 31 July 2020. VAT Payment Delays: UK VAT registered businesses who have a payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 have the option to defer the payment until a later date. No interest or penalties will be charged on any amount deferred. 

Update: 20/4/2020: VAT Deferment: Those businesses unable to meet deferred import duty and import VAT payments on 15 April can apply to defer those payments.

Update 31/03/2020: Import VAT and duties waived on certain goods: Goods arriving from outside the EU will not be subject to customs duty or import VAT. These goods are vital medical equipment including ventilators, coronavirus testing kits and protective clothing. 

Update 30/03/2020 : Making Tax Digital Phase 2 postponed to 2021: In light of Covid-19, HMRC has decided to delay MTD phase II that was set to be launched on April 1 2020. Phase 2 will now commence April 2021. 

UK VAT Payment Deferment: All VAT payments are postponed for the next three months until the end of June 2020. The VAT not paid during the period is then due to be paid by the end of the 2020/21 financial year, which ends on 31 March 2021. There was no mention of interest charges on any deferred VAT. However, it can be assumed that this will not be imposed. There are no allowances for businesses on special schemes, such as the annual VAT payment. Returns must still be filed on time. 

United States of America

USA Tax relief: The following states have issued tax provisions and easements in light of the Coronavirus outbreak: Alabama, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregan, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia. 

Uganda

Update 30/03/2020: Uganda VAT Deferment: VAT filings due on 15 April is now postponed until 30 April 2020. 

Uganda Late filing penalties waived: Any returns due on 15 March may now be filed and paid by 31 March without accruing penalties or late payments.

Vietnam

Update 28/5/2020: Monthly returns due 15 April 2020 and 15 May 2020 extended until 31 May 2020.

Update 19/5/2020: Letters of credit are subject to VAT.

Update: 20/4/2020: Monthly VAT payments for March to June 2020 and the quarterly VAT payment for the first 2 quarters will be extended by 5 months.

Vietnam VAT deferment: The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance is offering a 5-month Value Added Tax deferment to assist with companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures are targeting: small businesses; transport; agriculture sector; and foodstuffs and textile sectors.


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