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Germany Eases Tax Requirements for Virus-Hit Businesses

March 13, 2020, 3:13 PM

Businesses affected by the coronavirus will get relief from tax filing deadlines and tax prepayment requirements, the German government said Friday.

The tax provisions are part of an expansive plan by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to provide businesses with liquidity to secure growth and employment.

Tax authorities can grant deferrals more easily and have been instructed not to impose any strict requirements and to postpone the timing of a tax payment if its collection could hurt the company, according to the plan.

The lowering of tax prepayments is also simplified. The plan states that “as soon as it becomes clear that taxpayers’ income is likely to be lower in the current year, the tax pre-payments” should be reduced quickly.

Enforcement measures and late-payment penalties will be waived until Dec. 31 for companies directly affected by the coronavirus.

The customs administration, which is responsible for collecting certain taxes such as the air traffic tax, and the Federal Central Tax Office, which collects insurance and sales tax, have been instructed to “accommodate taxpayers in an appropriate manner.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Tasch in Zurich at correspondents@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Meg Shreve at mshreve@bloombergtax.com; Kathy Larsen at klarsen@bloombergtax.com

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