BUSINESS

Discounts for timely payments, loans to businesses hurt by virus

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU, EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Finance

The government is planning cash injections for both the state coffers and enterprises, as well as a reduction in the tax burden of companies.

Besides the option of corporations that have been forced to close or are suffering as a result of the novel coronavirus being able to postpone their tax and social security payments, the government will offer them a 25 percent discount on their dues to tax authorities (except for value-added tax) and their current contributions if they choose not to put off payments and implement them in time.

This is considered a strong incentive for enterprises, as well as their employees, to pay their dues in time, as the Finance Ministry is concerned after seeing the course of March revenues that will by and large dictate the policy of the next few months.

A ministry official noted to Kathimerini that the last three to four days of the month will offer a clearer picture, as tax obligations – mainly VAT – are paid right at the end.

Nevertheless, accounting offices say that most of the companies not benefiting from the measures (the payment suspension does not apply to them) will pay their VAT in two tranches, as the law allows, in order to maintain cash flows.

With the revenues expected from this measure, the government intends to further facilitate the drafting and announcement of another raft of benefits, which this time will cover the entire economy.

Sources say that next week or in the first 10 days of April at the latest, the ministry will announce a new batch of economic sectors that according to the State General Accounting Office have been hurt by the coronavirus crisis and stand to receive state support.

Meanwhile, a Development Ministry bill provides for the immediate provision of liquidity to companies hurt by the coronavirus in loans adding up to over 3 billion euros.

They will be issued to corporations by the country’s banks to boost their cash flows, using state collateral via the Development Bank that is being activated with the utilization of funds of 1 billion euros in European Union subsidies.

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