BUSINESS

Tax breaks for stricken firms apply as of Thursday

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance, Coronavirus

The legislative act concerning the first batch of measures aimed at tackling the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic was to be activated on Thursday, and concerns enterprises that have been forced to shut down on government orders for at least 10 days.

The measures include the suspension of payments of value-added tax and other tax obligations as well as of social security contributions for companies that already have or will shut down following a government decision.

The Finance Ministry is also preparing a second set of measures that will be presented at Monday’s Eurogroup, focusing on supporting all enterprises that suffer from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sources say that the government will announce additional nationwide measures within March that will depend on the consequences of the coronavirus. They will also concern the suspension of tax and contribution payments, but also apply to companies that continue to operate but which have suffered a significant reduction in turnover due to the epidemic. This will be done based on data per sector and per geographical region.

A meeting at the ministry on Wednesday which saw the participation of ministry officials and representatives of market entities collected data on various sectors of the economy that have shown the first signs of turnover decline. All these figures are expected to be attached to the government’s proposal in Monday’s Eurogroup.

The State General Accounting Office has already set up a market monitoring mechanism. The ministry is collecting the data available to the Independent Authority for Public Revenue and the banks on a daily basis so that it can make timely, targeted and efficient interventions in economic sectors and regions where a significant drop is observed in economic activity.

The third set of measures the government is preparing provides for bolstering cash flows through interest-free loans, while a fourth batch will concern state subsidies to enterprises and households.

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