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Frequently asked questions concerning the consequences of the Coronavirus crisis for your business

Thursday 30/04/2020
Corona FAQ

The Coronavirus, officially referred to as COVID-19, will force us to drastically change not only our way of life, but also our way of working.

The government's safety measures are not just having huge consequences for the hospitality and retail sector, other sectors are also feeling the impact and facing major challenges. More than ever before, reliable information, clear communications, flexibility and anticipation are paramount.

Obviously, this unprecedented situation raises a lot of questions. We are closely monitoring the situation and keeping you informed. Below are some answers to several frequently asked questions. Do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any further questions. We are here to help you.

Audit 
  1. Audit in times of Corona. We don't need that now, do we?
  2. Can an audit be carried out remotely in a thorough manner?
Financial measures

Federal

  1. Which new measures have been implemented in the banking plan of 22 March?
  2. Can I also defer payment of my insurance policies?
  3. As a private individual, can I also get a deferral for the payment of my mortgage loan?
  4. Do I still have to pay my corporate contribution?
  5. What measures were taken on 11 April for crucial job workers?
  6. Corona measures: what if I am unable to meet conditions for tax concessions?

Flanders

  1. Do I qualify for the crisis guarantee scheme?
  2. Will I be reimbursed if I am forced to close my business?
  3. Am I still entitled to the relief grant if I switch from restaurant to takeaway in order to provide some form of income?
  4. Will I have to pay tax on the relief grant?
  5. What if I received subsidies from VLAIO, but am unable to meet my payment deadlines?
  6. Can I get an employee incentive?
  7. What about my water and energy bill?
  8. I stay open, can I get a relief grant in case of heavy loss of turnover?

Brussels and Wallonia

  1. I am based in the Brussels or Walloon Region. What is the situation concerning support measures there?
  2. The Brussels relief grant of EUR 4,000. How and when can I apply for it?
  3. Walloon relief grant of 5,000 EUR - how and when can I apply for it?
  4. I stay open, but I suffer a heavy loss of turnover, am I entitled to the Brussels additional relief grant?
  5. Are the terms of the federal registration fees, registration fees for the Brussels-Capital and Walloon Regions also extended?

Towns and municipalities

  1. Can I also contact my city or municipality for certain concessions?
Fiscal

Deferred payments and declarations

  1. For which tax debts can I get a deferral of payment?
  2. Do I also qualify for automatic deferral of my tax debts?
  3. Can I make donations in kind without adverse tax implications?
  4. Accelerated VAT refunds for all February 2020 monthly returns
  5. Will I be disadvantaged if I postpone my prepayments?

VAT

  1. Can I defer filing my VAT return or corporation tax, personal income tax and/or non-resident corporation tax return?
  2. I am forced to close my restaurant, which is why I will be selling takeaways from now on. What is the situation concerning VAT on takeaways?
  3. Perishable goods lost as a result of customer closures or downturn, what happens with the VAT?
  4. As a taxpayer, I am taxed on flat-rate bases. Are these being changed by the Corona crisis?
  5. I have received a VAT current account statement, am I still in arrears?
  6. VAT administration embraces the "new normal" through reduced rate on mouth masks and hydroalcoholic gels
  7. I received a reminder letter in April to submit my customer list, what should I do?

International employment

  1. I work abroad but due to the Coronavirus measures I will be abroad for fewer days than planned. What is the situation regarding the taxation of my allowance?
  2. Do I risk ‘permanent establishment’ because my employee is teleworking in their country of residence?

    Income tax

    1. Can I get an additional allowance for working from home?
    2. Can I book write-downs on receivables as a result of the Corona crisis?
    3. I organize childcare, what fees can I still get and how will they be taxed?
    4. What is the tax treatment of unemployment benefits received during the Corona crisis?
    5. I have paid childcare costs, but the childcare was cancelled by Corona, am I still entitled to a tax reduction?
    Legal
    1. Can you as a business invoke force majeure with respect to your own customers if your supplier no longer delivers?
    2. Can an event be cancelled at any time because of the Coronavirus?
    3. How can companies manage potential cash flow problems?
    4. I want to go to the notary this month for a deed. Is this still going on? 
    5. Does the Corona crisis also affect your asset and inheritance planning?
    6. How can I organize the general meeting in times of social distancing?
    7. Can a (commercial) tenant suspend payment of the rent on the grounds of force majeure?
    8. Do I have to change my CBE registration if I organise my business activity differently?
    Staff
    1. Can employers impose compulsory homeworking?
    2. Can employers force their employees to take leave/holidays?
    3. What if healthy employees are unable to work because of the Coronavirus?
    4. Can temporary unemployment on grounds of force majeure be invoked for medical reasons?
    5. What about temporary unemployment due to force majeure?
    6. Can I defer payment for payments owed to the NSSO?
    7. Can I obtain a payment plan from the NSSO?
    8. Is it possible to supplement the NEO benefit for temporary unemployment?
    9. I still travel for commuting, how do I legitimize this?
    10. Your employee refuses to come to work. What can you do?
    11. Can I use temporary workers in the period of temporary unemployment?
    12. What about the postponement of the social elections?
    13. Can I loan my staff as an alternative to temporary unemployment?
    Well-being at work
    1. Can I, as an employer, measure the body temperature of my employees when entering the company?
    2. Can I, as an employer, oblige my employees to consult the occupational physician before they resume work?
    3. Can I send an employee with illness symptoms to the occupational physician to see if he is infected with Covid-19?
    Subsidies
    1. What measures are in place for the social economy as a result of COVID-19?
    2. Can I suspend my ESF project?
    3. Can I apply for the SME growth subsidy for my company following the Corona crisis ?
    4. From when can I apply for the Corona relief grant?
    5. Measures PMV as a result of the corona crisis?
    6. What subsidy exists in East Flanders for the promotion of innovation and professionalisation?
    7. Does PMV have specific financing measures for start-ups and scale-ups in its range?
    8. What new support measures are in place in the Brussels-Capital Region?
    Self-employed persons
    1. As a self-employed person who (voluntarily) ceases activities, am I also entitled to compensation from Corona?
    2. I am self-employed and my income is decreasing due to the Corona crisis, do I still have to pay my social security contributions?
    3. As a self-employed person, do I still have to make my prepayment for the first quarter?
    4. I am self-employed as a secondary profession, can I also claim a business relief grant?
    5. As a self-employed person, can I have my home declared unseizable?
    6. May I go to my accountant? Can my bookkeeper come to me?
    Contact one of our experts
    Bert Lutin
    Bert Lutin
    Partner Tax & Legal Services
    An Lettens
    An Lettens
    Partner Tax & Legal Services