This paper focuses on preferential tax measures adopted by BRITACOM jurisdictions that consist of 36 Council Member Tax Administrations and 28 Observers. The aim is to provide suggestions on the extension of filing and tax payments deadlines to relieve the administrative burden for taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The material in this paper is mainly selected from websites of BRITACOM, OECD, PwC, KPMG, official website of BRITACOM jurisdictions, and etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic is leading an unprecedented health crisis and economic recession globally. The BRITACOM jurisdictions are taking various actions to support their citizens, businesses and the provision of vital public services. One of the quick and effective measures is to extend the deadlines of tax payments filling.
1. Tax Policies
1.1 Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of
June 24. To ease tax compliance, the government extended filing deadlines on March 20, 2020 for individual and business taxpayers to April 3, 2020, later extended to July 5, 2020.
April 4. As per the measures instructed in the recent announcement of the Tax Directorate General, under the real regime, the deadline for payment of the first provisional corporate income tax (CIT) installment is extended to the June 20, 2020. With regard to the annual tax return filing for natural person under the personal income tax (PIT), namely, sole proprietorships, the deadline is extended to July 30, 2020 repealing the regular deadline at this time.
April 4. As per the measures instructed in the recent announcement of the Tax Directorate General, there is a deadline extension for the annual tax return filing (balance sheet and annexes) under the real regime, to June 30, 2020 instead of April 31, 2020. It is reiterated that the deadline for payment of the balance of liquidation of the CIT is 20 days from the date of the annual tax return filing. This deadline is also relevant for withholding tax declaration, salary declaration and customers declaration.
April 22. Deferral of payment of SSCs due by employers (8%), regarding the 2nd quarter of 2020, to be paid in 6 installments (July to December), interest free.
Property tax can be paid in four installments, the 1st until the end of April, the 2nd until the end of June, the 3rd until the end of August and the 4th until the end of October.
May 7. Separate draft legislation to amend the value added tax (VAT) rules has been approved allowing the National Board of Revenue to extend the time-limit for submission of VAT returns.
Taxpayers that comply with the filing and payment deadlines, as extended under the relief measures, will not be subject to penalty or interest assessments.
March 30. Deferral of contribution to social security funds during the suspension or halt in operations for hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agencies operating in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot, Bavet and Poipet.
May 1. Extending the deadline to September 30, 2020 for payment of the property tax for the year 2020.
Spreading the payment of the social security contributions (SSCs) for the second quarter over three installments and canceling late fees.
1.7 Congo, Democratic Republic of
April 22. The deadline for declaring companies’ financial statements has been extended to August 25, 2020.
April 22. With regard to direct taxes, with the exception of the Single Tax on Wages (TUS), for which the company or the legal and actual debtor bears the charge, the deadline is extended by one month from expiration during the containment period. Thus, the deadlines for the fulfillment of the declarative obligations and for the payment of direct taxes for the month of April which must take place from May 10 to 20, 2020 are postponed from June 10 to 20, 2020, and so on, until further notice.
April 15. Possibility for a company to divide the payment of the balance of the Corporate Income for FY 2019 initially due on April 30 into three equal parts to be paid by April 30, May 31 and June 30, 2020.
April 15. Postponement of the deadline for the filing of the tax returns (Annual Tax Returns, Annual Wages Returns) and transfer pricing documentation for FY 2019 initially due on April 30 to July 31, 2020.
April 2. Extension of the deadline for filing the first quarter declaration of 2020 and paying the first quarter installments by 2 months. The declaration and payment was due by April 15, 2020 but was extended to June 15, 2020.
April 2. Extension of the deadline for filing 2019 annual tax returns and paying 2019 taxes by 2 months. This was initially due by March 31, 2020 but was later extended to May 31, 2020.
April 23. 2019 tax returns for the retail and service sectors have been deferred from the first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter.
Deferral of annual PIT until November 1, 2020 for taxpayers operating in the tourism sector, including accommodation, catering, tour operating, transportation, excursion and conference services, entertainment and other persons providing organized services to tourists. Under normal circumstances, taxpayers have to submit their annual PIT return before April 1, 2020. This payment deadline can now be extended. In order to apply for the PIT deferral, the taxpayer has to file a request to the tax authorities, upon which the tax authorities will extend the deadline of the payment of PIT until November 1, 2020.
Deferral of payment of property tax for taxpayers operating in the tourism sector. Taxpayers normally have to submit their annual business property tax return before April 1, 2020; taxpayers can now request for a deferral of the tax to the tax administration; the payment of the tax can be deferred until November 1, 2020.
March 16. A delay on import duties and CIT payments for six months has been announced. A second stimulus package will allow firms to delay payments of corporate and income tax on the sale of imported goods. These measures will be effective from April 1 and last for six months.
May 12. Ministry of Finance gives additional days for postponement of excise payment. In common situations, the postponement is 60 days, but for the excise tape ordering document with postponement submitted from April 9 to July 9, 2020, the postponement is 90 days.
April 20. According to the Government Decree No. 224, the deadline for submission of 2019 CIT return was extended from March 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020.
April 20. According to the Government Decree No. 224, the deadline for submission of 2019 PIT return was extended from March 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020.
July 1. The VAT payment deadline for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2020 was postponed to February 2021. The postponement applies to the National Infrastructure Operator.
July 5. Businesses have 60 days from August 15, 2020 to file CIT/zakat returns and financial declarations for financial years ending April 30, 2020, with no penalties and interest imposed.
July 5. Businesses have 60 days from the date the Ministry resumes operations to file CIT/zakat returns and financial declarations for financial years ending February 29, 2020, with no penalties and interest imposed.
April 9. The due date for filing CIT returns has been extended by one month. Taxpayers may file returns using unaudited accounts but must subsequently submit audited accounts within two months after the revised due date of filing.
April 9. Extension of time for filing VAT from 21st to the last working day of the month, following the month of deduction.
April 9. Extension of time for withholding tax from 21st to the last working day of the month, following the month of deduction.
April 9. The period to file PIT returns for foreign affairs, non residents, military and police has been extended to June 30, 2020.
March 31. Extension of the deadline for payment of sales tax and federal excise duty for February 2020 (payment due on March 15, 2020) to April 12, 2020.
1.16 Papua New Guinea
June 17. There is the potential to avail of a two-month extension on the lodgment of CIT returns and PIT returns.
June 17. The potential to apply for an installment arrangement for CIT and PIT due under the 2020 lodgment program until after June 30, 2020 for taxpayers impacted by the crisis. Taxpayers may obtain agreement to pay the tax due in installments until the end of 2020. This does not apply to provisional tax.
June 17. Withholding taxes due may be deferred by 21 days.
March 25. The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) announced an extension of the deadline for filing and payment of the income tax for 2019 which would have been due by March 31, 2020. The deadline was extended to April 15, 2020 for Large Taxpayers. The deadline was extended to April 30, 2020 for Small & Medium Taxpayers respectively.
May 29. The RRA has extended the deadline for submission of the 2019 financial statements to June 30, 2020. This was initially extended from March 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020.
April 4. The deferral of the payment of taxes and duties until July 15 for SMEs with a turnover of less than or equal to 100 million XOF, as well as companies operating in the hardest hit sectors (tourism, catering, hotels, transport, education, culture and the press).
April 4. Extension of the deadline for the payment of suspended VAT to customs or tax authorities from 12 to 24 months. This amounts to a deferral of payment of 15 billion XOF in 2020.
Payment of advance CIT for the months of March, April, and May 2020, can be deferred until the date of filing the final annual tax return for the relevant year.
Deferral of PIT advance payments and SSCs levied on salaries and wages in March, April and May 2020 (if the taxpayer wish to do so) until January 4, 2021.
1.20 Slovakia Republic
April 27. The Lex Corona package (effective from April 4 2020/ amended on April 25, 2020): postpones certain filing deadlines which fall on a day within the pandemic period. The deadline for filing the annual tax return is postponed until the last day of the calendar month following the month in which the pandemic period comes to an end. The income tax is due by the same deadline. This applies also if an already extended period for filing a tax return expires during the pandemic period.
Extension of filing deadline for tax returns for all taxpayers from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
1.21 United Arab Emirates
April 13. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced a one month extension to the tax period for excise tax purposes. The period commencing March 1, 2020 has been extended to April 30, 2020 (covering both March and April 2020) to allow registered businesses additional time to fulfill their tax obligations before the extended deadline.
April 13. Tax Office Resolution 665/020.: Extension of deadline to submit the audited Financial Statements to the tax authorities. “Large Taxpayers” deadline to submit the audited Financial Statements to the tax authorities extended from April to May.
April 20. Tax Office Resolution 707/020: Extension of deadline to submit the CIT, VAT and notional dividends tax returns. For companies whose FY ends in December 2019, the deadline for the formal filing of the CIT, VAT and notional dividends tax returns is postponed from April 22 and April 27 to May 22 and May 25 respectively. This extension is referred to filing, but does not include the payment obligation.
1.23 Cote d’Ivoire
April 23. Postpone for 3 months of the payment of CIT by tourism and hotel businesses experiencing difficulties.
April 23. Postpone for three months of flat-rate taxes for small traders and craftsmen (in particular the restaurants, night clubs, bars, cinemas and places of shows).
March 30. A temporary suspension of the obligation to pay VAT for reasons of business liquidity, without the imposition of any penalties and interest for the periods ending February 29, 2020, March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020, until November 10, 2020, provided that the relevant VAT returns are submitted within the prescribed deadlines.
April 1. The Tax Administration introduced the deferral of the payment of Income Tax for some economic activities such as tourism (food and accommodation), agriculture small business, among others, for six months and installments as from April.
April 1. Extension until August 2020, of annual annexes to be file to the Tax authority (Shareholders, Special Consumption Taxes, etc.)
June 15. The deadline for Social Security payments due on May, is extended to June 25, 2020 without interests.
April 16. Tax offices will grant upon application (retroactively) an additional extension of the deadline for filing tax returns for the tax year 2018 until May 31, 2020 if the tax return is prepared by a tax advisor and the regular deadline (February 28, 2020) could not be met due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 3. As part of the June 3 recovery package, the due date for import sale tax will be shifted to the 26th of each following months to increase liquidity for firms.
The Central Customs Authority, which administers e.g., energy duty and aviation tax, grants interest-free deferral of these taxes until December 31, 2020 upon instruction of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
March 30. Two months’ extension of deadlines for the submission of capital duty and stamp duty returns whose deadline expires within March and April 2020.
June 19. Suspension until October 30 of the payment of certified tax liabilities and installments, expiring within June 2020, for businesses whose operation has been suspended under a state decision and businesses operating in the tourism, catering, transport, culture and sports sectors.
July 17. The CIT for FY 2019 may be paid in 8 equal monthly installments.
July 17. The PIT for FY 2019 may be paid in 8 equal monthly installments.
July 31. The Uniform Tax on Ownership of Real Estate Property for 2020 may be paid in 6 equal monthly installments, provided that the tax assessment will be issued on September 2020.
April 22. Extension of tax filing and payment deadlines by the Government Decree Nr 140/2020. The taxpayers have been given until September 30, 2020 to fulfill the following annual and special tax-related obligations that become due between April 22, 2020 and September 30, 2020: the obligation to assess, file and pay corporate tax, as well as the obligation to assess and file tax advances together with the annual CIT return; the obligation to assess, file and pay small business tax, as well as the obligation to assess and file the related tax advances; the obligation to assess, file and pay energy suppliers’ income tax, as well as the obligation to assess and file tax advances together with the annual tax return; the obligation to file a local business tax return and, at the same time, pay local business tax, as well as the obligation to file a tax advance return for the next tax advance payment period; the obligation to assess, file and pay innovation contributions, as well as the obligation to assess and file innovation contribution advances together with the annual return on such contributions.
March 15. Employees can defer health insurance, tax and utility bill payments for the next three months.
May 19. The deadline to execute the following payments of tax and SSCs (previously suspended by other COVID-19 measures) has been further postponed to September 16, 2020: payments due by enterprises and professionals having revenues and compensations not higher than 50 million EUR in the preceding FY which have had a reduction of their turnover for an amount higher than 33% in the months of March and April 2020 compared to the same months in 2019; payments due by enterprises and professionals having revenues and compensations higher than 50 millions EUR in the preceding FY which have had a reduction of their turnover for an amount higher than 50% in the months of March and April 2020 compared to the same months in 2019; payments due by enterprises and professionals which started their activity after March 31, 2019 and non-commercial entities including non-profit entities and recognized ecclesiastical entities, which carry out institutional activities of general interest not as business activity.
April 9. The Economic Monitoring Committee has suspended payment of employer SSCs until June 30, 2020 for companies, Very Small, Small and Medium-Sized businesses and independent professions facing difficulties.
March 18. The Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry (“MoPFI”) announced on March 18, 2020 that tax assistance will be provided for SMEs, Hotel and Tourism. Payments of income and commercial tax for quarters ending March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 will be extended to September 30, 2020.
June 1. The deadline to file the electronic books of February is extended to June 4-10 (main taxpayers) and July 2-8 (non main taxpayers). The deadline to file the informative returns and communications of the Electronic Filing System are extended to June 9 (main taxpayers) and July 10 (non main taxpayers). The deadline to file the tax related books and record filing is extended to June 4 (main taxpayers) and July 20 (non main taxpayers). The deadline to file the Transactions with Third Parties Annual Statement was extended to May 29.
April 28. The deadline for reporting the financial account information under the common reporting standard (CRS) has been extended to August 31, 2020.
June 21. The CIT filing deadline for financial years ended December 31, 2019 has been further extended from June 30, 2020 to August 30, 2020 (original filing deadline April 30, 2020).
1.35 Korea, Republic of
March 23. Extension of 1 month to the corporate tax return filing deadline for companies in designated COVID-19 disaster zones.
March 23. Extension of 1 month to the corporate tax payment deadline for companies in designated COVID-19 disaster zones.
March 23. Extension of payment due date of customs duties up to 12 months for companies in designated COVID-19 disaster zones.
1.36 Saudi Arabia
April 18. Three-month extension for the payment and filing of Zakat and mixed returns due between March 19 and June 30, 2020.
April 18. Ability to settle Zakat and CIT in installments subject to filing a request with the Saudi tax authority.
April 4. The Singapore tax authority has announced that the filing due date for the GST returns due in April 2020 will be extended to May 11, 2020. The payment due date will also be May 11, 2020, except for those on auto bank payment arrangement where the deduction date will remain as May 15, 2020.
April 23. Automatic extension of employers’ tax clearance filing deadlines for foreign employees leaving Singapore (from April and May to June 2020)
June 24. The Singapore tax authority updated its e-Tax Guide titled “Income Tax Treatment of Real Estate Investment Trusts and Approved Sub-Trusts” to provide details and clarification on the following: Extension of time for the distribution of taxable specified income of the trustee for FY 2020 and FY 2021
Singapore is allowing a two-month delay for some tax installments without incurring interest
April 15. Royal decree law 14/2020, dated April 14, introduced an extension of the deadline to file the tax returns and pay taxes due between April 14 and May 20, 2020 to this last date, provided that the taxpayer’s total amount of transactions does not exceed 600,000 EUR. Such extension is not allowed to companies within a tax consolidation group or a VAT group, regardless of its previous-year turnover. In case of tax returns paid via direct debit, the above-mentioned deadline will be extended up to May 15 only. This measure will not affect Customs Declarations. This measure will also be applied to the public administrations (including social security) although in such cases, budget rather than volume of business will be used as the relevant threshold value. This extension does not apply to groups of entities taxed under the CIT consolidation regime, irrespective of revenues. Groups of entities taxed under the special regime for VAT groups, again, irrespective of their volume of business. The filing of returns regulated by the Regulation No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 October 2013 laying down the Union Customs Code and/or its implementing regulations.
2. Main features
2.1 Extension of filing deadlines includes extending the filling of tax returns, financial statements, country-by-country report, financial account information under the common reporting standard, etc.
2.2 Extension of payments deadlines includes allowing installment, reducing or suspending advance tax payments and deferral of payment deadline.
2.3 Depending on the tax system of different jurisdiction, extension of filing and tax payments deadlines involves CIT, PIT, GST, VAT, pay as you earn, property tax, employee tax, SSC, customs duty, stamp duty, etc.
2.4 Extension of filing and tax payments deadlines in some jurisdictions applies to regions, industries (tourism, hotels, transport, etc.) and enterprises (mainly small and medium-sized enterprises) that have been more severely affected by the epidemic. Some jurisdictions have stipulated that taxpayers can enjoy the policy only if their turnover drops to a certain extent due to the epidemic.
2.5 The deadline will be extended by weeks or months and some countries will grant a further extension according to the duration of the pandemic.
2.6 Generally, taxpayers are exempted from penalty or interests if they comply with the filing and payment duties within the extended deadlines. Very few countries require taxpayers to pay interests during the second half of the extension period.
2.7 Taxpayers can enjoy the extension policy automatically, while in some jurisdictions, taxpayers are asked to submit applications to explain why the deadlines could not be met.