Government measures for SMEs and the self-employed

1 April, 2020 - 6 min. read

In this article, we’ll tell you about the different compensations that are available for SMEs and self-employed professionals in the Netherlands. We’ll also tell you more about the requirements and the application process for each type of compensation.

The event industry is currently experiencing the implications of the coronavirus. Earlier this week the government announced that all events that would have taken place until the first of June have to be cancelled. As a result, many organisers of events are experiencing significant financial problems. Last week the government revealed that they would offer financial aid to SME’s and self-employed professionals that are being hit by the corona crisis. As an event organiser, there are multiple compensations you can use.

Government measures

In this article, we’ll tell you about the different compensations that are available in the Netherlands. We’ll also tell you more about the requirements and the application process for each type of compensation.

Temporary emergency bridging measure

This emergency measure is meant to save as many jobs as possible. Entrepreneurs who expect a decrease in revenue can request compensation for labour costs for up to three months. Depending on the decrease in revenue, entrepreneurs can get compensation of up to 90% of the total payroll of their employees.

There are multiple requirements you need to meet to make use of this measure:
There is a decrease in revenue of at least 20%
During the three months in which you receive the compensation, you aren’t allowed to fire anyone based on commercial interest

Entrepreneurs can apply for the temporary emergency bridging measure for a decrease in revenue starting from the beginning of March. If your situation meets the aforementioned requirements, you can apply for the compensation via the UWV.

Extra assistance benefit support for self-employed professionals

Self-employed professionals can claim extra temporary financial support. Self-employed professionals can apply for additional support for their living expenses through a loosened procedure. With this measure, the income gets supplemented to the social minimum, and the benefits do not have to be refunded.

You can apply for this support if your income has decreased to below the social minimum due to work that has been cancelled. Your partner income or assets are not taken into account for this temporary welfare regulation. If you started your business before January 1st 2020, and you meet the hour criteria (1.225 hours per year).

The support for self-employed professionals is issued by the local government, so self-employed professionals who meet the requirements can apply for the support via the municipality in which they live.

Alleviation of postponed payments and lower penalties

It will become easier for affected entrepreneurs to request postponement of payments. After the request, the tax authority will immediately stop the collection of taxes. Subsequently, you will get a postponement of payment for three months. This goes for income, corporate, wage and turnover taxes (VAT). Besides this, the tax authority will refrain from enforcing penalties for late payments. Furthermore, the tax and recovery interest will temporarily be lowered from 4% to almost 0%. If you’ve received (and paid) a preliminary payment, you can amend it to the current situation and receive back a part of the taxes you’ve already paid. All entrepreneurs whose finances have been negatively affected by the problems stemming from the pandemic can use these measures.

You can request a postponement of payment on your taxes by sending a letter to the tax authority via the following address:
Belastingdienst, Postbus 100, 6400 AC Heerlen

In the letter you send to the tax authority, you can request the postponement of payment and explain how the outbreak of the coronavirus has put you into financial problems. As soon as your application has been approved, the collection of taxes will stop immediately. In case you want to change your preliminary payment, you can do that via Mijn Belastingdienst.

Compensation for affected sectors scheme

The health measures the government takes have enormous consequences for several specific industries, among which the event sector. The revenue of a cancelled event cannot be caught up on once the coronavirus has passed, for instance. Therefore, the government has set up a compensation where companies in the industries that are most affected by the virus can receive up to €4000.

The requirements for companies to qualify for the compensation have not yet been disclosed. Soon, the government will release an overview of companies who can apply for the €4.000,- compensation. At the moment, it’s not yet possible to apply for the compensation for affected sectors. As soon as there is more information you’ll be able to read about it on this website.

Support package for the cultural sector

The event and cultural sector are heavily affected by the restrictive measures that the government announced earlier this week. Entrepreneurs in this sector can request one or more of the aforementioned measures. Also, a specific support package for the cultural sector will be made available.

What exactly this support package will entail is still unclear. The government is in close consultation with the sector in an attempt to reach fitting measures, both short and long term.

For the time being, it will be a matter of patience to find out which compensation you will be eligible for as an event organiser. When it comes to subsidies, there somewhat more clarity: If you have received a government subsidy for your event, you don’t have to pay it back. The ministry is still in discussion with other fund providers to see if they can extend these measures to other funds.

What else you can do as an event organiser

The financial aspect is just one of the many things you have to deal with when your event gets cancelled because of the coronavirus. Chances are you have a lot of questions. We’ll help you to deal with the cancellation of your event in the best way possible.

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