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Frequently asked questions about the tax relief due to the Corona crisis

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The Federal Ministry of Finance and the supreme tax authorities of the federal states have decided on various tax relief measures to relieve taxpayers directly and not inconsiderably affected by the Corona crisis. The aim is to improve the liquidity of companies that have experienced economic difficulties as a result of the Corona crisis.

The following FAQs, which have been agreed between the Federal Government and the Länder, are intended to provide a brief overview of the details of the relevant measures. The information provided is intended as general guidance in dealing with the issues arising in connection with the Corona crisis. Decisions in individual cases are still the responsibility of the tax offices or the other contact persons.

Note: This document is continuously updated to reflect the current situation and the issues arising (last update: 14 December 2021).

Overview of tax relief in the Corona crisis

Taxpayers who suffer direct and not insignificant economic damage as a result of the Corona Crisis,

  • can apply for a deferral - generally interest-free - of taxes already due or due by 31 January 2022 (income tax, corporation tax, church tax, solidarity surcharge and turnover tax) until 31 January 2022. The taxes can then be deferred in a simplified procedure until 31 March 2022 at the latest. In this context, no strict requirements are imposed on the presentation of the conditions for granting a deferral if a connection to the Corona crisis can be identified. Please note that in the case of taxes that become due, the application can only be submitted after they have been assessed. An extension of deferral under the simplified procedure beyond 31 March 2022 is only possible in connection with an appropriate instalment payment agreement lasting until 30 June 2022 at the latest. Installment payments extending beyond June 30, 2022, and deferrals of taxes due after January 31, 2022, are exempt from relief. The general principles and substantiation requirements for deferrals apply to these.
  • For a further overview, see Prerequisites

Requirements

Overview of tax relief in the Corona crisis

Taxpayers who suffer direct and not insignificant economic harm as a result of the Corona Crisis,

  • may apply for enforcement relief until January 31, 2022. In the case of taxpayers affected by the Corona crisis, enforcement of taxes (income tax, corporate income tax, solidarity surcharge, church tax, wage tax and turnover tax) that have become due by 31 January 2022 is to be waived until 31 March 2022 at the latest (deferral of enforcement). In such cases, the late payment surcharges forfeited by operation of law between 19 March 2020 and 31 March 2022 at the latest may be waived. An extension of the enforcement deferral beyond 31 March 2022 (including the waiver of late payment surcharges) is only possible in the simplified procedure in connection with an appropriate instalment payment agreement lasting until 30 June 2022 at the latest. Instalment payments extending beyond 30 June 2022 and enforcement deferrals for taxes due after 31 January 2022 are excluded from the simplifications. The general principles and evidence requirements for enforcement deferrals apply to these.
  • can have the advance tax payments (for income tax and corporation and trade tax) for the assessment periods 2021 and 2022 reduced by the tax office in a simplified procedure upon application until 30 June 2022 if it is foreseeable that profits will be significantly lower than previously assumed due to falling revenues as a result of the Corona crisis. In the event that revenues increase again in the current year, it should be noted that this may result in a higher final payment under certain circumstances.
  • the tax offices are to refrain from assessing retrospective advance tax payments until 30 June 2022 in the case of taxpayers who have been directly and not insignificantly negatively affected economically by the Corona crisis. However, if the development of income in 2021 or 2022 is more positive than expected, the taxpayer should notify the tax office. In this case, the advance payments would be adjusted accordingly. This avoids high final payments for the assessment period 2021 or 2022.

Requirements

General note: For all declarations to be submitted by the taxpayer that are related to the Corona crisis, it applies that all information must be truthful. In this respect, the same applies as for other tax returns. False statements are punishable by law.