15 February 2021 marked the passing of a law extending the deadline for the submission of tax returns by tax advisors and the interest-free grace period for the 2019 assessment. The new regulation came into force on 19 February 2021.
Tax returns for 2019 prepared by members of the tax advisory professions can now be submitted until 31 August 2021.
The tax return deadline for the 2019 assessment period for agricultural and forestry businesses who engage tax advisors will be extended from 31 July 2021 to 31 December 2021 accordingly.
Following the measures already taken in December 2020, the extension of the deadline now adopted provides even further relief according to the explanatory memorandum to the law. The Covid‑19 pandemic currently means a higher workload and an extended scope of consulting services especially for members of the tax advisory professions. These services include, for instance, applications for Covid‑19 aid. These exceptional requirements also justify the adopted extension of the deadline for farmers and foresters as well as agricultural accounting services.
Interest for the 2019 taxation period will become due from 1 October 2021. In the case of agricultural and forestry income, interest will become due from 1 May 2022.
Unchanged: Disclosure deadline pursuant to section 325 of the German Commercial Code (HGB, Handelsgesetzbuch) for annual financial statements with a reporting date of 31 December 2019
Although the Federal Office of Justice announced on its website on 15 December 2020 that no administrative fine proceedings would be initiated before 1 March 2021 for late disclosure of the 2019 annual financial statements, this step is designed to ensure that stakeholders’ concerns are adequately addressed in light of the ongoing Covid‑19 pandemic.
However, the disclosure period according to section 325 HGB was not extended. For annual financial statements as at 31 December 2019, the deadline of twelve months after the balance sheet date remains unchanged. The annual financial statements as at 31 December 2019 had to be disclosed by 31 December 2020!
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