On 13th March 2020 the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Economics presented an aid package adopted by the Federal Government. This is intended to cushion the effects of the corona crisis on companies in Germany. The "protective shield for employees and companies" also contains the first tax instruments.
Safeguarding the liquidity of companies is the main focus of the aid measures. Without changes to the law, the tax authorities should implement the facilitation quickly.
If taxpayers' income is expected to be lower in the current year, advance tax payments can be reduced quickly and easily. At present, this mainly affects advance payments of income and corporation tax from 10 June 2020 onwards and the trade tax base for advance payments from 15 May 2020 onwards.
The granting of tax payment deferrals in accordance with § 222 of the German Tax Code (AO) is facilitated. The tax authorities can defer taxes if collection of these taxes would represent a considerable hardness on the due date. The tax authorities currently should not impose strict requirements. Back tax payments for 2018 and subsequent advance payments for 2019, e.g. may currently place a considerable strain on liquidity. For deferring trade tax the respective municipality is responsible. As many combers should join the aim of the aid package if possible and defer generously taxes. Incidentally, VAT and wage tax are usually not deferred.
Late payment surcharges and enforcement measures (e.g. account seizures) will be waived up to 31 December 2020 in the case of tax debtors directly affected by the effects of the corona virus.
The Federal Ministry of Finance has initiated the required coordination with the federal states for implementation.
For taxes administered by the customs administration (e.g. energy tax and air transport tax), the General Directorate of Customs is to provide appropriate assistance to taxpayers. The Federal Central Tax Office - e.g. responsible for insurance tax - ought to proceed accordingly.
Further tax support measures for those affected by the Corona crisis may be expected. We will keep you up to date.