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Government measures in the Netherlands – update 31 March

The Dutch government has taken extensive measures to help businesses affected by the corona crisis.

The measures now in place are:

  • The new temporary measure Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW, Noodfonds Overbrugging voor behoud van Werkgelegenheid) will provide financial help for employers to help pay their employees’ wages. The unemployment benefit during short-time working scheme has been cancelled. You can apply for the NOW scheme from Monday 6 April through 31 May 2020.

  • From 16 March 2020 to 1 April 2021, the SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme will be extended to help SMEs that are affected by the coronavirus secure bank guarantees and bridge financing. The extended scheme is referred to as BMKB-C.

  • For agricultural entrepreneurs, the equivalent of the BMKB-C is the Credit Guarantee scheme for Agriculture (BL-C).

  • The Business loan guarantee scheme (GO) has been extended.

  • Self-employed professionals will be able to apply for an extra, temporary benefit for self-employed professionals (Tozo) to bridge the loss of income from 1 March onwards, in the municipality where they live.

  • Entrepreneurs who have a loan from microcredit provider Qredits do not have to repay their loan for a period of 6 months. During this period, the interest will be reduced to 2%. The government supports Qredits with 6 million euros.

  • The €4,000 Compensation for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) is now open for entrepreneurs in a number of specific sectors who have been affected by the coronavirus measures. You can apply to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (in Dutch). To find out if your business is eligible for the compensation, check the SBI code list (in Dutch). At the bottom of the page, there is a search tool (Zoektool SBI-codes) where you can enter your KVK number to find out your SBI code.

  • The Incentive scheme eHealth at Home (SET). has been extended to make it easier for healthcare organisations that want to offer their clients eHealth solutions (such as video calls) to invest in apps, software or hardware.
    N.B.: As of 27 March, this subsidy is temporarily unavailable due to the unexpectedly large number of applications.

  • The government will extend the export credit insurance facility. It will be possible for companies to get a short-term guarantee with a runtime of less than 2 years. Also, other conditions are being extended. Read the news article on Rijksoverheid.nl (in Dutch).

  • The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) will be extended to include pre-delivery advances.

Tax options for entrepreneurs

  • You can apply for a payment extension of 3 months for all your income tax, corporate tax, payroll tax, and turnover tax (VAT) assessements at once, by filling out a special online form (in Dutch). You need a DigiD for this, but if you don’t have one, you can ask an employee or a financial advisor to login for you, using their DigiD. You will need to fill out your RSIN number or your citizen service number (BSN), so keep these ready. The Dutch Tax Administration will put on hold any measures in place to collect payment immediately upon reception of your request.

  • You can now also apply for payment extension of several other taxes and duties: excise dutylandlord levy, environmental taxes, insurance premium tax and betting and lottery tax.

  • You will not have to pay any fines for late payment.

  • The normal collection interest rate for paying after the payment term has passed has been decreased temporarily to nearly 0%. This applies to all tax debts. The tax interest rate will also temporarily be set to the lowest possible percentage for all entrepreneurs.

  • The obligation for employers under the new Balance Employment Market Act, to report permanent employees’ employment contracts before 1 April 2020, has been extended to 1 July 2020.

  • Under certain circumstances, you can apply for unblocking of your G-account. Read the conditions and find the form (in Dutch, under ‘Deblokkeren g-rekening’).

  • Read more about the Dutch Tax Administration measures to help entrepreneurs (in Dutch only).

Travel restrictions

As of 19 March, there are travel restrictions in place for travel into the Netherlands. The restrictions apply to all non-EEA travellers without valid residence permits or visa, and will be in place for at least 30 days. Read the article on The Netherlands and you for full details on who is and who is not allowed to travel into the Netherlands.

Apply for a reduction of your provisionary assessment

Do you expect lower profits due to the coronavirus, and are you currently paying a provisionary assessment for income tax or corporate income tax? You can change your provisionary assessment. If you want to change your income tax provisionary assessment, go to the online portal for individuals: MijnBelastingdienst (in Dutch); to change a corporate tax provisionary assessment go to the business portal: MijnBelastingdienst Zakelijk (in Dutch).

Regional Water Authority tax

Are you unable to pay the water authority tax in time? Most Regional Water Authorities allow you to apply for a temporary extension of payment. It has also been made easier to apply for a payment arrangement. See the article on Regional Water Authority tax for more information.

General measures to protect the public health

  • All public events and meetings are cancelled until 1 June.

  • All public places, like museums, concert halls, theatres, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and sports clubs, are closed until 28 April.

  • Personal care professionals, who cannot keep 6 feet distance from their clients, cannot execute their profession until 28 April.

  • Shops that cannot guarantee their clients and staff that they can keep 6 feet distance from each other, are closed until 28 April.

  • Schools and universities are closed, at least until the May vacation.

  • People in so-called ‘vital professions’ may still go to work. Special arrangements are made for the schooling and daycare needs of the children of people in so-called ‘crucial professions’ (in Dutch). Contact your municipality or safety region for information, or check the RIVM and Rijksoverheid pages.

For any questions on above measures, please contact Elias van Kampen at elias.vankampen@actlegal-fort.com or +31 (0)20 664 5111