Dentons COVID-19 Retail Tracker – Netherlands | Dentons

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Netherlands Status – Has a special status been introduced?

No state of emergency.

The government has issued specific measures

What retail units are open

There is a lockdown in the Netherlands from December 15, 2020 until at least February 9, 2021.

The following stores may remain open:

  • Stores that mainly sell food products
  • Chemists
  • Pharmacies
  • Pet shops
  • Opticians
  • Hearing specialists
  • Petrol stations
  • Health and wellness appliance stores
  • Wholesalers (business to business)
  • Service points for sending and receiving parcels
  • Business services (banks, mortgage lenders and real estate agents)
  • Outdoor stores for the sale of flowers

Stores that can be opened must meet the conditions set out in the government’s “responsible purchasing” protocol.

The “responsible purchasing” protocol was published by the Dutch government. It applies to any form of retail, but specific industries may require specific measures.

For entrepreneurs:

  • Min. 1.5 m distance between everyone in the store;
  • Max. 1 customer per 10 m2 floor space;
  • Online orders will be delivered to the door, not inside;
  • No sample;
  • The rules should be visible at the store door and should be repeated inside.

COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act:

  • From December 1, it is mandatory to wear a face mask in public areas
  • Since January 23, a national curfew has been in effect from 9:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. All citizens, with the exception of the necessary exemptions, must stay indoors.

Municipalities are designated to apply the protocol. Possible sanctions include a penalty of € 4,000 and / or compulsory closure.

Which retail units are closed

Retail stores that are not previously listed remain closed.

  • Stores close at 8 p.m.
  • It is forbidden to sell alcohol between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Since October 14, restaurants and bars are closed

  • Ordering food is still possible
    • Delivery services fall under the curfew exceptions, pickup is not

Leases – Have special laws relating to COVID-19 been implemented

Financial compensation plans

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises can claim financial compensation of up to EUR 50,000 over 4 months if they experience a loss of income of more than 30%.

Companies can benefit from several other forms of loans on favorable terms, sometimes (partially) guaranteed by the state. The program offered depends on the size of the business (in terms of employees / income) and the loan amount:

  • GO-C module: Banks can provide credit to businesses that are cash-strapped due to the corona virus. These are loans of between 1.5 and 150 million euros per company for a maximum period of 6 years. The state guarantees 80% (large business) and 90% (SMEs) of loans.
  • KKC Program: Small Credit Corona: A loan for entrepreneurs whose turnover is equal to or greater than € 50,000. Entrepreneurs can apply for a loan of a minimum of € 10,000 and a maximum of € 50,000. The government guarantees 95% of loans up to 750 million euros.
  • TVL (Fixed Cost Allowance): companies with a minimum loss of revenue of 30% can be compensated for 85% of their fixed costs. The subsidy is a minimum of € 1,500 and a maximum of € 400,000 (depending on the number of employees) per three months.
    • For event organizers who cannot meet the 30% revenue loss threshold, arrangements can be made based on their TVL for the summer.
    • Food industry stores receive one-time compensation for unsold food products, based on lost income.
    • VGD: Non-food retail stores may claim a one-time benefit for their unsold retail inventory. This represents 5.6% of the last quarter of 2020 and 21% of the first quarter of 2021.
  • BMKB-C scheme (PME Guarantee): this measure makes it easier for SMEs to lend more money. Companies with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than 50 million euros can benefit from loans against a premium of 2% for a period of eight quarters or of 3% for a period of nine to sixteen. quarters.
  • TONK scheme (Support Necessary Costs): Fund of 130 million euros intended to compensate self-employed workers who are not within the reach of other schemes. The implementation by the municipalities is scheduled from February 1, 2021 and the fund will be in effect until June 1, 2021.
Jobs

The third tranche of the government support scheme (“NOW 3”) is still in place. Due to the lockdown, the Dutch government decided to reverse the planned reductions in compensation.There are three different periods:

  • NOW 3.1: from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020;
  • NOW 3.2: from January 1, 2021, until March 31, 2021 inclusive;
  • A NOW 3.3: from April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021 inclusive;

Employers are eligible for compensation for wage costs if they expect to lose at least 20% of their turnover during any of these periods. The maximum percentage of salary to be reimbursed was 80% for NOW 3.1 and will be 85% for NOW 3.2 and 3.3 due to the current block.

The maximum amount of salary to be compensated is double the maximum legal daily salary (€ 9,717.90 per month) for all periods.

The loss of turnover is determined at group level: it concerns Dutch legal entities and companies, as well as foreign legal entities and companies with salaries in the Netherlands.

In the event that a group records a decrease in its turnover of less than 20%, unlike a Dutch sole proprietorship, this company may apply for a subsidy subject to specific conditions.

A company or group that uses the NOW cannot:

  • distribute profits to shareholders;
  • pay bonuses to the board of directors and officers / directors or other decision-makers of the company; and
  • buy back its own shares.

This NOW 3 requirement only applies to companies and groups of companies that receive a down payment of at least € 100,000 or a definitive facility for the total period of € 125,000 or more. Specific rules apply to companies whose exercise is split. It has been explicitly provided that the bonus and dividend restrictions under NOW 1, 2 and 3 apply regardless of the time of payment / redemption.

Under NOW 3, employers are required to support employees with career guidance. In addition, if employers request dismissal for commercial economic reasons, they are required to contact the UWV NOW helpdesk. If they do not, the amount of compensation will be reduced by 5%.

Tax rebate
  • Businesses can get a special deferral of paying tax debts. Depending on the tax debt, additional conditions apply. If a deferral of tax collection is obtained, the tax debt will be collected from July 1, 2021 taking into account a favorable payment agreement of 36 months. If a company cannot repay the tax debt within 36 months, the Dutch tax authorities are willing to discuss other favorable payment terms. Interest for late payment of tax is temporarily reduced to 0.01% until December 31, 2022. Late payment penalties are waived at least until April 1, 2021.
  • Companies that have a blocked account and have obtained a special payroll tax and VAT payment deferral can request that the amounts for which a payment deferral has been granted be withdrawn from the blocked account and provided to the Company.
  • Taxpayers will be allowed to form a special corona reserve in their 2019 corporate income tax return for any (expected) loss in 2020. By doing so, all 2020 tax losses will already be taken into account in 2019. The corona reserve cannot be higher than the actual result for 2019.
  • Taxpayers can file an adjustment request for advance tax payments.
  • Taxpayers can reclaim VAT on invoices that are not paid by customers provided certain conditions are met.
  • In the Netherlands, an employer is obliged to identify his new employees in person, verifying their identification on the first day and to include a copy of their identity document in the payroll tax administration. Otherwise, a payroll tax rate for anonymous persons must be applied. The identification obligation can now be fulfilled with a copy of the identification and provided that the identification takes place as quickly as possible.

Selection of other relevant COVID-19 laws for retail

Obligation to pay rent

In general, Dutch law provides for a mechanism which, on the basis of unforeseen circumstances, a party to an agreement can claim in court that the legal effects of that agreement must be changed or that the agreement must be terminated in whole or in part. part. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that courts should exercise caution when applying this possibility to modify or terminate an agreement. For this reason, the threshold for making a change is high.

Currently, a number of court decisions have been released regarding the obligation to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic with different results depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

It is particularly relevant that the tenant can sufficiently demonstrate that he has been significantly affected by the corona crisis and that he urgently needs a temporary rent reduction.

The preliminary measures judge appears poised to grant substantial rent rebates / suspensions in the retail and hospitality sector.

Various associations representing both landlords and tenants have reached an agreement calling for the retail sector, in short, for landlords to give short-term relief (suspension of rents) to tenants (traders) who see a drop. at least 25% on April-May-June 2020. This means a three-month suspension of payment, with a minimum of 50%, but if applicable, it could mean a suspension of 75% or 100% (if possible for the owner, taking into account the proportionality in size and capacity). The agreement is approved by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The deal underscores that banks are extending the deals to create temporary liquidity and the minister calls on real estate lenders to do the same.



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