Legislative updates keep entering in force these days. Since this article is drafted by lawyers, we are going to give it a personal touch and start with a provision aimed for this professional category. As per the Government Ordinance no. 53/2020, published in the Official Gazette on 21 April 2020, lawyers will benefit from the financial compensation borne by the state budget under certain cumulative conditions:
- their revenues do not exceed 75% of the monthly average for the year 2019; and
- the revenues for the month in question do not exceed the medium gross salary referred to in Law no. 6/2020 (RON 5,429).
In order to benefit from this financial compensation, the lawyers will submit an affidavit to the agency for payment and social inspection in whose jurisdiction they are residents for tax purposes.
Moving forward, on 16 April 2020, the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 48/2020 (GEO 48) regarding certain fiscal measures was published in the Official Gazette. The GEO 48 amends a series of normative acts, implementing necessary measures in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from the extended deadline for submission of annual financial statements and annual accounting reports already discussed in our previous article, the most important measures regulated by the GEO 48 are:
Amendments of the Fiscal Code
- Microenterprises: Sponsorships made to public authorities and institutions are deducted from the microenterprises income tax. The deduction is granted based on the sponsorship agreement with no obligation for the public authority or institution to be registered in the Register of Entities/ Cult Units for which tax deductions are granted.
- Tax exemptions, income tax and social security contributions: Benefits in kind are not subject to income tax and social security contributions if granted to employees who perform necessary activities and who are in preventive isolation at the workplace or in designated areas where persons from outside do not have access, for a period established by the employer, during emergency periods or martial law.
- Use of products subject to excise duties. Ethyl alcohol, alcoholic beverages and energy products, (i) which entered into the private ownership of the state or (ii) which are subject to a forced execution procedure or (iii) which are seized by the state can be used:
- by producing tax warehouses only for processing purposes; delivery from the competent authority is carried based on a bill and the price does not include the excise; or
- by economic operators; delivery from the competent authority is carried based on a bill and the price includes the excise.
Products subject to excise duties entered into the private ownership of the state which cannot be used will be destroyed by the competent authorities.
- Distortion of ethyl alcohol. The distortion of ethyl alcohol is allowed for the stock of the economic operators which hold the tax warehouse authorization for the production of alcoholic beverages, up to 15 days after the termination of the state of emergency. The economic operators must submit with the territorial custom authorities a written standard request, listed in Annex 2 of GEO 48, together with the necessary documents.
Amendments of the Fiscal Procedure Code
The VAT requested for reimbursement through negative VAT returns with the option to reimburse, submitted within the legal deadline, will be reimbursed by the fiscal authority, the inspection being performed after the reimbursement and not prior to it, as it was until now. This provision applies with certain exceptions, among which the negative VAT returns with option to reimburse for which the fiscal inspection began up to the date of GEO 48 or for large and medium taxpayers which meet several risk criteria.
In case of non-performance of payment schedules (Romanian – eșalonări de datorie), which were allowed as tax enhancement for specific taxpayers under the provisions of the Fiscal Procedure Code, no interests and penalties are due. The payment schedules will be revised and communicated to the debtor. Forced execution of payments due to the state budget are suspended, except for those established based on final court decisions in criminal cases. Statute of limitation is also suspended and most important, the expiration of any permits or authorizations linked to missing any payment under payment schedules is suspended also.
Government Emergency Ordinance no. 33/2020: VAT is not required to be paid for imports of denatured ethyl alcohol used for the production of disinfectants, performed by importers, only if they hold a final user authorization. Custom authorities cannot require the payment of the VAT up to 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency. An updated list of goods for the import of which VAT is not required to be paid can be found in Annex 1 to GEO 48.
Gambling updates: gambling activities can be reauthorized by means of a request submitted up to 90 days after the termination of the state of emergency. Taxes related to the authorization of exploit of traditional gambling will not be borne until the termination of the state of emergency and payment duties related to the same authorizations are suspended. Sanctions provided in Government Emergency Ordinance no. 77/2009 do not apply for non-performance of payment duties related to the authorization of exploit of gambling, if the payments are performed in the following 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency.
HORECA sector: taxpayers which fall under the provisions of Law no. 170/2016 will not pay the specific tax for the time when they interrupt their activity in whole or partial, if they (i) hold the certificate for state of emergency issued by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment and (ii) are not declared insolvent by a specialized court.
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