Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17th March, has been approved containing urgent extraordinary measures to confront the economic and social impact of COVID-19.
There are a series of measures especially designed for companies and freelancers. Here is a summary:
Support to companies with employees
- Support programs to encourage working from home: Companies will have to encourage working from home when possible. A support program has been approved to help digitalization of SME and R+D plans to encourage working from home.
- Exemption to pay company contributions to Social Security: Companies that submit an ERTE (ie. Temporary Employment Regulatory File for its Spanish acronym) due to force majeure will be exempt to pay company contributions to Social Security for said period. A previous application listing the employees will have to be submitted. ( If the company has more than 50 employees, there will be a 75% reduction on those amounts). In order to avoid employees being dismissed, members won’t have to pay their freelance fees.
Measures to facilitate financial liquidity to companies and freelancers
- A line of public guarantees has been opened to provided financial liquidity to companies and freelancers for an amount of 100,000 million Euros to keep employment going.
- A line of credit with 2,000 million Euros has been opened for export companies for 6 months from the publication of the decree.
- Increase of the net debt limit of ICO (ie. Spanish Official Credit Institute). 10,000€ have been added to provide liquidity. This will take place through ICO’s financing lines with the liaise of financing entities at short, medium and long term and according to their direct financing policy for large companies.
Insolvent companies are exempt from entering into bankruptcy
Article 43 states that for as long as the State of Emergency is active, companies in a state of insolvency are not obliged to enter into bankruptcy.
Judges will be allowed to accept bankruptcy applications two months after the state of emergency is over. This applies to bankruptcy orders submitted during the State of Emergency or within the two months after it. Voluntary bankruptcy applications will have a preferential status even if they are from a later date.
Companies who notify the judge of the start of negotiations with creditors in order to reach a refinancing agreement, an out-of-court payment agreement or to obtain adhesions to an early proposal of agreement, will also be exempt of submitting the application for bankruptcy for as long as the State of Emergency is active.
Financial help to freelancers
Read our special wiki on Extraordinary benefits due to end of business for Freelancers.
Suspension on tax payments terms
Article 33 states the new terms for on-going procedures.
If the following administrative events were not finished by 18/03/2020 they will be extended to the 30th of April:
- Tax debts from tax payments issued by the Administration.
- Payment of debts within the enforcement period and with notified debt collection orders.
- Expiry of late payment agreement terms and granted deferrals.
- Terms to reply to requirements, allegations and attachment proceedings.
- Refund of undue payments
If, otherwise, some of the previous notifications is received after 18/03/2020 the term will be extended to the 30/05/2020.
Regarding the procedures to apply taxes and sanctions, the period between 18/03/2020 and 30/04/2020 will not count in terms of duration.
Additionally, according to the provisions in article 40, the three month period starting from the closing of the company’s financial year to prepare and submit the Annual Accounts will be suspended until the end of the State of Emergency.
The Tax Agency accepts out of date certificates
If your digital certificate has expired or is about to expire, don’t worry! The Spanish Tax Agency (AEAT) notified that they will allow the use of expired certificates in the SEDE as provided in Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14th March.
It’s possible that your usual browser does not allow it, if this happens, use FireFox.
If you have any questions on IT technical issues you can call the following numbers: 901 200 347 or 91 757 57 77.