News in brief, July 2020

Last month’s tax and legal news in a few sentences.

DOMESTIC NEWS IN BRIEF

  • Amendment No. 283/2020 Coll. to the Tax Procedure Code, extending the options for electronic communication with the financial administration and introducing the concept of advances for tax deductions effective from 1 January 2021, has been published in the Collection of Laws. 
  • Act No. 300/2020 Coll., on the waiver of social security premiums and state employment policy contributions paid by some employers as taxpayers in connection with the 2020 pandemic-related emergency measures and on changes to Act No. 187/2006 Coll., on sickness insurance, as amended, regulating the conditions for the waiver of premiums within the Antivirus C programme, has been published in the Collection of Laws.  
  • The government has issued Decree No. 215/2020 Coll., which extends the scope of entities that may apply for the provision of guarantees under the COVID plus programme. Under the amendment, these entities include those performing the following activities: land and pipeline transport; waterway transport; air transport; travel agency, office and other reservation and related activities. Accommodation services and gambling, casino and betting establishments remain excluded. 
  • In the Collection of Laws, the Ministry of Finance has announced that the conditions have been met for applying the appendix to Act No. 45/2020 Coll., on the prevention of double taxation in relation to Thai-wan,  from 1 January 2021 (309/2020 Coll.). 
  • The GFD has published information on the changes to VAT rates from 1 July 2020
  • On 1 July 2020, the following laws entered into effect: Act No. 299/2020 Coll., amending certain tax laws in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak, and Act No. 159/2020 Coll., on compensation bonus in connection with emergency measures associated with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak. The financial administration has published extensive information on the matter
  • The financial administration has issued an alert regarding income tax return forms for taxpayers who are planning to deduct an expected tax loss from their tax base in their income tax returns.
  • The amended conditions for drawing carer’s allowances in connection with the coronavirus-related emergency measures became ineffective on 30 June 2020. Information on carer’s allowances after this date is available on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ website.

FOREIGN NEWS IN BRIEF

  • The Polish Ministry of Finance has once again postponed the effective date of new withholding tax rules for foreign entities. The new effective date is 31 December 2020. The new rules require that Polish entities making payments of interest, dividends, or royalties or payments for certain intangible services to foreign taxpayers must collect withholding tax at a standard rate (20% or 19%). Subsequently, foreign taxpayers or the payers themselves (depending on who bears the economic burden of tax) may apply for a refund of the collected withholding tax (under the pay and refund mechanism). The postponement applies only to the mechanism of collection of the withholding tax and not to the duty to verify whether foreign taxpayers qualify as the beneficial owners.
  • The Dutch government has announced its intention to implement a withholding tax on dividend payments to low-tax jurisdictions (i.e. a jurisdiction with a statutory corporate income tax rate of less than 9%) as of 1 January 2024. This new tax would work alongside the withholding tax on royalty and interest payments to such jurisdictions, taking effect from 2021.
  • The OECD has released an updated database on tax policy measures which have been taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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