News in brief, March 2021
Last month’s tax and legal news in a few sentences.
1 March 2021 In brief
DOMESTIC NEWS IN BRIEF
- In connection with the extraordinary events caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the government approved another general pardon by the Minister of Finance, waiving VAT-related penalties and other charges for the late filing of VAT returns and VAT ledger statements for the February 2021 taxable period where VAT returns and VAT ledger statements are filed and the related tax paid before 12 April 2021.
- An act on compensation bonuses for 2021 was published in the Collection of Laws under no. 95/2021. The bonus will increase to CZK 1 thousand a day and will not be linked to a state of emergency. It will be provided on a retrospective basis from 1 February 2021.
- The government passed a bill to increase compensation of income paid to employees under a quarantine order. The government proposes to temporarily increase compensation for wages, salaries or remuneration paid based on agreements to perform work/complete a job to 100% of the average reduced earnings over the period of first fourteen days of the ordered quarantine (including isolation) for the period from 1 March 2021 to 30 April 2021. The bill is yet to be discussed by the parliament.
- As a result of the closure of schools and pre-school facilities, parents of children who had so far been allowed to attend these facilities will be entitled to carer’s allowances from 1 March 2021.
- On 22 February 2021, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs disclosed information about the extension of the Antivirus programme until the end of April 2021. The programme should undergo minor changes such as an increase in the limit for drawing all state subsidies including the Antivirus programme by one employer from EUR 800,000 to EUR 1.8 million. Contributions from the Antivirus should continue to be provided only for employees whose employment has been for at least three months on the date the monthly statement of paid wage compensations is submitted.
- The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has published recommendations for employers on how to proceed when providing time off work to employees who are being tested or vaccinated or accompanying a family member to their vaccination in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A draft amendment to the Labour Code, increasing the basic amount of vacation from four to five weeks in a calendar year passed the repeated second reading in the chamber of deputies.
- Notice No. 8/2021 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on concluding a treaty between the Czech Republic and Bangladesh to prevent double taxation, tax evasion and tax avoidance, has been promulgated in the Collection of International Treaties.
- The following was published in the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Bulletin in February:
- Notice on the Treaty between the CR and Pakistan implementing MLI in the bilateral double taxation treaty.
- Notice on the application of the Treaty between the CR and Kyrgyzstan preventing double taxation, tax evasion and tax avoidance.
- Correction of the Tax authorities’ bank accounts for most frequently paid taxes table (in IBAN format) for the payment of taxes from abroad (Appendix no. 5 to the article “How to currently pay tax to the tax authority in 2021”).
- Decision on the waiver of administrative fees due to an extraordinary event.
- The financial administration informed on having launched the pilot operation of an on-line tax authority - MOJE daně on 28 February 2021. The on-line tax authority aims to offer modern, simple and on-line solutions for dealing with tax liabilities.
- In cooperation with courts, notaries and a supplier, aiming to modernise and enhance the effectiveness of work of courts and notaries relating to the agenda of beneficial owners and trust funds, the Ministry of Justice changed the layout of these information systems on 1 March 2021. On the same date, the ministry also launched a universal central component for user authentication and authorisation.
- The government has submitted to the chamber of deputies a bill on the protection of whistle-blowers and another related amending act, transposing the directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of law.
FOREIGN NEWS IN BRIEF
- On 22 February 2021, the EU Council revised the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. The Council agreed to add Dominica to the list and move Barbados to the “grey list”. Following this latest revision, the EU blacklist includes the following twelve jurisdictions: American Samoa, Anguilla, Dominica, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands, Vanuatu. The Council is also seeking opinions from the member states on two on-going files: the EU Financial Transaction Tax and the public Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) proposals.
- The Belgium Constitutional Court asked the Court of Justice of the EU for a preliminary ruling on the application of mandatory disclosure requirements under the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC6). The dispute concerns the duty of lawyers to notify other advisors (intermediaries) that they are bound by professional secrecy in relation to a particular arrangement that may be in conflict with the obligation of secrecy itself.