COVID-19: Measures to mitigate the consequences of the epidemy in Slovenia

Slovenia has adopted certain legislative measures to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemy. We have prepared a summary of them.

The first package of anti-COVID measures

On 20 March 2020, the Slovenian Parliament approved the Act on emergency measures to contain the epidemic COVID-19 and mitigate its consequences for citizens and the economy ("the Act"). The law will be effective from 13 March and at least until 31 May 2020 and may be extended by 30 days if the epidemic is not cancelled. (in force 28 March 2020).

On March 28, 2020, the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia published the Law on Emergency Measures in the Public Financial Area (ZIUJP) aimed at mitigating the negative effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on the economy.

 

VAT

The deadlines for VAT return submission and VAT payment in Slovenia have not changed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. However, companies can apply for tax payment deferral for up to 2 years or payment in 24 monthly instalments.

Companies can send their application via the Slovene Tax Authority’s electronic platform or by e-mail.

The law contains temporary changes in the field of taxation, while specific changes in the field of VAT were not covered. This means that, unlike some countries that have temporarily frozen the submission of VAT forms or VAT payments, regular deadlines for both submission and payment of obligations are still running in the Republic of Slovenia (RS).

Nonetheless, taxpayers have the option of deferring payments or paying off tax liabilities in installments if they file a claim with the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS).  This option is defined in 102.-104. Article 7 of the Tax Procedure Act, supplemented by Articles 7 and 8 of the LPIS. Pursuant to the Tax Procedure Act, different tax liabilities, such as payment of corporate tax, VAT or other tax liabilities, can be deferred, and the ZIUJP also adds a tax advance and a withholding tax. It should be emphasized that deferral of payment is not possible for social contributions for an employee. 

Taxpayers submit their claim via e-tax or, exceptionally, to the FURS e-mail address, and in accordance with the ZUUJP, the FURS decides on the application within 8 days of receiving the application.

The taxpayer may apply for a deferral of payment for up to 24 months or. installment repayments in 24-monthly installments over a 24-month period and the following options are available:

 

  • According to the ZUUJP, the taxpayer can apply for a deferral or. installment repayment if the epidemic loses its ability to generate revenue. The decrease in revenues may be the result of the Decree on the temporary prohibition of offering and selling goods and services to consumers, loss of orders, termination of contracts of business partners, impaired functioning on the foreign and domestic market, disrupted or. interrupted supply of raw materials, stopping of projects and the like (here.
  • Pursuant to the Tax Procedure Act, a taxpayer may apply for a deferral of payment or installment repayment if the taxpayer would suffer serious economic harm because of more permanent illiquidity or loss of ability to generate revenue for reasons beyond the control of the taxpayer (here. ). 
  • A taxpayer may avoid proving serious economic harm by submitting a security instrument or by allowing the lien to be entered in the relevant register in accordance with Article 103 of the Tax Procedure Act (here. ).

 

The novelty of the intervening law is that no deferred tax amount or unpaid taxes (including default interest) are charged for the time when the taxpayer is deferred from paying tax or allowable payment of tax in accordance with the ZUUJP or the Tax Procedure Act interest. 

Care should also be taken to ensure that, if the debtor is allowed to pay installments in installments, he does not miss the installment payment. If the installment due in the period of the measures under the ZUUJP is not settled, all unpaid installments due shall be paid three months after the expiry of the measures under this Act. After the expiry of the measures under the intervention law, it is considered that if the taxpayer is late with payment of an individual installment, all subsequent unpaid installments will become payable on the day the unpaid installment becomes due. 

Consideration should therefore be given to the possibility of supporting documents for deferral of payment, as it depends on which application is appropriate. We also advise taxpayers to consider a plan to pay their tax liabilities before submitting an application, if all deferred liabilities in the future are to be paid in one go, for example, if all are postponed from the current period to a certain period in the future.

 

Corporate income tax (CIT)

The deadline for submission of the annual DDPO and DohDej accounts for 2019 is postponed from 31 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, which expires on 1 June 2020 due to Sunday. Deadlines for submission of DDPO and DohDej accounts in the event of terminations, status changes or the insolvency proceedings remain the same as before. Taxpayers who have a tax period different from the calendar year may submit a tax return for the financial year whose submission deadline expires during the validity of this Act within two months after the deadline referred to in the third paragraph of Article 358 of the ZDavP-2.

Just extending the deadline for submitting bills to 31.05.202 will only facilitate preparation in time, but you should not forget that during this extended deadline it is necessary to continue to pay advances based on the 2019 clearing. Taxpayers, who may have had higher profits in 2019 , as in 2018, you will need to start paying the higher down payments after submitting the invoice, and at the same time, within the 30 days following the invoice payment, you will have to pay the amount of the underpaid advance payments for a period of 4 months from the beginning of 2020 (not just 2, as before). There is no specific deferral of payment for this mandatory surcharge.

The Public Finance Emergency Measures Act will administratively relieve entrepreneurs and companies by extending the deadlines for taxpayers to fulfill their obligations. The deadlines for submission and submission of annual reports to the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (all for 2019) to 31 May 2020 are delayed in order to make taxpayers easier to fulfill their obligations. The law also facilitates conditions for changing the advance payment and facilitating enforcement. deferral or installment payment of tax liabilities.

 

Other changes:

  • Annual assessment of personal income tax
  • Tax execution
  • Deferral of social security contributions for self-employed persons (s.p. and other natural persons engaged in the activity, eg journalists, lawyers, etc. private persons)
  • Run of time limits for carrying out procedural actions of taxpayers
  • 20. On March 20, 2020, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Law on the Intervention Measure of Deferred Payment of Borrowers' Obligations (hereinafter referred to as "the Act").

 

The second package of anti COVID measures

On April 2, 2020, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Law on Emergency Measures to curb the COVID-19 epidemic and mitigate its consequences for citizens and the economy, or #toKoronapaket (#PKP1), or even the "mega law", which provides for the introduction of new measures to maintain jobs.

# PKP1 complements the existing measures under the Wage and Contribution Measures Act (ZIUPPP). The law is expected to be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia on 10 April 2020 and is expected to enter into force on 11 April 2020.

Below we summarize the main proposed measures in the field of work and provide answers or our thoughts on some of the first questions, appearing along these lines. Of course, there is no case law yet.

 

The main measures are, under certain conditions (more below): 

  • full reimbursement of temporary wages to employees due to an inability to provide work by the employer due to the consequences of an epidemic of a new virus corona of 80% of the base, and exemption from contributions related to wage reimbursements, both up to a limited maximum amount; 
  • full reimbursement of workers' compensation for absent for reasons of force majeure of 80% of the base, and exemption from contributions linked to such wage compensation, both up to a limited maximum amount; 
  • exemption from the payment of pension and disability insurance contributions and the obligation to pay a crisis allowance of EUR 200 for employees; 
  • exceptional assistance in the form of a monthly basic income for the self-employed, religious servants and farmers; 
  • exemption from contributions for self-employed persons, religious servants, associates and farmers; 
  • the right to compensation during temporary absence from work due to illness or injury to be covered by compulsory health insurance from the first day of absence. 

 

During which period will the measures in the new #corona package apply 

  • The measure of reimbursement of the wages and salaries of absentee and absentee employees is available for the period from 13 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, irrespective of the date of entry into force of the Act. 
  • The exemption from the payment of all employee contributions on hold can be applied from 13 March to 31 May 2020. 
  • The pension and disability contribution exemption (and crisis allowance) measure can be applied to wages in April and May 2020. 
  • The new law also provides for a 30-day extension of the provisional duration of the measures, if the COVID-19 epidemic is not canceled by 15 May 2020.

 

Who is entitled to claiming reimbursement of payroll for workers?

Employers who are entitled to pay compensation for workers on hold are entitled to claim reimbursement:

  • temporarily unable to provide work due to coronavirus; and
  • will suffer a 20% decline in revenue in the first half compared to 2019 and will not grow more than 50% in the second half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 - unless otherwise indicated in the annual report submitted return all assistance received.

In the event that they have not operated throughout 2019, those employers who have suffered:

  • at least a 25% decrease in revenue in March 2020 compared to February 2020 or
  • at least a 50% decrease in revenue in April or May 2020 compared to February 2020.

Cannot claim the right:

  • a direct or indirect budgetary user whose share of public source revenue was higher than 70 percent in 2019,
  • an employer engaged in a financial or insurance activity that belongs to Group K according to the standard classification of activities.

In addition to meeting the conditions set out above it is also important that the right to reimbursement of paid wages cannot be exercised by the employer:

  • which does not meet the mandatory duties and other monetary non-tax liabilities collected by the tax authority if it has unpaid arrears on the date of filing. An employer shall be deemed not to have fulfilled the obligations referred to in this subparagraph even if he did not have all the withholding tax returns for employment income for the last five years up to the date of submission of the application on the date of application;
  • if bankruptcy proceedings are instituted above it.

Further #PKP1 stipulates that an employer receiving funds must repay the funds received in full if it commences liquidation proceedings during the period:

  • receiving funds and
  • upon termination of receipt of funds equal to the period of receipt of funds.

The employer will also have to repay the received funds together with the statutory default interest if, from the entry into force of this Act, in 2020, profit sharing, payment of part of salaries for business performance or rewards to management occurs.

 

What are the obligations of the employer at the time of payment of benefits?

Employers have the following obligations during the payroll reimbursement period:

  • payment of salary benefits (less contributions),
  • a ban on overtime work, if he can carry out this work with temporary workers,
  • prior notification to the ESS, if the employer requests the employee to return to work, or on the day of termination of absence, if the employee terminates the absence for reasons of force majeure.

If the employer fails to fulfill these obligations, he will be obliged to repay the received funds in triple the amount.

 

Are there possibilities to cancel employment contracts?

The law does not imply an explicit obligation on the employer to make an undertaking not to dismiss workers during the period of involvement in the measure or for a specified period.

 

Detailed explanation:

Assisting employers with workers who are waiting for work:

Workers who are waiting for work and employees who are unable to work due to force majeure are entitled to a salary compensation of 80 percent of the average monthly full-time salary for past three months in accordance with the Employment Relationship Act (ERA).

The law stipulates that the wage compensation for time off and absenteeism due to force majeure of 80% of the base may not be lower than the minimum wage in the Republic of Slovenia. The employer is therefore only limited by the minimum amount, otherwise he pays 80% of the compensation basis, as set out in the Employment Relationships Act for temporary absence from work due to waiting for work for business reasons.

It is important, however, that the employer will receive from the state reimbursement of the paid compensation only in the amount not exceeding the amount of the average salary for 2019 in the Republic of Slovenia, calculated per month, less the contributions of the insured.

If the employee's salary has been reduced due to the determination of part-time full-time employment with the employer, the wage or basis for wage compensation from the last three months prior to the determination of part-time work shall be taken into account in order to determine the wage compensation for temporary waiting periods.

It is also foreseen that employers will be exempt from the payment of social security contributions from paid compensation (22,1%) and on paid compensation (16,1%) not exceeding the average salary in the Republic of Slovenia in 2019, calculated per month, between 13 March 2020 and 31 May 2020.

On the contrary, the employer will be required to deduct and levy taxes. However, with regard to the payment of taxes (including income tax payments), the employer has the opportunity to ask for a deferral.

However, the law is unclear as to whether the employer will still have to pay the difference in the amount of contributions to be covered by the state in the event that it pays higher compensation than the average wage for 2019.

The employer will exercise the right for reimbursement of compensation payments by filing application with Employment services within eight days from when workers are posted to wait for work but no later than 31 May 2020.

Employers who have already posted workers to wait for work or have workers that cannot work due to force majeure as of 13 March 2020 must apply for reimbursement with Employment Services no later than 8 days after the Act enters into force.(in force 11.4.2020)

 

The application will need to be accompanied by:

  • in the case of claiming reimbursement of force majeure compensation, a statement under criminal and material responsibility that workers do not perform work due to force majeure resulting from the obligation to protect children due to the closure of kindergartens and schools and other objective causes or the inability to come to work due to the interruption of public transport, or border closures with neighboring countries for which they receive wage compensation, as well as proof of workers' justified absence of workers due to force majeure resulting from the protection of children due to the closure of kindergartens and schools or the inability to come to work to halt public transport or to close borders;
  • in case of claiming reimbursement of temporary work allowance, a statement under criminal and material responsibility that he / she cannot temporarily provide work due to the consequences of the epidemic, and evidence of posting of workers on temporary work leave due to temporary inability to provide work for a business reason.

The Employment Service of Slovenia will decide on the application within eight days with a decision.

The reimbursement will be paid monthly, in proportion or in full, on the 10th day of the month following the month of payment of the compensation. The diction is a bit vague and can be interpreted as a one-month delay. The payroll pay month is next month, e.g. May for April work. The 10th day of the month following the payout month could thus be June.

Absence due to force majeure equates to waiting for work in the corresponding amount of workers' wages, and compensation for wages due to force majeure absences will also be determined and paid at 80% of the base (no more than 50%).

The new law thus effectively defines force majeure for the purposes of this regulation, ie. absence due to childcare obligations due to the closure of kindergartens and schools and other objective reasons or the inability to come to work due to the interruption of public transport or the closure of borders with neighboring countries.

The Act also provides for certain conditions under which employers are entitled to reimbursement of paid compensation. One of the main conditions is a reduction of revenues in the first half of 2020 by more than 20% over the same period in 2019, or if in the second half of 2020 they would not reach more than 50% in revenue growth over the same period as in 2019. Special conditions are foreseen for employers who have not been in business throughout 2019.

Measures in this area are not available to employers who are direct or indirect budget consumers and those pursuing activities under the standard classification of activity K (financial or insurance).

 

Assisting employers with workers who are present at work:

The Act stipulates that employers will be exempt from paying contributions for pension and disability insurance of the employer (8.85% of gross) and of the employee (15.50% of gross) in the months of April and May 2020, if during emergency measures continue to pursue their activity. Employers will still have to calculate and report but not pay contributions for pension and disability.

The exemption does not apply to the payment of other mandatory social security contributions from salaries (for health care, unemployment, parental care, injuries at work).

Measures in this area are not available to employers who are direct or indirect budget consumers and those pursuing activities under the standard classification of activity K (financial or insurance).

In addition, workers whose salaries do not exceed three times the minimum wage (i.e. approximately EUR 2,800 gross per month) will be entitled to a crisis allowance of EUR 200. The allowance is exempt from taxation and social security contributions.

The law provides for a partial exemption from contributions for private sector employees and provides for a crisis allowance. This measure does not envisage the fulfillment of the condition of reduced revenues in 2020, but the obligation not to divide profits, pay part of salaries for business performance or rewards to the management must be fulfilled from the entry into force of this law in 2020, otherwise exempted funds will have to be returned a country with statutory default interest.

The new law thus stipulates that employers are exempted from all contributions for compulsory employment insurance by the payment of pension and disability insurance contributions in April and May 2020 (additional explanation received already for the part of the salary for March, April and May).

Exemption from contributions is also recognized for those employees who are on holiday leave and are paid.

We consider that t.i. The monthly crisis allowance of EUR 200 is paid only in cases where the employer claims the benefit of exemption from pension and disability insurance contributions for employees who are working or on holiday leave. However, the obligation to pay a monthly crisis supplement does not arise for employers who do not exercise the benefits of exemption from contributions.

In this respect, it is not yet known whether the (special) application will be required for the exercise of this benefit or whether it will be envisaged to exercise this benefit on a special form. We believe that it will be possible for the employer to be able to claim this benefit directly when calculating wages and in submitted forms to Tax Authority.

To the extent that an employer will claim a pension contribution exemption for workers who are employed, they must pay a crisis allowance to all employees, regardless of whether they work from home or at the employer's premises, and their last paid monthly gross wage has not exceeded three times the minimum wage, or approx 2800 EUR gross.

 

Special aid in the form of basic income (for self-employed, entrepreneurs):

The Act foresees, due to the decline in income of certain groups of persons a special aid in the form of monthly basic income. These are self-employed persons who, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, are unable to carry out their activities or will perform them on a substantially reduced scale, and other beneficiaries, such as farmers and religious servants of a registered church. 

The covered members are also individuals insured on the basis of Article 16 of the Pension and Disability Insurance Act (ie. a single shareholder limited liability company).

Beneficiaries will receive exceptional assistance of EUR 350 for the month of March and EUR 700 for the months of April and May 2020 respectively, if they have been in business from 13 March 2020 until the Act came into force.

The condition for receiving basic income is that in March self-employed income was lower by at least 25% compared to February or at least 50% in April or May relative to February 2020.

The beneficiary will have to make a statement that due to the epidemic COVID-19 is unable to carry out its activities or is carrying them out in reduced extent. The statement should be filed with FURS via eDavki. The filing deadlines are different and affect the date of receipt of the basic income (eg, those who will submit the statement by 18 April 2020, will receive the funds form FURS by 25 April 2020).

The statement of the beneficiaries shall be considered as public information and shall be published on the FURS website accordingly. If the beneficiaries do not reach the general condition for subsidy, they will have to repay the aid in full amount back to the state.

Self-employed persons who are compulsory insured for pension and disability, on the day of the adoption of the Act under the first paragraph of Articles 15 and 16 of the ZPIZ-2 and farmers and religious employees who are insured in accordance with the ZPIZ-2 will be exempt from payment of social contributions for all compulsory social security contributions for the month of April and May 2020.

Health insurance benefits (sick leave compensation):

If the employee is temporarily absent from work due to sickness or injury on his or her employer's charge or entitled to reimbursement, on the day the Act enters into force, the sick leave benefit will be fully covered by compulsory health insurance. The cost of compensation will be provided from the state budget.

Requests for reimbursements under this title must be submitted by employers until 30 September 2020 at the latest. The Health Insurance Institute will reimburse the cost of the paid benefit within 60 days to the legal person or within 30 days to the self-employed person.

Other changes:

The Act stipulates that advance payments of personal income tax for natural persons engaged in business activity (self -entrepreneur) and advance payments of corporate income tax, which will be due after the adoption of the Act, and up to and including 31 May 2020, shall not be paid.

At the same time, these advances are not considered to be accounted for, and thus the unpaid instalments of the tax are not deducted from the advance payment of personal income tax from the activity for 2020 or from the personal income tax calculated for 2020 (the expected payment of personal income tax in 2021 for 2020).

Foreclosures; Payment deadline; Submission and publication of annual reports for insurance companies:

Foreclosures

Workers who have court or tax foreclosure will not pay them in the period when the said Act is in force - enforcement is delayed by 31 May 2020. This means that foreclosures on March salaries will not be executed on part of the income paid under provisions of this Act (e.g. compensation for waiting for work). For April and May no foreclosures will be executed on salaries irrespective of type of payment. This does not, however, apply to deduction for child   alimony which will continue to be properly accounted for and deducted.

Payment deadlines

Payment deadlines when the creditor is a public authority is extended to 60 days. That deadline will remain in force for one year after the end of the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Submission and publication of annual reports for insurance companies

The insurance agency may submit an annual report and an auditor's report on the auditing of the annual report to the Insurance Supervision Agency no later than five months after the end of the calendar year.

Residency permits for foreigners

Foreigners who, at least until 13 March 2020, had a valid legal ground to stay in the Republic of Slovenia and for objective reasons cannot leave the territory of the Republic of Slovenia shall be allowed to stay in the Republic of Slovenia until the measures for containing the epidemic have been abolished.

Cadastral income

Due to the anticipated loss of production of basic agricultural and forestry products, the Act stipulates that for 2020 the tax base from potential market income for products from land shall be determined at 50% of cadastral income determined on 30 June 2020 and the tax base from potential market income for hive production of 35% of the flat rate per hive established on 30 June 2020.

Last update: April 8, 2020