covid19

COVID-19 Countermeasures in Czech Republic

Summary

Area
Title
Description
Labour law
Antivirus programme
Compensation paid by Czech Labour Office for employers affected by the pandemic. Up to 100% of salary (max. CZK 50,000)
Tax
Tax Relief Package
Tax returns deadlines prolonged, waiver on tax advances, waiver for fines and administrative fees related to taxes, Tax loss carry-back, Tax amendments to support economy (decrease of taxation for employees, acceleration of tax depreciation of assets, etc.)
Financial support
Loans and grants
Subsidies to entrepreneurs, shareholders, employers working on short-term employment contracts, , guaranteed loans up to CZK 15 million, other types of subsidies (accommodation facilities, including facilities for school camps, and spa facilities, culture, sport, tour carriers, tourism, etc.)
Other measures
Rental and loan payment
Moratorium on repayment of loans and mortgages, ban on rental termination
 E-sales  Termination of obligations in respect of e-sales until the end of 2022.

Labour market

Antivirus programme
Compensation will be provided to employers whose business activity is affected as a result of the pandemic. The contribution will be provided by the Czech Labour Office in two regimes:

Regime A. - Forced limitation of business operation and quarantine

  • In the event of ordered quarantine, the employee receives a wage compensation of 60%
  • In the event of closure of business due to the Government order, the employee receives a wage compensation of 100%
  • Contribution to employers amounting to 80% of the wage compensation paid, max CZK 39,000/month/employee
  • Programme within Regime A extended until the end of December 2020

Regime A. Plus - Forced limitation or significantly restriction of business operation by government crisis measures or extraordinary measures by the Ministry of Health or public health authorities

  • Not for quarantine or isolation restriction (regime A. applies)
  • Contribution to employers amounting to 100% of the wage compensation paid, max CZK 50,000/month/employee
  • For costs incurred as of 1 October 2020
  • Not available to employers who received other form of subsidy (e.g. COVID-Rent, COVID-Spa, COVID-Culture, etc.) over EUR 800,000

Regime B. - Connected economical difficulties

  • Obstacles to work on the part of an employer due to the ordered quarantine or childcare for a significant proportion of employees (30% or more) — the employee receives a wage compensation of 100%
  • Limitation of the availability of inputs (raw materials, products, services) necessary for the activity — the employee receives a wage compensation amounting to 80%
  • Reduced demand for services, products and other products of the company — the employee receives a wage compensation amounting to 60%
  • Contribution to employers amounting to 60% of the wage compensation paid, max CZK 29,000
  • Programme within Regime B extended until the end of October 2020 or till Kurzarbeit will be launched.

Regime C. – For small companies

  • Waiver of payment of social security insurance paid by employers (24.8% of gross salaries) for months June, July, August 2020. The waiver is available only to companies with max 50 employees and under condition to maintain the number of employees and the level of wages at least at 90% compared to March 2020
  • Possibility to defer payment of social security insurance paid by employers (24.8% of gross salary) for months May, June and July 2020 till 20 October 2020. The deferment will be subject to penalty for late payment which will be decreased to 1/5 of the statutory amount (instead of 0.05% for each day of delay only 0.01% will apply)
  • Kurzarbeit – support for maintaining an employment
    • Programme Kurzarbeit shall replace the Antivirus programme once terminated via amendment of Act on Employment, thus, shall be of the permanent nature. 
    • In cases where there is a significant threat to the domestic economy or one of its sectors, for example as a result of the economic crisis, natural disaster, health threat or massive cyber attack, the government will be able to declare a so-called Kurzarbeit for affected employers. 
    • The employers will be entitled to compensation for employees who will stay at home as their employers will not have work for them due to crisis restrictions in the amount of 70 % of net salary (up to the amount of average salary). 
    • The employee could stay at home from one to four days a week due to an obstacle to work for a maximum of 12 months. 
    • During the time when the work is not assigned, the employer would pay the full amount of health insurance and the social insurance in the amount of 70 % of the net salary. 
    • The employer has to be seated in the Czech Republic and cannot pay-out dividends at the time of using the Kurzarbeit. 
    • Waiting for an approval by the Parliament. 
  • Allowance for taking care of children until the end of June 2020 if the parents do not send children to re-opened schools from objective reason.
  • Allowance for taking care of children under 10 years or fulfillment of other conditions, in the amount of 60% of the daily assessment base for a maximum of 9 calendar days. For single people, the age limit for a child is 16 years and 16 calendar days. For school year 2020/2021 the allowance is in the amount of 70% of daily assessment base, min. CZK 400/day. Persons employed based on the temporary job agreements subject to social insurance are also entitled to the allowance. At the same time, the allowance is extended to persons who have to take care of the elderly or disabled person due to the closure of social facilities or quarantine. Extraordinary measures will be valid until 30 June 2021 at the latest.
  • Increase of maximum allowance to employees for employing a disabled person from CZK 12,800 to CZK 13,600/monthly as of 1 October 2020.

Tax provisions

Tax Relief Packages

  • Introduction of “loss carry-back” concept (tax loss generated in 2020 can be applied to 2018 and 2019, up to max amount of CZK 30 mil., it will be possible to claim “expected” loss already in the tax return for 2019)
  • General waiver of fine for late submission and default interest for late payment in respect of corporate and personal income tax (for tax returns for the 2019 tax period with original filing deadline of 1 April 2020 or 1 July 2020 if submitted/paid by 18 August 2020) 
  • General waiver of fine for late submission of annual payroll settlement by employer (if submitted by 31 May 2020)
  • General waiver of personal income and corporate income tax advance due on 15 June 2020
  • Individual waiver of personal income and corporate income tax advance due since 15 October to 15 December 2020 for taxpayers performing restricted activities and also for taxpayers for which more than half of the revenues in the period from 1 June to 30 September 2020 came from retail sale and the sale and provision of services in fixed establishments, with the exception of activities for which business was allowed even after 22 October 2020, provided that this is notified to a tax administrator.
  • General waiver of fine for the late filing of VAT ledger statement (only for those filed late between 1 March and 31 July 2020; n/a for filed late based on call of tax office – waiver subject to individual request)
  • Individual waiver of fine for late submission and default interest for late payment in respect of VAT.
  • Individual waiver of default interest for late payment of VAT for the tax periods of September, October and November 2020 or for the third quarter 2020 for VAT payers performing restricted activities and also for taxpayers for which more than half of the revenues in the period from 1 June to 30 September 2020 came from retail sale and the sale and provision of services in fixed establishments, with the exception of activities for which business was allowed even after 22 October 2020 provided that this is notified to a tax administrator and provided theif VAT due is will be paid till 31 December 2020.
  • General waiver of administrative fees in relation to requests for defer of tax payments or for payment of tax in instalments submitted by the end of 2020 (if approved, the interest can be waived) 
  • General waiver of fine for late submission and default interest for late payment in respect of tax on acquisition of immovable asset (if submitted/paid by the end of 2020)
  • General waiver of VAT for free supply of basic protective equipment (e.g. facecloths, respirators, disinfections, etc.) and other stipulated goods (e.g., COVID-19 medical tests, thermometers, breathing ventilators) between 18 May and 31 July 2020 and between 1 October and 31 December 2020 
  • Reduction of the VAT rate from the current 15% to 10% for accommodation services, admission to cultural and sport events and to sport facilities 
  • Road tax reduction by 25% on lorries with a maximum permissible weight of more than 3.5 tonnes reflected retroactively from the beginning of 2020 
  • Waiver of road tax advances due during 2020 for taxpayers whose main source of income comes from the restricted activities and also for taxpayers for which more than half of the revenues in the period from 1 June to 30 September 2020 came from retail sale and the sale and provision of services in fixed establishments, with the exception of activities for which business was allowed even after 22 October 2020 provided that this is notified to a tax administrator.
  • Shortening the deadline for refund of excise duty on green diesel within 40 days (currently 60 days) 
  • Abolition of tax on acquisition of immovable asset applied in the rate of 4% upon purchase of real estate for all transfers registered in the real estate cadastre from 1 December 2019 and later. This change is accompanied by decrease of eligible amount of interest on mortgage to be claimed as the deduction from personal income tax base from CZK 300,000/y to CZK 150,000/y and by prolongation of the period of ownership of real estate for tax exemption from personal income tax in case of income from the sale of real estate from 5 years to 10 years – valid for mortgage taken and acquisitions realized after 1 January 2021
  • Tax package as of 2021 (currently in the legislative process)
    • Changes in personal income tax - taxation of employees from gross salary at rate of 15% (cancellation of “super-gross salary” concept); introducing second tax rate of 23% on annual income over 48times the average monhtly wage; increase of personal tax credit; cancellation of cap for child tax bonus; introducing monetary contributions for catering of employees as tax-exempt income; introducing lump-sum tax as the option for tax assessment in the tax return.
    • Changes in tax depreciation of assets – acceleration of tax depreciation of assets acquired in 2020 and 2021 and included in the 1st group (depreciation over 12 months instead of 3 years) and the 2nd group (depreciation over 24 months instead of 5 years); increase of limit for tax depreciation of assets from CZK 40,000 to 80,000 (i.e., assets below the limit can be expensed in the current year); cancellation tax depreciation of intangible assets (i.e., accounting depreciation will be relevant for tax purposes).
    • Excise duty - reduction of excise duty on diesel by CZK 1 per liter

Other procedural options aiming to boost cash flows:

  • Application for the cancellation of an obligation to pay corporate income tax prepayments: If a decline in income is expected, it is possible to apply for the cancellation of a duty to pay tax prepayments
  • Application for tax deferral (in form of a postponement of the tax due date or the payment of tax in instalments): The tax administrator can allow the deferment of a specific tax liability amount (such as VAT or income tax).
  • Extension of the deadline for filing corporate income tax returns (including fiscal years): It is possible to apply for the extension of the statutory deadline for up to three months, or 10 months where income from abroad is also involved.

Provisions for entrepreneurs:

  • Extension of the deadline for filing Overviews for 2019 until 3 August 2020 (for health insurance) or until 18 September 2020 (for social security)
  • Waiver in respect of prepayments on social security and health care insurance  from March to August 2020
  • Allowance for taking care of children (CZK 424/day for March 2020, CZK 500/day for April, May and June 2020); CZK 400/day since October 2020 when schools are closed and the entrepreneur performing self-employemnt activity as the main activity cannot perform this activity due to taking care of the children younger 10 years or hendicapped. Applications for October can be submitted from 9 November to 9 December 2020.

Financial support

  • Direct subsidy of CZK 25,000 to entrepreneurs for months March and April 2020 in case their business was affected by coronavirus (the subsidy is extended to 8 June 2020 and might be extended until August 2020 if emergency status is declared in the amount of CZK 500/day).
  • Direct subsidy of CZK 44,500 (500/day from 12 March to 8 June 2020) to shareholders of limited liability companies with a maximum of two shareholders who are individuals (or more individual shareholders of one family) in case their business was affected by coronavirus. The applicant must be an active shareholder, cannot be concurrently employed (only in the given company or only based on work performance agreement or working activity agreement subject to sickness insurance), may not draw a contribution under the Antivirus program and a compensation bonus for entrepreneurs.
  • Direct subsidy of CZK 31,150 (350/day from 12 March to 8 June 2020) for persons working based on work performance agreement or working activity agreement subject to sickness insurance who were not able to fully or partially perform the activity due to the coronavirus. The condition is the performance of the activity based on the agreement for at least 4 months in the period from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020 and the applicant did not perform any other employment activity.
  • Direct subsidy of CZK 500/day to entrepreneurs and to shareholders of limited liability companies whose business was affected by government restrictions and at the same time the significant income in the decisive period (1 June-30 September 2020) was received from the restricted activities, as well to persons working based on work performance agreement or working activity agreement subject to sickness insurance who are employed by entrepreneurs affected by government restrictions. Applications can be submitted for the 1st bonus period from 5 October to 4 November 2020 until 5 January 2021,  for the 2nd bonus period from 5 to 21 November 2020 until 22 January 2021, and for the 3rd bonus period from 22 November to 13 December 2020 until 15 February 2021.
  • Direct subsidy of CZK 5,000 for pensioners (including old and disabled). The contributions should be received as part of the December 2020 pension payment.
  • Interest free loans with delayed repayment of the loan within program COVID I (currently suspended).
  • Guarantee for loans provided by commercial banks guaranteed by Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank within program COVID II to finance wage and energy costs, rent payments, payment of invoices, pre-financing of receivables, acquisition of property, inventory and other small assets. The guarantee applies to loans for up to 3 years up to 80% of the loan, the loan is max. up to CZK 15 mil. Further, the interest will be reimbursed up to CZK 1 mil. (currently, the 2nd round is running but expected to finish soon). 
  • Guarantee for loans provided by commercial banks guaranteed by Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank within program COVID Prague for small and medium-sized businesses operating in Prague, which have been negatively affected by government measures against the spread of coronavirus. Parameters are the same as in the case of COVID II (currently, the program is closed as fully used up but the subsequent program COVID III for self-employed persons and businesses up to 500 employees is started as of 18 May 2020). The program COVID III is extended until June 2021 and is applicable also for investments.
  • Subsidy in the form of 50% reimbursement of costs on renting premises for business from 1 April to 30 June 2020 within program COVID-Rent. The condition for receiving the subsidy of 50% (max CZK 10 mil.) is 30% discount on the rent fee provided by the landlord. In case of rental from the state subject, the subsidy will be automatically in the amount of 80% as state subjects will be providing 30% discount automatically Applicants may apply since 26 June 2020 electronically. There is condition to pay at least 50% of the rent before submitting the application.
  • Subsidy in the form of 50% reimbursement of costs on renting premises for business from 1 July to 30 September 2020 within program COVID-Rent II. Applicants may apply from 21 October 2020 to 21 January 2021. The condition is to pay at least 50% of the rent prior submitting the application.
  • Subsidy in the form of vouchers for spa´s clients within program COVID-Spa in the amount of CZK 4,000 for an adult with a permanent residence in the Czech Republic and registered in local health insurance system. The condition is to spend at least six nights and use at least five procedures in the spa facility in the period 1 July-31 December 2020 (possible extension of accepting vouchers also in 2021 is currently discussed). The approved limit for this program aiming to support spa facilities and cities is CZK 1 billion which corresponds to 250,000 vouchers.
  • Direct subsidy of CZK 100-330 per room and night for accommodation facilities within program COVID-Accommodations. The decisive period for subsidy is from 14 March to 24 May 2020 when accommodation facilities had to be closed. Airbnb types of accommodation are excluded from subsidy. If the support was already drawn in the form of a direct subsidy (for self-employed persons and for l.l.c.) mentioned above, the accommodation support will be reduced by this paid bonus. On the contrary, it is fully compatible with the Covid-Spa and Covid-Rent programs. The program was launched on 7 September 2020 and the collection of applications is from 11 September to 30 October 2020.
  • Direct subsidy within program COVID-School camps to entrepreneurs operating accommodation facilities that organize school camps (at least 3-nights stays of at least 10 children/pupils/students of kindergarten/elementary school/high school, etc.) that could not have been carried out in the decisive period from 25 May to 29 June 2020 due to government restrictions. The subsidy is up to CZK 108 per participant/day and can be combined with the program Covid-Accommodations (but it will be reduced by the amount received from the other program). Applications can be submitted online from 10 December 2020 to 12 February 2021.
  • Direct subsidy of 50% eligible costs within program COVID-Culture to entrepreneurs in the culture business to compensate costs incurred in the period from 1 October 2019 to 17 May 2020 for culture events planned in the period  from 10 March to 31 August 2020 but were canceled, postponed or organized on a smaller scale. The subsidy is aimed at organizers of the events, artists and agencies representing the artists as well as at entreprenerus and companies providing technical services in connection with cultural events. The maximum amount of the subsidy per business entity is CZK 5 million and the total budget of the program is CZK 900 million. Applications can be submitted online from 18 August 2020 till the end of September 2020. 
  • Direct subsidy within program COVID-Culture II to entrepreneurs in the culture business. The first form of the program is subsidy up to 50% eligible costs for postponed or canceled cultural events and up to 80% eligible costs for continuously developed activities in the field of culture, i.e. regular overhead costs of business entities up to CZK 10 millions. Applications can be submitted online from 22 October to 23 November 2020. The second form is one-off subsidy to self-employed persons in the amount of CZK 60,000. Applications can be submitted online from 23 October to 24 November 2020.
  • Subsidy for audiovisual industry – to cinema operators, distributors and production companies. Eligible costs are primarily intended for a creative team that will implement the innovations, as well as for rent and operating costs if they have not been supported by other government support programs. currently prepared as a separate programme, could be launched in the second half of November 2020 Applications can be submitted from 19 November to 21 December 2020.
  • Direct subsidy of 50% total eligible costs within program COVID-Sport to sports organizations to compensate costs incurred on the organisation of sporting event or fixed costs due even if the facility was closed during emergency period. The decisive period for subsidy and other conditions depend on the form of support. There are three areas of support: A (operation of sports facilities), B (organization of sports events) and C (rental of sports facilities). Applications can be submitted online from 15 June 2020 to 31 August 2020.
  • Subsidy for entrepreneurs in sport industry, specifically sports competitions and sports clubs within program COVID-Sport II.  The first area of support includes business entities that participate in some of the selected professional championship sports competitions. The second area of support includes business entities that organize or co-organize sports events that had to be canceled in connection with government restrictions. Applications can be submitted online from 12 November to 7 December 2020.
  • Direct subsidy for tour carriers within program COVID-Bus. The subsidy will be determined in the form of a contribution per seat per day according to the EURO bus emission standard in the period from 12 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Applications can be submitted online from 26 October to 25 November 2020. 
  • Direct subsidy for travel agencies and guides in tourism within program COVID-Tourism. The decisive period and the amount of the subsidy depends on the form of support. Applications can be submitted online from 11 November 2020 to 11 January 2021.

Other measures

Other provisions to help companies and entrepreneurs with cash flows:

  • Termination of obligation in respect of e-sales until the end of 2022.
  • Moratorium on repayment of loans and mortgages arranged prior 26 March 2020 binding for all banks and non-banking companies for 3 or 6 months upon notification of a debtor to its creditor.
  • Impossibility to terminate the lease in respect of premises for living as well as for business if the lessee is in delay with the payment of rent due to difficult financial situation in relation to coronavirus pandemic. The due rent must be repaid by 31 December 2020. 
  • Price moratorium on leasing of premises for living during emergency time effective as of 24 April 2020 (cancelled as of 5 June 2020).

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Dorota Pieszczoch
Dorota Pieszczoch
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