Global COVID-19 Individual Income Tax Responses

Country-by-country Individual Income Tax Responses

Albania

  • A one-time payment of ALL 40,000 is available to certain eligible employees, depending on: (1) the type of sector and entity they are employed in, and (2) earning less than ALL 2,000,000 in 2019.

Algeria

  • Effective June 1, 2020, the exemption from personal income tax is raised from monthly income of DZD 10,000 to DZD 30,000

Angola

  • Private sector employers are required to pay the employee their salary plus the social security contribution (3% of the employee’s salary) in April, May and June 2020.

Argentina

  • An ’emergency family income’ one-time payment in the amount of ARS 10,000 for qualified unemployed and low-income workers.
  • Temporary income tax exemption from March to September 2020 on qualifying special, hazard, or overtime pay for defined frontline workers.
  • Establishment of an installment plan for payment of individual income tax for tax year 2019.
  • The filing deadline has been further extended to August 10 – 13, depending on taxpayer identification number.
  • Congress has received a bill that would implement a one-time emergency wealth tax on assets exceeding ARS 200 million as of December 31, 2019. The rates would 2% – 3.5% for assets located in Argentina, and 3% – 5.25% for off-shore assets.
  • The income tax exemption on qualifying special, hazard, or overtime pay for defined frontline workers has been extended from September 30 to December 31, 2020.

Aruba

  • The 10% reduced rate for private pension redemption has been extended through December 31, 2020. The progressive individual rates will apply beginning in 2021.
  • The 2019 individual income tax return deadline has been extended to February 26, 2021.

Australia

  • Temporarily reduced minimum drawdown rates for superannuation.
  • Temporary early release of superannuation, up to $10,000 of 2019-2020 superannuation, and $10,000 in 2020-2021.
  • $750 tax-exempt payments to social security, veteran, and other income support recipients and concession card holders: first round: 3/31/20, second round: 7/13/20.
  • Australia has implemented a simplified method for claiming deductions for working from home, effective March 1 – September 30, 2020.
  • The government has proposed expanding the central tax bracket to between $45,000 and $200,000, with the 30% rate.
  • The JobKeeper scheme has been extended through March 28, 2021.
  • Australia has extended the simplified method for claiming deductions for working from home from September 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

Austria

  • Filing deadline extended to August 31, 2020.
  • EUR 19 billion stimulus packages has been agreed upon which would include a reduction in individual tax rates and a one-time child bonus of EUR 360 per eligible child. The package will now undergo the legislative process to become law.
  • The final version of the stimulus package to be approved includes a provision to extend the top marginal rate of 55% on income exceeding EUR 1 million, which was previously set to expire after 2020, to 2025.

Bangladesh

  • The filing deadline has been extended to December 31, 2020.

Belgium

  • Automatic two-month extension of tax year 2019: individual income tax return due date moved to May 12, 2020. No penalties or late payment interest will be assessed.
  • Deferral of payment of withholding and/or personal income tax for individuals able to demonstrate they are negatively impacted.
  • A tax-exempt voucher, up to EUR 300 per employee, to be used in restaurants or for cultural activities, can be granted by employers by December 31, 2020.
  • A tax-exempt allowance for remote working of EUR 129.48 per month may be granted to qualifying employees.

Benin

  • Donations made to organizations fighting COVID-19 are fully deductible

Brazil

  • Individuals suffering financial impact may apply for negotiated tax reductions and installment plans for debts.
  • The government has extended the 0% financial transaction tax levied on credit transactions until December 31, 2020.

Cameroon

  • Donations to COVID-19 charities are fully tax deductible.

Canada

  • Taxable income support payment to eligible workers with loss of income, CAD 2,000/month, up to four months. In order to receive the payment, an individual must meet the eligibility requirements:
    1. Have stopped working due to COVID-19, and not have access to paid leave or other income support
    2. Be sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
    3. Be a working parent who must stay home without pay to care for children
    4. Be employed, but not being paid because of an employer directive
    5. Be a wage earner or self-employed individual who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance
    6. Not have voluntarily terminated their employment
  • The minimum required annual withdrawal payments from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) and Registered Pension Plans is reduced by 25% for 2020.
  • The goods and services tax (GST) credit is doubled for the 2019-2020 benefit year.
  • 6-month suspension on the payment of interest and principal on Canadian student loans, to September 30, 2020.
  • Temporary increase of the Child Care Benefit, up to $300 per child.
  • Filing deadline extended to June 1, 2020.
  • Up to CAD 500 can be reimbursed tax-free for telework equipment for employees working from home
  • Comprehensive support of nearly CAD 9 billion has been announced for post-secondary students and recent graduates in the form of cash benefits, grants, job creations/placements, training opportunities, and financial support.
  • Canada has issued guidance and agency positions regarding COVID-10 income tax issues on tax residency, permanent establishment, cross-border employment, and waiver requests.
  • Filing deadline further extended to September 30, 2020

Cape Verde

  • Filing deadline extension to July 31, 2020

Chile

  • Individuals are eligible to withdraw the lower of 10% or 150 indexed units of private pension accounts tax-free

China

  • Subsidies and bonuses received by medical workers participating in epidemic control and treatment are exempt from individual income tax.
  • Charitable contributions to epidemic control and treatment are fully deductible for individual income tax.
  • The effective tax rate for qualifying individuals in the Hainan Free Trade Port will be capped at 15%.

Colombia

  • Mandatory employee and employer contributions to pension funds for April and May 2020 have been reduced from 4% to 0.75%, and 12% to 2.25%, respectively.
  • The Colombian Tax Administration clarified that the period of stay in Colombia for individuals unable to leave the country due to travel restrictions will be taken into account for purposes of the 183-day tax residency criterion.
  • Employers are required to provide a digital connectivity allowance, which has temporarily replaced the commuting allowance, for employees earning up to two minimum legal wages and working from home.
  • The Constitutional Court ruled that the temporary “Solidarity income tax for COVID-19” levied from May 1 – July 31 2020 on certain high-income public employees is unconstitutional. Amounts already paid will be considered advance income tax payments.

Costa Rica

  • There is a proposal submitted for discussion and approval of a temporary increase in the top marginal rate from 25% to 30% to help combat the effects of the pandemic.
  • Employees can make eligible withdrawals from defined contribution plans if employment has been terminated or suspended.
  • The Legislative Assembly has received a bill proposing a one-time wealth tax in order to respond to the impact of the pandemic.

Cyprus

  • Effective March 1, 2019, Cyprus implemented a General Health System (GHS). The employee rate of contribution is 2.65% up to a maximum contribution of EUR 4,770. The employee General Health System (GHS) rate of contribution is temporarily reduced from 2.65% to 1.7% for a 3-month period: either March – May, or April – June, depending on employer implementation.
  • Filing deadline for salaried persons is extended to October 31, 2020.

Czechia

  • Deadline extension to August 18, 2020, with no interest or penalties assessed.
  • Pending presidential approval, an amendment has been passed to waive social security contributions for qualifying employers for the months of June, July, and August,

Denmark

  • Filing deadline extended to September 1, 2020.
  • Guidance published for commuters in the Øresund region that have been working from home during the lockdown period that apply the Øresund Agreement for income tax and social security.

Dominican Republic 

  • Filing deadline extended to July 29, 2020.

Egypt

  • In order to a support the national economy, Egypt has introduced a 1% solidarity contribution on net employment income for all public and private employees, applicable for a 12-month period beginning August 14, 2020. Employees with a net monthly salary less than EGP 2,000 are exempt from the contribution.

El Salvador

  • Filing deadline extended to June 30, 2020.

Estonia

  • Temporary suspension of contributions to the mandatory funded pension scheme.

Finland

  • The government has published a report detailing the plan to navigate the country out of the economic crisis. Among the measures, it is noted that tax increases will be targeted to wealthy and elderly taxpayers, as well as real estate.
  • Employer-provided equipment in order to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 does not constitute a taxable benefit, even if the equipment is used during non-working hours.
  • Employee-purchased face masks qualify as tax deductible work-related or commuting expenses.

France

  • French tax authorities issued a clarification that the COVID-19 lockdown should not have consequences related to taxpayers’ residency status under domestic law and existing tax treaties. Under domestic law, days spent in country due to exceptional circumstances are not taken into account, and therefore a temporary stay because of voluntary isolation or travel bans will not impact residency status. Similarly, under tax treaties, authorities have indicated that the pandemic is a situation of force majeure, and therefore should not be considered to have their permanent residence or center of vital interests in France during the lockdown.
  • The government intends to exempt small and medium companies in the wine sector from social security contributions.
  • Payroll tax installments due in July and August for salaries paid in June and July, respectively, may be postponed by up to 3 months, if the taxpayer elects.
  • France and Switzerland have signed an agreement with respect to frontier workers currently teleworking as a result of the pandemic. The agreement states that for purposes of applying the France/Switzerland income tax treaty, days spent working from home due to COVID-19 are deemed to be spent in the country where the worker would have normally carried out the work. The agreement is applicable from March 14 to May 31, 2020, with an automatic extension until the end of the following calendar month when travel restrictions are lifted, or the agreement is jointly terminated.
  • France has extended its mutual agreements regarding the taxation of cross-border and frontier workers due to COVID-19 with Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, respectively, through the end of 2020.
  • The Minister of Economy and Finance has launched a website (in French) to assist taxpayers in availing the COVID-19 tax benefits and aids.

Germany

  • Reduced hours compensation benefit rules have been adjusted to conform to current needs.
  • Enforcement measures and late payment penalties are waived until December 31, 2020.
  • A EUR 130 billion economic stimulus package has been announced. Among the measures impacting individuals are:
    • a payment of a one-time child bonus of EUR 300 per child eligible to the monthly child benefit.
    • a temporary increase in the single parents allowance from EUR 1,908 to EUR 4,000 for tax.
    • a guarantee that the combined social security contributions by employees and employers will not exceed 40% in the years 2020 and 2021.
  • The mutual agreement between Germany and Netherlands on the taxation of frontier workers has been extended until at least December 31, 2020.

Ghana

  • Withdrawals from the Provident Fund or personal pension schemes can be exempted from tax for individuals with permanent loss of employment or capital.

Greece

  • The filing deadline has been further extended from July 29 to August 28, 2020.
  • A 2% reduction in personal income tax will apply to tax year 2019 income for tax returns filed before July 17, 2020.
  • Only 60% of the rent of real estate for primary or student residence will be due for September 2020. The unpaid amount will not be subject to income tax or social security as a debt forgiveness.
  • The Greek government has submitted a proposal to reduce 2021 social security contributions by 3%.
  • Greece is preparing a law that will allow individuals moving to Greece during 2021 to exempt 50% of their income from tax for up to seven years. The plan is designed to attract ‘digital immigrant’ professionals that will be able to work from a location of their choosing, as well as people leaving the UK due to Brexit. In order to qualify, an individual must not have been a resident of Greece for the past seven years.

Guatemala

  • Congress is currently analyzing an extraordinary tax contribution that would increase the top marginal rate from 7% to 10%.
  • Taxpayers can request interest-free payment plans for tax liabilities.

Guernsey

  • The filing deadline for submitting 2019 income tax returns has been extended from November 30, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
  • Employees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic are allowed to deduct additional expenses incurred on light and heat energy for an amount of GBP 3 per week. The amount has now been increased to GBP 8 per week.

Guyana

  • Filing deadline extended to September 30, 2020

Honduras

  • Granted an 8.5% credit for 2019 income tax for certain low and middle class taxpayers that filed their 2019 tax return by April 30, 2020.

Hong Kong

  • Payment deadline for salaries tax and personal assessment are automatically extended by three months.
  • The Inland Revenue Department has announced an exemption of tax for Anti-epidemic Fund assistance provided to individuals for the year of assessment 2019/2020.

Hungary

  • Temporary abolition of payroll taxes and social insurance contributions for taxpayers in defined affected sectors (hospitality, transportation, entertainment, etc.).
  • The government has announced a new tax-free teleworking allowance for employees working from home during the state of emergency reintroduced as of November 4, 2020. The allowance is equal to 10% of the statutory minimum wage (HUF 161,000 in 2020), and can be claimed without substantiation of actual expenses. However, terms of the teleworking arrangement must be provided in an employment contract. In lieu of the allowance, taxpayers may instead claim actual expenses incurred for:
    • Intangible assets, computers, and computer appliances used for teleworking, up to HUF 200,000. Costs in excess of HUF 200,000 can be claimed as a 33% annual depreciation allowance;
    • Costs of internet access
    • Heating, lighting, and energy costs, calculated pro rata if the living and working areas cannot be clearly separated.

Iceland

  • A one-off child benefit payment will be distributed on June 1, 2020 for all families with children under the age of 18. The benefit will be ISK 40,000 per child for average monthly income less than ISK 927,000 and ISK 20,000 per child for monthly income in excess.

India

  • The filing deadline has been further extended to November 30, 2020 (previously extended to June 30, 2020.)
  • There is an optional reduction in both the employer and employee Provident Fund (EPF) contribution rate from 12% to 10% for the three month period of May, June and July 2020. This applies to all eligible employees, including international workers (IWs), however the reduction may not be allowed under existing employee contracts without consent.
  • The government will subsidize the provident fund contributions for businesses that hire new employees with monthly wages less than INR 15,000 from October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 to incentivize job creation during the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, businesses must hire at least two new employees if the business had 50 or less employees in September 2020, or at least five new employees if the business had more than 50 employees. For 2 years the government will subsidize both the employee (12%) and employer (12%) contributions for eligible businesses with 1,000 employees or less, or only the employee contribution (12%) for businesses with more than 1,000 employees.

Indonesia

  • Approved contributions to COVID-19 charities from March 1 – September 30, 2020 are fully tax deductible.
  • Compensation paid by the government to healthcare and frontline workers are entitled to a final income tax rate of 0%.

Ireland

  • A Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has been announced, with employers refunded up to 85% of qualifying employee wages.
  • Dubbed the ‘stay-and-spend initiative’, a tax credit up to EUR 125 is provided to individuals for the expenditure on accommodation, food, and non-alcoholic beverages within Ireland, between October 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.

Isle of Man

  • Employers are able to reimburse up to GBP 8 per week tax-free for household expenses incurred by employees working from home

Italy

  • Companies must pay an extraordinary bonus of EUR 100 for the month of March to all employees with annual income less than EUR 40,000 in the previous year.
  • 15 days parental leave at 50% wage, or a EUR 600 bonus for employees with children under the age of 12.

Japan

  • Filing deadline extended to April 16, 2020.
  • Introduction of a donation deduction or tax credit for individuals that give up a refund right claim for cultural, art, or sport events that were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Jersey

  • There is a proposal for a temporary reduction of social security contributions from 6% to 4%, for the period of October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

Jordan

  • Filing deadline extension to June 30, 2020, with no interest or penalties assessed.

Kazakhstan

  • Allowances provided to healthcare employees working in pandemic activities are exempt from income tax and social security contributions.

Kenya

  • The Tax Laws Act 2020 was enacted on April 25, 2020 intended to relieve taxpayers of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Annual resident personal relief has been increased from KES 16,896 to KES 28,800. The individual income tax rates for individuals have been revised, with the top marginal rate reduced from 30% to 25%.

Laos

  • 3-month (April, May, June 2020) exemption of income tax on salaries for individuals earning less than LAK 5,000,000 per month.

Latvia

  • Impacted taxpayers may apply for an extension of tax payment deadlines. The government may set up installment plans or defer overdue taxes for up to 3 years, and waive interest and penalties.

Lithuania

  • For impacted taxpayers, collection of overdue taxes will not be enforced and late payment interest will not apply until the end of the emergency period.

Luxembourg

  • Suspension of days limitation for Belgian, French, and German teleworkers to avoid taxation by country of residence.

Malaysia

  • A temporary reduction in the employee provident fund contribution for the period 1 April 2020 until 31 December 2020 – from 11% to 7%. Employees have a choice, however, to maintain contributions at 11%.
  • Employees who received benefits-in-kind in the form of technology from the employer for the purpose of working from home will be entitled to an income tax exemption of up to MYR 5,000.
  • Individuals with childcare expenses are entitled to a personal relief of MYR 3,000.
  • A special income tax relief of MYR 1,000 is available to individuals for expenses incurred for domestic tourism for years of assessment 2020 and 2021.

Malta

  • Parents of school-aged children working in the private sector that cannot fulfill their work obligations remotely are eligible for a direct payment of EUR 166.15 per week.
  • EUR 100 vouchers are to be given to Malta residents over the age of 16, eligible to be used at hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars.
  • Filing deadline extended to July 31, 2020.

Mauritius

  • In an effort to improve taxpayer cashflow, individuals are not required to pay quarterly tax in advance of the tax year ending June 30, 2021. Tax due can be paid with the annual income tax return to be submitted by October 15, 2021.
  • A tax arrears settlement scheme has been introduced to allow taxpayers with outstanding balances as of October 31, 2020 to settle by December 31, 2021 without incurring penalties and interest.

Moldova

  • A draft law would amend the Tax Code in order to make COVID-19 tests paid by an employer a nontaxable benefit.

Mongolia

  • Personal income tax and social security exemption for resident taxpayers from April 1 – October 1, 2020. The social security contribution rate is reduced to 5% from October 1 – December 31, 2020.

Montenegro

  • 90-day payment deferral of individual income tax and social security contributions due in March, April, and May 2020.

Morocco

  • Effective March 23, the payment of social security is suspended.
  • A 3-month delay in payment of mortgage and consumer loans.
  • Employees registered with the CNSS and working for companies with a partial or total shutdown are eligible for a monthly allowance of MAD 1,000 for March, and MAD 2,000 for April, May, and June. Employees are also eligible to maintain compulsory health insurance and receive family allowances. In addition, individuals may also benefit from a 3 month delay of payment on consumer and mortgage loans.

Namibia

  • A one-time emergency income grant of NAD 750 to eligible Namibian citizens between the ages of 18 and 60.
  • Filing deadline extended to September 30, 2020.
  • The Ministry of Finance has announced a penalties and interest relief program aiming to support Namibian cash flow. The ministry will write off 95% of the interest and all of the penalties for taxpayers that settle the capital amount within three month from February 1, 2021. The ministry will also write off 75% of interest and all of the penalties for taxpayers that settle the capital amount with 12 months from February 1, 2021.

Netherlands

  • Deferral of payment of individual income tax for individuals able to demonstrate they are negatively impacted.
  • A 0.01% discount for early payment of tax due is available for certain taxpayers.
  • Travel allowances of a ‘fixed and equal’ nature during the state of emergency may be provided tax free if certain conditions are met.
  • Under the work-related expenses scheme, an employer may provide a tax-free payment of up to 1.7% of total salary (up to EUR 400,000). The percentage has been increased to 3%.
  • Mortgage payments may be suspended for up to 6 months, with the suspension beginning no later than July 1, 2020. Repayment plan requirements must be met in order for mortgage interest to continue to be deductible for owner-occupied dwellings.
  • The mutual agreement between Germany and Netherlands on the taxation of frontier workers has been extended until at least December 31, 2020.

New Zealand

  • Permanent increase in social welfare benefits.
  • Temporary doubling of the Winter Energy Payment.
  • Enabling working families with children to receive the Work Tax Credit, without meeting the minimum working hours test.
  • Threshold to pay provisional income tax for tax year 2020/2021 increased from NZD 2,500 to NZD 5,000.
  • Practical adjustments have been made to the requirements for reducing, suspending, or withdrawing contributions from KiwiSaver.
  • For the period of March 17, 2020 – March 17, 2021, employer-provided working from home allowances are tax-free up to:
    • NZD 15 per week for general work from home costs
    • NZD 5 per week for telecommunication usage costs
    • NZD 400 one-time allowance for furniture and equipment

Nigeria

  • 180-day moratorium on residential mortgage obligations obtained by individual contributors under the Nigerian Housing Fund (NHF).
  • Deadline for waiver of penalties and interest is extended to August 31, 2020.

Pakistan

  • The filing deadline has been extended from September 30 to December 8, 2020.

Panama

  • Filing deadline extended to December 31, 2020.
  • 85% of interest and penalties are waived for tax debts paid before December 31, 2020.

Peru

  • Employers obligation to withhold 10% of salary for private pension contributions is suspended.
  • Taxpayers may file a request to defer payment of tax liabilities in installments until September 30, 2020.

Philippines

  • A special tax-free risk allowance will be provided by the government to all public and private health employees working directly for or with COVID-19 patients.
  • Retirement benefits received by private employees from June 5 – December 31, 2020 are exempt from income tax. Re-employment with the same employer within the next 12 months will be considered as non-retirement, and benefits will be subject to income tax.

Poland

  • Filing deadline extended to June 30, 2020.
  • Donations of laptops or tablets by individuals to support qualifying education organizations during the pandemic are deductible in the following manner:
    • 200% of the value from January 1 to April 30, 2020;
    • 150% of the value in May 2020
    • 100% of the value from June 1 to September 30, 2020;
    • 200% of the value from October 1 to December 31, 2020;
    • 150% of the value from January 1 to March 41, 2021;
    • 100% of the value from April 1, 2021 until the end of the pandemic

Portugal

  • Filing deadline extended to July 31, 2020.

Puerto Rico

  • Filing deadline extended to July 15, 2020.
  • Income tax exemption of assistance payments granted by employers, and special distributions from retirement accounts.
  • An additional 3% tax credit is provided to individuals with income below $100,000
  • Exemption from individual income tax (up to $4,000) for:
    1. Special payments for assistance by employers to employees who have not worked during the lockdown period
    2. Special distributions from retirement plans and retirement accounts

Romania

  • Benefits in kind provided to ‘vital’ employees (as defined by the employer) that are isolated during the state of emergency are not subject to tax and social security contributions.

Russia

  • There is a proposal to allow individuals that have not been able to enter the country due to the travel ban to apply to be treated as a tax resident even if they have not met the 183-day requirement. Residents are taxed at a flat 13%, while nonresidents are taxed at a flat 30% rate.
  • In effort to combat the financial impact of COVID-19, the government has announced plans to introduce progressive individual income tax rates, replacing the flat 13%, effective January 1, 2021. The top rate would be 15% on income exceeding RUB 5 million.
  • Expenses incurred by employers for COVID-19 testing of employees is not considered a taxable benefit to the employee.
  • Additional payments made to medical staff working with patients and/or material infected with COVID-19 are exempt from individual income tax.
  • In order stimulate quality of life, the Ministry of Finance has proposed that expenses incurred by individuals for sports and fitness activities are to be deductible for individual income tax purposes, up to RUB 120,000 per year.

San Marino

  • For tax year 2020, resident individuals may deduct up to EUR 300 for bar, restaurant, and entertainment expenses, and up to EUR 200 for sports activities and personal services.
  • The filing deadline is extended to August 31, 2020, and tax due on the tax return exceeding EUR 300 may be paid in three equal installments by August 31, September 30, and October 31.

Senegal

  • Contributions to the COVID-19 Response Fund are fully tax deductible.

Singapore

  • Filing deadline extended from April 18, 2020 to May 31, 2020.
  • Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions are not required on the reimbursement of expenses (such as meals, transportation, lodging) for employees working in a different location due to COVID-19 issues, such as working from home or overseas. Cash allowances given to employees would still be subject to CPF contributions.
  • A one-off cash payout will be provided in August/September 2020 to all Singaporeans aged 21 and above. The amount is $300, $600, or $900 depending on 2019 assessable income, with an additional $300 for each eligible parent, and an additional $100 for Singaporeans aged 50 and above.
  • The Inland Revenue Authority has published guidance on the tax treatment of various COVID-19 payouts granted to individuals.
  • With respect to guidance on permanent establishment determination related to COVID-19, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has further extended the period of unplanned presence of employees of a foreign company in Singapore to December 31, 2020.

Slovenia

  • Employees not able to work, or whose employers are temporarily unable to ensure work are entitled to reimbursement of salaries and exemption from social security contributions.
  • Employees receiving salaries from companies with a revenue decrease of at least 20% compared to 2019 are exempt from pension and disability contributions (subject to further qualifications).
  • Filing deadline extended to August 31, 2020.

South Africa

  • Tax subsidy of ZAR 500/month for the next four months for private sector employees earning less than ZAR 6,500/month.
  • The finance minister announced a plan to increase tax revenue by R40 billion over the next four years. Details of the first round of tax hikes will be announced in February 2021.
  • The 183-day threshold requirement for the foreign remuneration exemption has been reduced to 117 days during any 12-month period. Normally, individuals who spend more than 183 days working outside South Africa during the tax year qualify for an exemption of foreign remuneration.

Spain

  • Deferral of payment deadline of tax not exceeding EUR 30,000 from March 13, 2020 to May 30, 2020.

Sri Lanka

  • The filing deadline has been extended to May 31, 2020.

Suriname

  • Filing deadline extended to June 15, 2020.
  • There is a proposal to introduce a COVID-19 solidarity tax of 10% on high income earners, for the period of September 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021. Details of defined high-income earners has yet to be announced, and the proposal still requires legislative approval.

Sweden

  • Guidance published for commuters in the Øresund region that have been working from home during the lockdown period that apply the Øresund Agreement for income tax and social security.

Switzerland

  • France and Switzerland have signed an agreement with respect to frontier workers currently teleworking as a result of the pandemic. The agreement states that for purposes of applying the France/Switzerland income tax treaty, days spent working from home due to COVID-19 are deemed to be spent in the country where the worker would have normally carried out the work. The agreement is applicable from March 14 to May 31, 2020, with an automatic extension until the end of the following calendar month when travel restrictions are lifted, or the agreement is jointly terminated. .

Taiwan

  • Filing deadline for impacted individuals extended to June 30, 2020.

Thailand

  • Filing deadline extended to August 31, 2020.
  • Retroactive to January 1, 2020, the health insurance premium deduction has been increased from THB 15,000 to THB 25,000.
  • In an effort to increase confidence in the Thai capital market, the Ministry of Finance has announced an initiative to provide personal tax relief up to THB 200,000 for individuals who invest in a Super Savings Fund from April 1 – June 30, 2020. In order to qualify the fund must have invested at least 65% of its net assets in shares listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the individual must hold the investment for at least 10 years (except for disability or death).
  • The government will grant a tax exemption to certain healthcare and other frontline workers who receive special compensation from the Ministry of Public Health.
  • In an effort to promote social distancing, Thailand has mandated online filing and payment of taxes, with limited exceptions, and all fees for electronic payments are waived through December 31, 2020.
  • For September to November 2020, the employee social security rate is reduced from 5% to 2%. Contributions were previously reduced from 5% to 1% for March – May 2020. Employees that have remitted contributions at the 5% rate may submit a request for refund.
  • The government has approved a new stimulus measure to encourage domestic spending, granting individuals an income tax deduction up to THB 30,000 for spending on certain goods and services from October 23 – December 31, 2020. Eligible purchases are goods and services from Thai businesses registered for value added tax. The deduction cannot be applied for the purchase of tobacco, alcohol, fuel, airline tickets, accommodation, newspapers, or magazines.

Tunisia 

  • An exceptional temporary contribution will be levied on employment income received for April 2020. The contribution is equal to 1 day of salary income, and is to be withheld by the employer.

Ukraine 

  • Additional bonus or hardship payments (up to 3 times the monthly minimum salary) to medical staff between May 1 – June 30, 2020 are exempt from income tax.
  • Unemployment benefits received after April 2, 2020 are exempt from income tax and the military levy

United Kingdom

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is expanded for eligible individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, or those that are unable to work due to self-isolation.
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to £2,500 per month. Employers can choose to cover the remaining wage gap.
  • Universal credit standard allowance increased by £1,000 per year, and the minimum income floor is suspended.
  • Off-payroll working rules, designed to address non-compliance in pay and employment taxes of contractors, are delayed 12 months to April 6, 2021.
  • Reimbursed home office equipment and expenditures to enable home working due to COVID-19 are exempt from income tax and national insurance contributions.
  • British finance minister Rishi Sunak has indicated treasury officials are considering large tax increases to raise an additional 20-30 billion pounds per year in order to offset emergency pandemic spending. However, the Prime Minister’s office is opposed to such hikes, and instead will push for spending cuts. No date has been set for the 2020 Autumn Budget, but there is an expectation it will be delivered in November or December, with a possibility it will be pushed to 2021 if the UK is hit with a second wave of the virus.
  • The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer presented an economic plan update, including a new job Support Scheme, and also announced the 2020 Autumn Budget has been cancelled.
  • United Kingdom has outlined the revised Job Retention Scheme that will run from November 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021. The government will pay a third of hours worked up to a maximum of GBP 697.91 per month, with the employer also contributing a third, and the employee required to work at least 33% of their usual hours. The Scheme is available to all small and medium-sized businesses, and large businesses that can demonstrate a need.
  • The legal framework of the Job Retention Bonus has been established. HMRC will be responsible for the payment and management of the amounts paid under the scheme, worth up to GBP 9 billion, to support employers that have continued to employ furloughed workers during the pandemic.
  • The UK has launched an online platform for employees that work from home due to COVID-19 to claim tax relief for unreimbursed expenses incurred as a result of remote working, such as utilities, repair, and business travel.

United States:

  • The IRS has issued Revenue Procedure 2020-20, which notes that travel restrictions due to COVID-19 may have affected the travel plans of foreign individuals who are present in the United States and intended to leave but were unable to do so. Therefore, the IRS is providing the relief (under qualifying circumstances) in the form of up to 60 consecutive calendar days of US presence will not be counted for purposes of:
    1. The US residence test (i.e. the substantial presence test) of IRC section 7701(b)(3); and
    2. Determining eligibility for the exception under the Dependent Personal Services article of many US income tax treaties for non-residents who are physically present in the United States for not more than 183 days in any twelve-month period that begins or ends in the relevant taxable year.
  • Relief is already provided in both of the above areas for medical conditions. Revenue Procedure 2020-20 establishes an exception for travel restrictions due to COVID-19, referred to as the COVID-19 Medical Condition Travel Exception, and the requirements to claim the exemption.
  • The IRS has updated the list of countries for which qualified individuals can exclude a limited amount of foreign earned income from US taxation and claim an exclusion or deduction for certain foreign housing costs, known as the US Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. The Exclusion under IRC §911 applies if either the foreign residence test or the physical presence test is met for specified periods of time. These time requirements can be waived under section 911(d)(4) of the due to adverse conditions such as war, civil unrest, or similar conditions, that prevented the normal conduct of business.
    • Revenue Procedure 2020-27 notes that COVID-19 is an adverse condition that prevents the normal conduct of business in 2019 and 2020 as follows:
      1. In the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau (China), as of 1 December 2019; and
      2. globally, effective as of 1 February 2020.
  • The period covered by Revenue Procedure 2020-27 will end on 15 July 2020 (unless further extended). An individual who left China after 1 December 2019, or another foreign country after 1 February 2020, and on or before 15 July 2020, would be treated as a qualified individual with respect to the period during which that individual was present in, or was a bona fide resident of, that foreign country if the individual establishes a reasonable expectation that he or she would have met the requirements of IRC section 911(d)(1) but for COVID-19.
  • The Internal Revenue Service has published a factsheet regarding economic impact payments.
  • Lawmakers are discussing proposals that would provide tax credits of $4,000 per adult and $500 per child for vacations within the U.S. from December 31, 2019 to January 1, 2022, to help stimulate local economies and industries.
  • The US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service confirmed that there will be no further payment extension past July 15, 2020. Taxpayers may file for a filing extension to October 15, 2020, but interest and penalties will apply for any payments made after July 15.
  • The Senate has begun negotiations on the next round of relief legislation, termed the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act. Key individual issues up for debate will be the amount of unemployment coverage, and another round of stimulus payments. (7/28/20)
  • The President has signed an executive order indicating that the employee portion of FICA taxes (6.2%) should be deferred (not cancelled) from September 1 – December 31, 2020. The deferral would be available for employees earning less than $104,000 annually, calculated on a pre-tax basis. The Treasury Department is expected to issue implementation guidance shortly, including whether participation for employee and employers is optional. The Treasury is also expected to explore the possibility of forgiving the deferred taxes, although any forgiveness would likely require congressional action. (August 13th update)
  • The IRS has issued guidance (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-65.pdf) regarding the optional deferral of certain payroll taxes from September 1 – December 31, 2020 for employees with pre-tax bi-weekly income not exceeding $4,000.
  • The Economic Impact Payment (EIP) registration deadline has been extended from October 15 to November 21, 2020. The program is open to individuals that do not normally file a tax return and have not received the EIP stimulus payment.
  • The IRS has announced a tax relief initiative for taxpayers struggling due to COVID-19. Taxpayers without income or ability to pay tax liabilities can request a temporary suspension of collection activities, may qualify for instalment plans with generous terms and timelines, or may submit an Offer in Compromise to settle their tax bill for less than the amount owed.

Uruguay

  • Introduction of a new tax called ‘Sanitary Emergency COVID-19 Tax’, levied on income derived from personal services rendered to the state, departmental governments, state entities and decentralized services during April and May 2020 (and possible extension of additional 3 months).

Uzbekistan

  • The amount of tax-free benefits that can be provided by the employer is increased from 4.22 to 7.5 times the monthly minimum salary.

Vietnam

  • Payment deadline for the 2019 personal income tax return is extended to December 31, 2020.


Can AIRINC’s International Tax Guide Help You?

Income tax is often the largest cost item in an international assignment. An accurate determination of hypothetical and gross-up taxes is essential to the design of equitable expatriate compensation packages. It is particularly important to determine employees’ contributions to their worldwide tax obligations.

Learn more about it by clicking here.

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