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Netherlands

Paul Hastings in collaboration withHOUTHOFF
Liquidity/financing measures
Tax Reliefs

Liquidity/financing measures

SME Credit Guarantee Scheme

Government Measure

Under the regular scheme, the Dutch government guarantees loans to SMEs up to 50% of the loan provided by the financier. The size of the maximum guarantee has been increased from 50% to 75% for loans with a maximum amount of €266,667. For loans of more than €266,667, the guarantee is capped at 50%. In addition, the maximum loan for which the guarantee applies has been increased from €1m to €1.5m. With effect from 28 April 2020, the term of credit has been extended to four years. Furthermore, the scheme has become more accessible due to the use of a turnover test instead of a comprehensive liquidity forecast. The scheme can be used by companies for bridging loans or to increase their current account credit.

The premium for the Dutch government guarantee has been decreased from 3.9% to (i) 2% for a loan with a duration of 8 quarters or less; and (ii) 3% for a loan with a duration between 9 and 16 quarters.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Dutch government has increased the budget for this scheme from €765m to €1.5b.

 
Eligibility

This scheme is available for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) established in the Netherlands that have substantial activities in the Netherlands (except for undertakings active in agriculture, fisheries, public health care, insurance and finance, and real estate).

Eligible SMEs apply to an accredited financier, which is usually a bank. The accredited financiers can then apply to the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.

You can find the eligibility criteria and the list of accredited financiers via https://www.rvo.nl/subsidie-en-financieringswijzer/garantie-ondernemingsfinanciering-go/verruiming-go.

 
Supervising Authority

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland

 
Availability

Until 30 June 2022

Guarantee enterprise financing (GO-C Scheme)

Government Measure

The Dutch government helps companies by providing a guarantee on bank loans and bank guarantees. Under the GO-C Scheme, the maximum amount of the guarantee to be provided by the Dutch government to (i) large companies with a minimum turnover of €50m is 80% of the related bank loan or bank guarantee; and (ii) SMEs with a maximum turnover of €50m is 90% of the related bank loan or bank guarantee, provided that the large company or SME (as the case may be) has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under the regular scheme, this applies to loans and guarantees from €1.5m up to a maximum of €50m per undertaking. The Dutch government has increased the maximum amount of any loan or guarantee under the GO-C Scheme to €150m per undertaking with a maximum term of six years.

The budget of the GO and GO-C Scheme has been increased from €400m to €10b. This increase has been approved by the European Commission.

 
Eligibility
  • This scheme is available for SMEs and large companies that are established in the Netherlands and have substantial activities in the Netherlands (except for undertakings active in agriculture, fisheries, public health care, insurance and finance, and real estate).
  • Eligible companies apply to an accredited financier, which is usually a bank. The accredited financiers can then apply to the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.
  • You can find the eligibility criteria and the list of accredited financiers via https://www.rvo.nl/subsidie-en-financieringswijzer/garantie-ondernemingsfinanciering-go/verruiming-go
 
Supervising Authority

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland

 
Availability

16 March 2020 to 1 April 2021

The Emergency Desk

Government Measure

The Emergency Desk is an arrangement for SMEs that are directly affected by the measures taken by the Dutch government during the COVID-19 outbreak. These undertakings can receive a one-off compensation of €4k if (i) they expect a decline in turnover of at least €4k, (ii) they expect fixed charges payable of at least €4k during the period from 16 March 2020 to 15 June 2020 and (iii) their main or secondary activity for which the application is made is registered with the commercial register.

 
Eligibility

This measure is available for SMEs established in the Netherlands before 15 March 2020 that are active in sectors which are directly affected by the Dutch government measures relating to the COVID-19 outbreak such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, beauty salons and travel companies.

With effect from 15 April 2020, this measure has been expanded to include other sectors such as suppliers to hotels, restaurants, cafes and events, the "contact" sector (e.g. tattoo shops), the non-food sector (e.g. SME-retailers) and the service sector (i.e. taxi companies, dentists and physiotherapists). The expanded list can be found at this link.

Application details and further eligibility criteria can be found at this link.

 
Supervising Authority

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland

 
Availability

27 March 2020 to 26 June 2020

SMEs that are on the "expanded list" have been able to apply for this relief since 15 April 2020

Guarantee scheme for agricultural SME loans

Government Measure

The Dutch government has decided to temporarily extend the scheme to provide more financial leeway for agricultural SMEs that run into difficulties and need working capital and/or liquidity. The temporary extension is aimed at regular agricultural loans and means that the Dutch  government guarantees 70% of the total amount of the loan granted by the financier (previously the Dutch government guaranteed 50% of the total amount of the loan). This temporary extension can be used by agricultural SMEs to obtain (i) a bridging loan (up to a maximum amount of €1.5m per company) or (ii) an increase in current account credit, from a lender.

As from 10 April 2020, the maximum term has been extended to four years, the guarantee ceiling has been raised from €120m to €300m and the premium for the Dutch government guarantee has been decreased from 3% to 1.5% (and, in respect of start-up companies, from 1% to 0.5%).

 
Eligibility

This measure is available for agricultural SMEs, fisheries and aquaculture companies that are established in the Netherlands and have substantial activities in the Netherlands

The eligible companies make an application to the accredited financier, which is usually a bank. The accredited financiers can then apply to the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.

You can find the eligibility criteria and the list of accredited financiers via this link.

 
Supervising Authority

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland

 
Availability

18 March 2020 to 31 March 2021

Extension of export credit insurance

Government Measure

The Dutch government has announced an extension to export credits which will enable companies to cover more risks.

  • Short-term export credit insurance (shorter than two years) will be covered.
  • The possibilities for domestic coverage will be extended.
  • Coverage will be available for more countries.
  • A higher percentage of working capital will be covered.
  • Dutch commercial banks will be able to receive financing from BNG Bank and NWB bank on favourable terms so that they can provide credit to Dutch exporters at a favourable fixed interest rate.
 
Eligibility

The Netherlands based exporters of capital goods, services and contractors involved in projects abroad and their financiers.

Applications for different products may be submitted to Atradius Dutch State Business

 
Supervising Authority

Dutch Ministry of Finance and Atradius Dutch State Business

 
Availability

From 26 March 2020 until end of 2020

Reinsurance of supplier credits

Government Measure

On 8 April 2020, the Dutch government announced that it intends to reinsure supplier credits for the remainder of 2020. Further details in respect of this measure are yet to be announced by the Dutch government.

 
Eligibility

This measure is mostly aimed at helping SME retailers and catering establishments which make use of supplier credits and which need to provide a payment insurance to the supplier via a credit insurer.

 
Supervising Authority

Dutch Ministry of Finance

 
Availability

To be announced

Additional support for the cultural and creative sector

Government Measure

On 15 April 2020, the Dutch government announced it was adding an additional budget of €300m to the already existing funds to preserve vital components of the cultural infrastructure and to protect jobs within this sector.

 
Eligibility

Any cultural/creative institution/organisation that has suffered a loss of income as a result of the Dutch government's measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 provided that:

  • the institution/organisation has first made use of other measures available to it, including drawing on its own reserves; and
  • its income is at least 15% of its total turnover in 2018.
 
Supervising Authority

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

 
Availability

From 15 April 2020

Tax Reliefs

Deferral of payment relaxed

Government Measure

Companies can obtain an extraordinary deferral of payment for, among other taxes and duties, corporate income tax, wage tax, value-added tax, environmental taxes, excise duties (mineral oils, alcohol and tobacco), insurance tax, gambling tax and landlord levy.

The Dutch tax authorities will postpone collecting payment of these taxes and duties and grant a deferral of three months immediately after receipt of the deferral application.

The deferral applies to current tax debts as well as to tax debts arising during the three months after receipt of the deferral application.

A deferral for more than three months is possible but is subject to further conditions

 
Eligibility

All businesses subject to taxation in the Netherlands. The deferral application may be submitted at this link.

 
Supervising Authority

Dutch Ministry of Finance and Dutch Tax Authority

 
Availability

Until 19 June 2020

No default penalties and reduction of collection interest and interest for unpaid tax

Government Measure

The Dutch tax authorities will not impose default penalties for non-payment or late payment of taxes. Automatically imposed default penalties will be reversed. These measures have applied since 12 March 2020.

The collection interest that normally starts after the expiry of the payment term has been temporarily reduced from 4% to 0.01% from 23 March 2020; this reduction applies to all tax debts.

In addition, the interest rate applicable to unpaid taxes will be reduced to 0.01% as of 1 June 2020. An exception to this is the temporary reduction of the interest rate for unpaid personal income tax, which will take effect as of 1 July 2020.

 
Eligibility

All businesses subject to taxation in the Netherlands.

 
Supervising Authority

Dutch Ministry of Finance and Dutch Tax Authority

 
Availability

From 12 March 2020 (no imposition of default penalties), 23 March 2020 (reduction in collection interest), 1 June 2020 (reduction in interest rate for unpaid tax other than personal income tax) and 1 July 2020 (reduction in interest rate for unpaid tax personal income tax)

Reduction of preliminary corporate income tax assessment and fiscal coronavirus reserve

Government Measure

If a preliminary corporate income tax assessment has been imposed and the taxable profit is likely to be lower than the taxable profit estimated for the preliminary assessment, the taxpayer may request a reduction of the preliminary assessment. The reduction of the preliminary assessment creates either a right to a refund (if the preliminary assessment has already been paid in full) or provides for a reduction of the monthly tax due (if the preliminary assessment is paid on a monthly basis). The Dutch tax authorities will grant all requests to reduce preliminary assessments.

On 24 April 2020, the Dutch government announced that taxpayers may form a reserve ("fiscal coronavirus reserve") up to the amount of the expected loss for 2020, and set this off against any 2019 taxable income. The amount of the fiscal coronavirus reserve may not exceed the total taxable income for 2019. Taxpayers may take the fiscal coronavirus reserve into account when requesting a preliminary corporate income tax assessment, including a reduced preliminary corporate tax assessment.

 
Eligibility

All businesses subject to taxation in the Netherlands.

The application may be submitted at this link.

 
Supervising Authority

Dutch Ministry of Finance and Dutch Tax Authority

 
Availability

From 12 March 2020 (the measure applies to the fiscal year 2020)

Temporary reduction of customary salary of Directors/Major Shareholders

Government Measure

The customary salary rules (gebruikelijkloonregeling) aim to avoid artificial structures under which no salary or only a small salary is attributed to directors who are also major shareholders in the same company (a "Director/Major Shareholder"). Director/Major Shareholders are deemed to receive a "customary salary" for Dutch wage tax purposes. The "customary salary" depends on the Director/Major Shareholder's specific situation but is, in principle at least, €46k (for 2020) or equal to the most comparable employee of another company or the highest earning employee of the company of which he/she is a Director/Major Shareholder. On 24 April 2020, the Dutch government announced that these rules will be changed so that Directors/Major Shareholders may temporarily reduce the "customary salary" they are deemed to receive in proportion to the turnover losses incurred by the company of which they are a Director/Major Shareholder due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 
Eligibility

Directors who are also major shareholders in the same company; approximately 135,000 Directors/Major Shareholders are expected to benefit from this measure.

 
Supervising Authority

Dutch Ministry of Finance and Dutch Tax Authority

 
Availability

From 12 March 2020 until 1 January 2021

Extension of the discretionary margin of the work-related cost scheme

Government Measure

Under the work-related cost scheme, employers may use 1.2% (i.e. the discretionary margin) of their total wage sum for tax-free allowances and benefits to employees. As from 1 January 2020, the discretionary margin was increased to 1.7% for the first €400k of the total wage sum. On 24 April 2020, the Dutch government announced a further increase in the discretionary margin from 1.7% to 3% for the first €400k of the total wage sum.

 
Eligibility

All employers subject to taxation in the Netherlands.

 
Supervising Authority

Dutch Ministry of Finance and Dutch Tax Authority

 
Availability

From 12 March 2020, the discretionary margin has been increased from 1.7% to 3% for the first €400k of the total wage sum (this measure applies temporarily, for 2020 only)