15 May 2020
We hope you and your families are staying well.
As promised in our previous newsletter, each week we will be sending a COVID-19 Catch Up up of key global developments on incentives to help keep you as up-to-date as possible, and it's that time again...
This week, we have particularly noticed a shift in the global footprint of some companies’ workforces. Whether this is a result of a new virtual workforce, a forced shift in site location, or an acquisition - you may now have employees in new or different countries (or states), bringing fresh considerations to the global operation of your share plans. If any of your jurisdictions are not covered by our weekly updates, please do let us know if we can help.
COVID-19 Catch Up:
Hong Kong: Tax reduction
Subject to the passing of legislative changes, individual taxpayers will get a one-off reduction of 100% of their final tax for the 2019/20 year of assessment in respect of profits tax, salaries tax and tax under personal assessments, subject to a $20,000 ceiling per case.
This deduction is a very helpful benefit to individuals who are due to pay their taxes whilst trying to reserve cash. Of course, this legislation is still subject to change or cancellation, so individuals should still be making sure they can meet any tax liabilities or be contacting the relevant authorities if they cannot.
Until 1 September 2020, it is prohibited for creditors to file an application regarding the insolvency of a legal entity in cases where specific indications set out in the Insolvency Act appear.
This break from creditors filing applications will allow companies some time to recover and hopefully remove any signs of insolvency if they have suffered financially as a result of COVID-19.
Luxembourg: Deferral of Social Security
From April 2020, the Social Security Centre (CCSS) has suspended: the calculation of default interest for late payments, the procedure for the forced recovery of contributions, the enforcement of constraints by bailiffs, and fines against employers who are late in filing their declarations.
These suspensions allow both individuals and companies breathing room in both paying, and reporting, social security contributions. It is not clear when this will extend to, so it is important that individuals and companies ensure the information for filings is readily available in the event these are requested from the CCSS in due course.
Madagascar: Closure of Governments
The Malagasy government declared the closure of all government departments except certain critical departments.
It is not clear which departments are remaining open, or what provisions are in place for those that are closed. We would advise all individuals and companies to make sure all filings and payments can be made, or, to ensure these are available should the government departments request documents or payments once they are reopened.
Monaco: Social Security
Employers and self-employed workers experiencing a significant drop in activity and who are unable to pay their further social security instalments can request a deferral from the Monaco social security authority.
Clear advice on what would be considered a 'significant' drop is not available. Any employer or self-employed worker who has suffered financially as a result of COVID-19 who feels this deferral would be helpful could request this from the authorities who will assess it on a case by case basis.
The Tapestry Team are always available if you would like to speak to us about any of your countries and operating your share plan globally during this time, so please do get in touch.