Thousands of firms face trouble repaying coronavirus crisis tax debts


Thousands of companies have built up large tax debts during the coronavirus crisis and will have to deal with the financial impact for years, according to research by ABN Amro economists.

Nearly 234,000 companies have taken advantage of the crisis to delay tax payments – with security firms, department stores and clothes shops among the hardest hit, the bank says in a new report. The bank bases its research on figures from national statistics office CBS.

The companies most affected are in sectors which were forced to close by the government as part of the measures to combat the virus, as well as their suppliers.

The hospitality industry, payrolling firms, clothes and shoe shops are most likely to have asked for delays, the ABN Amro report said.

In total, the self employed and companies owned €16bn to the tax office by the end of February in the form of income tax, VAT and other premiums. Under the coronavirus rules, firms have three years to catch up but ABN Amro says many have debts which will take far longer to clear.

Security firms, transport companies, department stores and clothes shops are likely to find it hardest to repay the debt.

Ministers are due to decide this week about how further to help companies hit by the coronavirus crisis and, according to the Telegraaf, the current measures are likely to be extended to after the summer.

Companies may also be given more time to pay off their tax debts, with a start date of mid 2022, rather than October 1, as currently planned, the Telegraaf said.

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