Slovenia: Covid-19-virus relief measures

1. April 2020 | Reading Time: 7 Min

COVID 19 Virus relief measures Slovenia

On March 20, 2020 several laws were passed in connection with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) with the aim of economy support:

This includes:

  • the law on measures in the field of salaries and social contributions (Measures Act)
  • the Law on Public Financial Measures (tax law measures)
  • the Measures Act on the Deferral of Borrowers’ Liabilities (Loan repayment measures).

On April 2, 2020, the Measure Act was passed in conjunction with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The Measures Act, hereinafter referred to as COVID 19 Law, was published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Slovenia and has been in force since April 11, 2020.

With the COVID 19-Act, the following previously adopted laws were changed:

  • the law on measures in the field of salaries and social contributions (Measures Act)
  • the Law on Public Financial Measures (tax law measures)
  • the Measures Act on the Deferral of Borrowers’ Liabilities (Loan repayment measures).

In addition, numerous other provisions have been added. All in all, with regard to the accompanying tax measures, the employer privileges, which were originally rather poor, have now been significantly improved.

The most important COVID-19 measures in Slovenia are:

1. Short-time work in Slovenia

Labor law basis

According to the Slovenian Labor Code, the employer can also send employees home, for whom he has no work, by means of a unilateral declaration. In practice, the employer makes a written agreement with the employee. While the employee is waiting for work at home, he is entitled to receive 80% of his gross salary. In addition to 20% of the salary costs, the employer also saves the tax-free catering fee (up to EUR 6.12 / working day) and the travel fee (reimbursement of the costs for the way to work).

Covid 19 Law
While the employer relief measure was covered by EUR 862.50 within the framework of the originally envisaged measures law and always resulted in an employer saving of 47.56% of the personnel costs, the COVID 19 Act provides for a full transfer of the costs from the employment relationship up to a maximum amount now.

The salary costs are fully covered by two measures:

  • Direct payments of up to EUR 1,366.21 to the employer
  • Coverage of all social security contributions from short-time work from the state budget.

The employer is exempt from personnel costs up to a gross salary of EUR 2,192.25 (“gross limit”). If the gross salary is higher than the gross limit, the employer must pay the social security contributions of the amount exceeding the gross limit. Since the reimbursement amount is limited to EUR 1,366.21, the relative share of the salary costs assumed decreases with increasing salary. In the context of payroll accounting, the employer only has to pre-finance the net salary and wage tax. Both are already reimbursed at the end of the month following payment, in accordance with COVID 19 law. As mentioned, the exemption from social security contributions is capped at a gross salary of EUR 2,192.25.

Prerequisites:

Decline in sales of more than 20% in the first half of the year (compared to the previous year) and no growth in sales in the second half of the year of more than 50% (compared to the previous year),

  • No profit distributions from the entry into force of the COVID 19 law in 2020,
  • No payment of bonuses to the management and employees from the entry into force of the COVID 19 law in 2020.

It is currently not possible to agree on short-time work other than 100% with the employees. The prerequisite that short-time work has to be agreed with at least 30% of the employees has fallen as well as the obligation to use overtime and holidays from the previous year before applying for short-time work.

Interruptions to agreed short-time work are permitted up to 7 consecutive days per month.  A notification to the employment office must be done if short-time work is interrupted.

Applications for reimbursement of personnel costs can be submitted to the employment office by May 31. Insofar as short-time work has been agreed before Covid 19 Act came into force, applications – insofar as they have not yet been submitted – must be submitted no later than 8 days after the COVID 19 Act came into force.

Notification requirements:

  • to the tax office if the requirements for compensation are not met
  • to the employment office if short-time work is interrupted

2. Force majeure

The salary costs are also covered in the event of force majeure. Force majeure situations are, e.g.
The need for childcare and ordered quarantine

If employees do not work due to force majeure, the personnel costs will be reimbursed to the employer under the same conditions as for short-time work.

3. Exemption from pension insurance contributions

In April and May, employers do not have to pay pension insurance contributions for employees; the contributions are covered by the state budget. Foreign employers are exempt from the exemption. Statements by the tax authorities indicate that this exemption should apply from March 13, 2020 (start of the corona measures). If salaries for March have already been calculated and the pension insurance contributions have been paid, the payments for contributions can be refunded

Pension insurance contributions in Slovenia amount to 24.35% of the gross salary. In return, employees who work during the Corona measures receive a crisis allowance of EUR 200.00. The crisis allowance is paid gross for net and is therefore not subject to wage tax or social security. Employees whose gross salary does not exceed EUR 2,821.74 are entitled to the tax-free crisis allowance (crisis allowance cap). The crisis allowance cap results from the triple minimum salary of EUR 940.58 in Slovenia.

When applying for this funding measure, the following payments are not allowed to be made from the entry into force of the COVID 19 Act in 2020:

  • profit distributions and
  • bonus payments to the management and employees

4. Other tax law measures

Numerous provisions have been changed or supplemented as part of the tax law measures. The most important are:

Extension of deadlines

The extension of the deadline for filing income tax and corporation tax returns by May 31, 2020 has already been decided by the Corona Measures Act. Likewise, the simplified applications for tax deferrals and installment payments have already been decided. In the case of different business years, it should be noted that there is no automatic extension of the deadline by two months. If the declarations had to be submitted before May 31, 2020 for a different fiscal year, they must also be submitted by May 31, 2020 at the latest.

Payment facilities

In connection with tax payment relief applications, a decision has to be made by the tax office within 8 days. Consequences of default only do not arise if there is a positive decision on the applied payment relief by the tax office when the payment is due. Prerequisite for applying for the payment relief is the loss of the ability to generate income due to the pandemic period. Industries in which the Corona crisis had no impact on sales will therefore not be able to rely on the payment relief provided by the Measures Act. Please note that at the time of applying for a tax payment relief the mentioned prerequisite must be proved and attached to the application.

No default interest is charged for deferrals and installments;

Tax executions

No tax executions are currently being carried out. However, it should be noted that, for example, when applying for short-time work, no tax liabilities of more than EUR 50.00 may exist.

Bankruptcy law

During the Corona crisis, there are basically no immediate obligations for applications for bankruptcy and there is no need to take any legally required actions. However, it should be noted that there is an irrefutable insolvency if net wages are not paid as part of the short-time work within one month after receipt of the reimbursement amount.

5. Loan liabilities

Deferrals of payments under the loan repayment measures can (among others) be applied by companies that are part of the law on business companies (e.g. d.o.o., d.d.)

Slovenian sole traders and also natural persons with their main residence in Slovenia. The application for deferred payment must be made within 6 months after the virus epidemic ended.

When applying, a distinction is made between large companies and other applicants. Large companies are companies with sales of over EUR 40 million, total assets of over EUR 20 million
and with more than 250 employees. It is sufficient if two of the just mentioned criteria are met.

Large companies have to explain that

  • they pay taxes and social security contributions and – due to the consequences of the Corona virus – cannot guarantee the fulfillment of the loan agreement and the risk by paying increases the danger of falling into liquidity problems and thus the risk of solvency of the company would be higher.
  • tax liabilities due on December 31, 2019 were paid or
  • they are entitled to deferral or payment in installments of taxes and social security contributions at the time of application

Other applicants must declare that

  • they pay taxes and social security contributions but due to the consequences of the corona virus they cannot ensure payment of the credit installments and
  • all due tax liabilities were paid as of December 31, 2019 or that
  • they are entitled to deferral or payment in installments of taxes and social security contributions at the time of application

While for large companies the prerequisite for deferring payment is that they are threatened to slip into bankruptcy, for all other applicants it is sufficient that they are unable to meet the payment obligations.

The deferral of payments based on the loan repayment measures is at 12 months limited.

Compliance with this law is enforced by the market regulator as a control body and through high penalties ensured.

 

Stay healthy!

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