The cabinet calls on entrepreneurs to take action if they are behind in repaying their corona tax debt. In the coming period, the Tax and Customs Administration will proactively inform these entrepreneurs about the backlog and the options they have to catch up or request a postponement. About 73.000 entrepreneurs have not yet repaid anything since October 1, 2022. The cabinet calls on these entrepreneurs to catch up, or to seek help if this is not possible.
Because many entrepreneurs are still behind in repaying the accumulated debt or have not yet repaid anything at all, the Tax and Customs Administration is looking for extra contact from this month. For example, entrepreneurs are once again reminded of the possibilities for extra postponement and they are made aware of the possibilities of contacting emergency services (such as municipalities and the Chamber of Commerce) if they need support.
Reference is also made to the current information on the website of the Tax and Customs Administration. In February, entrepreneurs with payment arrears already received a letter with information. In March, all entrepreneurs will receive a new letter including a debt statement. This overview shows the total tax debt, both the accrued corona debt and other tax debts. If entrepreneurs do not take any further action, another letter will follow in April, in which entrepreneurs are called upon to make up the accumulated arrears within two weeks. Even then, entrepreneurs still have the option to request relaxations.
From mid-May, the Tax and Customs Administration will start sending decisions to entrepreneurs who have not taken any action despite the previous letters. A payment arrangement can be withdrawn with such a decision. Entrepreneurs have two weeks after receiving this letter to pay their debt. Subsequently, the Tax and Customs Administration will start collection measures in phases.
In October 2022, 266.000 entrepreneurs who have made use of the special deferral of payment in connection with the corona crisis have started repaying their accumulated debt. They have 60 months to do this.
Since the start of the repayment scheme, more than 21.000 entrepreneurs have fully repaid their accrued tax debt. This group of entrepreneurs pays off the debt faster than expected, for example because they do not want an outstanding debt with the Tax and Customs Administration. More than 138.000 entrepreneurs are on schedule with their repayments and have paid the first four installments in full. However, there are also 103.000 entrepreneurs with payment arrears, of which more than 73.000 entrepreneurs have not yet made any repayments.
One of the conditions of the payment arrangement is that entrepreneurs must also meet other payment obligations after 1 October 2022. This concerns, for example, turnover tax. About 18.000 entrepreneurs who are behind in paying off the corona debt are also in arrears for another obligation.
Since the start of the repayment scheme, the Tax and Customs Administration has made more than 1.600 telephone calls and company visits to find out the causes of the payment arrears. It turned out that the reasons are diverse. There are entrepreneurs who have (serious) payment problems, but there are also entrepreneurs who were not fully aware of their obligations and who have made up their arrears after contacting the Tax and Customs Administration. There may also be a group that deliberately does not pay, because they still hope for a generic cancellation of debts. However, the cabinet has already indicated several times that it will not opt for this, partly because this will turn out to be unfair for the entrepreneurs who have repaid the debt.
The government's aim is to help viable companies in the core. At the moment, the emphasis is mainly on much better and more intensive information and support for entrepreneurs. This does not alter the fact that if the entrepreneur does not take any action, the ultimate consequence for entrepreneurs who structurally fail to meet their payment obligations is that the payment arrangement will be withdrawn. The Tax and Customs Administration will not withdraw the scheme if only one installment has remained unpaid, while the other conditions of the payment scheme are met. In that case, the Tax and Customs Administration will be lenient for the time being.