Several state ministries of finance have issued decrees ruling reliefs to ease the economic burden taxpayers are facing due to COVID-19.
The German government and administration have resolved to pass several measures across all areas of law — including in relation to taxes — in order to ease the economic burden raised by COVID-19. Many businesses have been forced to decrease or even completely shut down their operational activities. The State of Bavaria as well as other federal states (Bundesländer) have also issued a curfew, further limiting ordinary business activities. This economic slowdown will first have negative effects on the affected businesses’ liquidity and financials — a development that will intensify in the coming weeks.
The tax administration has adopted certain tax relief measures to strengthen the affected businesses’ liquidity and support their ongoing business operations. Beginning last week, several state ministries of finance have issued decrees ruling reliefs with respect to the tax assessment procedures and tax payments. On 19 March 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesfinanzministerium) issued two letters with coordinated and generally applicable rules to support tax payers affected by COVID-19 (For details see BMF re tax reliefs for income tax purposes; BMF re tax reliefs for trade tax purposes).
The resolved measures are described below.