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News & Knowledge

Netherlands: Measures in response to COVID-19

22nd May 2020
Ruitenburg adviseurs & accountants

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak several measures are introduced by the Dutch government. MSI's Dutch accounting member Ruitenburg summarizes the main measures for companies. The coronavirus outbreak can have financial consequences for entrepreneurs or organizations; a number of fiscal measures have been announced to mitigate the negative economic consequences of the pandemic.

NOW 1.0

With the Temporary Emergency Measure to secure Employment (NOW), entrepreneurs can be reimbursed up to 90% of their wage costs if they expect to lose at least 20% turnover over 3 months due to the corona crisis. The NOW scheme is set up to keep people employed. Employers are therefore not allowed to fire any employees for economic business reasons while applying for the NOW compensation.

NOW 2.0

This is an extension of NOW 1.0 with some adjustments for the period June, July and August 2020. Important change is that dismissal of employees will be made possible again. Main adjustments:

  • Reference month wage amount March 2020 instead of January 2020
  • Fine for dismissal reduced
  • Employers effort obligation imposed to encourage their employees to request development advice or to receive training in order to keep their work
  • For 2020 and up to and including the shareholders meeting in 2021, no dividend or bonus may be paid and no treasury shares may be repurchased if there is an aid amount at or above the amount for which an auditor’s report is required.
  • Surcharge on labor costs is increased from 30% to 40%.

Planned implementation date: June 6th, 2020


Affected sectors are entitled to a one-time allowance of €4,000. The sector needs to be registered as an affected sector by the COVID-19 crisis. The following conditions needs to be met:

  • Turnover loss is at least €4,000
  • The companies activity is registered as affected by corona crisis
  • Maximum of 250 employees
  • Fixed charges in settled period are at least €4,000
  • Company is residing in the Netherlands and registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.


Temporary scheme for independent entrepreneurs (Tozo)

This measure is for independent entrepreneurs, including self-employed persons. It provides an additional living allowance if the income falls below the social minimum due to the corona crisis. €1,050 for an individual and € 1,500 for a family.

The municipality of the entrepreneur provides a loan for working capital to absorb liquidity problems as a result of the corona crisis on request of the entrepreneur.

Deferral tax payments

For tax assessments one can ask the tax authorities for deferral. This deferral will be granted for 3 months automatically. This request for special deferral of payment applies for: personal income tax, social securities, corporate income tax, VAT, wage tax, gambling tax, insurance tax, environmental taxes, consumption tax of non-alcoholic drinks and similar taxes in the Caribbean Netherlands. This allows deferred payment to be obtained for a longer period than usual, or without the need to provide security for the full amount. For all aforementioned taxes, requests made before June 19, 2020 are subject to the temporary emergency regulation.

After aforementioned period, you can receive another special deferment of payment for again a period of 3 months. This request will not be granted automatically but will have to be motivated.


Both tax interest and recovery interest will be temporarily reduced to 0.01%. (Used to be 8% corporate income tax and 4% for all other taxes)

Revision preliminary assessment 2020

If turnover ceases or decreases you can request a new preliminary assessment for 2020. The tax authorities will determine the new assessment within a few weeks. If the assessment is reduced, you will have to pay less in the future installments, or you will (partially) receive the tax already paid back.

No default penalties for not paying (on time)

The Tax and Customs Administration will not impose default penalties for

failure to pay the assessment on time the coming period.

Easing of national legal fictions/anti-abuse provisions for entrepreneurs

  • Lower customary salary for directors/major shareholders. Mandatory threshold for the salary of the director who owns (all the) shares of the company will be lowered proportional to the decrease in turnover.
  • Relaxation of hour criterion. Tax credit for entrepreneurs will be granted after 1,225 hours. Reliefs will be given, if the Corona crisis made working impossible.
  • Fixed budget under work-related expenses scheme increased. Extra space for tax-free allowances from the employer to the employee. Thanks to this increase, an employer will be able to allocate up to an additional €5,200 in allowances and benefits in kind to the fixed budget.
  • Offset losses via ‘coronavirus reserve’. A corona reserve can be formed in the 2019 corporate income tax declaration for the expected loss in 2020.
  • Postponement of Act on taxation of excessive loans received by shareholders from their own company. Loan limit of €500,000 is postponed. There will therefore be no compulsory (notional) dividend payment for higher current account positions.
  • Deduction of mortgage interest not at risk if repayments temporarily suspended. Payment break mortgage obligations without consequences for the interest deduction for house-owners.


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