CHILEAN SITUATION IN THE FACE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The Chilean government has indicated extraordinary measures to face the current situation on COVID-19. Fiscal resources of up to US $ 11,750 million (equivalent to 4.7% of annual GDP) will be injected, concentrated in the coming weeks and months.
Several measures aim to grant liquidity to the productive system.
At the same time, there are additional measures issued by the ‘SII’ (‘Servicio de Impuestos Internos’ – Chilean Internal Revenue Service) to improve and focus on online procedures and attention via email, and thus avoiding the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The main measures are as follows:
- As of April, a transitory release of stamp duty will start. The rate will be a 0% for all credit operations during the next 6 months.
- Relief measures entered in force for the treatment of tax debts with the ‘Tesorería General de la República’ (‘TGR’ – General Treasury of the Republic), focused on SMEs and people with lower incomes. There will be flexibility to celebrate tax debt payment agreements with the ‘TGR’, without interests or fines as of April.
- Greater flexibilities will be granted in the deadlines to present Affidavits associated with this year’s income tax return.
- There will be a suspension of the monthly provisional payments (PPM) of corporate income tax for the next 3 months.
- Income tax refund will be paid anticipated for SMEs: SME companies will receive their refund in April.
- Postponement until July 31st,2020 of the payment of income tax for SMEs according to what is declared in the income tax return for next April.
- Postponement until July 31st, 2020 to chose between the tax regimes established in article 14 letters A) and D), according to law 21.210.
All the expenses of the companies associated with facing the health contingency will be accepted as a tax expense.
Postponement of April’s property tax payment for companies with sales of less than 350,000 UF (approximately €10.010.350.000) and for taxpayers of the global complementary tax or second category tax, that are owners of real state with a tax assessment of less than CLP $133 million. The deferred tax will be paid in three installments, along with the following three property tax installments, with actual interest rate of 0%.
The aforementioned measures were published on April 1st, 2020 through the Supreme Decree of Finance No. 420. The release on the Stamp Tax duty was published in Law No. 21.225 on April 2nd, 2020.
Value Added Tax (VAT):
- Postponement of VAT payment for April, May and June for all companies with sales of less than UF 350,000 (approximately €10.010.350.000) during 2019. As an option, taxpayers can pay in 6 or 12 monthly installments at zero actual interest rate, depending on their size.
Labor income protection law:
During this emergency and by order of the health authority, when an employee must remain at home without the possibility of performing its tasks remotely (home office), a temporary suspension of its duties in the company, as well as of the payment of its wages from its employer is allowed.
In these cases, the contractual relationship and all the corresponding labor rights will be maintained, but the employee will receive its income from the Unemployment Insurance according to its rules, under a more flexible criteria with regard to eligibility.
While this exceptional situation is maintained, the employer will maintain the obligation to pay the employee’s social security and pension contributions.
To guarantee the sustainability of the solidarity severance fund, the Treasury will deliver, as the latter requires, up to US $ 2 billion.
Employment Protection Bill:
The Senate of Chile approved on March 31st of 2020, the employment protection law project sent by the Government, which will allow the reduction of the working day, compensating the decrease in remuneration with a supplement equivalent to 25% of salary with resources from the solidarity fund of unemployment insurance.
These measures seek to protect employments by maintaining the employee’s relationship and labor rights, and ensure an extraordinary source of income during the current emergency situation.
The employee will be able to access the Unemployment Insurance with more flexible requirements than usual, which will allow them to have an income.
When this emergency period ends, the company and the employee will be able to resume their normal employment relationship, keeping the former remunerations and all their labor rights.
The foregoing will operate allowing the suspension of the employment relationship for a certain period, and the reduction of working hours for a maximum of 5 months for employees with an indefinite contract and for a maximum of 3 continuous months for employees with a fixed term agreement or hired for a specific labor.
This reduction is for cases in which companies must continue to operate but for reasons of social distancing they need to reduce the number of employees in one same place.
Likewise, the employee will be able to access the Unemployment Insurance with more flexible requirements than usual. This will allow them to have a source of income to pay for this exceptional period, establishing rules to avoid arbitrary dismissals.
At the end of the emergency period, the company and the employee will be able to resume their normal employment relationship, maintaining the former remunerations and all their labor rights.
The measures for independent workers are:
- Early refund of the complementary global tax
- Return of the resources withheld by the professional fees bills issued in January and February of 2020.
Resolución Exenta del SII Nº 32, 23 de Marzo de 2020.