Czech money. Illustrative image

Czech Finance Ministry pushes back income tax deadline in wake of coronavirus epidemic

The deadline for filing Czech income taxes has been extended to July 1, and the Czech Banking Association approved loan payment measures
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People have an automatic extension on filing Czech income taxes. The Czech Ministry of Finance approved a three-month deferral of the deadline for natural persons and small businesses for filing income tax return and tax payments. The new deadline is July 1.

The Czech Banking Association (ČBA) has also approved that banks can extend the deadlines on loan and mortgage payments, though this is not mandatory and not all banks are participating.

Regarding income taxes, Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerová (for ANO) said that she wants to relieve the burden on small businesses and entrepreneurs in the current situation.

“We will allow all individuals to file a tax return and pay the tax without penalty three months later without having to prove the reasons related to coronavirus. So you have time not until the end of March, but until July 1. This prevents the concentration of persons in [government] offices and post offices,” she said on Twitter.

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She gave more details in a statement. “I propose postponing filing the income tax return. I will do this by a general waiver of sanctions, including administrative fees, which is within my remit. I would like to present the stabilization package next week,” she added.

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New requirements for Electronic Evidence of Transactions (EET) are also set to take effect. The system, which requires all transactions to be instantly registered with the Financial Administration, with a unique tracking number printed on the receipt.

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The third and fourth waves of EET begin on May 1. According to the finance minister it is not legally possible to postpone the start of the those waves, but the Ministry of Finance can commit that the Financial and Customs Administration’s monitoring activities will be benevolent for three months and sanctions will not be levied.

“Therefore, I cannot stop for the requirement for entrepreneurs to certify themselves for EET and request authentication data. If they ask for them later, there will be no sanctions. But the fine would be as if they did not register or have a cash register,” Schillerová said.

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By the first week of March, only 10 percent of individual entrepreneurs, some 30,000 out of the total of 300,000, had applied for the required EET authentication data.

For consumer loans, the ČBA said it wants to help people affected by the novel coronavirus.

“A suitable tool for the potentially severe effects of the epidemic is to provide clients with a three-month deferral of mortgage and consumer loan payments. Banks will primarily focus on employees and self-employed clients, as it can be assumed that they will hit them the hardest,” the ČBA said.

The extensions are not automatic, and each bank is adopting its own procedures. People who cannot make payments need to contact their bank ahead of time and find out how to ask for an extension. Česká spořitelna, Raiffeisenbank, and ČSOB have said they will try to accommodate clients who can’t make payments.

The ČBA is also working with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on measures to help small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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