Terug naar overzicht | Publicatiedatum: 29 maart 2023

Coronavirus-related tax debts: what are your options?

During the coronavirus crisis Dutch companies could opt to temporarily defer the payment of their tax debts. More than 266,000 entrepreneurs had to start paying off these debts from 1 October 2022. It has now become clear that over 103,000 of them are behind with their payments.

If you are struggling to meet your payment obligations, there may be options available to you. On the other hand, if you can afford to loosen your belt a little, it may make financial sense to pay off your debts early.

Payment scheme for coronavirus-related tax debts

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In October 2022 entrepreneurs had to start paying off any coronavirus-related tax debts that they had accrued. In principle, payments must be made monthly in equal instalments and you have up to five years to settle these debts. One condition of this payment scheme is that you keep up with the monthly payments. Another condition is that you file your tax returns (including for VAT and payroll tax) correctly and on time for any taxes arising from 1 October 2022 and make the corresponding payments promptly and in full.

Letter from Tax and Customs Administration

The Tax and Customs Administration is currently sending out letters to entrepreneurs who it believes are failing to comply with the conditions of the payment scheme. It is asking these entrepreneurs to make up any payment arrears as quickly as possible.

Please note: If you do not comply with the conditions of the payment scheme, the Tax and Customs Administration is entitled to withdraw the scheme. It will not take this action immediately. If you have not made up your payment arrears by April, you will receive another letter in mid-April. If you then fail to make up your payment arrears within 14 days, at some point from mid-May you will receive a decision from the Tax and Customs Administration withdrawing the payment scheme. The Tax and Customs Administration will then commence collection of the debt from mid-June 2023.

The payment scheme will not be withdrawn by the Tax and Customs Administration if you only fall behind with one instalment, provided that you are complying with the other conditions of the scheme. For the time being the Tax and Customs Administration is still taking an accommodating stance in such cases.

Options for coronavirus-related tax debts

If you are unable to comply with the conditions of the payment scheme, there are still options available to you. By taking advantage of these, you may be able to avoid the Tax and Customs Administration ultimately withdrawing the payment scheme. You can ask to pay off the debt over seven instead of five years, for example. It is also possible to request quarterly instead of monthly payments. Lastly, you also have the option of making a one-off request for a payment holiday of up to six months. However, this will mean that your subsequent monthly payments will be higher.

Please note: These options are also subject to certain conditions. Our advisors can provide you with relevant advice on these.

Options relating to current payment obligations

The Tax and Customs Administration is entitled to withdraw the payment scheme for your coronavirus-related tax debts if you fail to comply with your new payment obligations arising after 1 October 2022. For these tax debts it is not possible to obtain an additional deferment or arrange a payment scheme.

Tip: For tax debts accrued before 1 October 2022 it is, however, possible to obtain an additional deferment of payments, subject to certain conditions.

Rate of late payment interest rising

You pay late payment interest on your accrued coronavirus-related tax debts. For a while the rate of this interest was 0.01%, but it currently stands at 2%. On 1 July it will rise further to 3% and then to 4% on 1 January 2024. If you are able to pay off your coronavirus-related tax debts more quickly, you will therefore save a significant amount in interest. Almost 22,000 entrepreneurs have already opted for this solution and have paid off these debts in full. Of course, you do not have to pay them off completely to make interest savings. Even paying off a portion of the debt early will save you interest.