COVID-19 and global payroll: Answers to your urgent questions

COVID-19 and global payroll

Multinational payroll is complicated even in the best of times, with wildly varying legislative and tax requirements traversing multiple currencies and time zones. Today, in times of global pandemic and unstable economic markets, the complexity is not just multiplied—it’s also overwhelming.

As a payroll or HR professional attempting to navigate changes for your company—remotely, no less—where do you even start?

One, you can reach out to us. Our local market teams have expertise to provide guidance and knowledge, and to assist you and your organization as you work through payroll and HR challenges.

Two, read through the following questions—we’ve been seeing them again and again from our clients—and their answers. Even if your specific challenges or countries aren't covered, they can give you an idea of the kind of support and expertise we’re able to provide, especially during these tough times.

Have there been any extensions for compliance filings in the countries where we have payrolls?

For the many countries we support, deadline extensions have been a mixed bag. In a lot of countries, there haven’t been any changes to the regular requirements. However, some countries have either adjusted deadlines, or are considering doing so. In Italy, for example, several deadlines have been extended to June 30, including the intrastate tax, FY2020 VAT submission and the Q1 Esterometro.

What about extensions for tax payment deadlines? 

Many countries are offering extensions; however, as with all requirements, the timelines and repercussions of late payments vary wildly. For example, in the Netherlands, you can extend payment for corporate income tax, individual income tax, wage tax and VAT assessments for up to three months without an accountant’s declaration. As additional relief, the Dutch government won’t impose penalties for non-payment or late payment, and default penalties will be reversed. 

What special considerations, recommendations or other changes—as an employer or for my employees—should I be aware of?

This is one of the areas that really seems to be vexing many of the payroll and HR professionals we talk to. And for good reason, because in-country considerations and legislative changes run the gamut from advice regarding remote work to directives on hiring and terminations. In France, for example, deferment of URSSAF payments of employee and employer contributions is permissible by up to three months, with no penalty. Additionally in France, employers can’t force employees to take leave or freeze current recruitments.

Are there any special programs or initiatives available in the countries where we have operations that can help us offset financial impacts?

The short answer is, yes. However, the extent of governmental support for businesses and other organizations varies by country: In some places, it’s government-guaranteed loans or government credit lines; in others, it’s financial relief grants and other packages. In Germany, for example, the state-owned KfW development bank is offering various types of loans to help companies improve liquidity and cover ongoing business costs.

With each of these questions, the answers not only vary by country, but also by day, as changes are happening as frequently as the climate dictates. Rest assured, though, that our in-country experts are on top of the constant changes, and we’re here—and ready—to support you and your business. We’re only a click away.

In the coming days, we’ll also be sharing more country-specific information in our COVID-19 Resource Center on the legislative impacts to help you take action and lead your teams through this challenging time. Stay tuned.

 

The information provided on or through this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Safeguard Global expressly disclaims any liability with respect to warranty or representation concerning the information contained herein, including the lost essence, interpretation, accuracy and/or completeness of the information in transit and language translation.

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