30 Mar Information COVID-19 Andorra. Newsletter 6
Newsletter COVID-19. Number 6
Escaldes-Engordany, March 30th, 2020
As we previously announced in our Newsletter number 4, the Omnibus Law was approved on the 23rd of March, which includes a series of exceptional and urgent measures that should allow the first effects the current crisis is causing on the Andorran people and companies to be alleviated.
The Law foresees numerous limited temporary aid measures, such as the suspension or reduction of the CASS quotes, reductions in electricity rates and applicable telecommunications prices, the deferral of instalments of corporate taxes and personal income tax as well as the reduction of leases of business premises.
The application of the aforementioned measures should be combined with the contents of other decrees related to the COVID-19 that have been approved to date. Among others, the decree of 17-3-2020 that foresees restrictions in different sectors of activity, and undoubtedly has conditioned the activity of businesses establishing partial or total suspensions of their activity.
Despite the above, the application of this set of measures, in cases of self-employed people and companies that carry out an activity, has shown the following:
- A large number has not completely suspended their activity but reduced it to intervene only in urgent cases, establishing shifts. However, they have suffered the effects of a complete closure of their activity, and consequently it is necessary to assimilate their activity to a total closure.
- Others decided to close voluntarily to avoid risks.
In this sense, so that the above mentioned professionals and employers can enjoy the same aids foreseen for those who were obligated to temporarily cease their activity through the decree of March 17th, on March 27th approved the decree establishing the requirements that the self-employed must fulfil in order to justify their situation and benefit from the assistance. The requirements to be fulfilled are the following:
- Implementation of measures in the public sector. Companies and self-employed workers who are authorized to open or establish shifts or guard schedules shall be deemed to have suspended their activity if this can be duly justified to the relevant bodies and persons. The previously mentioned companies and professionals may apply for the grants provided for in the decree of March 23rd with a series of conditions. In this regard, all applications for aid submitted to the CASS, Andorra Telecom, FEDA or the government must be accompanied by a “self-responsibility declaration” justifying the suspension of the activity.
- Application of the measures to the rents of commercial and professional premises. In order to be able to access the reductions all must present documented justification of the suspension of the activity before the lessors of the business premises, as well as to the CASS, Feda and Andorra Telecom.
- Scheme for the amounts paid before the application of the reductions. In the event that during the period of the current health emergency amounts are charged that are affected by the reductions foreseen in the decree of 23 March, which establishes the measures affecting employers or self-employed workers who have suspended their activity, this will generate a credit in favor of the party liable for the payment to be deducted from the first invoice issued without applying the corresponding reduction.
However, it is foreseen that any breach of the above measures may be sanctioned by the corresponding authority in accordance with applicable legislation.
The team from ANCEI will continue to keep you informed of the novelties that the Government adopts in relation to the exceptional measures and as we have been doing so far, we will inform you as soon as possible.
We remain at your entire disposal,
Jaume Torres Segura
Partner at ANCEI