Covid and reconfinement, support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
To support businesses under Covid-19, the French government has (re)put in place measures to support businesses. Partial activity, solidarity funds, government-guaranteed loans, deferrals of tax deadlines and social contributions, acceleration of VAT credit or corporate tax refunds… On a regular basis, new devices and a review of access conditions are being made. The aim is to keep aid in line with economic reality on the ground. To access all up-to-date support schemes, the Ministry of Economy keeps an accurate list of economic measures for businesses. The Department of Finance is also setting up a telephone number for information: 0806 000 245. Here is a round of the major measures already in force.
Plans to settle tax deadlines
As part of the first containment, companies have already been able to apply for a spread of tax debts. With the aim of allowing professionals to restart their activity, this support measure is renewed for this second containment. This allows companies to contact their corporate tax department for information. They can then obtain payment deadlines for direct taxes (corporate tax, CFE, etc.). Depending on the situation of each company, “Covid-19 specific” settlement plans are proposed. The plan also takes into account social security contribution debts. They will therefore be automatically spread out by the Urssaf over a period identical to the tax debt settlement plan established.
To qualify for the tax deadlines, companies can apply until December 31, 2020. The official form is available online.
Expansion of the Solidarity Fund
Set up as part of the March containment, the second part of the solidarity fund was still active at the start of the new year. However, many trades reported that they were not entitled to it despite the obvious impact of the covid and health measures on their economic activity. After several weeks, their appeal was partially heard. The solidarity fund is once again renewed and expanded. This measure of economic support to businesses now also relates to revenue losses for the period end of September and October. The companies affected by this aid are still those with fewer than 50 employees, in cities and sectors of activity affected by the new health measures. Administrative closures and curfews in particular.
As part of the containment, the solidarity fund’s aid is being opened up to the entire national territory for the loss of activity in November. Businesses can therefore make online applications to benefit from them. The forms are specific to each period of revenue loss. It is therefore necessary to fill the relevant months in its particular space on the site impots.gouv.fr. Applications for October can be made from November 4. Those for November will wait until November 20. For December aid, the opening date is expected to fall in early December.
New cash flow measures as part of the stimulus package
These business support measures are not comprehensive. In addition, the government is already planning to complete them. Thus, cash flow measures for expenses and rents are expected to emerge in the coming weeks. With the aim ofhelping SMEs and SMEsin particular, as well as independents and traders, a special plan will be aimed specifically at these companies.
In addition, the stimulus package planned for early 2021 will include lower production taxes. This should allow for a 50% reduction in property taxes for industrial institutions, the Business Value Added Contribution for all its debtors, and the reduction of the cap rate to 2% based on the added value of the territorial economic contribution.
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