Corona help: tax advisers at the border

Corona help: tax advisers at the border

To prevent abuse, only “third parties” – such as tax advisers – can apply for Corona’s support. This brings the profession to the limit.

Author: Christina Schmitt, BR

Corona aid should reach bureaucratically and rapidly affected societies and the self-employed – a promise made by Economy Minister Peter Altmaier. This must sound like a joke to tax adviser Theresa Lindner of Lenggries in Upper Bavaria.

“Extremely complex” and “extremely multi-layered” refer to the Corona aid application, which is divided into “November aid”, “December aid”, “Bridging aid II” and soon also “Bridging aid III”. Companies and the self-employed may request this, depending on the extent to which they are affected by the lock-in.

With a few exceptions, he must hire a “third party”, ie a lawyer, accountant or auditor – or a tax advisor. The government wanted not only to prevent abuse, but also to prevent false allegations – and thus speed up the process. But it is dragging on now – and tax advisers will be in need.

Great effort and legal uncertainty

In each case, you need to check carefully what help someone is entitled to. It often takes several hours, says tax advisor Lindner. You have exclusively three of your 30 employees on this topic. “Another thing that emphasizes us is that we have to check every day whether the application we made a week ago is still correct or not.”

The Ministry is still sending new frequently asked questions, ie the rules on what help can be requested at all. This would change as a result of adjustments to EU state aid law: As a result, only losses can be reimbursed to companies – and not, as originally announced, loss of sales. “The risk of these gaps is borne by us tax advisors. That is the main problem, “says Hartmut Schwab, president of the Federal Chamber of Tax Advisers.

Clients may need to return money

“It is possible that some clients for whom we have already applied may have to return something,” says tax advisor Lindner. There is not much in her office yet; But despite the applications that are still being submitted, he simply cannot rule out further changes to the rules by the Ministry of Economy. Therefore, he now recommends that most clients wait as long as possible to submit their applications.

That is exactly the point, says the President of the Schwab Chamber: ‘On the one hand, given the legal uncertainty that exists in some cases, it is appropriate to wait as long as possible with applications.

Application help costs the time and money of tax advisors

Schwab does not believe that tax advisors make a lot of money applying for Corona’s support. Theresia Lindner and her tax office in Lenggries go even further: Some applications are more of a negative business for her. For example, it took six hours to examine and apply to one of her long-term clients, an artist. “The life situation is dangerous for him,” he says.

In the end, it turned out that he could only apply for bridging aid of less than EUR 2 800. “It’s a joke! And I can’t ask someone like that – who also has to apply through us – for a full six-hour fee. There is hardly anything left. ”Most applications are not profitable for your law firm, but you also need to help clients – after all, they are often overwhelmed and” completely shocked “by the situation:” It is our duty to support them in a crisis. “

Stop acceptance for new clients

However, Lindner admits that she has already had to reject inquiries from new clients who want to ask for Corona’s help through them. “I’m very sorry, but I don’t have any other employees – and I don’t know where to get it from.” In addition to Corona’s support, he still has to deal with a change in sales tax – and the day-to-day business is still running.

After all, the ministry has now given tax advisers a delay in filing tax returns: six months. Theresia Lindner is happy with this decision: “It helps us a lot. And in times of crisis, we all have to deal with it. We just have to go through it and contribute.”

Mark James

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