Tax deferral and state aid becomes available to businesses in Latvia

During the state of emergency in Latvia businesses whose operations are impacted by Covid-19 restrictions will have access to tax deferral and aid from the state for current assets, as well as subsidies for wages, as reported by Latvian Minister of Economics Jānis Vitenbergs.
A conceptual agreement on support mechanisms was reached by the work group led by the minister on Thursday, 14 October.
It is also planned that the state will pay vaccinated workers their sick leave papers from day one so that employees with Covid-19 symptoms are able to stay home and undergo tests if necessary.
At the same time, the work group has received signals from business organizations that they can make do without downtime benefits for now.
Representatives of the Ministry of Finances reported that the work group led by Reirs decided to push the development of a grant programme for current assets in accordance with the current situation and conceptually support subsidies for jobs, decide on payment of sick leave papers from day one for Covid-19 patients, as well as
extend tax payment terms for taxpayers whose economic operations are shut down during the state of emergency.
The Ministry of Finance invited the government to act decisively. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for Friday, 15 October. During this meeting it is planned to discuss the concept of current asset grants.
Because representatives of businesses – Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK) and Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LDDK) – voiced no support in favour of continuation of downtime benefits, this support methods was not discussed.
Reirs believes support activities should help motivate people to getting vaccinated. «The best form of support is vaccination, because once we as a society have reached a sufficient vaccination coverage, we will be able to cancel all restrictions,» stresses the minister.
Vitenbergs, meanwhile, explains that the Ministry of Economics presented the work group with an analysis of the industries that are either partially or completely tied up by restrictions.
«What we see now is that existing restrictions cover a wider range of businesses and industries. This is why we offer different tools that may be necessary to help businesses survive in this difficult time. Aside from previously discussed forms of support, which include subsidized jobs and downtime benefits and grants for current assets, we also offer other solutions,» says the minister of economy.
Vitenbergs also said discussions about the industries that may receive current asset grants will continue.
The work group also discussed if support is required only for industries that have closed down because of the pandemic or also industries that remain partially closed.
The politician says in the best case scenario the government may discuss specific solutions next week. However, there is a possibility it may take longer to develop solutions.
Vitenbergs also says that current asset benefits for businessmen would need to be coordinated with the European Commission. This means payment of benefits may take longer.