Dear Sir or Madam, dear Clients, dear friends,
with this letter we would like to inform you about new deadline extensions for the disclosure and filing of the 2019 annual financial statements with the Federal Gazette and for the filing of the 2019 tax returns with the tax office.
Disclosure of annual financial statements for the 2019 year
The disclosure and filing of the annual financial statements of corporations and other hybrid business forms (e.g., GmbH & Co. KGs) must be made no later than December 31 of each year of the following year. Disclosure after this date generally leads to the imposition of an administrative offense by the Federal Office of Justice of up to EUR 25,000. Due to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Federal Office of Justice, in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, has decided not to initiate administrative fine proceedings according to § 335 of the German Commercial Code (HGB) ragarding companies that disclose their annual financial statements for 2019 by 28.02.2021. This represents an indirect extension of the deadline for the disclosure or filing of annual financial statements until 28.02.2021.
Submission of tax returns for the 2019 year
On 17.12.2020, the coalition groups agreed with the Federal Ministry of Finance on an extension of the deadline for filing tax returns for the 2019 year until 31.08.2021. This deadline extension should only affect those taxpayers who are represented by members of the tax advisory professions (e.g. tax advisors or auditors).
However, we would like to point out that despite the existence of this deadline extension, all tax payments assessed after 30.04.2021 will be subject to interest according to § 233a Tax Code (AO). The amount of interest on tax payments set out in the law is currently still 6% p.a., although the legislature was urged by the Federal Constitutional Court to adjust the interest rate to the market interest rate. This means, for example, that if the tax returns are submitted on time by 31.08.2021 due to the extension granted and a final tax payment is to be made by 31.10.2021, for example, interest on the tax arrears payment of 3% is to be assumed. We therefore recommend, especially in the case of expected high tax payments, to submit the tax returns to the tax office promptly in order to avoid high interest amounts.
Extension of deferral options
In the letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance dated December 18, 2020, the measures in the letter dated April 09, 2020 were extended with regard to their term until 31.12.2021. This concerns, for example, the simplified proof of donation. Furthermore, this letter refers to another dated March 19, 2020, which describes the concession of the tax authorities with regard to deferral and enforcement measures as well as the adjustment of advance payments. It follows from this that both interest-free deferrals and the reduction of advance payments for taxpayers who have suffered or will suffer considerable economic damage as a result of the coronavirus are possible until 31.12.2021. Thus, the regulations, which were limited until the end of December, have been extended. We refer to our e-mail of March 19, 2020.
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