Blümel: Employee bonuses tax-exempt, full lump sum for commuters remains
Financial support to cope with the Corona crisis: Parliament approves legislative initiatives of the Ministry of Finance

As part of the COVID III package, the National Council has endorsed several legislative initiatives by the Ministry of Finance for financial support during the coronavirus crisis. “Times of crisis must not be times of bureaucracy. We relieve the burden on people in our area and create more financial leeway through goodwill and exceptions,” said Finance Minister Gernot Blümel. For example, the Ministry of Finance exempts allowances and bonus payments to employees paid by the employer as a reward due to the aggravated circumstances in connection with COVID-19 from all taxes, up to an amount of € 3,000. All support payments for overcoming the coronavirus crisis from public funds will also be completely exempt from taxes retroactively from 01-MAR-2020 on.

Blümel: “It is important to me that bonuses and premium payments directly reach the silent heroes and heroines of daily life, who now sit at the till in the supermarket, for example. Here the state is not allowed to participate, and therefore it was a matter of concern to me that these payments should be tax-exempt.”

A further crucial point of the measures now adopted is that commuters will continue to be fully entitled to the lump sum for commuters even if they travel the distance between home and work less frequently, for example because of teleworking or incapacity to work. Finance Minister Gernot Blümel: “It is only fair that people continue to receive the lump sum for commuters in full, especially now. For costs are incurred even in case of reduced trips. In this time of crisis, we are certainly not cutting back on services for the people, but consistently providing support.”

Comprehensive package of further tax exemptions and easements

As in the case of the lump sum for commuters, employees should not suffer any financial disadvantages as a result of bonuses and allowances during the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, for the duration of the crisis, tax exemption for overtime or allowances for dirty, dangerous and demeaning work (3Ds allowances) can continue to be considered even in case of home office use, short-time work, or quarantine.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance now permits tax-exempt manufacture of disinfectants in pharmacies, as disinfectants are currently barely available as commodities.
Furthermore, a fee exemption for printed items and official acts in connection with anti-corona measures has already been provided for. Now, legal transactions necessary for the implementation of such measures are exempt from fees – also retroactively. Guarantees related to the implementation of anti-coronavirus measures are exempt from the legal transaction fee, and relief organisations that conclude rental agreements for storage premises, for example in order to store medical equipment to combat Covid-19, will not be burdened with any fees.