Blümel: Applications open for second tranche of fixed cost grant
Subject to qualifying data, full fixed cost grant can already be claimed; cost of tax advisers now tax-deductible.

The fixed cost grant was devised for all those businesses and sectors which are particularly hard hit by the impact of coronavirus and which, at the same time, face ongoing fixed costs. In order to prevent such companies from getting into insurmountable difficulties with liquidity, since 20 May, they have been able to apply via FinanzOnline for government support to cover their fixed costs. "We considered it important to provide affected businesses swiftly with cash in order to secure their survival. For this reason, applying for an advance payment on the fixed cost grant was enabled as rapidly as possible," explained Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.

With effect from 19 August, applications are now open for the second tranche, i.e. a further 25% of the grant. If, by this date, the qualified data from a company's accounts are already available, businesses have the opportunity of already claiming their full fixed cost grant for Phase I at this stage, and do not therefore need to wait for the third tranche.

From today, in addition, perishable goods may also be included and the period of consideration may be retrospectively amended in the final application if it should emerge that a different option would have been more favourable to the applicant. In any event, with effect from the second tranche, the amount of lost sales and fixed costs must be confirmed by a tax adviser, auditor or accountant, even if the total grant applied for does not exceed EUR 12,000. The costs of tax advisers, auditors or accountants will be taken into account as fixed costs up to a maximum amount of EUR 500.

"Our aim is to provide the best-possible support to businesses during these difficult times, in order collectively to rebuild our strength. We have therefore refined the fixed cost grant further on the basis of regular monitoring and feedback from practical experience, so as to fulfil requirements," stressed Gernot Blümel.

However, according to Blümel, the aim is not only to pay out the three Phase-I tranches as swiftly as possible, but also to refine the fixed cost grant further on an ongoing basis and adjust it to meet the requirements of business. For this reason, in September, Phase II of the fixed cost grant will be launched in order to help particularly affected businesses and sectors through the next few months. In this context, both the qualifying conditions and the amount of the grant will be adapted, and the length of the period for which the grant can be applied for will be doubled. Particularly hard-hit companies will then receive reimbursement of up to 100% of their fixed costs.

"Even though the mood in the economy is gradually improving, there will continue to be sectors for which prospects beyond the autumn remain gloomy. The assumption of fixed costs by the state is intended to help affected businesses over the long term," added Minister Blümel on a final note.