Coronavirus: postponement of deadline for payment of social insurance contributions

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​published on 3 April 2020 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

 

The Polish Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) offers reliefs to enterprises which struggle financially because of coronavirus and cannot pay social insurance contributions on time. Enterprises may apply for postponement of the payment deadline for contributions due for February to April 2020 by 3 months.

 

 

How to take advantage of this relief

To enjoy the relief, you have to fill in the special form made available by the Social Insurance Institution and add an explanation of how the coronavirus epidemic has affected your financial situation and made you unable to pay the contributions on time.

 

You can submit the request through the online portal called PUE ZUS, by post or leave it in the special box provided in ZUS branches. Once ZUS accepts the request, they will e-mail you an agreement and other documents necessary to enjoy the relief, which you have to sign and deliver to a ZUS branch. Due to the epidemic emergency, you can send the scanned documents to your ZUS branch’s e-mail address followed by original documents within 14 days of the end of the epidemic. Be mindful, however, that if you fail to deliver the original documents within the above time limit, the agreement on postponement of contributions will be considered never made and you will have to pay interest on the liabilities covered by the agreement.

Furthermore, enterprises which have signed an agreement with the Social Insurance Institution on the debt payment in instalments or on the postponement may enjoy relief in the form of suspension of the agreement for 3 months if the due date of the instalments or contributions set in the agreement falls in the period from March to May 2020. Thus, they can extent the agreement term by 3 months. The procedure for suspension of the agreement is the same as in postponement of payment deadline for contributions.

 

What about the postponement fee?

Under the current regulations, if the payment deadline for contributions is postponed, the Social Insurance Institution does not charge default interest but you have to pay a postponement fee. The fee is 50 percent of the default interest rate as of the agreement date. The fee is charged from the day after the contribution's due date until and inclusive of the postponement date.

 

The draft anti-crisis shield legislation waives the postponement fee for enterprises which apply for postponement of the deadline for contributions due to falling sales caused by coronavirus. This effectively means that the relief will be available at no charge.

 

Will the postponement of the deadline for payment of social insurance contributions really help businesses?

Under normal circumstances, the postponement of the deadline for payment of social insurance contributions may actually help enterprises which suffer temporary problems with financial liquidity. Yet, at the time of a serious economic crisis, like the one caused by coronavirus, it is arguable whether the 3-month postponement will really help businesses. The epidemic has prevented numerous companies from operating. As a consequence, at the end of the postponement period many companies will be unable to get money to cover the then accumulated social insurance liabilities.

 

The government’s anti-crisis shield does not exempt all enterprises from social insurance contributions at the time of epidemic crisis. Such a relief is envisaged for all self-employed and microenterprises (those who hire from 1 to 9 workers) whose revenues have dropped by more than 50 percent against February 2020. They are said to be exempt from social insurance contributions for three months.

 

We will keep you informed about changes to the relief and aid for enterprises at the time of the covid-19 epidemic.

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