The Covid-19 epidemic has a negative impact on the economy as a whole across all sectors of activity, which led to a deterioration in the initial budget forecasts: the initial estimate of revenue and expenditure made in the 2020 budget law is no more applicable considering the present circumstances.
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 takes into account, on the basis of the evolution of economic forecasts, the initial budgetary consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic and forecasts a 5% recession and a budget deficit of 7.5%. It also provides an amending budget that aims to implement emergency measures to maintain economic activity.
This article sets out the main tax measures provided for in the amending Finance Bill for the year 2020:
- Measures to neutralize the impact of expenses related to the Coronavirus pandemic
On April 29, 2020, the National Accounting Council (CNC) published its Opinion No. 13 in response to the request of the Economic Intelligence Committee. The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 proposes to incorporate the CNC’s directives, particularly with regard to the possibility of spreading the following deductible expenses at a constant rate over 5 years (as deferred charges over several years):
– Contributions, donations or legacies to the “Special Fund for the Management of the Coronavirus Pandemic ”Le Covid-19”;
– fixed structural costs incurred or borne by companies during the period of the state of health emergency declared throughout the national territory, to cope with the spread of the “Covid-19” Coronavirus pandemic, and which are related to the sub-activity in relation to the normal production or operating capacity planned for 2020.
- Measures allowing the relaunch of certain sectors of activity
(a) Extension of time limits for agreements on social housing construction plans
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 plans to extend by 6 months the deadlines for agreements concluded between the State and real estate developers who have difficulty completing their social housing construction plans within the 5-year period.
This measure applies to agreements for social housing construction plans whose deadline expires during the period from the date of the start of the state of health emergency to 31 December 2020.
(b) Exemption of mobile payment turnover
The finance bill 2020 had introduced a 25% allowance applicable to the taxable base, corresponding to the turnover realized by mobile payment, by natural persons with professional income determined according to the simplified net income (RNS) or lump-sum profit (BF) schemes.
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 proposes to delete this provision and replace it by a measure that does not take into account the amount of turnover generated by mobile payment for 5 consecutive years for the determination:
– of the taxable base of the income tax due by the above-mentioned taxpayers;
– the thresholds for taxation on income tax under the above schemes and for liability to VAT.
– and the thresholds for the compulsory transition to accounting of 2 MDH of annual turnover.
- c) 50% reduction of registration fees applicable to the acquisition of real estate for residential use
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 provides for a 50% reduction in registration fees in favor of deeds drawn up for the acquisition of built premises used for housing when the amount of the tax base does not exceed MAD 1 million (directly or through a credit institution or similar organizations), during the period starting from the date of publication of the amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 in the Official Gazette to December 31, 2020.
- Postponement of the deadlines for the derogatory regularization measures introduced by the Finance Bill 2020.
The text of the PLFR extends and completes certain transitional measures introduced by the initial Finance bill 2020.
- a) Spontaneous regularization of the tax situation of taxpayers
Taxpayers who have noted non-compliant operations in their tax returns for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 may file spontanous corrective tax return before October 2020, in respect of the following taxes and duties:
– Corporate Income tax;
– Income tax, in respect of professional income determined according to the RNR or RNS
– Value Added Tax ;
– The tax withheld at source provided for in Articles 116, 117, 156 and 158 of the CGI;
– Stamp duty paid on declaration;
– Tax on insurance contracts.
The corrective return is subscribed to allows them to benefit from an exemption from penalties for late payment as well as an exemption from tax inspection (subject to compliance with a specific formality) conditional to :
– Subscribe the said amended declaration to the tax authorities before 1 October 2020 and
– proceed with the spontaneous payment of the supplementary rights in two equal instalments before the expiry of the months of September and November of the year 2020.
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 provides for the postponement of these deadlines. Thus, taxpayers may now subscribe to the said amending declaration and pay the additional duties in a single payment until 15 December 2020.
(b) Regularization of the tax situation of taxpayers with regard to property income
The finance bill 2020 allows taxpayers who have not filed their annual declaration of total income relating to property income for the years 2018, 2017 and 2016 to regularize their tax situation by filing a declaration before 1 July 2020 and paying a contribution equal to 10% of the gross amount of property income relating to the year 2018.
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 provides for an extension of the deadline until 31 December 2020.
- c) Regularization of liquid assets from professional or agricultural activity
Exceptionally, the Finance bill 2020 has introduced a contribution for natural persons who are resident and hold assets from profits or income relating to the exercise of a professional or agricultural activity that have not been declared before 2020.
These persons had a period from 1 January to 30 June 2020 to pay a contribution of 5% in respect of liquid assets deposited in bank accounts or held, in cash in the form of banknotes, movable or immovable property not intended for professional use and in respect of advances in partners’ current accounts and in the account of the farmer and loans granted to third parties.
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 proposes to extend the above deadline until 15 December 2020.
- d) Spontaneous regularization for assets and cash held abroad
Individuals and legal entities resident in Morocco who have committed foreign exchange and tax offences in respect of assets and liquid assets held abroad may regularize their situation by depositing before October 31, 2020 a declaration highlighting the nature of the assets held abroad, repatriating the foreign currency liquid assets as well as the income and proceeds generated by such liquid assets and by disposing of at least 25% of such liquid assets on the foreign exchange market in Morocco. The declaration shall be accompanied by the payment of a contribution at the following rates:
– 10% of the acquisition value of real estate held abroad and the subscription or acquisition value of financial assets and securities and other equity or debt securities held abroad.
– 5% of the amount of liquid foreign currency assets repatriated to Morocco and deposited in foreign currency accounts or convertible dirhams.
– 2% of liquid assets in foreign currencies repatriated to Morocco and sold on the foreign exchange market against the Moroccan dirham.
The PLFR 2020 proposes to extend the deadline for the declaration and payment of the contribution in full discharge of liabilities to December 31, 2020 instead of October 31, 2020.
- e) Contribution in full discharge in respect of fines relating to payment incidents on cheques
The finance bill 2020 had provided for a levy in discharge of fines for unpaid cheques presented for payment on or before December 31, 2019. This involves the application of a flat rate of 1.5% of the amount, together with the payment of the cheque, instead of a heavier scale: 5% for the first payment incident, 10% for the second and 20% for the third and subsequent incidents.
The amount of the contribution in full discharge is capped at MAD 10,000 for individuals and MAD 50,000 for companies, regardless of the amount of the check.
The amending Finance Bill for the year 2020 proposes to extend this contribution in full discharge under the fines relating to payment incidents regardless of their rank, not yet regularized, for checks presented for payment between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
Written by Imane BENABOUD TAX Manager