Legislative changes due to COVID-19 for the IT business

Legislative changes due to COVID-19 for the IT business

On March 17, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted several laws to prevent the emergence and spread of COVID-19, as well as to support business during the quarantine. The laws have come into force, so let us tell you about the innovations.

According to the Law of Ukraine No. 533-IX "On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and other laws of Ukraine on support of taxpayers for the period of measures aimed at preventing the occurrence and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)"the taxpayers shall face the following changes:

  1. Exemption from penalties for violation of the tax legislation committed during the period from March 1 to 31 May, 2020. This exemption will not be applied to some specific violations (such as alienation of property in the tax lien, without the consent of the supervisory authority, violations of rules regarding the accrual, declaration, payment of the VAT, etc.). Exemption from penalties for this period is also applied.
  2. It’s established a moratorium on documentary and factual audits from March 18 to May 31, 2020 (except for unscheduled documentary audits regarding legality of declaring a VAT refund claim exceeding UAH 100,000). The current audits are temporarily suspended until May 31, 2020. 
  3. Natural persons-entrepreneurs shall be exempted from paying the single social contribution for "themselves" from March 1 to April 30, 2020. Violations related to late payment of the single social contribution and late reporting on the single social contribution over the period from March 1 to April 30, 2020, shall not incur any penalties. Documentary audits related to the single social contribution are suspended till May 18, 2020.
  4. Payment for the land and nonresidential property is not accrued or paid over the period of March 1 to April 30, 2020. 

Whereas, the Law of Ukraine No. 530-IX "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine aimed at the prevention of occurrence and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)" implies the following innovations:

  1. The employer has been given the right to allow its employees to work from home, as well as the right to change the work pattern of enterprises subject to notification of the public through the website or other channels of communication.
  2. It has been introduced the possibility to provide a leave without preserving salary for the entire period of quarantine at the request of the employee. Such leave shall not be included into the general period of leave without preserving salary.
  3. For the period of quarantine, the terms of administrative services and the terms of applying for such services have been suspended.
  4. The quarantine is attributed to the force majeure events. This means that a party to the agreement may be released from liabilities for improper performance of its obligations if it is caused by the quarantine. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that since banks operate in regular mode and the introduction of preventive measures and restrictions during quarantine does not explicitly forbid IT companies to rent offices and use them for the intended purpose, there are no sufficient grounds for exemption from paying a rent. Thus, companies striving to optimize their costs shall address all financial issues by negotiating with their landlords and other contractors.
  5. There has been introduced a ban on carrying out planned control measures in the field of economic activity for the period of quarantine.
  6. There has been introduced an administrative responsibility for violation of quarantine rules, as well as criminal responsibility for violation of sanitary rules and norms for prevention of infectious diseases, namely:
  • administrative: for violation of the rules on quarantine of people, sanitary and hygienic, sanitary and anti-epidemic rules and norms stipulated by the law, decisions of local self-government bodies, is imposed a fine in the amount of: for citizens – from UAH 17,000 to UAH 34,000, and for the officials – from UAH 34,000 to UAH 170,000;
  • criminal: for violation of rules and norms established for the prevention of epidemic and other infectious diseases, as well as mass noncommunicable diseases (poisonings), if such actions could have caused or caused spread of infectious diseases is imposed a fine in the amount from UAH 17,000 to UAH 51,000 or arrest for six months, or restraint or imprisonment to three years. If these actions have caused harsh consequences, an imprisonment from 5 to 8 years will be applied as a punishment.