Bulgaria: 60/40 wage subsidy amended, extended (COVID-19)

Bulgaria: 60/40 wage subsidy amended, extended

The Council of Ministers adopted amendments to the “60/40 wage subsidy”—a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—concerning the conditions and procedures for paying funds to employers for the purpose of maintaining employment. The amendments were published in the official gazette (No. 2 dated 8 January 2021) and are effective 1 January 2021.

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  • Funding under the 60/40 mechanism will continue during the period from 1 January through 31 March 2021, but under amended terms.
  • Applications for receipt of 60/40 wage subsidy funding for the period from 1 October 2020 through 31 December 2020 must be submitted before 15 January 2021.

Background

The 60/40 wage subsidy program allows Bulgarian authorities to finance 60% of the wage costs (including the employers' social security contributions) of businesses that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, would otherwise lay off workers. The relief generally is available for businesses in sectors that have been most affected by the health crisis including retail, tourism, passenger transport, culture, sports activities, amusement and recreation activities, and others.

The 60/40 wage subsidy has been extended several times during 2020. Read TaxNewsFlash

Extension of the 60/40 mechanism and amendments to eligibility conditions

The amendments to the 60/40 wage subsidy regime provide that all applications for the subsidy for the period from 1 October 2020 through  31 December 2020 must be submitted before 15 January 2021, and these applications will be reviewed and funded under the program’s conditions as in effect prior to the amendments.

The funding of employers under the 60/40 mechanism will continue during the period from 1 January until 31 March 2021, but under amended terms. The amount of the funds received under the mechanism as well as the amount of the remuneration which employers are obligated to pay to their employees for whom funding is received, will be determined on the basis of the insurance income of the employees for October 2020.

The scope of employees for whom employers may apply for receipt of funding is expanded. Under the amendments this expanded scope includes all employees with regard to whom measures have been implemented—that is, suspension of work or unilateral reduction of the working hours—during the period from 13 March through 31 December 2020. Before the amendments, these measures had to be implemented during the period from 13 March through 30 June 2020 in order for the employer to be eligible to apply.

Additionally, the amendments affect the requirement for establishing a decrease in revenue the specifics of which are dependent on the date of incorporation of the employer—before or after 1 December 2019.

Currently, there are no new templates for applications and instructions for funding for the period beginning from 1 January 2021.

Read a January 2021 report [PDF 134 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Bulgaria

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