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Flash Alerts - COVID-19

Flash Alerts - COVID-19

All Flash Alerts on the topic of COVID-19.

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GMS & Immigration COVID-19 Global Tracker

Using this interactive map, you will be able to review all the Global Mobility specific COVID-19 updates by country.  Topics covered include: Travel restrictions, Immigration, Tax, Social Security, Employment Tax, and more. 

OTHER KPMG COVID-19 RESOURCES

Coronavirus (COVID-19) tax developments 

KPMG's TaxNewsFlash reports of tax developments in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) tax developments in EMA

KPMG's TaxNewsFlash reports of tax developments in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe, Middle East & Africa

KPMG’s COVID-19 Global Tax Developments Summary

Need to find specific updates? Sort TaxNewsFlash reports by Country

 

View COVID-19 related Flash Alerts by Country

See below for COVID-19 related Flash Alerts grouped by the following countries:

Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland,  India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Nigeria, Norway, OECD, People's Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vietnam

Argentina

05/26/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID -19 Quarantine Extended Again for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have again extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 7 June, while leaving the relaxing of lock downs of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government. 

05/22/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Filing and Payment Deadlines Extended for Individuals - income taxes for the 2019 tax year until the end of July 2020.

05/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines Again - The Argentinean National Immigration office has again extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.

05/11/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID-19 Quarantine Extended for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 24 May, while leaving the relaxing of lockdowns of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government. 

04/28/2020: Argentina – New Rules for Air Passenger Services and Travel to/from Argentina - New rules from Argentina’s civil aviation authorities impose new requirements and non-compliance penalties on commercial airlines flying into, out of, or within Argentina, which will also affect travelers. 

04/27/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - On 25 April, the Argentine authorities announced the extension of the mandatory “lock down” for the entire country as of 26 April, until 10 May.  The extension of the lockdown, with all that it implies for travel into and out of Argentina and resuming normal work routines and practices, will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Argentina and countries around the world.

04/17/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - Argentina’s National Immigration office announced on 17 April, new rules extending for 30 days certain deadlines previously announced in Provision N° 1714/2020.  The new rules provide further support for foreign individuals who, due to the COVID-19 crisis, need to extend their transitory or temporary residencies; for instance they provide for the extension of the validity of the individual’s residence status.  The new rules also deal with registration of local companies at the National Immigration office.   

04/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Fiscal Relief for Companies - An emergency assistance program has been established to provide relief for employers whose businesses have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina. Some of the benefits include postponement and reduction of payments of employer contributions for the Argentine Integrated Social Security System and payment of a portion of employee wages to be covered by the National Social Security Administration.

04/15/2020: Argentina –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Extended - On 11 April, Argentina’s government further extended travel restrictions by keeping the country’s borders closed until 26 April.

04/13/2020: Argentina – Government Extends Scope of Mandatory Quarantine - Argentina’s authorities have now extended the mandatory “lock down,” to the entire country as of 12 April lasting until 26 April.  In related news, the National Immigration Directorate (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) will remain closed until April 26.

04/01/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - The Argentinean National Immigration office has extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.

03/30/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - Argentina has extended its mandatory, country-wide “lock down,” until 12 April.

03/24/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In a news conference on 20 March, the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced several strict measures that will directly impact the extent to which people may freely move about in Argentina. The country is essentially in a “lock down” situation until 31 March, at least.

03/16/2020: Argentina – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentine authorities announced the closing of its borders as of 16 March until 28 March, except for Argentinean nationals who want to come back to Argentina and for residents returning to Argentina. 

03/13/2020: Argentina – Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentina has issued new measures governing individuals from the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Iran, Japan, the United States of America, United Kingdom and the rest of Europe (this includes the Schengen Area countries) and intending to travel to Argentina. 

Australia

04/24/2020: Australia – Updated Guidance on Temporarily Displaced Employees Working in Australia - Organisations with workers displaced outside of Australia or inside the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have concerns about income sourcing, especially for their employees who are back in Australia but are not tax residents of Australia. New updated guidance from the Australian Taxation Office outlines factors that need to be considered in determining the source of an employee’s employment income. These factors will be crucial in determining whether employees are subject to Australian income tax on that employment income, and consequently what the tax reporting and withholding obligations are for employers.

03/30/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Considerations for Managing a Migrant Workforce in Trying Times - While the Australian government has not put forward any specific legislation or rules that would address the COVID-19-related challenges faced by temporary migrant workers, the existing migration legislation contains a number of provisions that employers can avail of to offer some continuity of employment for impacted temporary migrants. They can look at, for example, accessing leave without pay, a reduction in working hours, and move them between business entities.

03/25/2020: Australia – Fringe Benefits Tax Considerations for Employers Facing COVID-19 Challenges - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and State Revenues have been putting forward various fiscal measures to help relieve the tax challenges faced by businesses and employees as they confront a growing COVID-19 outbreak in the country and abroad. While currently there is no automatic Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) deferral in Australia, the ATO has indicated it will consider requests of payment deferral of up to six months. Moreover, the ATO is also providing pragmatic guidance on FBT.

03/25/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Payroll Tax Relief Coming - Australia’s federal and state governments and their respective tax authorities are implementing a broad range of measures to help provide relief to employers. While most measures are targeted at affected industries (such as tourism and hospitality), small to medium enterprises and not-for-profits, there are some measures which apply to all affected businesses (e.g., deferrals in Queensland). Each state and territory approach is different. 

03/24/2020: Australia - COVID-19 Borders Closed to NonResidents - This alert announces Australia’s border closing to nonresidents in response to COVID-19 and the impacts on visa holders inside and outside of Australia.

03/23/2020: Australia – ATO Guidance: Impact of COVID-19 on Taxation of Internationally Mobile Employees - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released updated guidance to provide clarity as to how it will approach the tax implications for internationally mobile employees and their employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  This newsletter covers guidance related to residents temporarily overseas, foreign residents temporarily in Australia, earning employment income while in Australia temporarily, as well as employer obligations.

03/18/2020: Australia – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Self-Quarantine Requirements - Effective 15 March 2020, the Australian government has imposed a self-quarantine requirement for all travellers entering Australia. The self-quarantine requires all travellers to self-quarantine in a home or hotel for 14 days.

Barbados

04/03/2020: Barbados/Eastern Caribbean – Fiscal Stimulus and Travel/Border Restriction Measures - Barbados has issued the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Curfew Directive, 2020, which introduces limitations and restrictions on businesses, as well as daily life and travel within the country. The government has also proposed a package of economic and fiscal stabilization measures to address the fall-out on the country’s economy from the outbreak of COVID-19. This GMS Flash Alert focuses on the COVID-19 response efforts of the government of Barbados and also highlights developments in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Belgium

05/22/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with France, Luxembourg - Given the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on workers’ ability to travel and on workplace arrangements, Belgium has concluded mutual agreements with France and Luxembourg which aim to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers.  Days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances. 

05/13/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with Germany, Netherlands - In light of the mutual agreements Belgium has concluded with The Netherlands and Germany, to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances.

04/06/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 and Impact on Frontier Workers - This alert describes the measures taken by the Belgian government to allow frontier workers to cross the Dutch, German, French and Luxembourg borders as well as guidance for employees working in critical sectors to cross the border without being delayed by border checks. 

03/27/2020: Belgium – Changed Work Patterns and Application of EU Social Security Regulations - Individuals’ cross-border working patterns are undergoing change, resulting in their increased presence and work in their home countries, and reducing travel. To prevent a change of the competent member state for social security coverage of international mobile workers, such as frontier workers and multi-state workers, Belgium’s federal government has taken the decision to disregard such temporary changes in an individual’s cross-border working pattern during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

03/23/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 Measures Taken by Belgian Immigration Authorities - The competent Belgian federal authorities have announced that they would only accept visa applications for essential functions or needs.  Most Visa Application Centers will be closed.  Federal and regional authorities are taking measures to assure the continuance of immigration approval processes where needed.  Adapted procedures are instituted allowing employers to legally employ in Belgium their third-country national employees who are currently stuck in Belgium due to current travel restrictions.  

03/17/2020: Belgium –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Immigration Process Changes - This alert highlights the current situation in Belgium, including Belgian social distancing measures, advisories and restrictions on traveling to Belgium and abroad, and updated immigration procedures for third country nationals. 

Botswana

03/26/2020: Botswana – Broad Measures Introduced by Government to Combat COVID-19 Threat - As part of its response to the coronavirus threat, the Botswana government has announced broad measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These measures include barring of entry into Botswana of travelers from high-risk countries. Other measures include cancellation or suspension of large-crowd events, social distancing, etc.

Brazil

04/03/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Income Tax Return and Central Bank Report Filing Extensions - To bring some relief to taxpayers challenged by the COVID-19 outbreak, on April 1, 2020, the “Receita Federal do Brasil,” the Brazilian Revenue, announced that the filing deadline for all taxpayers subject to Brazilian tax law in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to June 30, 2020.  The original due date was April 30, 2020. Additionally, the Brazil Central Bank has announced filing extensions to the Brazilian Capital Abroad Reports in respect of the 2019 calendar year and of the 2020 first quarter report. 

03/26/2020: Brazil – Travel Restrictions and Other Measures to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - Brazil’s government has announced several travel restrictions for individuals coming to Brazil, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. This newsletter covers travel restrictions in particular with other South American countries, as well as activities of the Federal Police in respect of passport applications and the Ministry of Justice in respect of visa application processing and visa issuance.

Canada

05/21/2020: Canada – COVID-19: Temporary Process to Get Foreign Workers into New Jobs Faster - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a new temporary process, effective May 12, to support certain foreign workers residing in Canada including those currently unemployed to get back to work quickly.  The new process allows foreign workers, who meet the eligibility criteria, to begin work 10 days after submitting their applications for a new work permit.  This temporary initiative departs from the current process in a few ways.

03/23/2020: Canada – Extensions on Tax Filings in Light of COVID-19 Crisis - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will delay tax filing deadlines for individuals to June 1, 2020, and for trusts to May 1, 2020.  Quebec’s government announced further extensions for tax and instalment payments due dates.  Eligible employers may have access to a range of temporary relief measures. 

03/19/2020: Canada – Government Places Restrictions on Entry - Canada will deny entry to all foreign nationals with a few exceptions. The governments of Canada and the U.S. will close the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel between the countries. 

Chile

04/16/2020: Chile – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Border Closure Extended - n April 14, Chile’s government further extended travel restrictions by keeping the country’s borders closed until April 22.  Certain individuals will still be permitted to enter and leave Chile. And despite the border closure, entry and departure of cargo or freight/transport services will still be possible. 

03/19/2020: Chile – Significant Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Chilean government has taken extraordinary measures instituting travel restrictions on foreign nationals traveling to Chile as well as restrictions on entry into Chile by Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with Chilean resident status. 

Croatia

03/24/2020: Croatia – COVID-19: Measures Limiting Travel, Imposing Quarantine and Social Distancing - Due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Croatia, on 19 March 2020 and on 23 March 2020, the Croatian government updated the packages of measures aimed at getting control of the spread of the coronavirus. Starting 19 March 2020 and over the course of the 30 days to follow, new rules concerning border crossings will be in force. There are also new rules pertaining to movement by persons within Croatia’s border, social distancing, and public gatherings and events.

Czech Republic

05/27/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Penalty Relief for Late Employer Social Security Contributions - The Czech government has introduced measures to reduce penalties for late payment of social security contributions due for the months May to July 2020 by employers under certain conditions and to modify submission procedures for social security overviews and contributions to be electronic and cashless.

05/14/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Postponing Certain Advance Payments and Withholding Tax - The Czech government on 8 April 2020 began allowing payers of personal income tax on employment income to apply to postpone advance payments or to pay the tax in instalments. Postponement or payment in instalments is also possible for certain types of withholding tax.

05/12/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Lifting Entry Restrictions under Certain Governmental Programmes - In the Czech Republic certain restrictions pertaining to travel/entry are being partially lifted by the government under new Government Decree n°443. In addition, Government Decree n°511 regulates the entry in respect of specific groups of non-European Union/non-European Economic Area citizens. Czech borders remain closed for the most part, though new categories of foreigners will be able to enter the country, including workers and their family members enrolled under specific government programmes.

04/21/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Extended State of Emergency and Related Measures - The Czech Parliament has approved an extension of the state of emergency through 30 April 2020. The borders remain closed. However, the government is also slightly easing the rules around Czech citizens travelling abroad in justified cases which includes necessary employment-related travel or an emergency situation involving their families residing abroad. And cross-border commuters can enter and leave the Czech Republic under specific conditions.

04/10/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Measures Introduced - The Czech government has introduced several personal income tax and social security measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and society.  Measures include, waived penalties for the late submission of personal income tax returns, a waiver of income tax prepayments payable on 15 June 2020, relaxed rules around payment of the parental allowance, as well as how the social security agency will consider a change in a cross-border worker’s circumstances in terms of a change in the state where the person is insured for social security purposes.

03/19/2020: Czech Republic – Emergency Measures Imposed by Government to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - The Czech government announced the temporary suspension of Czech “representations” abroad (i.e., embassies and consulates) accepting and handling visa applications and applications for residence permits. Additionally, on 16 March 2020, the borders of the Czech Republic were closed. 

Denmark

03/19/2020: Denmark – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions, Changes to Immigration Policies - All travel to Denmark is suspended and the borders are closed. Individuals entering Denmark must have a creditable reason, i.e., work, to enter otherwise they will be rejected at the borders.  

European Union

05/12/2020: European Union – Travel Ban Extended until 15 June - On 8 May, the European Commission (EC) invited the Schengen member and associated states to extend the current travel ban for all non-essential travel to the European Union (EU) for another 30 days, until 15 June 2020. Initially the restrictions applied for a period of 30 days, but this period had been extended and now is due to come to an end on 15 May. The intention is that an extension of the restrictions should be implemented by all EU and Schengen states at all external borders with the same end date and in a uniform manner. 

04/09/2020: European Union - EUR 100 Billion Initiative to Support Employment and Businesses - On 2 April 2020, the European Commission (EC) proposed a EUR 100 billion instrument called “SURE” to help workers maintain their incomes and help businesses stay afloat.  It is intended to support the member states to combat the effects of the coronavirus crisis and help save lives and protect livelihoods.  On 3 April 2020, the EC adopted an extension of the temporary framework to include a deferral of tax payments and/or suspension of social security contributions and the offer of other support in the form of wage subsidies for employees.   

03/30/2020: European Union – Guidelines for Free Movement of Workers During Covid-19 Pandemic  - The European Commission (EC) has published practical guidance to help ensure the free movement of not only critical workers, but frontier workers in general.  Member states have introduced internal border controls to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is imperative that workers who need to cross borders to reach their workplace can do so without delay.  Among the recommendations from the EC are dedicated lanes at the borders for workers, the introduction of specific stickers that can be recognised at the border crossings, and health screenings conducted on one side of the border only. 

03/20/2020: European Union – Countries Taking Extraordinary Measures on Borders, Travel, Health - The European Union has approved new guidelines for border management measures, including guidelines for both the internal and external borders, health-related measures, guidelines for the transport of goods and services, guidelines for the supply of goods, health-related measures and guidelines.

03/19/2020:  European Union – Border Security Guidelines to Protect Health, Foster Economic Continuity - The European Commission (EC) presented guidelines to the EU member states on management of borders in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. The guidelines pertain to entry screenings, health screenings, quarantine, border crossings, freight transport, etc. 

03/18/2020: European Union – Shedding Some Light on Social Security As COVID-19 Spreads - This newsletter discusses the application of existing EU social security rules as workplace arrangements transform in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Finland

05/07/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Gradual Dismantling of Restrictions on Crossing Borders - On 7 May 2020, the Finnish government decided on the gradual lifting of restrictions on border traffic.  As of 14 May, the statutory restrictions on border traffic will be lifted for purposes of cross-border travel across Schengen internal borders.  This will allow employment or commission-related commuting and other essential travel.  Border traffic remains restricted however as the government decided on extending some of the existing rules from 14 May until 14 June.  Border authorities have also now adopted a new guideline for the entry of third-country nationals arriving in Finland for the first time. 

04/17/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Revised Policies Restricting Travel Restrictions, List of Critical Tasks - On 7 April 2020, the Finnish government adopted decisions to tighten and continue the restrictions on movement/traffic across Finland’s borders, including the restriction of border traffic through 13 May 2020.  Also, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment announced a list of tasks that are (i) essential to secure the supply chain or (ii) critical for the business’ operations in a particular sector.  Employees working in the areas that are designated critical must be granted entry to Finland. 

03/19/2020: Finland – Update on Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - The Finnish authorities announced the restriction of passenger traffic at Finland’s borders as of 19 March (Finnish time) until mid-April. Also, the processing for normal visa applications and residence permit applications in Finland’s missions abroad has been suspended.

France

05/28/2020: France – Social Security for Foreign Employers with Staff Working from Home - The French international social security liaison body (le Centre des Liaisons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale or “CLEISS”) updated the responsibilities of foreign employers with foreign national employees not falling within the scope of the European Union social security regulations who are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, where a bilateral social security agreement is in place, CLEISS states that employers must “regularise” the situation of employees with the competent social security institution in the “normal” country of employment.  

05/27/2020: France – COVID-19: New Agreements on Frontier Workers with Germany, Belgium, Switzerland - France has announced that it has reached new agreements with Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland that deal with current issues around frontier workers.  As a result of these agreements, working from home due to COVID-19 should have no impact on the tax system applicable to frontier workers.  The agreements stipulate that, in the context of the current heath emergency linked to COVID-19, frontier workers who are not eligible for the specific frontier worker regime will not suffer adverse consequences if they have to work from home.  

04/29/2020: France – COVID-19: Tax Authorities Provide Guidance on Impact on Residency - The French tax authorities have clarified that, in their view, a temporary stay in France, due to confinement or travel restrictions related to the coronavirus is not likely to result in an individual acquiring a tax residence in France under either French domestic rules or treaty rules.

04/09/2020: France – New Travel restrictions (COVID-19) - France has created three new travel attestations required to enter or leave France beginning 8 April 2020 to address the COVID-19 crisis. 

04/03/2020: France – Various Social Security Measures (COVID-19) - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending social security contribution payment deadlines, adjusting guidelines for the “partial work” scheme, and helping cross-border workers and returning expatriates.

04/03/2020: France – COVID-19: Various Tax Relief and ‘Frontier Worker’ Measures  - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending filing deadlines for 2019 income tax returns, issuing guidelines for the changed working patterns of frontier workers from bordering countries, and cautioning employers that there is no deferral of payment for the withholding tax due on the wages paid to employees.  

03/24/2020: France – New Actions to Restrict Travel, Extend Immigration Documents’ Validity - The French government issued a decree restricting travel, various activities, and many aspects of daily life to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. On 16 March 2020, the French government also took new measures regarding the spread of the virus in relation to the residence permits of foreign nationals. On 24 March, Emergency Law 2020-290 of March 23 was published, with more rules around immigration and travel. 

Germany

05/18/2020: Germany – COVID-19 Gives Rise to Further Limitations on Mobility through 15 June - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on current developments in respect of the quarantine measures in Germany, which aim to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and the restrictions on non-essential travel to and within the European Union (EU). Also, the newsletter reports on Germany’s and other EU states’ responses to the recommendation to the Schengen member states by the European Commission to extend travel restrictions until 15 June 2020.

04/23/2020: Germany – Extending Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU, Updated Measures - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the restrictions on non-essential travel to/from the European Union (EU). There are new rules around quarantine for people entering or returning to Germany after a stay abroad of several days.  There are special rules for those entering or leaving Germany on a daily basis (commuters) -- because they have absolutely necessary reason(s) to enter the country -- and for freight transport.

04/23/2020: Germany – Mutual Agreements on Frontier Workers with Austria, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands - Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 measures, frontier workers face the risk of losing specific tax reliefs granted by the state of work. Germany has now concluded mutual agreements with Austria, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, which, amongst other things, are expected to help make sure frontier workers currently working from home are still eligible for tax benefits granted by the state of work.

03/27/2020: Germany – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Relief Measures and Considerations - The federal government in Germany has launched a broad-based package of measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus on employers and workers. In addition to making the regulations on compensation for short-time work more flexible and extending liquidity assistance for affected companies (in the form of simplified access to loans and guarantees), there are other measures being introduced or considered, such as extending the filing deadline for certain 2018 personal income tax returns (not yet at the national level), how to apply EU and German social security rules to the changed work patterns of frontier workers and multi-state workers, and supporting companies affected by the coronavirus crisis, social security contributions will be deferred at the request of the employer. 

03/24/2020: Germany – Measures to Combat COVID-19 Become More Intense - On 22 March 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister-Presidents of all 16 German Federal States agreed on further measures regarding stay-at-home and social distancing. Furthermore, the operations of the German immigration authorities (diplomatic missions abroad, immigration offices in Germany) have been reduced significantly, so new assignments to Germany or the international hiring of new foreign talent will be delayed; application processes for long-term residence and work permissions are impacted in the same way. Germany has limited, with effect as of 18 March 2020, the entry to Germany for EU member states and Schengen Associated States with entries from Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, and Switzerland being subject to police control. 

03/18/2020: Germany – Considerable Lengths Taken by Government to Stem Rise of COVID-19 - As of 16 March 2020, a partial shutdown of the borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland is in effect. Due to the emergency situation, many local immigration offices have reduced their capacities significantly. 

Ghana

05/29/2020: Ghana – COVID-19: Update on Implementation Guidelines for Tax Incentives, Pension Relief - The Commissioner-General (C-G) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday, 12 May 2020, issued directives concerning certain tax incentives related to the taxation of withdrawals from Personal Pensions and Provident Funds – Tier Three, the remuneration of selected health workers, deductions for COVID-19-related donations, and waivers of certain tax-related penalties. 

03/23/2020: Ghana – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions and Safety Directive - On 21 March 2020, the president updated the nation on the status of those measures put in place to help minimise the possibility of further novel coronavirus infestation. He also placed additional stringent restrictions on travel by ordering the closure of Ghana's land, sea, and air borders to human traffic effective midnight, 22 March 2020. 

Guatemala

05/01/2020: Guatemala – COVID-19: Social Security Deferment Options for Employers - To help businesses cope with the financial stress of the COVID-19 crisis, the Guatemalan government is easing social security compliance obligations with the option to defer the employer’s share of social security contributions (IGSS) for the months of March, April, and May 2020, without being assessed any penalties, fines, or interest on the deferred payments.

Hong Kong

04/15/2020: Hong Kong – Automatic Three-Month Extension of 2018/19 Tax Payment Deadlines - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive announced recently that tax payment deadlines for 2018/19 Salaries Tax, Tax under Personal Assessment, and Profits Tax which fall between April to June 2020 are automatically extended by three months. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) made a further announcement to provide details and examples to illustrate which group(s) of taxpayers can delay their 2018/19 tax payments.

04/07/2020: Hong Kong – COVID-19: Updates to 2019-20 Tax Season - The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has announced the issuance of tax returns for the 2019-20 tax filing season – which includes individual tax returns being issued one month later than in prior years. This is to afford taxpayers impacted by the upheavals due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 crisis a little more time to organise their tax affairs.

Iceland

05/01/2020: Iceland – COVID-19: Social Security and Payroll Tax Deferrals - Iceland’s Parliament, on 30 March 2020, passed relief measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among the measures aimed at mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus were extensions of time to pay social security tax and withheld public levies at source.

India

05/22/2020: India – COVID-19: Clarifying Tax Residency for Individuals Staying More Days - India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued Circular No. 11 of 2020, dated 8 May 2020, that clarifies the residency situation of Nonresident Indians (NRIs) and foreign visitors whose stay in India during the tax year 2019-20 lasted longer than they expected due to the COVID-19 lockdown. This is crucial as the taxability of overseas income and disclosure of overseas assets in a fiscal year depends on the individual’s residential status, which, in turn, depends on his/her number of days of stay in India. 

05/20/2020: India – COVID-19: Update to Visa Extension Rules, Travel Restrictions - India has made some recent pronouncements concerning travel into and out of the country and in respect of visa holders stuck in India due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions whose visas are expiring or soon will expire.  The Indian government is allowing international movement for persons who have been stranded in India / outside India, subject to fulfillment of conditions provided under the so-called Standard Operating Protocols.

05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Provident Fund and Pension Relief Announced - Recent notifications and circulars issued by some of India’s regulators (EPFO and PFRDA) provide much-needed relief to employers and employees, Provident Fund (PF) members, and National Pension Scheme (NPS) subscribers that are currently under stress due to the effects of the COVID-19 situation. Among the measures there are grace periods for the filing of certain returns, non-refundable advances from subscribers’ PF accounts, and partial withdrawals from the National Pension System under certain conditions.

05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures - India has enacted Ordinance 2020 delaying the deadlines for certain tax payments to bring relief to individuals and businesses dealing with the effects of the spread of COVID-19 in India.

Indonesia

03/23/2020: Indonesia – Extended Filing Dates and Other Measures for COVID-19 - This alert provides updated information on the steps the Indonesian tax authorities are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending some filing and payment deadlines.

Ireland

05/22/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Temporary Arrangements for Irish Residence Permit Registrations - In light of the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and the difficulties some people can encounter as a result of not having an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card, the authorities have introduced certain temporary measures for between now and 20 July 2020.  Certain individuals in Ireland awaiting their first IRP registration, can apply to the Burgh Quay Registration Office to request a letter confirming their permission to remain in Ireland. 

05/15/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Further Temporary Extension of Residency Permissions - Employers should note that if the expiry date of any of their employees’ Irish Residence Permits falls within the period of 20 May 2020 to 20 July 2020, the employees’ legal status in Ireland will be maintained. Employers should also be aware that employees whose permissions expired between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020, and were previously already automatically extended by two months, will again be extended by a further two months to maintain their legal status in Ireland. Also, the Burgh Quay Registration Office and all other local registration offices will remain closed.

03/27/2020: Ireland - COVID-19 Tax Measures Relevant to Mobile Employees - Ireland’s tax authorities have provided a variety of guidance to ease employee and employer tax filing obligations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

03/26/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Filing Extension for Reporting Employee Share Schemes - The Irish tax authority (“Revenue”) recently announced that the filing deadline for all employer share scheme reporting information returns in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to 30 June 2020. (The original due date to file the Forms RSS1 and KEEP1 in respect of the 2019 tax year was 31 March 2020.)

03/25/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Residence Permits Extensions and Cessation of Visa Processing - The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has announced that the Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin and all other local registration offices have closed for a period of two months effective from 20 March 2020 until 20 May 2020. In addition, the processing of visa applications has ceased temporarily as of close of business 20 March 2020. Only certain emergency visas will be processed such as those for certain health-care professionals, immediate family members of Irish citizens, persons legally resident in Ireland and persons entitled to avail of the European Union (EU) Free Movement Directive. 

03/17/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Delays in Employment Permit Processing Times - Ireland’s Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has announced that it will be prioritising the processing of all applications for employment permits for medical staff. Therefore, the timing of all other employment permit applications will be impacted.

Isle of Man

05/28/2020: Isle of Man – COVID-19: Tax Return Relief, Guidance on Work from Home Expenses - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges Isle of Man taxpayers may be facing, the Isle of Man Treasury has provided some relief in respect of tax filing deadlines and how working-at-home expenses are treated for tax purposes.  The deadline for the submission of personal tax returns for the 2019/20 tax year has been extended from 6 October 2020 to 6 November 2020.  

Italy

05/22/2020: Italy – Loosening Lockdown, Slow Reopening, Relaxing Travel Restrictions - Italy’s government published more statutes that regulate various aspects of the population’s life as the country proceeds through “phase 2.”  Careful steps laid out are aimed at reopening economic and commercial activities and at allowing wider freedom of movement of people, but this is not comprehensive and there are still some exceptions in respect of the restrictions.  Public agencies and offices are still having their employees work remotely, though they are starting to set up appointments.

05/01/2020: Italy – Status of Reopening Country, Work and Resident Permits Extended - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the steps the Italian government is taking, though very gradual, to reopen the country, with some businesses allowed to reopen and some travel restrictions slightly eased. Furthermore, a new law will extend the validity of soon-to-expire resident and work permits through 31 August 2020.

04/16/2020: Italy – Lockdown Extended to 3 May, Options for Travel into/out of Country  -  Due to the persistent presence of COVID-19 in Italy, the government extended the emergency lockdown for a further three weeks.  The new end date for the lockdown is now set at 3 May.  This GMS Flash Alert re-caps the many policies and requirements in Italy pertaining to travel into and out of the country, work, and freedom of movement, etc. 

04/03/2020: Italy – Measures that Put Country in Lockdown Extended to 13 April  - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 1 April 2020, which extends until 13 April 2020, current restrictions on travel and movement and health/hygiene/social distancing policies. In addition, this will have consequences for closures and reduced activities of most public offices/agencies dealing with matters related to tax, social security, immigration, and others. 

03/10/2020: Italy - Country in Lockdown as COVID-19 Threat Grows - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 9 March 2020, further restricting travel, other activities, and aspects of daily life. The measures effectively quarantine the whole country and place severe restrictions on internal travel within Italy. 

03/06/2020: Italy - Some Tax Deadlines Extended During COVID-19 Outbreak - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 9 March 2020, further restricting travel, other activities, and aspects of daily life. The measures effectively quarantine the whole country and place severe restrictions on internal travel within Italy. 

03/04/2020: Italy - New Statute Introduces COVID-19-Related Measures Affecting Immigration - The Italian government issued a new Decree-Law on 2 March 2020. Aspects of the Decree-Law concern prolonging deadlines and expiration dates and suspending or curtailing some services in the public sector, this includes the division of police in charge of immigration affairs. 

02/25/2020: Italy - Temporary Measures in Place to Deal with Outbreak of Covid-19 - There are serious concerns about the outbreak of Covid-19 in parts of Italy.  Authorities in Italy have taken steps that are intended to reduce and control the spread of the Covid-19 (also referred to as “Coronavirus”).  The responses of Italy’s government and by businesses could have consequences for immigration, social security, and tax, as well as the conduct of daily life.   

Japan

05/29/2020: Japan – COVID-19: Border Controls and Travel Restrictions Being Extended - The government of Japan fully lifted the state of emergency that had been in place since April for the last remaining five prefectures (Japan has 47 prefectures): Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, and Hokkaido on 25 May. However, sustained border controls and travel restrictions will continue to affect multinational employers and their globally-mobile employees doing business in Japan. 

04/03/2020: Japan – Expanding Entry Ban to 73 Nations to Control Coronavirus - The government of Japan imposed new significant measures to expand to 73 countries and regions in total its entry ban on foreign nationals. Due to the restrictions on entry, those foreign nationals with a valid residence status in Japan, including expatriates on international assignment who temporarily departed from Japan to the below-listed countries with the Re-Entry Permission, are no longer able to return to Japan until further notice. Japanese nationals and the “Special” Permanent Residence Permit holders are exempt from the entry ban. 

03/30/2020: Japan – Updated Travel/Immigration Measures to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19) - In addition to the existing immigration restrictions in place due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government announced updated measures on 26 March 2020. Effective from 27 March those who fall under any of the categories noted in the tables in this GMS Flash Alert are not permitted to land in Japan unless there are exceptional circumstances. Japanese nationals are exempt from being denied entry – though there are special rules that apply in respect of their entry. Plus, there are new policies in Tokyo, where the governor warns the capital has entered a critical phase in the fight against COVID-1. 

03/21/2020: Japan – UPDATE: Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - As part of its response to managing the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government has announced updated entry restrictions on 18 March.

03/16/2020: Japan - Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Japanese government has extended current travel restrictions. The measures described in this newsletter are valid as of 12 March 2020 and will last until the end of this month.  

03/02/2020: Japan - Extended Tax Filing Deadline, Other Government Steps Due to Covid-19 - The Japanese government has announced that filing and payment due dates for individual income tax, individual consumption tax, and gift tax for 2019 will be extended by one month to April 16, 2020. In addition, the government has agreed on precautionary measures calling on people to work from home, cancelling/postponing ‘large crowd’ events/activities, hygiene and safety recommendations, and closing of schools. 

Kenya

04/01/2020: Kenya – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Cope with COVID-19 Crisis - On 25 March 2020, the president of the Republic of Kenya outlined the tax interventions the government intends to make to “cushion” the country against the economic effects of the COVID-19. These measures are proposals only at this point and include a 100-percent tax relief for low-income-earning persons, a reduction in the top Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) rate, and other changes such as cash transfers, credit relief, lower VAT, and a corporate tax cut.

Lithuania

03/25/2020: Lithuania – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Tax Filing, Social Security Extensions - In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Lithuanian government and tax authorities extended the deadline for submission of the 2019 Lithuanian income tax return for individuals to 1 July 2020 (from 4 May 2020). To control the spread of COVID-19, the Lithuanian government established a quarantine effective 16 March 2020 until 30 March 2020.

Luxembourg

05/05/2020: Luxembourg – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Employee Relief Measures - The Luxembourg government has implemented a number of relief measures to help alleviate the effects of COVID-19, including an individual income tax return filing extension, cross-border worker relief, social security payment relief and paid family leave.

Malaysia

05/22/2020: Malaysia – Special Tax Concessions for Individuals Due to COVID-19 - Due to COVID-19, with many international assignees in Malaysia performing duties in respect of their overseas employment/assignments and their employers concerns about the impact that their temporary presence – and additional unplanned days spent – in Malaysia may have on their Malaysia tax residency status, cross-border employment income, and the permanent establishment issues, the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has provided guidance.

04/01/2020: Malaysia – Various Tax Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19 - The Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has set out a new timetable for certain personal tax filing and employer compliance obligations (including due date extensions) in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Also, the MIRB has closed all its office premises until 14 April 2020 – but is providing some limited services. 

03/25/2020: Malaysia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions to Combat COVID-19 - The Malaysian prime minister on March 25 extended a 16 March 2020 movement control order (“MCO”) to combat the sharp rise of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, and the local state governments of East Malaysia (States of Sabah and Sarawak), have also imposed restrictions on visitor entry, including Malaysians. The local state government additional measures take effect from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020, while the MCO has been extended to 14 April.

Malta

04/29/2020: Malta – COVID-19: Limited Entry and Work Permit Services, Tax Implications - Malta’s government has announced a number of measures with respect to travel to Malta and work permits for non-European Union (EU) nationals.  Also, visa services have been suspended, until further notice. Moreover, there is a temporary suspension of the issuing of permits in respect of new work/residence applications.  And, any travelers that do enter Malta by means of air and sea are to observe a mandatory self-quarantine period of 14 days.

Nigeria

04/27/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Fiscal Stimulus Plans - Nigeria’s federal and state governments have introduced measures such as delayed tax filing deadlines, waivers of Late Returns Penalty for taxpayers who pay early but file their returns later, suspension of field audits, investigations, and monitoring exercises, etc. to help certain taxpayers contend with the challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, there is the Economic Stimulus Bill that is currently moving through the legislature with measures to encourage businesses to protect jobs and mitigate loss of income for employees.

04/24/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Payment Waivers on Fees for Extensions of Certain Permits - The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) issued a circular dealing with the grant of a payment waiver to those visitors / migrants in Nigeria who were caught by the travel ban and the closure of international airports in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This concerns the payment by individuals of extension fees they would normally be charged for extensions of their valid visas/residence permits. In a related development, on 20 April, the closure of Nigeria’s airspace and airports – already in effect – was extended for two more weeks.  

Norway

05/22/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Temporary Reduction, Other Relief for Employers’ Social Security - The Finance Committee in Norway’s Storting (parliament) has agreed to a temporary reduction in the employer's contribution equivalent to 4 percent in the months of May and June in light of the effects of COVID-19 on Norway’s business sector. The reduction in the employers' contributions will apply in all zones where the contribution is calculated.

04/01/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Benefits, and Quarantine Measures - Norway’s government has introduced various tax, social security, benefits, and travel/immigration measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19. Measures include: closure of all tax offices and the Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA); proposed reduction in employers’ social security contribution obligation and payment deadline extension; increase in number of days for parental leave in connection with closed schools and child-care needs; “lower rate” of VAT temporarily reduced; and reduced or waived penalties for late submissions. This report also includes a brief highlight of quarantine measures in place. 

03/23/2020: Norway – Covid-19 Update: Entry Restrictions / Immigration-Related Processing Uncertainties - Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Service Centre for Foreign Workers where applications for residence and work permits are submitted is currently closed. The office will stay closed until 26 March 2020. This GMS Flash Alert covers policy regarding EU/EEA nationals, non-EU/non-EEA nationals, border controls and quarantine, etc.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

04/07/2020: OECD – Examining Cross-Border Employment/Tax Issues in Time of COVID-19 - As businesses and employees react to government policies worldwide introduced to combat the coronavirus and COVID-19, there has been a change in regular work patterns and routines, which raises several tax-related issues for cross-border workers and can have an impact on the right to tax between countries.  The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released an analysis addressing the tax implications of the employment changes arising under the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic involving cross-border workers and other related cross-border matters (e.g., tele-work and right of taxation, residency, permanent establishment).

People's Republic of China

04/01/2020: People’s Republic of China – COVID-19 Travel/Immigration Restrictions - The immigration authorities in the People's Republic of China have restricted entry of foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits temporarily, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

03/05/2020: People’s Republic of China – Coronavirus Spurs New Preferential Individual Income Tax Policy - The Ministry of Finance and State Taxation Administration of the People’s Republic of China have issued new tax measures in an effort to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

03/04/2020: People’s Republic of China – New Social Security Policies Given Coronavirus Outbreak - This article discusses changes regarding the administration of Chinese social security contributions as well as a policy that reduces or waives employer obligations on social security contributions for a specified period of time.

Peru

04/07/2020: Peru – COVID-19: Additional Fiscal Measures and Controls on Freedom of Movement - Due to the State of Emergency Peru is facing, several urgent decrees have been published that allow individuals to more readily access funds, earlier than expected, in their pension funds and CTS bank accounts; also employers should see their and their employees’ burdens lightened with a temporary suspension of their private pension fund withholding and payment remitting obligations.

03/16/2020: Peru – Tax Relief and Closing Border to Help Deal with Spread of COVID-19 - The government of Peru has closed Peru’s borders  for 15 days from March 16, 2020. The Peruvian Tax Authority has extended the annual income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year to between June 24 and July 9, 2020. 

Philippines

05/08/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Enhanced Community Quarantine and Income Tax Filing Extensions - Due to the continuing pandemic, the Philippine government has laid down measures that (i) extend the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila to 15 May 2020 and (ii) extend filing and payment due dates for 2019 annual income tax returns. Moderate-risk and low-risk areas will be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

04/15/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Enhanced Community Quarantine and Income Tax Filing Extensions

03/25/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Filing Extensions - As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Philippine government has placed the entire Luzon (including Metro Manila) in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and issued advisories restricting the travels from and to the Philippines. Additionally, Philippine immigration and tax authorities have suspended some of their functions and extended certain deadlines. 

Poland

04/30/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Relief for Social Security Charges, Charitable Donations, Arrears Interest - In Poland, new legislation updates the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield rules and provides additional relief to business and individual taxpayers.  For instance, a measure extends to the group of entities that are eligible relief on social security contributions due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.  Also, an amendment was adopted according to which the financing granted under the Anti-Crisis Shield will not constitute revenues within the meaning of the Corporate Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act.  Another measure concerns donating 1 percent of tax to charitable organisations for certain PIT annual returns. 

04/02/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Amendments Passed Enhancing ’Anti-Crisis Shield’ Provisions - Poland’s government has enacted significant new tax, social security, benefits, and other fiscal measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19.  This newsletter covers the government’s measures related to opt-outs, tax reductions, delayed payment obligations, enhanced tax-deductible COVID-19-related charitable contributions, suspension of legal proceedings tied to certain tax offences, and relief for other compliance obligations. 

03/20/2020: Poland – ‘Anti-Crisis Shield’ Project Counters COVID-19’s Fiscal Impact - Poland’s government has recently approved a package of measures in order to protect individual and company taxpayers facing administrative challenges and liquidity/cash-flow issues in the face of the COVID-19 threat.

Portugal

04/27/2020: Portugal – COVID-19: Deferral of Social Contribution Payments -  A new law in Portugal offers hard-pressed employers and self-employed individuals some social security relief.  Certain employer entities and self-employed individuals can pay 1/3rd of their social contributions due in March, April, and May 2020, on the regular due date of the contributions, with the remaining amounts being paid later.  The relief provided above does not apply to the employee share of the social contribution.

Romania

03/27/2020: Romania – COVID-19: Measures for Social Protection and Income Support - Under the terms of a government emergency ordinance, Romania’s government is taking steps to address the short-fall in income that people and businesses may be experiencing. The measures pertain to the technical unemployment allowance, the granting of free paid days to parents for the purpose of child-care, and the payment of the return to work incentive (“stimulent de insertie”), amongst others.

03/27/2020: Romania – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Affected by COVID-19 Crisis - In response to the challenges for taxpayers created by the COVID-19 epidemic, two key tax measures have been adopted by the Romanian government and enacted through Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) 29/2020. Firstly, all tax obligations that have their due date after 21 March 2020, and which are unpaid, will not be considered overdue, and therefore they are not subject to late payment interest and penalties. Secondly, all tax-related foreclosure procedures involving garnishments are suspended by law. There is also some tax relief for certain local taxes due. 

Russia

04/16/2020: Russia – 2019 Personal Tax Return Filing Deadline Extended - Russia’s government has announced a 3-month extension of time for filing personal income tax returns without changing the deadline for paying the tax. 

04/06/2020: Russia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions Due to COVID-19 - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia has taken measures to suspend travel into the country by foreign nationals and has ceased issuing work permits and visas to them. 

Singapore

04/20/2020: Singapore – COVID-19: Tax Concessions for Individuals and Companies - This GMS Flash Alert looks at COVID-19-related measures taken by Singapore’s government, which include providing guidance on the tax treatment of overseas-based Singaporeans/Singapore Permanent Residents, extending the time for filing individual tax returns, and addressing permanent establishment issues from employees of foreign companies working in Singapore.

03/03/2020: Singapore – Precautions Extended to Foreign Employees Travelling from Areas in South Korea - The Japanese government has announced that filing and payment due dates for individual income tax, individual consumption tax, and gift tax for 2019 will be extended by one month to April 16, 2020. In addition, the government has agreed on precautionary measures calling on people to work from home, cancelling/postponing ‘large crowd’ events/activities, hygiene and safety recommendations, and closing of schools. 

02/21/2020: Singapore - New Health Directive to Contain Spread of Coronavirus - On 27 February 2020, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) extended the mandatory entry approval and 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) to companies bringing into Singapore foreign employees who travelled to Daegu City and Cheongdo County in South Korea within the last 14 days.  The announcement was made in the wake of an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in these areas in South Korea.  

02/13/2020: Singapore – Measures Implemented to Contain Spread of Coronavirus - In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Singapore’s government is employing a combination of entry bans for visitors, denial of new work passes, and health directives (i.e., quarantine or compulsory leave of absence (LOA)) for employees coming from Mainland China.   From 9 February 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) further introduced a responsibility for employers to complete an approval step for the entry or return of employees from Mainland China.  As a condition for the approval, employers must make sure that their employees complete a compulsory LOA upon arrival in Singapore.   

Slovakia

04/22/2020: Slovakia – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Wage Support for Individuals and Employers - At the beginning of April 2020, Slovakia’s Parliament adopted new legislation that contains measures to help individuals and business cope with the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19. Measures include new deadlines for filing income tax returns, changed dates for employers’ annual settlement of taxes and yearly report on wage taxes, and wage subsidies to employers aimed to help keep employees in work/on payroll.

Slovenia

05/26/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures Expiring - Slovenia became the first European country to declare the end of the COVID-19 epidemic on 15 May. This newsletter reviews legislative measures for offsetting the effects of COVID-19 and their expiration dates, and highlights some features of the new legislation, including eased travel restrictions.  

04/24/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures - Slovenia has adopted legislation to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19, that includes tax, compensation, social security, and travel measures to preserve jobs, to improve the social situation of people and to keep businesses in operation.

South Africa

04/20/2020: South Africa – COVID-19: Lockdown Extension and Visa/Immigration Changes - In light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown in South Africa until 30 April 2020, the government has communicated a number of changes to its usual visa processing and issuance policies. Amongst other things, new temporary concessions have been introduced that will alleviate pressures and concerns on foreign nationals in South Africa with temporary residence visas which expired from 15 February 2020 or those whose visas expired before or during the lockdown. 

04/20/2020: South Africa – Foreign Remuneration Exemption: Tax Directive for Employers - South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued an updated Interpretation Note (IN 16) addressing how the changes to the foreign remuneration exemption will be implemented, which includes guidance in the form of a tax directive on how the foreign tax credits (FTC) may be claimed via payroll.  Given the global COVID-19 pandemic, more South African tax resident employees working abroad will find themselves in a situation where they are subject to tax in both South Africa and the foreign country in which they are working, on the same income. Interpretation Note 16 discusses methods that may be applied to alleviate these hardships.

03/26/2020: South Africa – Travel Restrictions and Lockdown Related to COVID-19 - With the escalation of the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa, the president of South Africa has declared a National State of Disaster. Also, the president announced a nationwide lockdown effectively for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Regardless of compliance with visa requirements, foreign nationals travelling from or transiting through high-risk and/or medium-risk countries are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa. There are a number of other measures in place for domestic transport and travel, lockdown exemptions for certain key personnel/staff and individuals, prohibitions on large-crowd gatherings, and school closures, etc. 

03/25/2020: South Africa – Tax Concessions Announced to Address COVID-19 Impact on Economy - On Monday, 23 March 2020, the president of South Africa announced unprecedented measures in assisting South Africa in its fight against COVID-19. Most notably, a nationwide lockdown effective for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. There were also a number of tax measures put forward affecting employers and employees. Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) liabilities, a tax subsidy under the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), and possible relief on Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions. 

South Korea

04/14/2020: South Korea – Filing and Payment Extensions for Individual Income Tax Returns - Due to the global health pandemic caused by the coronavirus and COVID-19, South Korea’s government has postponed the tax payment due date for individuals filing tax returns.  While for most people, tax returns must be filed by the original due date, taxpayers with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses and individuals living in the “COVID-19 Emergency Area” will have deferred filing deadlines.

Spain

05/14/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Further Controls for Borders, Quarantine - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the current “State of Alarm” in Spain as well as restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union (EU), both steps taken in Spain in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  The State of Alarm in Spain has been extended, for a fourth time, until 24 May.  Extended and new policies will impact travel into Spain from the EU and from outside the EU and travel out of Spain.  Also affected is the status of visa and other travel/immigration processes of Spain’s competent authorities.  

04/28/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Extension of Filing and Payment Deadlines for Certain Taxpayers - Spain’s government has modified some filing/submission deadlines for certain taxpayers. This extension applies to numerous filings, including quarterly Nonresident Income Tax returns (Form 210). For taxpayers that elected the direct debit payment method, their submission deadline has been extended to 15 May 2020 (it was initially due by 15 April) and the charge to the taxpayer’s bank account will be made on 20 May 2020. 

04/27/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU - Spain has extended its “State of Alarm” and associated travel restrictions, until at least 10 May, which will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Spain and countries around the world. Only Spanish citizens, persons resident in Spain, certain cross-border workers, and those who provide documentary proof of circumstances beyond their control or a situation of need will be allowed to enter Spain’s national territory by land.

04/03/2020: Spain – COVID-19: New Decree Revises Immigration Processing Policies and Practices - Spain’s Royal Decree 463/2020 from 14 March 2020, provides for the suspension of administrative and processing deadlines, and of the limited period of time usually provided in order to respond to application-related queries, requirements, and denials. Important to note that if a third-country national has a visa that is about to expire, but is unable to leave the country due to the health emergency, that expiry will not apply and the individual may continue to remain in the country for the time being.

04/01/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Government Restricts Access through Country’s External Borders - This GMS Flash Alert examines some of the key aspects of Spain’s Order INT/270/2020 (“the Order”) introduced on 21 March 2020, establishing criteria for the application of a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and associated Schengen countries.  These criteria took effect at midnight Sunday, 22 March 2020, at Spain’s borders.  Access to Spain will only be granted to Spanish citizens and Spanish residents along with those individuals who fall into one of the “exception” categories noted.

03/25/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Containment Measures, Many Office and Service Closures - In light of mounting COVID-19 cases in Spain, the government approved Royal Decree 463/2020 on 14 March, declaring a “State of Alarm” to help manage health-crisis situation. Among other things, the Decree institutes the re-establishment of land border controls (including Schengen internal border controls). Also, other steps the government is taking include ceasing to attend to the public in person at all the foreign offices that are part of the Functional Area of Work and Immigration and suspension of the public services responsible for the issuance of documentation for foreigners.

Sweden

04/27/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 Continue - Sweden’s government has extended its period of immigration and travel restrictions for foreign nationals from entering Sweden from countries outside the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland until 15 May 2020, to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

03/31/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 - As part of the efforts to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the Swedish government has decided to temporarily restrict foreigners from entering Sweden if they are coming from a country outside European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. The restriction does not apply for individuals whose purpose for the trip to Sweden is to return to their homes, provided they meet certain criteria. 

Switzerland

03/31/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Immigration Implications for Cross-Border Workers - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the various measures – travel/immigration, tax, social security – Switzerland has in place to combat COVID-19 and examines some of the reasons why employers should be aware of the implications when developing and implementing policies in their own responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

03/27/2020: Switzerland – Government Compensation for Employees Who Cannot Work Due to COVID-19 - The Swiss Federal Council has released measures to mitigate the economic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Employees who are no longer able to work because (a) they need to stay at home to look after their children or (b) they are in self-quarantine, are eligible for federal compensation (“Erwerbsersatz”). Employers who continue to pay their employees’ salaries may obtain the compensation on behalf of their employees. Similar compensation is available for self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to closure of their business or a ban of public events. 

03/24/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Closing Borders, Limiting Entry and Visa Issuance FAQs - As an additional step in the fight against COVID-19, Switzerland closed around 130 border crossing points on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, and is now channeling entry only via designated border crossing points. There are special restrictions with respect to five Schengen countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Spain. New rules in place essentially mean that Switzerland will no longer will issue Schengen visas for 90 days or until further notice. National visas (i.e., visas for stays of more than 90 days) for nationals subject to visa requirements are also only to be issued in exceptional cases. 

Taiwan

04/16/2020: Taiwan – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures, Travel Restrictions and Visa Extensions - This article provides an overview of various measures the Taiwan government has taken in light of the COVID-19 situation, including tax relief for certain employers and individual employees, as well as travel restrictions and visa extensions for some foreign nationals.

Ukraine

04/29/2020: Ukraine – COVID-19: Relief for UST Taxpayers, Deadlines for Tax Returns and Payments - In light of the coronavirus crisis, a new law in force in Ukraine offers taxpayers relief (i) from being assessed certain penalties and late payment interest for violations of tax legislation, (ii) in respect of Unified Social Tax for certain individual entrepreneurs and those involved in independent professional activities, and (iii) in terms of the extension of the annual tax return filing deadline.

04/03/2020: Ukraine – Immigration and Travel Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19  - On 14 March 2020, the government of Ukraine put in place restrictive measures to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on Ukrainian soil. The restrictions were initially introduced through 3 April 2020, and have now been extended through 24 April 2020. Starting from 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine of foreign nationals and stateless persons has been suspended, except for persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence in the territory of Ukraine, and in some other cases. Starting from 17 March 2020, border crossing checkpoints are closed for aviation, rail, and bus services.

United Kingdom

04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Visa Application Centre Closures, Visa ‘Overstayers’ Get Extension - This GMS Flash Alert covers the temporary closures of all U.K. visa application centres in the U.K. and around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have the effect of delaying international assignments to/from the United Kingdom.  All U.K. Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS), Post Office enrolment services, and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are currently temporarily closed -- booked appointments will be re-scheduled.  The Home Office is giving a blanket extension to foreign nationals with visas whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020.

04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Right to Work Checks and U.K. Sponsor Compliance Updates - The Home Office recently released guidance for Tier 2, 4, and 5 visa sponsors in the U.K. whose workers have been affected by COVID-19, as well as guidance for all employers in relation to conducting “right to work” during the COVID-19 crisis.  The Home Office is exercising some flexibility in this exceptional period to do such things as suspend the requirement to show/see physical original documents for right to work checks and suspend enforcement action against sponsors who continue to sponsor individuals in cases where students or employees are absent directly due to COVID-19.

03/20/2020: United Kingdom – HMRC Publishes Guidance on COVID-19 and Statutory Residence Test - The U.K. tax authority has published guidance on when an individual’s presence in the U.K. by reason of the COVID-19 outbreak will be considered to be the result of ‘exceptional circumstances’.

United States

06/01/2020: United States – USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service in Phases - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 29, 2020, the agency will resume its premium processing service (i.e., expedited government review) for certain employment-based visa petitions in a phased approach over the course of the month of June. 

06/01/2020: United States – IRS FAQs: Claiming Medical Condition Exception for COVID-19 - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is providing additional guidance in a set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) for certain nonresident individuals who were present in the United States and intended to leave but were unable to do so because of a medical condition or travel interruptions in the U.S. due to COVID-19. These individuals may be eligible to claim the Medical Condition Exception to exclude certain days of U.S. presence from the substantial presence test.  The new FAQs give guidance regarding how to claim one of these special relief provisions. 

05/28/2020: United States – USCIS to Resume In-Office Operations June 4 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that certain field offices, application support centers and asylum offices that have been closed since March 18, will re-open June 4, 2020. In-person services will resume with precautions to ensure safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

05/27/2020: United States – Travel from Brazil Suspended Starting May 26 Due to COVID-19 - On May 24, 2020, the U.S. administration issued a proclamation imposing a travel suspension for individuals who have been to Brazil within the 14 days preceding their intended entry into the United States, with some limited exceptions.  The proclamation cites ongoing widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Brazil as justification for introducing the travel suspension.  This suspension goes into effect on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 11:59pm EDT.

05/21/2020: United States – Land Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through June 22 - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced a one-month extension of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico through June 22, 2020.  Those who do travel across the U.S. via land borders and ferries must be prepared to explain how their work can be defined as essential and they should have pertinent documentation ready to show CBP officials. 

05/05/2020: United States – USCIS Extends COVID-19 Flexibility on RFEs, NOIDs, Other Responses - In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USCIS has extended for an additional 60 days (until July 1, 2020) the period for responding to certain notices, including requests for evidence (RFEs), continuations to request evidence (N-14), notices of intent to deny (NOIDs), notices of intent to revoke (NOIRs), notices of intent to rescind and notices of intent to terminate regional investment centers, and filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

04/28/2020: United States – May 2020 Visa Bulletin Released; USCIS Final Action Announcement - The Department of State has released its May 2020 Visa Bulletin with priority cutoff dates and USCIS has announced that it will adhere to the final action dates in accepting employment-based applications for U.S. Permanent Residence next month. 

04/27/2020: United States – USCIS Extends Office Closures, Suspends Certain Services Through June 3 - On April 24, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that its field offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) will continue to be closed through June 3, 2020 . This means that all in-person interviews, naturalization ceremonies, biometric collection appointments, and InfoPass appointments scheduled at USCIS field offices and ASCs, have been cancelled.  Applications for adjustments of status, I-539 applications, initial I-765 applications requiring biometrics, and other applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics may see a delay in processing until offices and ASCs are reopened.

04/27/2020: United States – Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspends Entry for Certain Immigrants - On April 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation implementing a 60-day suspension on the entry of certain immigrants to the United States.   The proclamation took effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020, and may be extended beyond the initial 60-day period.  The proclamation has no immediate impact on nonimmigrants, including visitors, students, and temporary workers.

04/23/2020: United States – Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through May 20 - The United States has announced a one-month extension -- through May 20, 2020 -- of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

04/22/2020: United States – Executive Order Expected to Impact Applicants for Permanent Residence - U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to introduce an Executive Order limiting immigration to the United States.  The president said he will pause all immigration – although there will be some exceptions – for a period of 60 days.  Individuals seeking permanent residency will be impacted.  The Executive Order is expected this week.

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19: Waiver of Sec. 911 Time Requirements Announced - On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2020-27, which provides that qualification for the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign housing cost amount (together, the “FEIE”) from gross income under Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) section 911 will not be impacted as a result of days spent away from a foreign country due to the COVID-19 pandemic based on certain departure dates.  The Rev. Proc. 2020-27 aims to provide relief for individuals and employers who have had to cut assignments short as a result of COVID-19. 

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19 Relief for Nonresidents Remaining in United States  - In light of the COVID-19-related emergency travel disruptions, on April 21, 2020, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance providing relief for certain nonresident individuals who would not have been in the United States long enough during 2020 to be considered resident aliens under the substantial presence test, or would not have become ineligible for treaty benefits in relation to dependent personal services income due to overstaying the time limitation related to such benefits.  

04/07/2020: United States – Summary of Immigration, Travel Changes in Response to COVID-19 - The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability of workers to cross borders around the world. This GMS Flash Alert provides an overview of the measures that various agencies of the United States government have taken to address the new restrictions on cross-border travel, including the suspension and alteration of immigration services and procedures.

03/30/2020: United States – Changes in USCIS Procedures Resulting from COVID-19 - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced three procedural changes, including suspending premium processing service and adding flexibility in signature requirements and certain response deadlines. 

03/27/2020: United States – President Trump Signs CARES Act into Law - On March 27, 2020, U.S. President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” (“CARES Act”) into law. The CARES Act contains measures designed to bring some economic and fiscal relief to companies, small businesses, and individuals facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

03/26/2020: United States – Senate Passes COVID-19 Fiscal Stimulus Bill - On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate voted on and passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“the bill”), also known as the CARES Act, in order to respond to the economic impact caused by COVID-19. However, even though the bill passed in the Senate, it still needs to be voted on and passed in the House of Representatives and then signed by President Trump in order for it to become law. 

03/25/2020: United States – U.S.-Canada Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all “non-essential travel” across its borders. The restriction, which took effect on March 20, 2020, applies to land ports of entry along the US-Canadian border.

03/24/2020: United States – New IRS FAQs on Federal Tax Filing and Payment Extension - On March 21, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced special Federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. 

03/23/2020: United States – DHS Defers Physical Inspection Requirements for Form I-9 - On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as U.S. employers have rapidly shifted toward remote work arrangements to protect the health and safety of their workforce.

03/21/2020: United States – UPDATE: Treasury Announces Filing Extension - The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued Notice 2020-18, which provides additional details on the extension until July 15, 2020 to file 2019 U.S. Income Tax returns.

03/21/2020: United States – President Signs Paid Leave and Benefits Relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“the Act”), was signed into law March 18, 2020. The Act provides  for paid leave and enhanced unemployment benefits for workers affected by COVID-19, and temporary tax credits for certain employers and self-employed individuals in relation to the payment of those benefits. 

03/20/2020: United States – All Taxpayer Assistance Centers Closed - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) until further notice. The IRS is also discontinuing face-to-face service indefinitely.

03/20/2020: United States – USCIS Office Closures - This report explains the details of the temporary closure of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices and Application Support Centers in response to the COVID-19 crisis, until at least April 1, 2020. 

03/20/2020: United States – Treasury Announces Filing Extension - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Twitter that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are extending the filing deadline for 2019 U.S. federal income tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020. 

03/19/2020: United States - Managing Employer I-9 Requirements and COVID-19 - U.S. employers are still required to comply with in-person documentation verification requirements as part of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification process. Employers may need to swiftly incorporate new processes and the use of designated representatives in their employment authorization verification procedures to help ensure continued compliance with I-9 federal requirements. 

03/19/2020: United States – KPMG Report on Telecommuting and Compensation Concerns during Uncertain Times - KPMG LLP (U.S.) has published a report that focuses on the initial approaches employers are implementing in response to COVID-19, such as increased telecommuting, and the resultant U.S. tax considerations for themselves and their employees.

03/18/2020: United States – UPDATE: IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance on deferring tax payments due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

03/18/2020: United States – Social Security Administration Announces Office Closings in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that all of its local offices will be closed to the public for in-person service with immediate effect.  Applications for social security numbers can continue to be made by mail.

03/17/2020: United States - U.S. Embassies and Consulates Suspend Services; USCIS Office Closures - Additional U.S. Consulates and Embassies around the world have cancelled nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments until further notice. This newsletter provides responses to commonly asked questions in light of multiple U.S. Consulate and Embassy suspensions of routine visa services.

03/17/2020: United States – IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin publicly announced that individuals who owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) up to $1 million can defer that payment, interest-, and penalty-free, for 90 days.

03/15/2020: United States - Travel Ban from European Countries to Include U.K. and Ireland - The White House issued its new policy on the addition of the United Kingdom and Ireland to the list of countries that are subject to COVID-19-related travel restrictions. The restriction on travel for visitors from the U.K. and Ireland went into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020, at midnight (EDT).

03/12/2020: United States – COVID-19 Emergency Has Treasury Considering Tax Return Filing Delay - Some recent media reports and informal statements from U.S. government officials suggest that the U.S. Treasury Department may be planning to extend the federal income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year.

03/12/2020: United States - Travel from EU’s Schengen Area Suspended for 30 days or Longer - On March 11, 2020, President Donald Trump introduced a travel suspension from Europe to the United States, with some exceptions. This suspension goes into effect on Friday, March 13, 2020. 

03/06/2020: United States - Immigration Updates: COVID-19 Entry Restrictions, TPS and Yemen - In this newsletter, we report on recent U.S. immigration-related developments, including the February 29 presidential proclamation concerning restrictions on entry to the United States if an individual has come from Iran, a similar proclamation issued January 31 concerning the People’s Republic of China, and the government’s extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen, with a brief mention of TPS developments for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. 

Uruguay

03/31/2020: Uruguay – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In an update to earlier travel restrictions, Uruguay’s president closed the country’s borders to non-citizens. 

03/19/2020: Uruguay - Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic - The President of Uruguay has announced the total closing of the border with Argentina, except for Uruguayan citizens or residents who want to come back to Uruguay, as from 17 March 2020.  Beginning 20 March, Uruguay will suspend all incoming flights from Europe.

Vietnam

05/01/2020: Vietnam – COVID-19: Immigration, Tax/Social Security, and Income Support Measures - In an effort to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, Vietnam’s government recently introduced multiple incentives in the form of tax and social insurance relief, land-use fee deferment, and interest rate cuts for the benefit of affected businesses. The government has also introduced income support measures for employees that have been laid off. And, finally, the government is loosening the rules that had limited cross-border travel and is seeking to restore many of the country’s immigration-related services.

03/20/2020: Vietnam – Immigration, Travel, Quarantine Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19 - The Vietnamese government is currently implementing multiple measures, including travel restrictions, compulsory medical declaration, medical checks, and quarantine upon arrival, with immediate effect, as well as limiting approval for new foreign workers to travel to and work in Vietnam.

Immigration

06/01/2020: United States – USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service in Phases - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 29, 2020, the agency will resume its premium processing service (i.e., expedited government review) for certain employment-based visa petitions in a phased approach over the course of the month of June. 

05/29/2020: Japan – COVID-19: Border Controls and Travel Restrictions Being Extended - The government of Japan fully lifted the state of emergency that had been in place since April for the last remaining five prefectures (Japan has 47 prefectures): Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, and Hokkaido on 25 May. However, sustained border controls and travel restrictions will continue to affect multinational employers and their globally-mobile employees doing business in Japan. 

05/28/2020: United States – USCIS to Resume In-Office Operations June 4 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that certain field offices, application support centers and asylum offices that have been closed since March 18, will re-open June 4, 2020. In-person services will resume with precautions to ensure safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

05/27/2020: United States – Travel from Brazil Suspended Starting May 26 Due to COVID-19 - On May 24, 2020, the U.S. administration issued a proclamation imposing a travel suspension for individuals who have been to Brazil within the 14 days preceding their intended entry into the United States, with some limited exceptions.  The proclamation cites ongoing widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Brazil as justification for introducing the travel suspension.  This suspension goes into effect on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 11:59pm EDT.

05/26/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID -19 Quarantine Extended Again for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have again extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 7 June, while leaving the relaxing of lock downs of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government. 

05/26/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures Expiring - Slovenia became the first European country to declare the end of the COVID-19 epidemic on 15 May. This newsletter reviews legislative measures for offsetting the effects of COVID-19 and their expiration dates, and highlights some features of the new legislation, including eased travel restrictions.  

05/22/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Temporary Arrangements for Irish Residence Permit Registrations - In light of the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and the difficulties some people can encounter as a result of not having an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card, the authorities have introduced certain temporary measures for between now and 20 July 2020.  Certain individuals in Ireland awaiting their first IRP registration, can apply to the Burgh Quay Registration Office to request a letter confirming their permission to remain in Ireland. 

05/22/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with France, Luxembourg - Given the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on workers’ ability to travel and on workplace arrangements, Belgium has concluded mutual agreements with France and Luxembourg which aim to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers.  Days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances.  

05/22/2020: Italy – Loosening Lockdown, Slow Reopening, Relaxing Travel Restrictions - Italy’s government published more statutes that regulate various aspects of the population’s life as the country proceeds through “phase 2.”  Careful steps laid out are aimed at reopening economic and commercial activities and at allowing wider freedom of movement of people, but this is not comprehensive and there are still some exceptions in respect of the restrictions.  Public agencies and offices are still having their employees work remotely, though they are starting to set up appointments.  

05/21/2020: Canada – COVID-19: Temporary Process to Get Foreign Workers into New Jobs Faster - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a new temporary process, effective May 12, to support certain foreign workers residing in Canada including those currently unemployed to get back to work quickly.  The new process allows foreign workers, who meet the eligibility criteria, to begin work 10 days after submitting their applications for a new work permit.  This temporary initiative departs from the current process in a few ways.

05/21/2020: United States – Land Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through June 22 - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced a one-month extension of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico through June 22, 2020.  Those who do travel across the U.S. via land borders and ferries must be prepared to explain how their work can be defined as essential and they should have pertinent documentation ready to show CBP officials. 

05/20/2020: India – COVID-19: Update to Visa Extension Rules, Travel Restrictions - India has made some recent pronouncements concerning travel into and out of the country and in respect of visa holders stuck in India due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions whose visas are expiring or soon will expire.  The Indian government is allowing international movement for persons who have been stranded in India / outside India, subject to fulfillment of conditions provided under the so-called Standard Operating Protocols.

05/18/2020: Germany – COVID-19 Gives Rise to Further Limitations on Mobility through 15 June - COVID-19, and the restrictions on non-essential travel to and within the European Union (EU). Also, the newsletter reports on Germany’s and other EU states’ responses to the recommendation to the Schengen member states by the European Commission to extend travel restrictions until 15 June 2020.

05/15/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Further Temporary Extension of Residency Permissions - Employers should note that if the expiry date of any of their employees’ Irish Residence Permits falls within the period of 20 May 2020 to 20 July 2020, the employees’ legal status in Ireland will be maintained. Employers should also be aware that employees whose permissions expired between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020, and were previously already automatically extended by two months, will again be extended by a further two months to maintain their legal status in Ireland. Also, the Burgh Quay Registration Office and all other local registration offices will remain closed.

05/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines Again - The Argentinean National Immigration office has again extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.

05/14/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Further Controls for Borders, Quarantine - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the current “State of Alarm” in Spain as well as restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union (EU), both steps taken in Spain in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  The State of Alarm in Spain has been extended, for a fourth time, until 24 May.  Extended and new policies will impact travel into Spain from the EU and from outside the EU and travel out of Spain.  Also affected is the status of visa and other travel/immigration processes of Spain’s competent authorities.  

05/12/2020: European Union – Travel Ban Extended until 15 June - On 8 May, the European Commission (EC) invited the Schengen member and associated states to extend the current travel ban for all non-essential travel to the European Union (EU) for another 30 days, until 15 June 2020. Initially the restrictions applied for a period of 30 days, but this period had been extended and now is due to come to an end on 15 May. The intention is that an extension of the restrictions should be implemented by all EU and Schengen states at all external borders with the same end date and in a uniform manner.

05/12/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Lifting Entry Restrictions under Certain Governmental Programmes - In the Czech Republic certain restrictions pertaining to travel/entry are being partially lifted by the government under new Government Decree n°443. In addition, Government Decree n°511 regulates the entry in respect of specific groups of non-European Union/non-European Economic Area citizens. Czech borders remain closed for the most part, though new categories of foreigners will be able to enter the country, including workers and their family members enrolled under specific government programmes.

05/11/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID-19 Quarantine Extended for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 24 May, while leaving the relaxing of lockdowns of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government. 

05/07/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Gradual Dismantling of Restrictions on Crossing Borders - On 7 May 2020, the Finnish government decided on the gradual lifting of restrictions on border traffic.  As of 14 May, the statutory restrictions on border traffic will be lifted for purposes of cross-border travel across Schengen internal borders.  This will allow employment or commission-related commuting and other essential travel.  Border traffic remains restricted however as the government decided on extending some of the existing rules from 14 May until 14 June.  Border authorities have also now adopted a new guideline for the entry of third-country nationals arriving in Finland for the first time. 

05/05/2020: United States – USCIS Extends COVID-19 Flexibility on RFEs, NOIDs, Other Responses - In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USCIS has extended for an additional 60 days (until July 1, 2020) the period for responding to certain notices, including requests for evidence (RFEs), continuations to request evidence (N-14), notices of intent to deny (NOIDs), notices of intent to revoke (NOIRs), notices of intent to rescind and notices of intent to terminate regional investment centers, and filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

05/01/2020: Italy – Status of Reopening Country, Work and Resident Permits Extended - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the steps the Italian government is taking, though very gradual, to reopen the country, with some businesses allowed to reopen and some travel restrictions slightly eased. Furthermore, a new law will extend the validity of soon-to-expire resident and work permits through 31 August 2020. 

05/01/2020: Vietnam – COVID-19: Immigration, Tax/Social Security, and Income Support Measures - In an effort to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, Vietnam’s government recently introduced multiple incentives in the form of tax and social insurance relief, land-use fee deferment, and interest rate cuts for the benefit of affected businesses. The government has also introduced income support measures for employees that have been laid off. And, finally, the government is loosening the rules that had limited cross-border travel and is seeking to restore many of the country’s immigration-related services.

04/29/2020: Malta – COVID-19: Limited Entry and Work Permit Services, Tax Implications - Malta’s government has announced a number of measures with respect to travel to Malta and work permits for non-European Union (EU) nationals.  Also, visa services have been suspended, until further notice. Moreover, there is a temporary suspension of the issuing of permits in respect of new work/residence applications.  And, any travelers that do enter Malta by means of air and sea are to observe a mandatory self-quarantine period of 14 days.

04/28/2020: Argentina – New Rules for Air Passenger Services and Travel to/from Argentina - New rules from Argentina’s civil aviation authorities impose new requirements and non-compliance penalties on commercial airlines flying into, out of, or within Argentina, which will also affect travelers.

04/28/2020: United States – May 2020 Visa Bulletin Released; USCIS Final Action Announcement - The Department of State has released its May 2020 Visa Bulletin with priority cutoff dates and USCIS has announced that it will adhere to the final action dates in accepting employment-based applications for U.S. Permanent Residence next month. 

04/27/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU - Spain has extended its “State of Alarm” and associated travel restrictions, until at least 10 May, which will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Spain and countries around the world. Only Spanish citizens, persons resident in Spain, certain cross-border workers, and those who provide documentary proof of circumstances beyond their control or a situation of need will be allowed to enter Spain’s national territory by land.

04/27/2020: United States – Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspends Entry for Certain Immigrants - On April 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation implementing a 60-day suspension on the entry of certain immigrants to the United States.   The proclamation took effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020, and may be extended beyond the initial 60-day period.  The proclamation has no immediate impact on nonimmigrants, including visitors, students, and temporary workers.

04/27/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - extension of the lockdown, with all that it implies for travel into and out of Argentina and resuming normal work routines and practices, will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Argentina and countries around the world.

04/27/2020: United States – USCIS Extends Office Closures, Suspends Certain Services Through June 3 - On April 24, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that its field offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) will continue to be closed through June 3, 2020 . This means that all in-person interviews, naturalization ceremonies, biometric collection appointments, and InfoPass appointments scheduled at USCIS field offices and ASCs, have been cancelled.  Applications for adjustments of status, I-539 applications, initial I-765 applications requiring biometrics, and other applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics may see a delay in processing until offices and ASCs are reopened.

04/27/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 Continue - Sweden’s government has extended its period of immigration and travel restrictions for foreign nationals from entering Sweden from countries outside the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland until 15 May 2020, to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

04/24/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Payment Waivers on Fees for Extensions of Certain Permits - The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) issued a circular dealing with the grant of a payment waiver to those visitors / migrants in Nigeria who were caught by the travel ban and the closure of international airports in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This concerns the payment by individuals of extension fees they would normally be charged for extensions of their valid visas/residence permits. In a related development, on 20 April, the closure of Nigeria’s airspace and airports – already in effect – was extended for two more weeks. 

04/23/2020: United States – Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through May 20 - The United States has announced a one-month extension -- through May 20, 2020 -- of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

04/23/2020: Germany – Extending Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU, Updated Measures - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the restrictions on non-essential travel to/from the European Union (EU). There are new rules around quarantine for people entering or returning to Germany after a stay abroad of several days.  There are special rules for those entering or leaving Germany on a daily basis (commuters) -- because they have absolutely necessary reason(s) to enter the country -- and for freight transport.

04/23/2020: Germany – Mutual Agreements on Frontier Workers with Austria, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands - Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 measures, frontier workers face the risk of losing specific tax reliefs granted by the state of work. Germany has now concluded mutual agreements with Austria, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, which, amongst other things, are expected to help make sure frontier workers currently working from home are still eligible for tax benefits granted by the state of work.

04/22/2020: United States – Executive Order Expected to Impact Applicants for Permanent Residence - U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to introduce an Executive Order limiting immigration to the United States.  The president said he will pause all immigration – although there will be some exceptions – for a period of 60 days.  Individuals seeking permanent residency will be impacted.  The Executive Order is expected this week.

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19: Waiver of Sec. 911 Time Requirements Announced - On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2020-27, which provides that qualification for the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign housing cost amount (together, the “FEIE”) from gross income under Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) section 911 will not be impacted as a result of days spent away from a foreign country due to the COVID-19 pandemic based on certain departure dates.  The Rev. Proc. 2020-27 aims to provide relief for individuals and employers who have had to cut assignments short as a result of COVID-19. 

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19 Relief for Nonresidents Remaining in United States - In light of the COVID-19-related emergency travel disruptions, on April 21, 2020, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance providing relief for certain nonresident individuals who would not have been in the United States long enough during 2020 to be considered resident aliens under the substantial presence test, or would not have become ineligible for treaty benefits in relation to dependent personal services income due to overstaying the time limitation related to such benefits. 

04/21/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Extended State of Emergency and Related Measures - The Czech Parliament has approved an extension of the state of emergency through 30 April 2020. The borders remain closed. However, the government is also slightly easing the rules around Czech citizens travelling abroad in justified cases which includes necessary employment-related travel or an emergency situation involving their families residing abroad. And cross-border commuters can enter and leave the Czech Republic under specific conditions.

04/20/2020: South Africa – COVID-19: Lockdown Extension and Visa/Immigration Changes - In light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown in South Africa until 30 April 2020, the government has communicated a number of changes to its usual visa processing and issuance policies. Amongst other things, new temporary concessions have been introduced that will alleviate pressures and concerns on foreign nationals in South Africa with temporary residence visas which expired from 15 February 2020 or those whose visas expired before or during the lockdown. 

04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Visa Application Centre Closures, Visa ‘Overstayers’ Get Extension - This GMS Flash Alert covers the temporary closures of all U.K. visa application centres in the U.K. and around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have the effect of delaying international assignments to/from the United Kingdom.  All U.K. Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS), Post Office enrolment services, and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are currently temporarily closed -- booked appointments will be re-scheduled.  The Home Office is giving a blanket extension to foreign nationals with visas whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020.

04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Right to Work Checks and U.K. Sponsor Compliance Updates - The Home Office recently released guidance for Tier 2, 4, and 5 visa sponsors in the U.K. whose workers have been affected by COVID-19, as well as guidance for all employers in relation to conducting “right to work” during the COVID-19 crisis.  The Home Office is exercising some flexibility in this exceptional period to do such things as suspend the requirement to show/see physical original documents for right to work checks and suspend enforcement action against sponsors who continue to sponsor individuals in cases where students or employees are absent directly due to COVID-19.

04/17/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - Argentina’s National Immigration office announced on 17 April, new rules extending for 30 days certain deadlines previously announced in Provision N° 1714/2020.  The new rules provide further support for foreign individuals who, due to the COVID-19 crisis, need to extend their transitory or temporary residencies; for instance they provide for the extension of the validity of the individual’s residence status.  The new rules also deal with registration of local companies at the National Immigration office.   

04/17/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Revised Policies Restricting Travel Restrictions, List of Critical Tasks - On 7 April 2020, the Finnish government adopted decisions to tighten and continue the restrictions on movement/traffic across Finland’s borders, including the restriction of border traffic through 13 May 2020.  Also, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment announced a list of tasks that are (i) essential to secure the supply chain or (ii) critical for the business’ operations in a particular sector.  Employees working in the areas that are designated critical must be granted entry to Finland. 

04/16/2020: Italy – Lockdown Extended to 3 May, Options for Travel into/out of Country - Due to the persistent presence of COVID-19 in Italy, the government extended the emergency lockdown for a further three weeks.  The new end date for the lockdown is now set at 3 May.  This GMS Flash Alert re-caps the many policies and requirements in Italy pertaining to travel into and out of the country, work, and freedom of movement, etc.

04/16/2020: Chile – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Border Closure Extended - On April 14, Chile’s government further extended travel restrictions by keeping the country’s borders closed until April 22.  Certain individuals will still be permitted to enter and leave Chile. And despite the border closure, entry and departure of cargo or freight/transport services will still be possible.

04/15/2020: Argentina –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Extended - On 11 April, Argentina’s government further extended travel restrictions by keeping the country’s borders closed until 26 April.

04/13/2020: Argentina – Government Extends Scope of Mandatory Quarantine - Argentina’s authorities have now extended the mandatory “lock down,” to the entire country as of 12 April lasting until 26 April.  In related news, the National Immigration Directorate (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) will remain closed until April 26.

04/09/2020: France – New Travel restrictions (COVID-19) - France has created three new travel attestations required to enter or leave France beginning 8 April 2020 to address the COVID-19 crisis. 

04/07/2020: United States – Summary of Immigration, Travel Changes in Response to COVID-19 - The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability of workers to cross borders around the world. This GMS Flash Alert provides an overview of the measures that various agencies of the United States government have taken to address the new restrictions on cross-border travel, including the suspension and alteration of immigration services and procedures.

04/06/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 and Impact on Frontier Workers - This alert describes the measures taken by the Belgian government to allow frontier workers to cross the Dutch, German, French and Luxembourg borders as well as guidance for employees working in critical sectors to cross the border without being delayed by border checks. 

04/06/2020: Russia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions Due to COVID-19 - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia has taken measures to suspend travel into the country by foreign nationals and has ceased issuing work permits and visas to them. 

04/03/2020: Spain – COVID-19: New Decree Revises Immigration Processing Policies and Practices - Spain’s Royal Decree 463/2020 from 14 March 2020, provides for the suspension of administrative and processing deadlines, and of the limited period of time usually provided in order to respond to application-related queries, requirements, and denials. Important to note that if a third-country national has a visa that is about to expire, but is unable to leave the country due to the health emergency, that expiry will not apply and the individual may continue to remain in the country for the time being.

04/03/2020: Ukraine – Immigration and Travel Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19  - On 14 March 2020, the government of Ukraine put in place restrictive measures to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on Ukrainian soil. The restrictions were initially introduced through 3 April 2020, and have now been extended through 24 April 2020. Starting from 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine of foreign nationals and stateless persons has been suspended, except for persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence in the territory of Ukraine, and in some other cases. Starting from 17 March 2020, border crossing checkpoints are closed for aviation, rail, and bus services.

04/03/2020: Italy – Measures that Put Country in Lockdown Extended to 13 April  - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 1 April 2020, which extends until 13 April 2020, current restrictions on travel and movement and health/hygiene/social distancing policies. In addition, this will have consequences for closures and reduced activities of most public offices/agencies dealing with matters related to tax, social security, immigration, and others. 

04/03/2020: Japan – Expanding Entry Ban to 73 Nations to Control Coronavirus - The government of Japan imposed new significant measures to expand to 73 countries and regions in total its entry ban on foreign nationals. Due to the restrictions on entry, those foreign nationals with a valid residence status in Japan, including expatriates on international assignment who temporarily departed from Japan to the below-listed countries with the Re-Entry Permission, are no longer able to return to Japan until further notice. Japanese nationals and the “Special” Permanent Residence Permit holders are exempt from the entry ban. 

04/01/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Government Restricts Access through Country’s External Borders - This GMS Flash Alert examines some of the key aspects of Spain’s Order INT/270/2020 (“the Order”) introduced on 21 March 2020, establishing criteria for the application of a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and associated Schengen countries.  These criteria took effect at midnight Sunday, 22 March 2020, at Spain’s borders.  Access to Spain will only be granted to Spanish citizens and Spanish residents along with those individuals who fall into one of the “exception” categories noted.

04/01/2020: People’s Republic of China – COVID-19 Travel/Immigration Restrictions - The immigration authorities in the People's Republic of China have restricted entry of foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits temporarily, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

04/01/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - The Argentinean National Immigration office has extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.

03/31/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 - As part of the efforts to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the Swedish government has decided to temporarily restrict foreigners from entering Sweden if they are coming from a country outside European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. The restriction does not apply for individuals whose purpose for the trip to Sweden is to return to their homes, provided they meet certain criteria. 

03/31/2020: Uruguay – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In an update to earlier travel restrictions, Uruguay’s president closed the country’s borders to non-citizens. 

03/30/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - Argentina has extended its mandatory, country-wide “lock down,” until 12 April.

03/30/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Considerations for Managing a Migrant Workforce in Trying Times - While the Australian government has not put forward any specific legislation or rules that would address the COVID-19-related challenges faced by temporary migrant workers, the existing migration legislation contains a number of provisions that employers can avail of to offer some continuity of employment for impacted temporary migrants. They can look at, for example, accessing leave without pay, a reduction in working hours, and move them between business entities.

03/30/2020: Japan – Updated Travel/Immigration Measures to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19) - In addition to the existing immigration restrictions in place due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government announced updated measures on 26 March 2020. Effective from 27 March those who fall under any of the categories noted in the tables in this GMS Flash Alert are not permitted to land in Japan unless there are exceptional circumstances. Japanese nationals are exempt from being denied entry – though there are special rules that apply in respect of their entry. Plus, there are new policies in Tokyo, where the governor warns the capital has entered a critical phase in the fight against COVID-1. 

03/30/2020: United States – Changes in USCIS Procedures Resulting from COVID-19 - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced three procedural changes, including suspending premium processing service and adding flexibility in signature requirements and certain response deadlines. 

03/26/2020: Brazil – Travel Restrictions and Other Measures to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - Brazil’s government has announced several travel restrictions for individuals coming to Brazil, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. This newsletter covers travel restrictions in particular with other South American countries, as well as activities of the Federal Police in respect of passport applications and the Ministry of Justice in respect of visa application processing and visa issuance.

03/26/2020: South Africa – Travel Restrictions and Lockdown Related to COVID-19 - With the escalation of the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa, the president of South Africa has declared a National State of Disaster. Also, the president announced a nationwide lockdown effectively for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Regardless of compliance with visa requirements, foreign nationals travelling from or transiting through high-risk and/or medium-risk countries are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa. There are a number of other measures in place for domestic transport and travel, lockdown exemptions for certain key personnel/staff and individuals, prohibitions on large-crowd gatherings, and school closures, etc. 

03/26/2020: Botswana – Broad Measures Introduced by Government to Combat COVID-19 Threat - As part of its response to the coronavirus threat, the Botswana government has announced broad measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These measures include barring of entry into Botswana of travelers from high-risk countries. Other measures include cancellation or suspension of large-crowd events, social distancing, etc.

03/25/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Filing Extensions - As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Philippine government has placed the entire Luzon (including Metro Manila) in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and issued advisories restricting the travels from and to the Philippines. Additionally, Philippine immigration and tax authorities have suspended some of their functions and extended certain deadlines. 

03/25/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Containment Measures, Many Office and Service Closures - In light of mounting COVID-19 cases in Spain, the government approved Royal Decree 463/2020 on 14 March, declaring a “State of Alarm” to help manage health-crisis situation. Among other things, the Decree institutes the re-establishment of land border controls (including Schengen internal border controls). Also, other steps the government is taking include ceasing to attend to the public in person at all the foreign offices that are part of the Functional Area of Work and Immigration and suspension of the public services responsible for the issuance of documentation for foreigners.

03/25/2020: United States – U.S.-Canada Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all “non-essential travel” across its borders. The restriction, which took effect on March 20, 2020, applies to land ports of entry along the US-Canadian border.

03/25/2020: Lithuania – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Tax Filing, Social Security Extensions - In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Lithuanian government and tax authorities extended the deadline for submission of the 2019 Lithuanian income tax return for individuals to 1 July 2020 (from 4 May 2020). To control the spread of COVID-19, the Lithuanian government established a quarantine effective 16 March 2020 until 30 March 2020.

03/25/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Residence Permits Extensions and Cessation of Visa Processing - The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has announced that the Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin and all other local registration offices have closed for a period of two months effective from 20 March 2020 until 20 May 2020. In addition, the processing of visa applications has ceased temporarily as of close of business 20 March 2020. Only certain emergency visas will be processed such as those for certain health-care professionals, immediate family members of Irish citizens, persons legally resident in Ireland and persons entitled to avail of the European Union (EU) Free Movement Directive. 

03/25/2020: Malaysia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions to Combat COVID-19 - The Malaysian prime minister on March 25 extended a 16 March 2020 movement control order (“MCO”) to combat the sharp rise of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, and the local state governments of East Malaysia (States of Sabah and Sarawak), have also imposed restrictions on visitor entry, including Malaysians. The local state government additional measures take effect from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020, while the MCO has been extended to 14 April.

03/23/2020: Germany – Measures to Combat COVID-19 Become More Intense - On 22 March 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister-Presidents of all 16 German Federal States agreed on further measures regarding stay-at-home and social distancing. Furthermore, the operations of the German immigration authorities (diplomatic missions abroad, immigration offices in Germany) have been reduced significantly, so new assignments to Germany or the international hiring of new foreign talent will be delayed; application processes for long-term residence and work permissions are impacted in the same way. Germany has limited, with effect as of 18 March 2020, the entry to Germany for EU member states and Schengen Associated States with entries from Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, and Switzerland being subject to police control. 

03/23/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In a news conference on 20 March, the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced several strict measures that will directly impact the extent to which people may freely move about in Argentina. The country is essentially in a “lock down” situation until 31 March, at least.

03/23/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Closing Borders, Limiting Entry and Visa Issuance FAQs - As an additional step in the fight against COVID-19, Switzerland closed around 130 border crossing points on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, and is now channeling entry only via designated border crossing points. There are special restrictions with respect to five Schengen countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Spain. New rules in place essentially mean that Switzerland will no longer will issue Schengen visas for 90 days or until further notice. National visas (i.e., visas for stays of more than 90 days) for nationals subject to visa requirements are also only to be issued in exceptional cases. 

03/23/2020: France – New Actions to Restrict Travel, Extend Immigration Documents’ Validity - The French government issued a decree restricting travel, various activities, and many aspects of daily life to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. On 16 March 2020, the French government also took new measures regarding the spread of the virus in relation to the residence permits of foreign nationals. On 24 March, Emergency Law 2020-290 of March 23 was published, with more rules around immigration and travel. 

03/23/2020: Croatia – COVID-19: Measures Limiting Travel, Imposing Quarantine and Social Distancing - Due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Croatia, on 19 March 2020 and on 23 March 2020, the Croatian government updated the packages of measures aimed at getting control of the spread of the coronavirus. Starting 19 March 2020 and over the course of the 30 days to follow, new rules concerning border crossings will be in force. There are also new rules pertaining to movement by persons within Croatia’s border, social distancing, and public gatherings and events.

03/23/2020: Australia - COVID-19 Borders Closed to NonResidents - This alert announces Australia’s border closing to nonresidents in response to COVID-19 and the impacts on visa holders inside and outside of Australia.

03/23/2020: Norway – Covid-19 Update: Entry Restrictions / Immigration-Related Processing Uncertainties - Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Service Centre for Foreign Workers where applications for residence and work permits are submitted is currently closed. The office will stay closed until 26 March 2020. This GMS Flash Alert covers policy regarding EU/EEA nationals, non-EU/non-EEA nationals, border controls and quarantine, etc.

03/23/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 Measures Taken by Belgian Immigration Authorities - The competent Belgian federal authorities have announced that they would only accept visa applications for essential functions or needs.  Most Visa Application Centers will be closed.  Federal and regional authorities are taking measures to assure the continuance of immigration approval processes where needed.  Adapted procedures are instituted allowing employers to legally employ in Belgium their third-country national employees who are currently stuck in Belgium due to current travel restrictions.  

03/23/2020: United States – DHS Defers Physical Inspection Requirements for Form I-9 - On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as U.S. employers have rapidly shifted toward remote work arrangements to protect the health and safety of their workforce.

03/23/2020: Ghana – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions and Safety Directive - On 21 March 2020, the president updated the nation on the status of those measures put in place to help minimise the possibility of further novel coronavirus infestation. He also placed additional stringent restrictions on travel by ordering the closure of Ghana's land, sea, and air borders to human traffic effective midnight, 22 March 2020. 

03/21/2020: Japan – UPDATE: Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - As part of its response to managing the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government has announced updated entry restrictions on 18 March.

03/20/2020: Vietnam – Immigration, Travel, Quarantine Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19 - The Vietnamese government is currently implementing multiple measures, including travel restrictions, compulsory medical declaration, medical checks, and quarantine upon arrival, with immediate effect, as well as limiting approval for new foreign workers to travel to and work in Vietnam.

03/20/2020: European Union – Countries Taking Extraordinary Measures on Borders, Travel, Health - The European Union has approved new guidelines for border management measures, including guidelines for both the internal and external borders, health-related measures, guidelines for the transport of goods and services, guidelines for the supply of goods, health-related measures and guidelines.

03/20/2020: United States – USCIS Office Closures - This report explains the details of the temporary closure of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices and Application Support Centers in response to the COVID-19 crisis, until at least April 1, 2020. 

03/19/2020: United States - Managing Employer I-9 Requirements and COVID-19 - U.S. employers are still required to comply with in-person documentation verification requirements as part of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification process. Employers may need to swiftly incorporate new processes and the use of designated representatives in their employment authorization verification procedures to help ensure continued compliance with I-9 federal requirements. 

03/19/2020: Denmark – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions, Changes to Immigration Policies  - All travel to Denmark is suspended and the borders are closed. Individuals entering Denmark must have a creditable reason, i.e., work, to enter otherwise they will be rejected at the borders.

03/19/2020:  European Union – Border Security Guidelines to Protect Health, Foster Economic Continuity - The European Commission (EC) presented guidelines to the EU member states on management of borders in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. The guidelines pertain to entry screenings, health screenings, quarantine, border crossings, freight transport, etc. 

03/19/2020: Finland – Update on Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - The Finnish authorities announced the restriction of passenger traffic at Finland’s borders as of 19 March (Finnish time) until mid-April. Also, the processing for normal visa applications and residence permit applications in Finland’s missions abroad has been suspended.

03/19/2020: Uruguay - Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic - The President of Uruguay has announced the total closing of the border with Argentina, except for Uruguayan citizens or residents who want to come back to Uruguay, as from 17 March 2020.  Beginning 20 March, Uruguay will suspend all incoming flights from Europe.

03/19/2020: Chile – Significant Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Chilean government has taken extraordinary measures instituting travel restrictions on foreign nationals traveling to Chile as well as restrictions on entry into Chile by Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with Chilean resident status. 

03/19/2020: Canada – Government Places Restrictions on Entry - Canada will deny entry to all foreign nationals with a few exceptions. The governments of Canada and the U.S. will close the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel between the countries. 

03/19/2020: Czech Republic – Emergency Measures Imposed by Government to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - The Czech government announced the temporary suspension of Czech “representations” abroad (i.e., embassies and consulates) accepting and handling visa applications and applications for residence permits. Additionally, on 16 March 2020, the borders of the Czech Republic were closed. 

03/18/2020: Australia – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Self-Quarantine Requirements - Effective 15 March 2020, the Australian government has imposed a self-quarantine requirement for all travellers entering Australia. The self-quarantine requires all travellers to self-quarantine in a home or hotel for 14 days. 

03/18/2020: European Union – Shedding Some Light on Social Security As COVID-19 Spreads - This newsletter discusses the application of existing EU social security rules as workplace arrangements transform in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

03/18/2020: Germany – Considerable Lengths Taken by Government to Stem Rise of COVID-19 - As of 16 March 2020, a partial shutdown of the borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland is in effect. Due to the emergency situation, many local immigration offices have reduced their capacities significantly. 

03/17/2020: Belgium –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Immigration Process Changes - This alert highlights the current situation in Belgium, including Belgian social distancing measures, advisories and restrictions on traveling to Belgium and abroad, and updated immigration procedures for third country nationals. 

03/17/2020: United States - U.S. Embassies and Consulates Suspend Services; USCIS Office Closures  - Additional U.S. Consulates and Embassies around the world have cancelled nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments until further notice. This newsletter provides responses to commonly asked questions in light of multiple U.S. Consulate and Embassy suspensions of routine visa services.

03/17/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Delays in Employment Permit Processing Times - Ireland’s Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has announced that it will be prioritising the processing of all applications for employment permits for medical staff. Therefore, the timing of all other employment permit applications will be impacted.

03/16/2020: Peru – Tax Relief and Closing Border to Help Deal with Spread of COVID-19 - The government of Peru has closed Peru’s borders  for 15 days from March 16, 2020. The Peruvian Tax Authority has extended the annual income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year to between June 24 and July 9, 2020. 

03/16/2020: Argentina – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentine authorities announced the closing of its borders as of 16 March until 28 March, except for Argentinean nationals who want to come back to Argentina and for residents returning to Argentina. 

03/16/2020: Japan - Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Japanese government has extended current travel restrictions. The measures described in this newsletter are valid as of 12 March 2020 and will last until the end of this month.  

03/15/2020: United States - Travel Ban from European Countries to Include U.K. and Ireland - The White House issued its new policy on the addition of the United Kingdom and Ireland to the list of countries that are subject to COVID-19-related travel restrictions. The restriction on travel for visitors from the U.K. and Ireland went into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020, at midnight (EDT).

03/13/2020: Argentina – Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentina has issued new measures governing individuals from the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Iran, Japan, the United States of America, United Kingdom and the rest of Europe (this includes the Schengen Area countries) and intending to travel to Argentina. 

03/12/2020: United States - Travel from EU’s Schengen Area Suspended for 30 days or Longer - On March 11, 2020, President Donald Trump introduced a travel suspension from Europe to the United States, with some exceptions. This suspension goes into effect on Friday, March 13, 2020. 

03/10/2020: Italy - Country in Lockdown as COVID-19 Threat Grows - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 9 March 2020, further restricting travel, other activities, and aspects of daily life. The measures effectively quarantine the whole country and place severe restrictions on internal travel within Italy. 

03/06/2020: United States - Immigration Updates: COVID-19 Entry Restrictions, TPS and Yemen - In this newsletter, we report on recent U.S. immigration-related developments, including the February 29 presidential proclamation concerning restrictions on entry to the United States if an individual has come from Iran, a similar proclamation issued January 31 concerning the People’s Republic of China, and the government’s extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen, with a brief mention of TPS developments for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

03/04/2020: Italy - New Statute Introduces COVID-19-Related Measures Affecting Immigration - The Italian government issued a new Decree-Law on 2 March 2020. Aspects of the Decree-Law concern prolonging deadlines and expiration dates and suspending or curtailing some services in the public sector, this includes the division of police in charge of immigration affairs. 

03/03/2020: Singapore – Precautions Extended to Foreign Employees Travelling from Areas in South Korea - Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) extended the mandatory entry approval and 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) to companies bringing into Singapore foreign employees who travelled to Daegu City and Cheongdo County in South Korea within the last 14 days.

Tax

06/01/2020: United States – IRS FAQs: Claiming Medical Condition Exception for COVID-19 - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is providing additional guidance in a set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) for certain nonresident individuals who were present in the United States and intended to leave but were unable to do so because of a medical condition or travel interruptions in the U.S. due to COVID-19. These individuals may be eligible to claim the Medical Condition Exception to exclude certain days of U.S. presence from the substantial presence test.  The new FAQs give guidance regarding how to claim one of these special relief provisions. 

05/29/2020: Ghana – COVID-19: Update on Implementation Guidelines for Tax Incentives, Pension Relief - The Commissioner-General (C-G) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday, 12 May 2020, issued directives concerning certain tax incentives related to the taxation of withdrawals from Personal Pensions and Provident Funds – Tier Three, the remuneration of selected health workers, deductions for COVID-19-related donations, and waivers of certain tax-related penalties. 

05/28/2020: France – Social Security for Foreign Employers with Staff Working from Home - The French international social security liaison body (le Centre des Liaisons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale or “CLEISS”) updated the responsibilities of foreign employers with foreign national employees not falling within the scope of the European Union social security regulations who are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, where a bilateral social security agreement is in place, CLEISS states that employers must “regularise” the situation of employees with the competent social security institution in the “normal” country of employment. 

05/28/2020: Isle of Man – COVID-19: Tax Return Relief, Guidance on Work from Home Expenses - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges Isle of Man taxpayers may be facing, the Isle of Man Treasury has provided some relief in respect of tax filing deadlines and how working-at-home expenses are treated for tax purposes.  The deadline for the submission of personal tax returns for the 2019/20 tax year has been extended from 6 October 2020 to 6 November 2020. 

05/27/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Penalty Relief for Late Employer Social Security Contributions - The Czech government has introduced measures to reduce penalties for late payment of social security contributions due for the months May to July 2020 by employers under certain conditions and to modify submission procedures for social security overviews and contributions to be electronic and cashless.

05/27/2020: France – COVID-19: New Agreements on Frontier Workers with Germany, Belgium, Switzerland - France has announced that it has reached new agreements with Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland that deal with current issues around frontier workers.  As a result of these agreements, working from home due to COVID-19 should have no impact on the tax system applicable to frontier workers.  The agreements stipulate that, in the context of the current heath emergency linked to COVID-19, frontier workers who are not eligible for the specific frontier worker regime will not suffer adverse consequences if they have to work from home.  

05/26/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures Expiring - Slovenia became the first European country to declare the end of the COVID-19 epidemic on 15 May. This newsletter reviews legislative measures for offsetting the effects of COVID-19 and their expiration dates, and highlights some features of the new legislation, including eased travel restrictions.  

05/22/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Filing and Payment Deadlines Extended for Individuals - The Argentine tax authorities have extended the filing and payment deadlines for individual taxpayers subject to Argentine income, wealth and financial income taxes for the 2019 tax year until the end of July 2020.

05/22/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Temporary Reduction, Other Relief for Employers’ Social Security - The Finance Committee in Norway’s Storting (parliament) has agreed to a temporary reduction in the employer's contribution equivalent to 4 percent in the months of May and June in light of the effects of COVID-19 on Norway’s business sector. The reduction in the employers' contributions will apply in all zones where the contribution is calculated.

05/22/2020: Malaysia – Special Tax Concessions for Individuals Due to COVID-19 - Due to COVID-19, with many international assignees in Malaysia performing duties in respect of their overseas employment/assignments and their employers concerns about the impact that their temporary presence – and additional unplanned days spent – in Malaysia may have on their Malaysia tax residency status, cross-border employment income, and the permanent establishment issues, the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has provided guidance.

05/22/2020: India – COVID-19: Clarifying Tax Residency for Individuals Staying More Days - India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued Circular No. 11 of 2020, dated 8 May 2020, that clarifies the residency situation of Nonresident Indians (NRIs) and foreign visitors whose stay in India during the tax year 2019-20 lasted longer than they expected due to the COVID-19 lockdown. This is crucial as the taxability of overseas income and disclosure of overseas assets in a fiscal year depends on the individual’s residential status, which, in turn, depends on his/her number of days of stay in India.  

05/14/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Postponing Certain Advance Payments and Withholding Tax - The Czech government on 8 April 2020 began allowing payers of personal income tax on employment income to apply to postpone advance payments or to pay the tax in instalments. Postponement or payment in instalments is also possible for certain types of withholding tax.

05/13/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with Germany, Netherlands - In light of the mutual agreements Belgium has concluded with The Netherlands and Germany, to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances.

05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Provident Fund and Pension Relief Announced - Recent notifications and circulars issued by some of India’s regulators (EPFO and PFRDA) provide much-needed relief to employers and employees, Provident Fund (PF) members, and National Pension Scheme (NPS) subscribers that are currently under stress due to the effects of the COVID-19 situation. Among the measures there are grace periods for the filing of certain returns, non-refundable advances from subscribers’ PF accounts, and partial withdrawals from the National Pension System under certain conditions.

05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures - India has enacted Ordinance 2020 delaying the deadlines for certain tax payments to bring relief to individuals and businesses dealing with the effects of the spread of COVID-19 in India.

05/08/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Enhanced Community Quarantine and Income Tax Filing Extensions - Due to the continuing pandemic, the Philippine government has laid down measures that (i) extend the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila to 15 May 2020 and (ii) extend filing and payment due dates for 2019 annual income tax returns. Moderate-risk and low-risk areas will be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

05/05/2020: Luxembourg – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Employee Relief Measures - The Luxembourg government has implemented a number of relief measures to help alleviate the effects of COVID-19, including an individual income tax return filing extension, cross-border worker relief, social security payment relief and paid family leave.

05/01/2020: Guatemala – COVID-19: Social Security Deferment Options for Employers - To help businesses cope with the financial stress of the COVID-19 crisis, the Guatemalan government is easing social security compliance obligations with the option to defer the employer’s share of social security contributions (IGSS) for the months of March, April, and May 2020, without being assessed any penalties, fines, or interest on the deferred payments. 

05/01/2020: Iceland – COVID-19: Social Security and Payroll Tax Deferrals - Iceland’s Parliament, on 30 March 2020, passed relief measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among the measures aimed at mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus were extensions of time to pay social security tax and withheld public levies at source.

05/01/2020: Vietnam – COVID-19: Immigration, Tax/Social Security, and Income Support Measures - In an effort to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, Vietnam’s government recently introduced multiple incentives in the form of tax and social insurance relief, land-use fee deferment, and interest rate cuts for the benefit of affected businesses. The government has also introduced income support measures for employees that have been laid off. And, finally, the government is loosening the rules that had limited cross-border travel and is seeking to restore many of the country’s immigration-related services.

04/30/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Relief for Social Security Charges, Charitable Donations, Arrears Interest - In Poland, new legislation updates the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield rules and provides additional relief to business and individual taxpayers.  For instance, a measure extends to the group of entities that are eligible relief on social security contributions due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.  Also, an amendment was adopted according to which the financing granted under the Anti-Crisis Shield will not constitute revenues within the meaning of the Corporate Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act.  Another measure concerns donating 1 percent of tax to charitable organisations for certain PIT annual returns. 

04/29/2020: Malta – COVID-19: Limited Entry and Work Permit Services, Tax Implications - Malta’s government has announced a number of measures with respect to travel to Malta and work permits for non-European Union (EU) nationals.  Also, visa services have been suspended, until further notice. Moreover, there is a temporary suspension of the issuing of permits in respect of new work/residence applications.  And, any travelers that do enter Malta by means of air and sea are to observe a mandatory self-quarantine period of 14 days.

04/29/2020: France – COVID-19: Tax Authorities Provide Guidance on Impact on Residency - The French tax authorities have clarified that, in their view, a temporary stay in France, due to confinement or travel restrictions related to the coronavirus is not likely to result in an individual acquiring a tax residence in France under either French domestic rules or treaty rules.

04/29/2020: Ukraine – COVID-19: Relief for UST Taxpayers, Deadlines for Tax Returns and Payments - In light of the coronavirus crisis, a new law in force in Ukraine offers taxpayers relief (i) from being assessed certain penalties and late payment interest for violations of tax legislation, (ii) in respect of Unified Social Tax for certain individual entrepreneurs and those involved in independent professional activities, and (iii) in terms of the extension of the annual tax return filing deadline.

04/28/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Extension of Filing and Payment Deadlines for Certain Taxpayers - Spain’s government has modified some filing/submission deadlines for certain taxpayers. This extension applies to numerous filings, including quarterly Nonresident Income Tax returns (Form 210). For taxpayers that elected the direct debit payment method, their submission deadline has been extended to 15 May 2020 (it was initially due by 15 April) and the charge to the taxpayer’s bank account will be made on 20 May 2020.

04/27/2020: Portugal – COVID-19: Deferral of Social Contribution Payments - A new law in Portugal offers hard-pressed employers and self-employed individuals some social security relief.  Certain employer entities and self-employed individuals can pay 1/3rd of their social contributions due in March, April, and May 2020, on the regular due date of the contributions, with the remaining amounts being paid later.  The relief provided above does not apply to the employee share of the social contribution.

04/27/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Fiscal Stimulus Plans - Nigeria’s federal and state governments have introduced measures such as delayed tax filing deadlines, waivers of Late Returns Penalty for taxpayers who pay early but file their returns later, suspension of field audits, investigations, and monitoring exercises, etc. to help certain taxpayers contend with the challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, there is the Economic Stimulus Bill that is currently moving through the legislature with measures to encourage businesses to protect jobs and mitigate loss of income for employees.

04/24/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures - Slovenia has adopted legislation to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19, that includes tax, compensation, social security, and travel measures to preserve jobs, to improve the social situation of people and to keep businesses in operation.

04/24/2020: Australia – Updated Guidance on Temporarily Displaced Employees Working in Australia - Organisations with workers displaced outside of Australia or inside the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have concerns about income sourcing, especially for their employees who are back in Australia but are not tax residents of Australia. New updated guidance from the Australian Taxation Office outlines factors that need to be considered in determining the source of an employee’s employment income. These factors will be crucial in determining whether employees are subject to Australian income tax on that employment income, and consequently what the tax reporting and withholding obligations are for employers.

04/23/2020: Portugal – New Tax on Pension Income of Non-Habitual Residents - In its annual 2020 budget, Portugal introduced a 10% tax on the foreign-source pension income for ”non-habitual residents.” This in response to concerns raised by some EU countries over discriminatory tax regimes resulting in zero-taxed income.

04/23/2020: Germany – Mutual Agreements on Frontier Workers with Austria, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands - Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 measures, frontier workers face the risk of losing specific tax reliefs granted by the state of work. Germany has now concluded mutual agreements with Austria, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, which, amongst other things, are expected to help make sure frontier workers currently working from home are still eligible for tax benefits granted by the state of work.

04/22/2020: Slovakia – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Wage Support for Individuals and Employers - At the beginning of April 2020, Slovakia’s Parliament adopted new legislation that contains measures to help individuals and business cope with the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19. Measures include new deadlines for filing income tax returns, changed dates for employers’ annual settlement of taxes and yearly report on wage taxes, and wage subsidies to employers aimed to help keep employees in work/on payroll.

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19: Waiver of Sec. 911 Time Requirements Announced - On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2020-27, which provides that qualification for the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign housing cost amount (together, the “FEIE”) from gross income under Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) section 911 will not be impacted as a result of days spent away from a foreign country due to the COVID-19 pandemic based on certain departure dates.  The Rev. Proc. 2020-27 aims to provide relief for individuals and employers who have had to cut assignments short as a result of COVID-19. 

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19 Relief for Nonresidents Remaining in United States - In light of the COVID-19-related emergency travel disruptions, on April 21, 2020, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance providing relief for certain nonresident individuals who would not have been in the United States long enough during 2020 to be considered resident aliens under the substantial presence test, or would not have become ineligible for treaty benefits in relation to dependent personal services income due to overstaying the time limitation related to such benefits.  

04/20/2020: Singapore – COVID-19: Tax Concessions for Individuals and Companie - This GMS Flash Alert looks at COVID-19-related measures taken by Singapore’s government, which include providing guidance on the tax treatment of overseas-based Singaporeans/Singapore Permanent Residents, extending the time for filing individual tax returns, and addressing permanent establishment issues from employees of foreign companies working in Singapore.

04/20/2020: South Africa – Foreign Remuneration Exemption: Tax Directive for Employers - South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued an updated Interpretation Note (IN 16) addressing how the changes to the foreign remuneration exemption will be implemented, which includes guidance in the form of a tax directive on how the foreign tax credits (FTC) may be claimed via payroll.  Given the global COVID-19 pandemic, more South African tax resident employees working abroad will find themselves in a situation where they are subject to tax in both South Africa and the foreign country in which they are working, on the same income. Interpretation Note 16 discusses methods that may be applied to alleviate these hardships.  

04/16/2020: Taiwan – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures, Travel Restrictions and Visa Extensions - This article provides an overview of various measures the Taiwan government has taken in light of the COVID-19 situation, including tax relief for certain employers and individual employees, as well as travel restrictions and visa extensions for some foreign nationals.

04/16/2020: Russia – 2019 Personal Tax Return Filing Deadline Extended - Russia’s government has announced a 3-month extension of time for filing personal income tax returns without changing the deadline for paying the tax. 

04/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Fiscal Relief for Companies - An emergency assistance program has been established to provide relief for employers whose businesses have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina. Some of the benefits include postponement and reduction of payments of employer contributions for the Argentine Integrated Social Security System and payment of a portion of employee wages to be covered by the National Social Security Administration.

04/15/2020: Hong Kong – Automatic Three-Month Extension of 2018/19 Tax Payment Deadlines - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive announced recently that tax payment deadlines for 2018/19 Salaries Tax, Tax under Personal Assessment, and Profits Tax which fall between April to June 2020 are automatically extended by three months. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) made a further announcement to provide details and examples to illustrate which group(s) of taxpayers can delay their 2018/19 tax payments.

04/15/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Enhanced Community Quarantine and Income Tax Filing Extensions - In light of the Enhanced Community Quarantine imposed by the Philippine government, measures have recently been introduced that (i) extend the quarantine in Luzon to April 30, 2020 and (ii) extend filing and payment due dates for 2019 annual income tax returns. The filing deadline for the first quarter for Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) is also extended. All existing circulars, orders, and advisories on travel restrictions and government operations will remain effective until the end of the extended ECQ.

04/14/2020: South Korea – Filing and Payment Extensions for Individual Income Tax Returns - Due to the global health pandemic caused by the coronavirus and COVID-19, South Korea’s government has postponed the tax payment due date for individuals filing tax returns.  While for most people, tax returns must be filed by the original due date, taxpayers with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses and individuals living in the “COVID-19 Emergency Area” will have deferred filing deadlines.

04/10/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Measures Introduced - The Czech government has introduced several personal income tax and social security measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and society.  Measures include, waived penalties for the late submission of personal income tax returns, a waiver of income tax prepayments payable on 15 June 2020, relaxed rules around payment of the parental allowance, as well as how the social security agency will consider a change in a cross-border worker’s circumstances in terms of a change in the state where the person is insured for social security purposes.

04/09/2020: European Union - EUR 100 Billion Initiative to Support Employment and Businesses - On 2 April 2020, the European Commission (EC) proposed a EUR 100 billion instrument called “SURE” to help workers maintain their incomes and help businesses stay afloat.  It is intended to support the member states to combat the effects of the coronavirus crisis and help save lives and protect livelihoods.  On 3 April 2020, the EC adopted an extension of the temporary framework to include a deferral of tax payments and/or suspension of social security contributions and the offer of other support in the form of wage subsidies for employees. 

04/07/2020: Peru – COVID-19: Additional Fiscal Measures and Controls on Freedom of Movement - Due to the State of Emergency Peru is facing, several urgent decrees have been published that allow individuals to more readily access funds, earlier than expected, in their pension funds and CTS bank accounts; also employers should see their and their employees’ burdens lightened with a temporary suspension of their private pension fund withholding and payment remitting obligations.

04/07/2020: Hong Kong – COVID-19: Updates to 2019-20 Tax Season - The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has announced the issuance of tax returns for the 2019-20 tax filing season – which includes individual tax returns being issued one month later than in prior years. This is to afford taxpayers impacted by the upheavals due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 crisis a little more time to organise their tax affairs.

04/07/2020: OECD – Examining Cross-Border Employment/Tax Issues in Time of COVID-19 - As businesses and employees react to government policies worldwide introduced to combat the coronavirus and COVID-19, there has been a change in regular work patterns and routines, which raises several tax-related issues for cross-border workers and can have an impact on the right to tax between countries.  The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released an analysis addressing the tax implications of the employment changes arising under the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic involving cross-border workers and other related cross-border matters (e.g., tele-work and right of taxation, residency, permanent establishment).

04/03/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Income Tax Return and Central Bank Report Filing Extensions - To bring some relief to taxpayers challenged by the COVID-19 outbreak, on April 1, 2020, the “Receita Federal do Brasil,” the Brazilian Revenue, announced that the filing deadline for all taxpayers subject to Brazilian tax law in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to June 30, 2020.  The original due date was April 30, 2020. Additionally, the Brazil Central Bank has announced filing extensions to the Brazilian Capital Abroad Reports in respect of the 2019 calendar year and of the 2020 first quarter report.   

04/03/2020: Barbados/Eastern Caribbean – Fiscal Stimulus and Travel/Border Restriction Measures - Barbados has issued the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Curfew Directive, 2020, which introduces limitations and restrictions on businesses, as well as daily life and travel within the country. The government has also proposed a package of economic and fiscal stabilization measures to address the fall-out on the country’s economy from the outbreak of COVID-19. This GMS Flash Alert focuses on the COVID-19 response efforts of the government of Barbados and also highlights developments in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

04/03/2020: France – Various Social Security Measures (COVID-19) - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending social security contribution payment deadlines, adjusting guidelines for the “partial work” scheme, and helping cross-border workers and returning expatriates.

04/03/2020: France – COVID-19: Various Tax Relief and ‘Frontier Worker’ Measures  - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending filing deadlines for 2019 income tax returns, issuing guidelines for the changed working patterns of frontier workers from bordering countries, and cautioning employers that there is no deferral of payment for the withholding tax due on the wages paid to employees.

04/02/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Amendments Passed Enhancing ’Anti-Crisis Shield’ Provisions - Poland’s government has enacted significant new tax, social security, benefits, and other fiscal measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19.  This newsletter covers the government’s measures related to opt-outs, tax reductions, delayed payment obligations, enhanced tax-deductible COVID-19-related charitable contributions, suspension of legal proceedings tied to certain tax offences, and relief for other compliance obligations. 

04/01/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Benefits, and Quarantine Measures - Norway’s government has introduced various tax, social security, benefits, and travel/immigration measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19. Measures include: closure of all tax offices and the Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA); proposed reduction in employers’ social security contribution obligation and payment deadline extension; increase in number of days for parental leave in connection with closed schools and child-care needs; “lower rate” of VAT temporarily reduced; and reduced or waived penalties for late submissions. This report also includes a brief highlight of quarantine measures in place. 

04/01/2020: Kenya – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Cope with COVID-19 Crisis - On 25 March 2020, the president of the Republic of Kenya outlined the tax interventions the government intends to make to “cushion” the country against the economic effects of the COVID-19. These measures are proposals only at this point and include a 100-percent tax relief for low-income-earning persons, a reduction in the top Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) rate, and other changes such as cash transfers, credit relief, lower VAT, and a corporate tax cut.

04/01/2020: Malaysia – Various Tax Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19 - The Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has set out a new timetable for certain personal tax filing and employer compliance obligations (including due date extensions) in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Also, the MIRB has closed all its office premises until 14 April 2020 – but is providing some limited services. 

03/31/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Immigration Implications for Cross-Border Workers - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the various measures – travel/immigration, tax, social security – Switzerland has in place to combat COVID-19 and examines some of the reasons why employers should be aware of the implications when developing and implementing policies in their own responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

03/30/2020: European Union – Guidelines for Free Movement of Workers During Covid-19 Pandemic  - The European Commission (EC) has published practical guidance to help ensure the free movement of not only critical workers, but frontier workers in general.  Member states have introduced internal border controls to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is imperative that workers who need to cross borders to reach their workplace can do so without delay.  Among the recommendations from the EC are dedicated lanes at the borders for workers, the introduction of specific stickers that can be recognised at the border crossings, and health screenings conducted on one side of the border only. 

03/27/2020: United States – President Trump Signs CARES Act into Law - On March 27, 2020, U.S. President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” (“CARES Act”) into law. The CARES Act contains measures designed to bring some economic and fiscal relief to companies, small businesses, and individuals facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

03/27/2020: Switzerland – Government Compensation for Employees Who Cannot Work Due to COVID-19 - The Swiss Federal Council has released measures to mitigate the economic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Employees who are no longer able to work because (a) they need to stay at home to look after their children or (b) they are in self-quarantine, are eligible for federal compensation (“Erwerbsersatz”). Employers who continue to pay their employees’ salaries may obtain the compensation on behalf of their employees. Similar compensation is available for self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to closure of their business or a ban of public events. 

03/27/2020: Germany – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Relief Measures and Considerations - The federal government in Germany has launched a broad-based package of measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus on employers and workers. In addition to making the regulations on compensation for short-time work more flexible and extending liquidity assistance for affected companies (in the form of simplified access to loans and guarantees), there are other measures being introduced or considered, such as extending the filing deadline for certain 2018 personal income tax returns (not yet at the national level), how to apply EU and German social security rules to the changed work patterns of frontier workers and multi-state workers, and supporting companies affected by the coronavirus crisis, social security contributions will be deferred at the request of the employer. 

03/27/2020: Belgium – Changed Work Patterns and Application of EU Social Security Regulations - Individuals’ cross-border working patterns are undergoing change, resulting in their increased presence and work in their home countries, and reducing travel. To prevent a change of the competent member state for social security coverage of international mobile workers, such as frontier workers and multi-state workers, Belgium’s federal government has taken the decision to disregard such temporary changes in an individual’s cross-border working pattern during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

03/27/2020: Romania – COVID-19: Measures for Social Protection and Income Support - Under the terms of a government emergency ordinance, Romania’s government is taking steps to address the short-fall in income that people and businesses may be experiencing. The measures pertain to the technical unemployment allowance, the granting of free paid days to parents for the purpose of child-care, and the payment of the return to work incentive (“stimulent de insertie”), amongst others.

03/27/2020: Romania – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Affected by COVID-19 Crisis - In response to the challenges for taxpayers created by the COVID-19 epidemic, two key tax measures have been adopted by the Romanian government and enacted through Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) 29/2020. Firstly, all tax obligations that have their due date after 21 March 2020, and which are unpaid, will not be considered overdue, and therefore they are not subject to late payment interest and penalties. Secondly, all tax-related foreclosure procedures involving garnishments are suspended by law. There is also some tax relief for certain local taxes due. 

03/27/2020: Ireland - COVID-19 Tax Measures Relevant to Mobile Employees - Ireland’s tax authorities have provided a variety of guidance to ease employee and employer tax filing obligations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

03/26/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Filing Extension for Reporting Employee Share Schemes - The Irish tax authority (“Revenue”) recently announced that the filing deadline for all employer share scheme reporting information returns in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to 30 June 2020. (The original due date to file the Forms RSS1 and KEEP1 in respect of the 2019 tax year was 31 March 2020.)

03/26/2020: United States – Senate Passes COVID-19 Fiscal Stimulus Bill - On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate voted on and passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“the bill”), also known as the CARES Act, in order to respond to the economic impact caused by COVID-19. However, even though the bill passed in the Senate, it still needs to be voted on and passed in the House of Representatives and then signed by President Trump in order for it to become law. 

03/25/2020: Australia – Fringe Benefits Tax Considerations for Employers Facing COVID-19 Challenges - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and State Revenues have been putting forward various fiscal measures to help relieve the tax challenges faced by businesses and employees as they confront a growing COVID-19 outbreak in the country and abroad. While currently there is no automatic Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) deferral in Australia, the ATO has indicated it will consider requests of payment deferral of up to six months. Moreover, the ATO is also providing pragmatic guidance on FBT.

03/25/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Payroll Tax Relief Coming - Australia’s federal and state governments and their respective tax authorities are implementing a broad range of measures to help provide relief to employers. While most measures are targeted at affected industries (such as tourism and hospitality), small to medium enterprises and not-for-profits, there are some measures which apply to all affected businesses (e.g., deferrals in Queensland). Each state and territory approach is different. 

03/25/2020: South Africa – Tax Concessions Announced to Address COVID-19 Impact on Economy - On Monday, 23 March 2020, the president of South Africa announced unprecedented measures in assisting South Africa in its fight against COVID-19. Most notably, a nationwide lockdown effective for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. There were also a number of tax measures put forward affecting employers and employees. Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) liabilities, a tax subsidy under the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), and possible relief on Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions. 

03/23/2020: United States – New IRS FAQs on Federal Tax Filing and Payment Extension - On March 21, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced special Federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. 

03/23/2020: Canada – Extensions on Tax Filings in Light of COVID-19 Crisis - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will delay tax filing deadlines for individuals to June 1, 2020, and for trusts to May 1, 2020.  Quebec’s government announced further extensions for tax and instalment payments due dates.  Eligible employers may have access to a range of temporary relief measures. 

03/23/2020: Australia – ATO Guidance: Impact of COVID-19 on Taxation of Internationally Mobile Employees - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released updated guidance to provide clarity as to how it will approach the tax implications for internationally mobile employees and their employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  This newsletter covers guidance related to residents temporarily overseas, foreign residents temporarily in Australia, earning employment income while in Australia temporarily, as well as employer obligations.

03/23/2020: Indonesia – Extended Filing Dates and Other Measures for COVID-19 - This alert provides updated information on the steps the Indonesian tax authorities are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending some filing and payment deadlines.

03/21/2020: United States – UPDATE: Treasury Announces Filing Extension - The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued Notice 2020-18, which provides additional details on the extension until July 15, 2020 to file 2019 U.S. Income Tax returns.

03/21/2020: United States – President Signs Paid Leave and Benefits Relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“the Act”), was signed into law March 18, 2020. The Act provides  for paid leave and enhanced unemployment benefits for workers affected by COVID-19, and temporary tax credits for certain employers and self-employed individuals in relation to the payment of those benefits. 

03/20/2020: United States – All Taxpayer Assistance Centers Closed - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) until further notice. The IRS is also discontinuing face-to-face service indefinitely.

03/20/2020: Poland – ‘Anti-Crisis Shield’ Project Counters COVID-19’s Fiscal Impact - Poland’s government has recently approved a package of measures in order to protect individual and company taxpayers facing administrative challenges and liquidity/cash-flow issues in the face of the COVID-19 threat.

03/20/2020: United Kingdom – HMRC Publishes Guidance on COVID-19 and Statutory Residence Test - The U.K. tax authority has published guidance on when an individual’s presence in the U.K. by reason of the COVID-19 outbreak will be considered to be the result of ‘exceptional circumstances’.

03/20/2020: United States – Treasury Announces Filing Extension - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Twitter that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are extending the filing deadline for 2019 U.S. federal income tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020. 

03/19/2020: United States – KPMG Report on Telecommuting and Compensation Concerns during Uncertain Times - KPMG LLP (U.S.) has published a report that focuses on the initial approaches employers are implementing in response to COVID-19, such as increased telecommuting, and the resultant U.S. tax considerations for themselves and their employees.

03/18/2020: United States – UPDATE: IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance on deferring tax payments due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

03/18/2020: United States – Social Security Administration Announces Office Closings in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that all of its local offices will be closed to the public for in-person service with immediate effect.  Applications for social security numbers can continue to be made by mail.

03/17/2020: United States – IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin publicly announced that individuals who owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) up to $1 million can defer that payment, interest-, and penalty-free, for 90 days.

03/12/2020: United States – COVID-19 Emergency Has Treasury Considering Tax Return Filing Delay - Some recent media reports and informal statements from U.S. government officials suggest that the U.S. Treasury Department may be planning to extend the federal income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year.

03/06/2020: Italy - Some Tax Deadlines Extended During COVID-19 Outbreak - The Italian government issued an urgent Decree-Law on 2 March 2020, which among other things, changes a number of statutory tax deadlines for the 2019 tax season. 

03/05/2020: People’s Republic of China – Coronavirus Spurs New Preferential Individual Income Tax Policy - The Ministry of Finance and State Taxation Administration of the People’s Republic of China have issued new tax measures in an effort to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

03/04/2020: People’s Republic of China – New Social Security Policies Given Coronavirus Outbreak - This article discusses changes regarding the administration of Chinese social security contributions as well as a policy that reduces or waives employer obligations on social security contributions for a specified period of time.

03/02/2020: Japan - Extended Tax Filing Deadline, Other Government Steps Due to Covid-19 - The Japanese government has announced that filing and payment due dates for individual income tax, individual consumption tax, and gift tax for 2019 will be extended by one month to April 16, 2020. In addition, the government has agreed on precautionary measures calling on people to work from home, cancelling/postponing ‘large crowd’ events/activities, hygiene and safety recommendations, and closing of schools. 

All COVID-19 related Flash Alerts

06/01/2020: United States – USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service in Phases - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 29, 2020, the agency will resume its premium processing service (i.e., expedited government review) for certain employment-based visa petitions in a phased approach over the course of the month of June.   

06/01/2020: United States – IRS FAQs: Claiming Medical Condition Exception for COVID-19 - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is providing additional guidance in a set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) for certain nonresident individuals who were present in the United States and intended to leave but were unable to do so because of a medical condition or travel interruptions in the U.S. due to COVID-19. These individuals may be eligible to claim the Medical Condition Exception to exclude certain days of U.S. presence from the substantial presence test.  The new FAQs give guidance regarding how to claim one of these special relief provisions. 

05/29/2020: Ghana – COVID-19: Update on Implementation Guidelines for Tax Incentives, Pension Relief - The Commissioner-General (C-G) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday, 12 May 2020, issued directives concerning certain tax incentives related to the taxation of withdrawals from Personal Pensions and Provident Funds – Tier Three, the remuneration of selected health workers, deductions for COVID-19-related donations, and waivers of certain tax-related penalties. 

05/29/2020: Japan – COVID-19: Border Controls and Travel Restrictions Being Extended - The government of Japan fully lifted the state of emergency that had been in place since April for the last remaining five prefectures (Japan has 47 prefectures): Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, and Hokkaido on 25 May. However, sustained border controls and travel restrictions will continue to affect multinational employers and their globally-mobile employees doing business in Japan. 

05/28/2020: United States – USCIS to Resume In-Office Operations June 4 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that certain field offices, application support centers and asylum offices that have been closed since March 18, will re-open June 4, 2020. In-person services will resume with precautions to ensure safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

05/28/2020: France – Social Security for Foreign Employers with Staff Working from Home - The French international social security liaison body (le Centre des Liaisons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale or “CLEISS”) updated the responsibilities of foreign employers with foreign national employees not falling within the scope of the European Union social security regulations who are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, where a bilateral social security agreement is in place, CLEISS states that employers must “regularise” the situation of employees with the competent social security institution in the “normal” country of employment.  

05/28/2020: Isle of Man – COVID-19: Tax Return Relief, Guidance on Work from Home Expenses - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges Isle of Man taxpayers may be facing, the Isle of Man Treasury has provided some relief in respect of tax filing deadlines and how working-at-home expenses are treated for tax purposes.  The deadline for the submission of personal tax returns for the 2019/20 tax year has been extended from 6 October 2020 to 6 November 2020.

05/27/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Penalty Relief for Late Employer Social Security Contributions - The Czech government has introduced measures to reduce penalties for late payment of social security contributions due for the months May to July 2020 by employers under certain conditions and to modify submission procedures for social security overviews and contributions to be electronic and cashless.

05/27/2020: France – COVID-19: New Agreements on Frontier Workers with Germany, Belgium, Switzerland - France has announced that it has reached new agreements with Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland that deal with current issues around frontier workers.  As a result of these agreements, working from home due to COVID-19 should have no impact on the tax system applicable to frontier workers.  The agreements stipulate that, in the context of the current heath emergency linked to COVID-19, frontier workers who are not eligible for the specific frontier worker regime will not suffer adverse consequences if they have to work from home.  

05/27/2020: United States – Travel from Brazil Suspended Starting May 26 Due to COVID-19 - On May 24, 2020, the U.S. administration issued a proclamation imposing a travel suspension for individuals who have been to Brazil within the 14 days preceding their intended entry into the United States, with some limited exceptions.  The proclamation cites ongoing widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Brazil as justification for introducing the travel suspension.  This suspension goes into effect on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 11:59pm EDT.

05/26/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID -19 Quarantine Extended Again for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have again extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 7 June, while leaving the relaxing of lock downs of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government. 

05/26/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures Expiring - Slovenia became the first European country to declare the end of the COVID-19 epidemic on 15 May. This newsletter reviews legislative measures for offsetting the effects of COVID-19 and their expiration dates, and highlights some features of the new legislation, including eased travel restrictions.

05/22/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Temporary Arrangements for Irish Residence Permit Registrations - In light of the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and the difficulties some people can encounter as a result of not having an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card, the authorities have introduced certain temporary measures for between now and 20 July 2020.  Certain individuals in Ireland awaiting their first IRP registration, can apply to the Burgh Quay Registration Office to request a letter confirming their permission to remain in Ireland.

05/22/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with France, Luxembourg - Given the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on workers’ ability to travel and on workplace arrangements, Belgium has concluded mutual agreements with France and Luxembourg which aim to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers.  Days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances. 

05/22/2020: Italy – Loosening Lockdown, Slow Reopening, Relaxing Travel Restrictions - Italy’s government published more statutes that regulate various aspects of the population’s life as the country proceeds through “phase 2.”  Careful steps laid out are aimed at reopening economic and commercial activities and at allowing wider freedom of movement of people, but this is not comprehensive and there are still some exceptions in respect of the restrictions.  Public agencies and offices are still having their employees work remotely, though they are starting to set up appointments. 

05/22/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Filing and Payment Deadlines Extended for Individuals - The Argentine tax authorities have extended the filing and payment deadlines for individual taxpayers subject to Argentine income, wealth and financial income taxes for the 2019 tax year until the end of July 2020.

05/22/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Temporary Reduction, Other Relief for Employers’ Social Security - The Finance Committee in Norway’s Storting (parliament) has agreed to a temporary reduction in the employer's contribution equivalent to 4 percent in the months of May and June in light of the effects of COVID-19 on Norway’s business sector. The reduction in the employers' contributions will apply in all zones where the contribution is calculated.

05/22/2020: Malaysia – Special Tax Concessions for Individuals Due to COVID-19 - Due to COVID-19, with many international assignees in Malaysia performing duties in respect of their overseas employment/assignments and their employers concerns about the impact that their temporary presence – and additional unplanned days spent – in Malaysia may have on their Malaysia tax residency status, cross-border employment income, and the permanent establishment issues, the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has provided guidance.

05/22/2020: India – COVID-19: Clarifying Tax Residency for Individuals Staying More Days - India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued Circular No. 11 of 2020, dated 8 May 2020, that clarifies the residency situation of Nonresident Indians (NRIs) and foreign visitors whose stay in India during the tax year 2019-20 lasted longer than they expected due to the COVID-19 lockdown. This is crucial as the taxability of overseas income and disclosure of overseas assets in a fiscal year depends on the individual’s residential status, which, in turn, depends on his/her number of days of stay in India.  

05/21/2020: Canada – COVID-19: Temporary Process to Get Foreign Workers into New Jobs Faster - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a new temporary process, effective May 12, to support certain foreign workers residing in Canada including those currently unemployed to get back to work quickly.  The new process allows foreign workers, who meet the eligibility criteria, to begin work 10 days after submitting their applications for a new work permit.  This temporary initiative departs from the current process in a few ways. 

05/21/2020: United States – Land Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through June 22 - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced a one-month extension of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico through June 22, 2020.  Those who do travel across the U.S. via land borders and ferries must be prepared to explain how their work can be defined as essential and they should have pertinent documentation ready to show CBP officials. 

05/20/2020: India – COVID-19: Update to Visa Extension Rules, Travel Restrictions - India has made some recent pronouncements concerning travel into and out of the country and in respect of visa holders stuck in India due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions whose visas are expiring or soon will expire.  The Indian government is allowing international movement for persons who have been stranded in India / outside India, subject to fulfillment of conditions provided under the so-called Standard Operating Protocols.  

05/18/2020: Germany – COVID-19 Gives Rise to Further Limitations on Mobility through 15 June - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on current developments in respect of the quarantine measures in Germany, which aim to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and the restrictions on non-essential travel to and within the European Union (EU). Also, the newsletter reports on Germany’s and other EU states’ responses to the recommendation to the Schengen member states by the European Commission to extend travel restrictions until 15 June 2020.

05/15/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Further Temporary Extension of Residency Permissions - Employers should note that if the expiry date of any of their employees’ Irish Residence Permits falls within the period of 20 May 2020 to 20 July 2020, the employees’ legal status in Ireland will be maintained. Employers should also be aware that employees whose permissions expired between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020, and were previously already automatically extended by two months, will again be extended by a further two months to maintain their legal status in Ireland. Also, the Burgh Quay Registration Office and all other local registration offices will remain closed.

05/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines Again - The Argentinean National Immigration office has again extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.

05/14/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Postponing Certain Advance Payments and Withholding Tax - The Czech government on 8 April 2020 began allowing payers of personal income tax on employment income to apply to postpone advance payments or to pay the tax in instalments. Postponement or payment in instalments is also possible for certain types of withholding tax.

05/14/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Further Controls for Borders, Quarantine - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the current “State of Alarm” in Spain as well as restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union (EU), both steps taken in Spain in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  The State of Alarm in Spain has been extended, for a fourth time, until 24 May.  Extended and new policies will impact travel into Spain from the EU and from outside the EU and travel out of Spain.  Also affected is the status of visa and other travel/immigration processes of Spain’s competent authorities. 

05/13/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with Germany, Netherlands - In light of the mutual agreements Belgium has concluded with The Netherlands and Germany, to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances.

05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Provident Fund and Pension Relief Announced - Recent notifications and circulars issued by some of India’s regulators (EPFO and PFRDA) provide much-needed relief to employers and employees, Provident Fund (PF) members, and National Pension Scheme (NPS) subscribers that are currently under stress due to the effects of the COVID-19 situation. Among the measures there are grace periods for the filing of certain returns, non-refundable advances from subscribers’ PF accounts, and partial withdrawals from the National Pension System under certain conditions.

05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures - India has enacted Ordinance 2020 delaying the deadlines for certain tax payments to bring relief to individuals and businesses dealing with the effects of the spread of COVID-19 in India.

05/12/2020: European Union – Travel Ban Extended until 15 June - On 8 May, the European Commission (EC) invited the Schengen member and associated states to extend the current travel ban for all non-essential travel to the European Union (EU) for another 30 days, until 15 June 2020. Initially the restrictions applied for a period of 30 days, but this period had been extended and now is due to come to an end on 15 May. The intention is that an extension of the restrictions should be implemented by all EU and Schengen states at all external borders with the same end date and in a uniform manner.

05/12/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Lifting Entry Restrictions under Certain Governmental Programmes - In the Czech Republic certain restrictions pertaining to travel/entry are being partially lifted by the government under new Government Decree n°443. In addition, Government Decree n°511 regulates the entry in respect of specific groups of non-European Union/non-European Economic Area citizens. Czech borders remain closed for the most part, though new categories of foreigners will be able to enter the country, including workers and their family members enrolled under specific government programmes.

05/11/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID-19 Quarantine Extended for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 24 May, while leaving the relaxing of lockdowns of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government. 

05/08/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Enhanced Community Quarantine and Income Tax Filing Extensions - Due to the continuing pandemic, the Philippine government has laid down measures that (i) extend the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila to 15 May 2020 and (ii) extend filing and payment due dates for 2019 annual income tax returns. Moderate-risk and low-risk areas will be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

05/07/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Gradual Dismantling of Restrictions on Crossing Borders - On 7 May 2020, the Finnish government decided on the gradual lifting of restrictions on border traffic.  As of 14 May, the statutory restrictions on border traffic will be lifted for purposes of cross-border travel across Schengen internal borders.  This will allow employment or commission-related commuting and other essential travel.  Border traffic remains restricted however as the government decided on extending some of the existing rules from 14 May until 14 June.  Border authorities have also now adopted a new guideline for the entry of third-country nationals arriving in Finland for the first time. 

05/05/2020: Luxembourg – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Employee Relief Measures - The Luxembourg government has implemented a number of relief measures to help alleviate the effects of COVID-19, including an individual income tax return filing extension, cross-border worker relief, social security payment relief and paid family leave.

05/05/2020: United States – USCIS Extends COVID-19 Flexibility on RFEs, NOIDs, Other Responses - In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USCIS has extended for an additional 60 days (until July 1, 2020) the period for responding to certain notices, including requests for evidence (RFEs), continuations to request evidence (N-14), notices of intent to deny (NOIDs), notices of intent to revoke (NOIRs), notices of intent to rescind and notices of intent to terminate regional investment centers, and filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

05/01/2020: Guatemala – COVID-19: Social Security Deferment Options for Employers - To help businesses cope with the financial stress of the COVID-19 crisis, the Guatemalan government is easing social security compliance obligations with the option to defer the employer’s share of social security contributions (IGSS) for the months of March, April, and May 2020, without being assessed any penalties, fines, or interest on the deferred payments. 

05/01/2020: Iceland – COVID-19: Social Security and Payroll Tax Deferrals - Iceland’s Parliament, on 30 March 2020, passed relief measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among the measures aimed at mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus were extensions of time to pay social security tax and withheld public levies at source.

05/01/2020: Italy – Status of Reopening Country, Work and Resident Permits Extended - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the steps the Italian government is taking, though very gradual, to reopen the country, with some businesses allowed to reopen and some travel restrictions slightly eased. Furthermore, a new law will extend the validity of soon-to-expire resident and work permits through 31 August 2020.

05/01/2020: Vietnam – COVID-19: Immigration, Tax/Social Security, and Income Support Measures - In an effort to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, Vietnam’s government recently introduced multiple incentives in the form of tax and social insurance relief, land-use fee deferment, and interest rate cuts for the benefit of affected businesses. The government has also introduced income support measures for employees that have been laid off. And, finally, the government is loosening the rules that had limited cross-border travel and is seeking to restore many of the country’s immigration-related services.

04/30/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Relief for Social Security Charges, Charitable Donations, Arrears Interest - In Poland, new legislation updates the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield rules and provides additional relief to business and individual taxpayers.  For instance, a measure extends to the group of entities that are eligible relief on social security contributions due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.  Also, an amendment was adopted according to which the financing granted under the Anti-Crisis Shield will not constitute revenues within the meaning of the Corporate Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act.  Another measure concerns donating 1 percent of tax to charitable organisations for certain PIT annual returns. 

04/29/2020: Malta – COVID-19: Limited Entry and Work Permit Services, Tax Implications - Malta’s government has announced a number of measures with respect to travel to Malta and work permits for non-European Union (EU) nationals.  Also, visa services have been suspended, until further notice. Moreover, there is a temporary suspension of the issuing of permits in respect of new work/residence applications.  And, any travelers that do enter Malta by means of air and sea are to observe a mandatory self-quarantine period of 14 days.

04/29/2020: France – COVID-19: Tax Authorities Provide Guidance on Impact on Residency - The French tax authorities have clarified that, in their view, a temporary stay in France, due to confinement or travel restrictions related to the coronavirus is not likely to result in an individual acquiring a tax residence in France under either French domestic rules or treaty rules.

04/29/2020: Ukraine – COVID-19: Relief for UST Taxpayers, Deadlines for Tax Returns and Payments - In light of the coronavirus crisis, a new law in force in Ukraine offers taxpayers relief (i) from being assessed certain penalties and late payment interest for violations of tax legislation, (ii) in respect of Unified Social Tax for certain individual entrepreneurs and those involved in independent professional activities, and (iii) in terms of the extension of the annual tax return filing deadline.

04/28/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Extension of Filing and Payment Deadlines for Certain Taxpayers - Spain’s government has modified some filing/submission deadlines for certain taxpayers. This extension applies to numerous filings, including quarterly Nonresident Income Tax returns (Form 210). For taxpayers that elected the direct debit payment method, their submission deadline has been extended to 15 May 2020 (it was initially due by 15 April) and the charge to the taxpayer’s bank account will be made on 20 May 2020.

04/28/2020: Argentina – New Rules for Air Passenger Services and Travel to/from Argentina - New rules from Argentina’s civil aviation authorities impose new requirements and non-compliance penalties on commercial airlines flying into, out of, or within Argentina, which will also affect travelers.

04/28/2020: United States – May 2020 Visa Bulletin Released; USCIS Final Action Announcement - The Department of State has released its May 2020 Visa Bulletin with priority cutoff dates and USCIS has announced that it will adhere to the final action dates in accepting employment-based applications for U.S. Permanent Residence next month. 

04/27/2020: Portugal – COVID-19: Deferral of Social Contribution Payments - A new law in Portugal offers hard-pressed employers and self-employed individuals some social security relief.  Certain employer entities and self-employed individuals can pay 1/3rd of their social contributions due in March, April, and May 2020, on the regular due date of the contributions, with the remaining amounts being paid later.  The relief provided above does not apply to the employee share of the social contribution.

04/27/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Fiscal Stimulus Plans - Nigeria’s federal and state governments have introduced measures such as delayed tax filing deadlines, waivers of Late Returns Penalty for taxpayers who pay early but file their returns later, suspension of field audits, investigations, and monitoring exercises, etc. to help certain taxpayers contend with the challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, there is the Economic Stimulus Bill that is currently moving through the legislature with measures to encourage businesses to protect jobs and mitigate loss of income for employees.

04/27/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU - Spain has extended its “State of Alarm” and associated travel restrictions, until at least 10 May, which will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Spain and countries around the world. Only Spanish citizens, persons resident in Spain, certain cross-border workers, and those who provide documentary proof of circumstances beyond their control or a situation of need will be allowed to enter Spain’s national territory by land.

04/27/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - On 25 April, the Argentine authorities announced the extension of the mandatory “lock down” for the entire country as of 26 April, until 10 May.  The extension of the lockdown, with all that it implies for travel into and out of Argentina and resuming normal work routines and practices, will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Argentina and countries around the world.

04/27/2020: United States – USCIS Extends Office Closures, Suspends Certain Services Through June 3 - On April 24, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that its field offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) will continue to be closed through June 3, 2020 . This means that all in-person interviews, naturalization ceremonies, biometric collection appointments, and InfoPass appointments scheduled at USCIS field offices and ASCs, have been cancelled.  Applications for adjustments of status, I-539 applications, initial I-765 applications requiring biometrics, and other applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics may see a delay in processing until offices and ASCs are reopened.

04/27/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 Continue - Sweden’s government has extended its period of immigration and travel restrictions for foreign nationals from entering Sweden from countries outside the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland until 15 May 2020, to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

04/27/2020: United States – Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspends Entry for Certain Immigrants - On April 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation implementing a 60-day suspension on the entry of certain immigrants to the United States.   The proclamation took effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020, and may be extended beyond the initial 60-day period.  The proclamation has no immediate impact on nonimmigrants, including visitors, students, and temporary workers.

04/24/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Payment Waivers on Fees for Extensions of Certain Permits - The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) issued a circular dealing with the grant of a payment waiver to those visitors / migrants in Nigeria who were caught by the travel ban and the closure of international airports in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This concerns the payment by individuals of extension fees they would normally be charged for extensions of their valid visas/residence permits. In a related development, on 20 April, the closure of Nigeria’s airspace and airports – already in effect – was extended for two more weeks.  

04/24/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures - Slovenia has adopted legislation to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19, that includes tax, compensation, social security, and travel measures to preserve jobs, to improve the social situation of people and to keep businesses in operation.

04/24/2020: Australia – Updated Guidance on Temporarily Displaced Employees Working in Australia - Organisations with workers displaced outside of Australia or inside the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have concerns about income sourcing, especially for their employees who are back in Australia but are not tax residents of Australia. New updated guidance from the Australian Taxation Office outlines factors that need to be considered in determining the source of an employee’s employment income. These factors will be crucial in determining whether employees are subject to Australian income tax on that employment income, and consequently what the tax reporting and withholding obligations are for employers.

04/23/2020: United States – Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through May 20 - The United States has announced a one-month extension -- through May 20, 2020 -- of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

04/23/2020: Germany – Extending Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU, Updated Measures - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the restrictions on non-essential travel to/from the European Union (EU). There are new rules around quarantine for people entering or returning to Germany after a stay abroad of several days.  There are special rules for those entering or leaving Germany on a daily basis (commuters) -- because they have absolutely necessary reason(s) to enter the country -- and for freight transport.

04/23/2020: Germany – Mutual Agreements on Frontier Workers with Austria, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands - Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 measures, frontier workers face the risk of losing specific tax reliefs granted by the state of work. Germany has now concluded mutual agreements with Austria, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, which, amongst other things, are expected to help make sure frontier workers currently working from home are still eligible for tax benefits granted by the state of work.

04/22/2020: Slovakia – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Wage Support for Individuals and Employers - At the beginning of April 2020, Slovakia’s Parliament adopted new legislation that contains measures to help individuals and business cope with the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19. Measures include new deadlines for filing income tax returns, changed dates for employers’ annual settlement of taxes and yearly report on wage taxes, and wage subsidies to employers aimed to help keep employees in work/on payroll.

04/22/2020: United States – Executive Order Expected to Impact Applicants for Permanent Residence - U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to introduce an Executive Order limiting immigration to the United States.  The president said he will pause all immigration – although there will be some exceptions – for a period of 60 days.  Individuals seeking permanent residency will be impacted.  The Executive Order is expected this week.

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19: Waiver of Sec. 911 Time Requirements Announced - On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2020-27, which provides that qualification for the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign housing cost amount (together, the “FEIE”) from gross income under Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) section 911 will not be impacted as a result of days spent away from a foreign country due to the COVID-19 pandemic based on certain departure dates.  The Rev. Proc. 2020-27 aims to provide relief for individuals and employers who have had to cut assignments short as a result of COVID-19.  

04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19 Relief for Nonresidents Remaining in United States - In light of the COVID-19-related emergency travel disruptions, on April 21, 2020, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance providing relief for certain nonresident individuals who would not have been in the United States long enough during 2020 to be considered resident aliens under the substantial presence test, or would not have become ineligible for treaty benefits in relation to dependent personal services income due to overstaying the time limitation related to such benefits.   

04/21/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Extended State of Emergency and Related Measures - he Czech Parliament has approved an extension of the state of emergency through 30 April 2020. The borders remain closed. However, the government is also slightly easing the rules around Czech citizens travelling abroad in justified cases which includes necessary employment-related travel or an emergency situation involving their families residing abroad. And cross-border commuters can enter and leave the Czech Republic under specific conditions.

04/20/2020: South Africa – COVID-19: Lockdown Extension and Visa/Immigration Changes - In light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown in South Africa until 30 April 2020, the government has communicated a number of changes to its usual visa processing and issuance policies. Amongst other things, new temporary concessions have been introduced that will alleviate pressures and concerns on foreign nationals in South Africa with temporary residence visas which expired from 15 February 2020 or those whose visas expired before or during the lockdown. 

04/20/2020: Singapore – COVID-19: Tax Concessions for Individuals and Companies - This GMS Flash Alert looks at COVID-19-related measures taken by Singapore’s government, which include providing guidance on the tax treatment of overseas-based Singaporeans/Singapore Permanent Residents, extending the time for filing individual tax returns, and addressing permanent establishment issues from employees of foreign companies working in Singapore.

04/20/2020: South Africa – Foreign Remuneration Exemption: Tax Directive for Employers - South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued an updated Interpretation Note (IN 16) addressing how the changes to the foreign remuneration exemption will be implemented, which includes guidance in the form of a tax directive on how the foreign tax credits (FTC) may be claimed via payroll.  Given the global COVID-19 pandemic, more South African tax resident employees working abroad will find themselves in a situation where they are subject to tax in both South Africa and the foreign country in which they are working, on the same income. Interpretation Note 16 discusses methods that may be applied to alleviate these hardships.  

04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Visa Application Centre Closures, Visa ‘Overstayers’ Get Extension - This GMS Flash Alert covers the temporary closures of all U.K. visa application centres in the U.K. and around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have the effect of delaying international assignments to/from the United Kingdom.  All U.K. Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS), Post Office enrolment services, and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are currently temporarily closed -- booked appointments will be re-scheduled.  The Home Office is giving a blanket extension to foreign nationals with visas whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020.

04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Right to Work Checks and U.K. Sponsor Compliance Updates - The Home Office recently released guidance for Tier 2, 4, and 5 visa sponsors in the U.K. whose workers have been affected by COVID-19, as well as guidance for all employers in relation to conducting “right to work” during the COVID-19 crisis.  The Home Office is exercising some flexibility in this exceptional period to do such things as suspend the requirement to show/see physical original documents for right to work checks and suspend enforcement action against sponsors who continue to sponsor individuals in cases where students or employees are absent directly due to COVID-19.

04/17/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - Argentina’s National Immigration office announced on 17 April, new rules extending for 30 days certain deadlines previously announced in Provision N° 1714/2020.  The new rules provide further support for foreign individuals who, due to the COVID-19 crisis, need to extend their transitory or temporary residencies; for instance they provide for the extension of the validity of the individual’s residence status.  The new rules also deal with registration of local companies at the National Immigration office.  

04/17/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Revised Policies Restricting Travel Restrictions, List of Critical Tasks - On 7 April 2020, the Finnish government adopted decisions to tighten and continue the restrictions on movement/traffic across Finland’s borders, including the restriction of border traffic through 13 May 2020.  Also, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment announced a list of tasks that are (i) essential to secure the supply chain or (ii) critical for the business’ operations in a particular sector.  Employees working in the areas that are designated critical must be granted entry to Finland. 

04/16/2020: Italy – Lockdown Extended to 3 May, Options for Travel into/out of Country - Due to the persistent presence of COVID-19 in Italy, the government extended the emergency lockdown for a further three weeks.  The new end date for the lockdown is now set at 3 May.  This GMS Flash Alert re-caps the many policies and requirements in Italy pertaining to travel into and out of the country, work, and freedom of movement, etc. 

04/16/2020: Taiwan – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures, Travel Restrictions and Visa Extensions - This article provides an overview of various measures the Taiwan government has taken in light of the COVID-19 situation, including tax relief for certain employers and individual employees, as well as travel restrictions and visa extensions for some foreign nationals.

04/16/2020: Chile – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Border Closure Extended - be permitted to enter and leave Chile. And despite the border closure, entry and departure of cargo or freight/transport services will still be possible. 

04/16/2020: Russia – 2019 Personal Tax Return Filing Deadline Extended - Russia’s government has announced a 3-month extension of time for filing personal income tax returns without changing the deadline for paying the tax. 

04/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Fiscal Relief for Companies - An emergency assistance program has been established to provide relief for employers whose businesses have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina. Some of the benefits include postponement and reduction of payments of employer contributions for the Argentine Integrated Social Security System and payment of a portion of employee wages to be covered by the National Social Security Administration.

04/15/2020: Hong Kong – Automatic Three-Month Extension of 2018/19 Tax Payment Deadlines - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive announced recently that tax payment deadlines for 2018/19 Salaries Tax, Tax under Personal Assessment, and Profits Tax which fall between April to June 2020 are automatically extended by three months. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) made a further announcement to provide details and examples to illustrate which group(s) of taxpayers can delay their 2018/19 tax payments.

04/15/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Enhanced Community Quarantine and Income Tax Filing Extensions - In light of the Enhanced Community Quarantine imposed by the Philippine government, measures have recently been introduced that (i) extend the quarantine in Luzon to April 30, 2020 and (ii) extend filing and payment due dates for 2019 annual income tax returns. The filing deadline for the first quarter for Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) is also extended. All existing circulars, orders, and advisories on travel restrictions and government operations will remain effective until the end of the extended ECQ.

04/15/2020: Argentina –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Extended - On 11 April, Argentina’s government further extended travel restrictions by keeping the country’s borders closed until 26 April.

04/14/2020: South Korea – Filing and Payment Extensions for Individual Income Tax Returns - Due to the global health pandemic caused by the coronavirus and COVID-19, South Korea’s government has postponed the tax payment due date for individuals filing tax returns.  While for most people, tax returns must be filed by the original due date, taxpayers with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses and individuals living in the “COVID-19 Emergency Area” will have deferred filing deadlines.

04/13/2020: Argentina – Government Extends Scope of Mandatory Quarantine - Argentina’s authorities have now extended the mandatory “lock down,” to the entire country as of 12 April lasting until 26 April.  In related news, the National Immigration Directorate (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) will remain closed until April 26.

04/10/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Measures Introduced - The Czech government has introduced several personal income tax and social security measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and society.  Measures include, waived penalties for the late submission of personal income tax returns, a waiver of income tax prepayments payable on 15 June 2020, relaxed rules around payment of the parental allowance, as well as how the social security agency will consider a change in a cross-border worker’s circumstances in terms of a change in the state where the person is insured for social security purposes.   

04/09/2020: European Union - EUR 100 Billion Initiative to Support Employment and Businesses - On 2 April 2020, the European Commission (EC) proposed a EUR 100 billion instrument called “SURE” to help workers maintain their incomes and help businesses stay afloat.  It is intended to support the member states to combat the effects of the coronavirus crisis and help save lives and protect livelihoods.  On 3 April 2020, the EC adopted an extension of the temporary framework to include a deferral of tax payments and/or suspension of social security contributions and the offer of other support in the form of wage subsidies for employees.  

04/09/2020: France – New Travel restrictions (COVID-19) - France has created three new travel attestations required to enter or leave France beginning 8 April 2020 to address the COVID-19 crisis. 

04/07/2020: Peru – COVID-19: Additional Fiscal Measures and Controls on Freedom of Movement - Due to the State of Emergency Peru is facing, several urgent decrees have been published that allow individuals to more readily access funds, earlier than expected, in their pension funds and CTS bank accounts; also employers should see their and their employees’ burdens lightened with a temporary suspension of their private pension fund withholding and payment remitting obligations.

04/07/2020: Hong Kong – COVID-19: Updates to 2019-20 Tax Season - The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has announced the issuance of tax returns for the 2019-20 tax filing season – which includes individual tax returns being issued one month later than in prior years. This is to afford taxpayers impacted by the upheavals due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 crisis a little more time to organise their tax affairs.

04/07/2020: United States – Summary of Immigration, Travel Changes in Response to COVID-19 - The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability of workers to cross borders around the world. This GMS Flash Alert provides an overview of the measures that various agencies of the United States government have taken to address the new restrictions on cross-border travel, including the suspension and alteration of immigration services and procedures.

04/07/2020: OECD – Examining Cross-Border Employment/Tax Issues in Time of COVID-19 - As businesses and employees react to government policies worldwide introduced to combat the coronavirus and COVID-19, there has been a change in regular work patterns and routines, which raises several tax-related issues for cross-border workers and can have an impact on the right to tax between countries.  The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released an analysis addressing the tax implications of the employment changes arising under the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic involving cross-border workers and other related cross-border matters (e.g., tele-work and right of taxation, residency, permanent establishment).

04/06/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 and Impact on Frontier Workers - This alert describes the measures taken by the Belgian government to allow frontier workers to cross the Dutch, German, French and Luxembourg borders as well as guidance for employees working in critical sectors to cross the border without being delayed by border checks. 

04/06/2020: Russia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions Due to COVID-19 - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia has taken measures to suspend travel into the country by foreign nationals and has ceased issuing work permits and visas to them. 

04/03/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Income Tax Return and Central Bank Report Filing Extensions - To bring some relief to taxpayers challenged by the COVID-19 outbreak, on April 1, 2020, the “Receita Federal do Brasil,” the Brazilian Revenue, announced that the filing deadline for all taxpayers subject to Brazilian tax law in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to June 30, 2020.  The original due date was April 30, 2020. Additionally, the Brazil Central Bank has announced filing extensions to the Brazilian Capital Abroad Reports in respect of the 2019 calendar year and of the 2020 first quarter report.   

04/03/2020: Barbados/Eastern Caribbean – Fiscal Stimulus and Travel/Border Restriction Measures - Barbados has issued the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Curfew Directive, 2020, which introduces limitations and restrictions on businesses, as well as daily life and travel within the country. The government has also proposed a package of economic and fiscal stabilization measures to address the fall-out on the country’s economy from the outbreak of COVID-19. This GMS Flash Alert focuses on the COVID-19 response efforts of the government of Barbados and also highlights developments in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

04/03/2020: France – Various Social Security Measures (COVID-19) - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending social security contribution payment deadlines, adjusting guidelines for the “partial work” scheme, and helping cross-border workers and returning expatriates.

04/03/2020: France – COVID-19: Various Tax Relief and ‘Frontier Worker’ Measures  - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending filing deadlines for 2019 income tax returns, issuing guidelines for the changed working patterns of frontier workers from bordering countries, and cautioning employers that there is no deferral of payment for the withholding tax due on the wages paid to employees.

04/03/2020: Spain – COVID-19: New Decree Revises Immigration Processing Policies and Practices - Spain’s Royal Decree 463/2020 from 14 March 2020, provides for the suspension of administrative and processing deadlines, and of the limited period of time usually provided in order to respond to application-related queries, requirements, and denials. Important to note that if a third-country national has a visa that is about to expire, but is unable to leave the country due to the health emergency, that expiry will not apply and the individual may continue to remain in the country for the time being.

04/03/2020: Ukraine – Immigration and Travel Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19  - On 14 March 2020, the government of Ukraine put in place restrictive measures to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on Ukrainian soil. The restrictions were initially introduced through 3 April 2020, and have now been extended through 24 April 2020. Starting from 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine of foreign nationals and stateless persons has been suspended, except for persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence in the territory of Ukraine, and in some other cases. Starting from 17 March 2020, border crossing checkpoints are closed for aviation, rail, and bus services.

04/03/2020: Italy – Measures that Put Country in Lockdown Extended to 13 April  - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 1 April 2020, which extends until 13 April 2020, current restrictions on travel and movement and health/hygiene/social distancing policies. In addition, this will have consequences for closures and reduced activities of most public offices/agencies dealing with matters related to tax, social security, immigration, and others. 

04/03/2020: Japan – Expanding Entry Ban to 73 Nations to Control Coronavirus - The government of Japan imposed new significant measures to expand to 73 countries and regions in total its entry ban on foreign nationals. Due to the restrictions on entry, those foreign nationals with a valid residence status in Japan, including expatriates on international assignment who temporarily departed from Japan to the below-listed countries with the Re-Entry Permission, are no longer able to return to Japan until further notice. Japanese nationals and the “Special” Permanent Residence Permit holders are exempt from the entry ban. 

04/02/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Amendments Passed Enhancing ’Anti-Crisis Shield’ Provisions - Poland’s government has enacted significant new tax, social security, benefits, and other fiscal measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19.  This newsletter covers the government’s measures related to opt-outs, tax reductions, delayed payment obligations, enhanced tax-deductible COVID-19-related charitable contributions, suspension of legal proceedings tied to certain tax offences, and relief for other compliance obligations. 

04/01/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Government Restricts Access through Country’s External Borders - This GMS Flash Alert examines some of the key aspects of Spain’s Order INT/270/2020 (“the Order”) introduced on 21 March 2020, establishing criteria for the application of a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and associated Schengen countries.  These criteria took effect at midnight Sunday, 22 March 2020, at Spain’s borders.  Access to Spain will only be granted to Spanish citizens and Spanish residents along with those individuals who fall into one of the “exception” categories noted.

04/01/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Benefits, and Quarantine Measures - Norway’s government has introduced various tax, social security, benefits, and travel/immigration measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19. Measures include: closure of all tax offices and the Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA); proposed reduction in employers’ social security contribution obligation and payment deadline extension; increase in number of days for parental leave in connection with closed schools and child-care needs; “lower rate” of VAT temporarily reduced; and reduced or waived penalties for late submissions. This report also includes a brief highlight of quarantine measures in place. 

04/01/2020: Kenya – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Cope with COVID-19 Crisis - On 25 March 2020, the president of the Republic of Kenya outlined the tax interventions the government intends to make to “cushion” the country against the economic effects of the COVID-19. These measures are proposals only at this point and include a 100-percent tax relief for low-income-earning persons, a reduction in the top Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) rate, and other changes such as cash transfers, credit relief, lower VAT, and a corporate tax cut.

04/01/2020: Malaysia – Various Tax Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19 - The Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has set out a new timetable for certain personal tax filing and employer compliance obligations (including due date extensions) in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Also, the MIRB has closed all its office premises until 14 April 2020 – but is providing some limited services. 

04/01/2020: People’s Republic of China – COVID-19 Travel/Immigration Restrictions - The immigration authorities in the People's Republic of China have restricted entry of foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits temporarily, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

04/01/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - The Argentinean National Immigration office has extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.

03/31/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Immigration Implications for Cross-Border Workers - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the various measures – travel/immigration, tax, social security – Switzerland has in place to combat COVID-19 and examines some of the reasons why employers should be aware of the implications when developing and implementing policies in their own responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

03/31/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 - As part of the efforts to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the Swedish government has decided to temporarily restrict foreigners from entering Sweden if they are coming from a country outside European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. The restriction does not apply for individuals whose purpose for the trip to Sweden is to return to their homes, provided they meet certain criteria. 

03/31/2020: Uruguay – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In an update to earlier travel restrictions, Uruguay’s president closed the country’s borders to non-citizens. 

03/30/2020: European Union – Guidelines for Free Movement of Workers During Covid-19 Pandemic  - The European Commission (EC) has published practical guidance to help ensure the free movement of not only critical workers, but frontier workers in general.  Member states have introduced internal border controls to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is imperative that workers who need to cross borders to reach their workplace can do so without delay.  Among the recommendations from the EC are dedicated lanes at the borders for workers, the introduction of specific stickers that can be recognised at the border crossings, and health screenings conducted on one side of the border only. 

03/30/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - Argentina has extended its mandatory, country-wide “lock down,” until 12 April.

03/30/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Considerations for Managing a Migrant Workforce in Trying Times - While the Australian government has not put forward any specific legislation or rules that would address the COVID-19-related challenges faced by temporary migrant workers, the existing migration legislation contains a number of provisions that employers can avail of to offer some continuity of employment for impacted temporary migrants. They can look at, for example, accessing leave without pay, a reduction in working hours, and move them between business entities.

03/30/2020: Japan – Updated Travel/Immigration Measures to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19) - In addition to the existing immigration restrictions in place due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government announced updated measures on 26 March 2020. Effective from 27 March those who fall under any of the categories noted in the tables in this GMS Flash Alert are not permitted to land in Japan unless there are exceptional circumstances. Japanese nationals are exempt from being denied entry – though there are special rules that apply in respect of their entry. Plus, there are new policies in Tokyo, where the governor warns the capital has entered a critical phase in the fight against COVID-1. 

03/30/2020: United States – Changes in USCIS Procedures Resulting from COVID-19 - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced three procedural changes, including suspending premium processing service and adding flexibility in signature requirements and certain response deadlines. 

03/27/2020: United States – President Trump Signs CARES Act into Law - On March 27, 2020, U.S. President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” (“CARES Act”) into law. The CARES Act contains measures designed to bring some economic and fiscal relief to companies, small businesses, and individuals facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

03/27/2020: Switzerland – Government Compensation for Employees Who Cannot Work Due to COVID-19 - The Swiss Federal Council has released measures to mitigate the economic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Employees who are no longer able to work because (a) they need to stay at home to look after their children or (b) they are in self-quarantine, are eligible for federal compensation (“Erwerbsersatz”). Employers who continue to pay their employees’ salaries may obtain the compensation on behalf of their employees. Similar compensation is available for self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to closure of their business or a ban of public events. 

03/27/2020: Germany – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Relief Measures and Considerations - The federal government in Germany has launched a broad-based package of measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus on employers and workers. In addition to making the regulations on compensation for short-time work more flexible and extending liquidity assistance for affected companies (in the form of simplified access to loans and guarantees), there are other measures being introduced or considered, such as extending the filing deadline for certain 2018 personal income tax returns (not yet at the national level), how to apply EU and German social security rules to the changed work patterns of frontier workers and multi-state workers, and supporting companies affected by the coronavirus crisis, social security contributions will be deferred at the request of the employer. 

03/27/2020: Belgium – Changed Work Patterns and Application of EU Social Security Regulations - Individuals’ cross-border working patterns are undergoing change, resulting in their increased presence and work in their home countries, and reducing travel. To prevent a change of the competent member state for social security coverage of international mobile workers, such as frontier workers and multi-state workers, Belgium’s federal government has taken the decision to disregard such temporary changes in an individual’s cross-border working pattern during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

03/27/2020: Romania – COVID-19: Measures for Social Protection and Income Support - Under the terms of a government emergency ordinance, Romania’s government is taking steps to address the short-fall in income that people and businesses may be experiencing. The measures pertain to the technical unemployment allowance, the granting of free paid days to parents for the purpose of child-care, and the payment of the return to work incentive (“stimulent de insertie”), amongst others.

03/27/2020: Romania – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Affected by COVID-19 Crisis - In response to the challenges for taxpayers created by the COVID-19 epidemic, two key tax measures have been adopted by the Romanian government and enacted through Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) 29/2020. Firstly, all tax obligations that have their due date after 21 March 2020, and which are unpaid, will not be considered overdue, and therefore they are not subject to late payment interest and penalties. Secondly, all tax-related foreclosure procedures involving garnishments are suspended by law. There is also some tax relief for certain local taxes due. 

03/27/2020: Ireland - COVID-19 Tax Measures Relevant to Mobile Employees - Ireland’s tax authorities have provided a variety of guidance to ease employee and employer tax filing obligations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

03/26/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Filing Extension for Reporting Employee Share Schemes - The Irish tax authority (“Revenue”) recently announced that the filing deadline for all employer share scheme reporting information returns in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to 30 June 2020. (The original due date to file the Forms RSS1 and KEEP1 in respect of the 2019 tax year was 31 March 2020.)

03/26/2020: Brazil – Travel Restrictions and Other Measures to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - Brazil’s government has announced several travel restrictions for individuals coming to Brazil, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. This newsletter covers travel restrictions in particular with other South American countries, as well as activities of the Federal Police in respect of passport applications and the Ministry of Justice in respect of visa application processing and visa issuance.

03/26/2020: South Africa – Travel Restrictions and Lockdown Related to COVID-19 - With the escalation of the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa, the president of South Africa has declared a National State of Disaster. Also, the president announced a nationwide lockdown effectively for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Regardless of compliance with visa requirements, foreign nationals travelling from or transiting through high-risk and/or medium-risk countries are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa. There are a number of other measures in place for domestic transport and travel, lockdown exemptions for certain key personnel/staff and individuals, prohibitions on large-crowd gatherings, and school closures, etc. 

03/26/2020: Botswana – Broad Measures Introduced by Government to Combat COVID-19 Threat - As part of its response to the coronavirus threat, the Botswana government has announced broad measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These measures include barring of entry into Botswana of travelers from high-risk countries. Other measures include cancellation or suspension of large-crowd events, social distancing, etc.

03/26/2020: United States – Senate Passes COVID-19 Fiscal Stimulus Bill - On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate voted on and passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“the bill”), also known as the CARES Act, in order to respond to the economic impact caused by COVID-19. However, even though the bill passed in the Senate, it still needs to be voted on and passed in the House of Representatives and then signed by President Trump in order for it to become law. 

03/25/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Filing Extensions - As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Philippine government has placed the entire Luzon (including Metro Manila) in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and issued advisories restricting the travels from and to the Philippines. Additionally, Philippine immigration and tax authorities have suspended some of their functions and extended certain deadlines. 

03/25/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Containment Measures, Many Office and Service Closures - In light of mounting COVID-19 cases in Spain, the government approved Royal Decree 463/2020 on 14 March, declaring a “State of Alarm” to help manage health-crisis situation. Among other things, the Decree institutes the re-establishment of land border controls (including Schengen internal border controls). Also, other steps the government is taking include ceasing to attend to the public in person at all the foreign offices that are part of the Functional Area of Work and Immigration and suspension of the public services responsible for the issuance of documentation for foreigners.

03/25/2020: Australia – Fringe Benefits Tax Considerations for Employers Facing COVID-19 Challenges - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and State Revenues have been putting forward various fiscal measures to help relieve the tax challenges faced by businesses and employees as they confront a growing COVID-19 outbreak in the country and abroad. While currently there is no automatic Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) deferral in Australia, the ATO has indicated it will consider requests of payment deferral of up to six months. Moreover, the ATO is also providing pragmatic guidance on FBT.

03/25/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Payroll Tax Relief Coming - Australia’s federal and state governments and their respective tax authorities are implementing a broad range of measures to help provide relief to employers. While most measures are targeted at affected industries (such as tourism and hospitality), small to medium enterprises and not-for-profits, there are some measures which apply to all affected businesses (e.g., deferrals in Queensland). Each state and territory approach is different. 

03/25/2020: South Africa – Tax Concessions Announced to Address COVID-19 Impact on Economy - On Monday, 23 March 2020, the president of South Africa announced unprecedented measures in assisting South Africa in its fight against COVID-19. Most notably, a nationwide lockdown effective for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. There were also a number of tax measures put forward affecting employers and employees. Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) liabilities, a tax subsidy under the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), and possible relief on Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions. 

03/25/2020: United States – U.S.-Canada Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all “non-essential travel” across its borders. The restriction, which took effect on March 20, 2020, applies to land ports of entry along the US-Canadian border.

03/25/2020: Lithuania – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Tax Filing, Social Security Extensions - In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Lithuanian government and tax authorities extended the deadline for submission of the 2019 Lithuanian income tax return for individuals to 1 July 2020 (from 4 May 2020). To control the spread of COVID-19, the Lithuanian government established a quarantine effective 16 March 2020 until 30 March 2020.

03/25/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Residence Permits Extensions and Cessation of Visa Processing - The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has announced that the Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin and all other local registration offices have closed for a period of two months effective from 20 March 2020 until 20 May 2020. In addition, the processing of visa applications has ceased temporarily as of close of business 20 March 2020. Only certain emergency visas will be processed such as those for certain health-care professionals, immediate family members of Irish citizens, persons legally resident in Ireland and persons entitled to avail of the European Union (EU) Free Movement Directive. 

03/25/2020: Malaysia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions to Combat COVID-19 - The Malaysian prime minister on March 25 extended a 16 March 2020 movement control order (“MCO”) to combat the sharp rise of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, and the local state governments of East Malaysia (States of Sabah and Sarawak), have also imposed restrictions on visitor entry, including Malaysians. The local state government additional measures take effect from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020, while the MCO has been extended to 14 April.

03/24/2020: Germany – Measures to Combat COVID-19 Become More Intense - On 22 March 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister-Presidents of all 16 German Federal States agreed on further measures regarding stay-at-home and social distancing. Furthermore, the operations of the German immigration authorities (diplomatic missions abroad, immigration offices in Germany) have been reduced significantly, so new assignments to Germany or the international hiring of new foreign talent will be delayed; application processes for long-term residence and work permissions are impacted in the same way. Germany has limited, with effect as of 18 March 2020, the entry to Germany for EU member states and Schengen Associated States with entries from Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, and Switzerland being subject to police control. 

03/24/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In a news conference on 20 March, the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced several strict measures that will directly impact the extent to which people may freely move about in Argentina. The country is essentially in a “lock down” situation until 31 March, at least.

03/24/2020: United States – New IRS FAQs on Federal Tax Filing and Payment Extension - On March 21, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced special Federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. 

03/24/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Closing Borders, Limiting Entry and Visa Issuance FAQs - As an additional step in the fight against COVID-19, Switzerland closed around 130 border crossing points on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, and is now channeling entry only via designated border crossing points. There are special restrictions with respect to five Schengen countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Spain. New rules in place essentially mean that Switzerland will no longer will issue Schengen visas for 90 days or until further notice. National visas (i.e., visas for stays of more than 90 days) for nationals subject to visa requirements are also only to be issued in exceptional cases. 

03/24/2020: France – New Actions to Restrict Travel, Extend Immigration Documents’ Validity - The French government issued a decree restricting travel, various activities, and many aspects of daily life to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. On 16 March 2020, the French government also took new measures regarding the spread of the virus in relation to the residence permits of foreign nationals. On 24 March, Emergency Law 2020-290 of March 23 was published, with more rules around immigration and travel. 

03/24/2020: Croatia – COVID-19: Measures Limiting Travel, Imposing Quarantine and Social Distancing - Due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Croatia, on 19 March 2020 and on 23 March 2020, the Croatian government updated the packages of measures aimed at getting control of the spread of the coronavirus. Starting 19 March 2020 and over the course of the 30 days to follow, new rules concerning border crossings will be in force. There are also new rules pertaining to movement by persons within Croatia’s border, social distancing, and public gatherings and events.

03/24/2020: Australia - COVID-19 Borders Closed to NonResidents - This alert announces Australia’s border closing to nonresidents in response to COVID-19 and the impacts on visa holders inside and outside of Australia.

03/23/2020: Canada – Extensions on Tax Filings in Light of COVID-19 Crisis - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will delay tax filing deadlines for individuals to June 1, 2020, and for trusts to May 1, 2020.  Quebec’s government announced further extensions for tax and instalment payments due dates.  Eligible employers may have access to a range of temporary relief measures. 

03/23/2020: Australia – ATO Guidance: Impact of COVID-19 on Taxation of Internationally Mobile Employees - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released updated guidance to provide clarity as to how it will approach the tax implications for internationally mobile employees and their employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  This newsletter covers guidance related to residents temporarily overseas, foreign residents temporarily in Australia, earning employment income while in Australia temporarily, as well as employer obligations.

03/23/2020: Norway – Covid-19 Update: Entry Restrictions / Immigration-Related Processing Uncertainties - Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Service Centre for Foreign Workers where applications for residence and work permits are submitted is currently closed. The office will stay closed until 26 March 2020. This GMS Flash Alert covers policy regarding EU/EEA nationals, non-EU/non-EEA nationals, border controls and quarantine, etc.

03/23/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 Measures Taken by Belgian Immigration Authorities - The competent Belgian federal authorities have announced that they would only accept visa applications for essential functions or needs.  Most Visa Application Centers will be closed.  Federal and regional authorities are taking measures to assure the continuance of immigration approval processes where needed.  Adapted procedures are instituted allowing employers to legally employ in Belgium their third-country national employees who are currently stuck in Belgium due to current travel restrictions.  

03/23/2020: United States – DHS Defers Physical Inspection Requirements for Form I-9 - On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as U.S. employers have rapidly shifted toward remote work arrangements to protect the health and safety of their workforce.

03/23/2020: Ghana – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions and Safety Directive - On 21 March 2020, the president updated the nation on the status of those measures put in place to help minimise the possibility of further novel coronavirus infestation. He also placed additional stringent restrictions on travel by ordering the closure of Ghana's land, sea, and air borders to human traffic effective midnight, 22 March 2020. 

03/23/2020: Indonesia – Extended Filing Dates and Other Measures for COVID-19 - This alert provides updated information on the steps the Indonesian tax authorities are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending some filing and payment deadlines.

03/21/2020: Japan – UPDATE: Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - As part of its response to managing the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government has announced updated entry restrictions on 18 March.

03/21/2020: United States – UPDATE: Treasury Announces Filing Extension - The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued Notice 2020-18, which provides additional details on the extension until July 15, 2020 to file 2019 U.S. Income Tax returns.

03/21/2020: United States – President Signs Paid Leave and Benefits Relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“the Act”), was signed into law March 18, 2020. The Act provides  for paid leave and enhanced unemployment benefits for workers affected by COVID-19, and temporary tax credits for certain employers and self-employed individuals in relation to the payment of those benefits.

03/20/2020: United States – All Taxpayer Assistance Centers Closed - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) until further notice. The IRS is also discontinuing face-to-face service indefinitely.

03/20/2020: Poland – ‘Anti-Crisis Shield’ Project Counters COVID-19’s Fiscal Impact - Poland’s government has recently approved a package of measures in order to protect individual and company taxpayers facing administrative challenges and liquidity/cash-flow issues in the face of the COVID-19 threat.

03/20/2020: Vietnam – Immigration, Travel, Quarantine Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19 - The Vietnamese government is currently implementing multiple measures, including travel restrictions, compulsory medical declaration, medical checks, and quarantine upon arrival, with immediate effect, as well as limiting approval for new foreign workers to travel to and work in Vietnam.

03/20/2020: European Union – Countries Taking Extraordinary Measures on Borders, Travel, Health - The European Union has approved new guidelines for border management measures, including guidelines for both the internal and external borders, health-related measures, guidelines for the transport of goods and services, guidelines for the supply of goods, health-related measures and guidelines.

03/20/2020: United Kingdom – HMRC Publishes Guidance on COVID-19 and Statutory Residence Test - The U.K. tax authority has published guidance on when an individual’s presence in the U.K. by reason of the COVID-19 outbreak will be considered to be the result of ‘exceptional circumstances’.

03/20/2020: United States – USCIS Office Closures - This report explains the details of the temporary closure of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices and Application Support Centers in response to the COVID-19 crisis, until at least April 1, 2020. 

03/20/2020: United States – Treasury Announces Filing Extension - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Twitter that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are extending the filing deadline for 2019 U.S. federal income tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020. 

03/19/2020: United States - Managing Employer I-9 Requirements and COVID-19 - U.S. employers are still required to comply with in-person documentation verification requirements as part of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification process. Employers may need to swiftly incorporate new processes and the use of designated representatives in their employment authorization verification procedures to help ensure continued compliance with I-9 federal requirements. 

03/19/2020: United States – KPMG Report on Telecommuting and Compensation Concerns during Uncertain Times - KPMG LLP (U.S.) has published a report that focuses on the initial approaches employers are implementing in response to COVID-19, such as increased telecommuting, and the resultant U.S. tax considerations for themselves and their employees.

03/19/2020: Denmark – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions, Changes to Immigration Policies  - All travel to Denmark is suspended and the borders are closed. Individuals entering Denmark must have a creditable reason, i.e., work, to enter otherwise they will be rejected at the borders. 

03/19/2020:  European Union – Border Security Guidelines to Protect Health, Foster Economic Continuity - The European Commission (EC) presented guidelines to the EU member states on management of borders in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. The guidelines pertain to entry screenings, health screenings, quarantine, border crossings, freight transport, etc. 

03/19/2020: Finland – Update on Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - The Finnish authorities announced the restriction of passenger traffic at Finland’s borders as of 19 March (Finnish time) until mid-April. Also, the processing for normal visa applications and residence permit applications in Finland’s missions abroad has been suspended.

03/19/2020: Uruguay - Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic - The President of Uruguay has announced the total closing of the border with Argentina, except for Uruguayan citizens or residents who want to come back to Uruguay, as from 17 March 2020.  Beginning 20 March, Uruguay will suspend all incoming flights from Europe.

03/19/2020: Chile – Significant Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Chilean government has taken extraordinary measures instituting travel restrictions on foreign nationals traveling to Chile as well as restrictions on entry into Chile by Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with Chilean resident status. 

03/19/2020: Canada – Government Places Restrictions on Entry - Canada will deny entry to all foreign nationals with a few exceptions. The governments of Canada and the U.S. will close the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel between the countries. 

03/19/2020: Czech Republic – Emergency Measures Imposed by Government to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - The Czech government announced the temporary suspension of Czech “representations” abroad (i.e., embassies and consulates) accepting and handling visa applications and applications for residence permits. Additionally, on 16 March 2020, the borders of the Czech Republic were closed. 

03/18/2020: United States – UPDATE: IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance on deferring tax payments due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

03/18/2020: United States – Social Security Administration Announces Office Closings in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that all of its local offices will be closed to the public for in-person service with immediate effect.  Applications for social security numbers can continue to be made by mail.

03/18/2020: Australia – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Self-Quarantine Requirements - Effective 15 March 2020, the Australian government has imposed a self-quarantine requirement for all travellers entering Australia. The self-quarantine requires all travellers to self-quarantine in a home or hotel for 14 days. 

03/18/2020: European Union – Shedding Some Light on Social Security As COVID-19 Spreads - This newsletter discusses the application of existing EU social security rules as workplace arrangements transform in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

03/18/2020: Germany – Considerable Lengths Taken by Government to Stem Rise of COVID-19 - As of 16 March 2020, a partial shutdown of the borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland is in effect. Due to the emergency situation, many local immigration offices have reduced their capacities significantly. 

03/17/2020: Belgium –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Immigration Process Changes - This alert highlights the current situation in Belgium, including Belgian social distancing measures, advisories and restrictions on traveling to Belgium and abroad, and updated immigration procedures for third country nationals. 

03/17/2020: United States - U.S. Embassies and Consulates Suspend Services; USCIS Office Closures - Additional U.S. Consulates and Embassies around the world have cancelled nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments until further notice. This newsletter provides responses to commonly asked questions in light of multiple U.S. Consulate and Embassy suspensions of routine visa services.

03/17/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Delays in Employment Permit Processing Times - Ireland’s Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has announced that it will be prioritising the processing of all applications for employment permits for medical staff. Therefore, the timing of all other employment permit applications will be impacted.

03/17/2020: United States – IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin publicly announced that individuals who owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) up to $1 million can defer that payment, interest-, and penalty-free, for 90 days.

03/16/2020: Peru – Tax Relief and Closing Border to Help Deal with Spread of COVID-19 - The government of Peru has closed Peru’s borders  for 15 days from March 16, 2020. The Peruvian Tax Authority has extended the annual income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year to between June 24 and July 9, 2020. 

03/16/2020: Argentina – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentine authorities announced the closing of its borders as of 16 March until 28 March, except for Argentinean nationals who want to come back to Argentina and for residents returning to Argentina. 

03/16/2020: Japan - Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Japanese government has extended current travel restrictions. The measures described in this newsletter are valid as of 12 March 2020 and will last until the end of this month.  

03/15/2020: United States - Travel Ban from European Countries to Include U.K. and Ireland - The White House issued its new policy on the addition of the United Kingdom and Ireland to the list of countries that are subject to COVID-19-related travel restrictions. The restriction on travel for visitors from the U.K. and Ireland went into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020, at midnight (EDT).

03/13/2020: Argentina – Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentina has issued new measures governing individuals from the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Iran, Japan, the United States of America, United Kingdom and the rest of Europe (this includes the Schengen Area countries) and intending to travel to Argentina. 

03/12/2020: United States – COVID-19 Emergency Has Treasury Considering Tax Return Filing Delay - Some recent media reports and informal statements from U.S. government officials suggest that the U.S. Treasury Department may be planning to extend the federal income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year.

03/12/2020: United States - Travel from EU’s Schengen Area Suspended for 30 days or Longer - On March 11, 2020, President Donald Trump introduced a travel suspension from Europe to the United States, with some exceptions. This suspension goes into effect on Friday, March 13, 2020. 

03/10/2020: Italy - Country in Lockdown as COVID-19 Threat Grows - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 9 March 2020, further restricting travel, other activities, and aspects of daily life. The measures effectively quarantine the whole country and place severe restrictions on internal travel within Italy. 

03/06/2020: United States - Immigration Updates: COVID-19 Entry Restrictions, TPS and Yemen - In this newsletter, we report on recent U.S. immigration-related developments, including the February 29 presidential proclamation concerning restrictions on entry to the United States if an individual has come from Iran, a similar proclamation issued January 31 concerning the People’s Republic of China, and the government’s extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen, with a brief mention of TPS developments for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. 

03/06/2020: Italy - Some Tax Deadlines Extended During COVID-19 Outbreak - The Italian government issued an urgent Decree-Law on 2 March 2020, which among other things, changes a number of statutory tax deadlines for the 2019 tax season. 

03/05/2020: People’s Republic of China – Coronavirus Spurs New Preferential Individual Income Tax Policy - The Ministry of Finance and State Taxation Administration of the People’s Republic of China have issued new tax measures in an effort to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

03/04/2020: People’s Republic of China – New Social Security Policies Given Coronavirus Outbreak - This article discusses changes regarding the administration of Chinese social security contributions as well as a policy that reduces or waives employer obligations on social security contributions for a specified period of time.

03/04/2020: Italy - New Statute Introduces COVID-19-Related Measures Affecting Immigration - The Italian government issued a new Decree-Law on 2 March 2020. Aspects of the Decree-Law concern prolonging deadlines and expiration dates and suspending or curtailing some services in the public sector, this includes the division of police in charge of immigration affairs. 

03/03/2020: Singapore – Precautions Extended to Foreign Employees Travelling from Areas in South Korea - Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) extended the mandatory entry approval and 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) to companies bringing into Singapore foreign employees who travelled to Daegu City and Cheongdo County in South Korea within the last 14 days.

03/02/2020: Japan - Extended Tax Filing Deadline, Other Government Steps Due to Covid-19 - The Japanese government has announced that filing and payment due dates for individual income tax, individual consumption tax, and gift tax for 2019 will be extended by one month to April 16, 2020. In addition, the government has agreed on precautionary measures calling on people to work from home, cancelling/postponing ‘large crowd’ events/activities, hygiene and safety recommendations, and closing of schools. 

02/25/2020: Italy - Temporary Measures in Place to Deal with Outbreak of Covid-19 - There are serious concerns about the outbreak of Covid-19 in parts of Italy.  Authorities in Italy have taken steps that are intended to reduce and control the spread of the Covid-19 (also referred to as “Coronavirus”).  The responses of Italy’s government and by businesses could have consequences for immigration, social security, and tax, as well as the conduct of daily life.   

02/21/2020: Singapore - New Health Directive to Contain Spread of Coronavirus - On 27 February 2020, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) extended the mandatory entry approval and 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) to companies bringing into Singapore foreign employees who travelled to Daegu City and Cheongdo County in South Korea within the last 14 days.  The announcement was made in the wake of an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in these areas in South Korea.  

02/13/2020: Singapore – Measures Implemented to Contain Spread of Coronavirus - In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Singapore’s government is employing a combination of entry bans for visitors, denial of new work passes, and health directives (i.e., quarantine or compulsory leave of absence (LOA)) for employees coming from Mainland China.   From 9 February 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) further introduced a responsibility for employers to complete an approval step for the entry or return of employees from Mainland China.  As a condition for the approval, employers must make sure that their employees complete a compulsory LOA upon arrival in Singapore.   

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