News 29-01-2021

The rule provides, among other measures, that individuals or legal entities renting a property for use other than housing may apply for a 50% reduction in rent or a moratorium during the state of alarm.

With 288 votes in favour, 5 against and 44 abstentions, the Plenary has validated Royal Decree-Law 35/2020, of 22 December, on urgent measures to support the tourism sector, the hospitality industry and commerce, and on tax matters.

The wording, defended in the plenary session of the Lower House by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, contains extraordinary measures aimed at reducing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on certain sectors that have been particularly affected by the crisis, such as tourism and commerce, among others.

The regulation allows natural or legal entities renting a property for use other than as a home to request from the lessor, when the lessor is a company, public entity or a large landlord, i.e. the owner of more than 10 properties, a 50% reduction in rent or a moratorium on the payment of rent during the period of the state of alarm and its extensions, which may be extended up to a maximum of four months.

Similarly, leases for use other than as a dwelling whose lessor is other than those defined above may also apply before 31 January 2021 for a temporary and extraordinary deferment in the payment of the rent.

In the absence of an agreement between the parties for the temporary reduction of rent or a moratorium on payment, large landlords must reduce the rent by fifty percent or allow a moratorium for the duration of the state of alarm and its extensions and may extend it to the following monthly instalments, up to a maximum of four months.


Support measures in the field of employment and social security

The law also establishes that companies in certain activities in the tourism, hospitality industry and commerce sectors that have temporary redundancy plans will be exempt from paying the employer’s contribution to the Social Security of workers affected by these plans who restart their activity from 1 December 2020 or who have restarted their activity since the entry into force of Royal Decree-Law 18/2020, of 12 May, on social measures in defence of employment.


Measures in tax matters

The royal decree-law also introduces tax measures. Among them, it is approved that within the scope of the competences of the State Tax Administration, for the purposes of the deferrals referred to in Article 65 of Law 58/2003, of 17 December, on General Taxation, an extension will be granted for the payment of the tax debt corresponding to tax returns and self-assessments whose deadline for submission and payment is 1 April to 30 April 2021, both included.

Likewise, the text establishes that in the determination of the annual personal income tax return and in the calculation of the tax payable on current transactions under the simplified value added tax system, the days on which the state of alarm was declared in the first half of 2020 will not be counted as a period in which the activity was carried out, as well as the days in the second half of that year on which, whether or not the state of alarm was declared, the effective exercise of the economic activity was suspended.


Relaxation of the requirements

The Royal Decree-Law also provides that companies, excluding those belonging to the public sector, engaged in activities in the tourism, commerce and hospitality industry sectors that generate productive activity in the months of April to October 2021 and that start or maintain the employment of permanent seasonal workers during those months, may apply a rebate during that period of 50% of the employer’s social security contributions for common contingencies.

It also establishes that artists in public performances who at some point in 2020 had been registered with the Social Security for this activity or in a situation of inactivity, as referred to in article 249 of the revised text of the General Social Security Law, may apply during 2021 to be included in it during their periods of inactivity without having to prove compliance with the requirements set out in that article.