Does COVID-19 have any impact on private entities/individuals’ relationships with the Public Administration in what concerns meeting deadlines or observing any formalities? To what extent?

Save for the two sets of exceptions that we detail below, no specific COVID-19-related measure has been adopted to generally suspend any type of deadlines for private entities/individuals to carry out actions vis-à-vis the Public Administration. Therefore, our best interpretation is that Local Authorities have reasonable grounds to expect that deadlines continue to be met as usual.

The first set of exceptions to which we make reference above are provided in Decree 43/2020 with reference to 2020 and as a measure to support SMC that do not carry out activities in the oil & gas sector and/or that do not charge for the provision of services to any institution of the Public Sector. They are as follows:

  • The deadline to voluntarily pay minimum corporate income tax regarding 2020 was extended until June 2020 and the rate was reduced from 3% to 1.5% until 30 September 2020; and
  • The deadline to voluntarily pay corporate income tax regarding 2019 was extended until July 2020 (a measure that may not apply entirely to the oil & gas sector; for more details please see our chapter on the impact of COVID-19 on the Oil & Gas Industry).

The second set of exceptions is contained in the Ministry of Health’s Order 6/2021, that requires the mandatory submission of a vaccination certificate for the Public Administration, Autonomous Entities and Public Companies to process files.

 

Does COVID-19 have any impact on the obligations impending upon the Public Administration? To what extent?

It follows from Decree 43/2020 that the COVID-19 outbreak has or may have an impact on the obligations impending upon the Public Administration vis-à-vis private entities/individuals.

Under said statute, a number of measures to mitigate the impact of the Pandemic were adopted, including the Ministry of Finance being charged with (i) reviewing all public contracts (including supply, technical assistance, advertising and general services’ contracts) in force until de end of 2020, and of supressing, if appropriate, contracts automatically renewable; (ii) preparing a listing of the contracts in force in Strategic Sectors (including inter alia Defence, Security, Mines, Energy and Telecommunications) to assess (inter alia) the level of commitments that they entail; and (iii) along with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, negotiate with companies carrying out activities in the oil sector the settlement of any tax debts assessed in connection with fiscal year 2019 before the end of the deadline set to make the annual tax filings.

Also, as a public finances/spending-related measure, Decree 43/2020 further sets forth that, due to force majeure, the Government would reorganize its spending to avoid delays. Accordingly, save for those projects that the Government declares that have maximum priority, a Certification Committee together with awarding companies should reschedule public spending obligations so that they would only be due in the second semester of 2020.

 

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This information is being updated on a regular basis.

All information contained herein and all opinions expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to substitute recourse to expert legal advice for the resolution of real cases.