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Corona aid package: support for the self-employed and freelancers

The German aid package seeks to support freelancers and companies affected by the virus – N26 gives you an overview of the action plan.

3 min read

The German government has taken multiple measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, which in turn has led to cancelled events, interruptions of supply chains and limited national and international mobility. This has particularly affected small companies and freelancers, which have suffered massive drops in sales and order volumes.

To support affected companies and freelancers the German federal government has passed a financially unlimited aid package. In this article we explain what the package entails and how you can apply for the different support measures.

The German corona aid package

On March 16 the government passed an extensive and financially unlimited aid package to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on employers and employees. The package contains 4 main pointers, which we’ve summarized for you:

1. Flexible short-time work arrangementsThe government has simplified the application process for short-time allowance and lifted the accumulation of minus hours. Furthermore the government will take on social security contributions. Contractors are now also eligible for short-time work.

2. Tax reliefs for increased liquidityMeasures have been taken to relieve companies in fiscal matters—tax payments can be delayed and advance payments can be adjusted. Up until the 31st December tax authorities will temporarily waive enforcement measures and late payment fines, in cases that are tied to the virus.

3. Billions of Euros in liquidity assistanceCompanies that have suffered/are suffering financial losses due to the Coronavirus can apply for liquidity assistance through the KfW (“Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau”). More information can be found here (German).

4. Stronger intra-European collaborationBy fostering stronger collaboration and alignment between European countries, the government seeks to maximise the effect of the measures.

The aid package will be continuously updated by the German federal government. In addition, many German federal states have already introduced local and regional emergency aid measures.

What does this mean for the self-employed and freelancers?

One of the main aims of the aid package is to support freelancers and small businesses, in order to help them bridge over this challenging time. Hence, application processes have been streamlined. Read on to learn where you can apply for the different aid measures.

Where can I apply for aid measures?

  • Applications for short-term allowance (“Kurzarbeitergelder”, KUG) are checked and authorized by the Federal Labour Office. Here you’ll find helpful videos on how to apply. Click here to find the Labour office for your region.
  • In order to apply for support in fiscal matters, freelancers can directly contact tax authorities or representatives.
  • Applications for liquidity assistance can be submitted through financial partners of KfW. Head to the KfW website to find official partners in your area.
  • The German federal government is directly responsible for strengthening and improving the collaboration between European countries.

Corona—a new challenge for everyone

Developments surrounding the virus have forced our society to face unprecedented challenges. Freelancers, employers and employees alike struggle to come to terms with this new and unexpected situation. Only if our society manages to function as a whole, can we contain the effect of the virus on our daily lives, our health and our economy. In this light, the federal government’s aid package aims to serve as a cushion to protect companies and freelancers. We’ll continue to keep you up to date with important developments—stay tuned.

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