St. Maarten - Extension Payroll Support Program until the Month of September 2020

St. Maarten - Extension Payroll Support Program until the Month of September 2020

Introduction

The Minister for Public Health, Social Development and Labor published a Ministerial Regulation on Friday, October 9 which has extended the Payroll Support Program until September. The rules to qualify for payroll support are the same as established in the Ministerial Regulation of July 14 (Regulation payroll support for the Month of June). The Ministerial Regulation has taken retrospective effect as of July 1, 2020

The rules to qualify for payroll support

  • employees have to make a personal contribution to the payroll support of 20 percent;
  • The maximum reimbursement paid by the Government amounts to 60 percent of the payroll (gross wages, not including the employers’ share of social security)[1];
  • The payroll support scale model is changed to a one-to-one ratio with loss of revenue with retrospective effect as of June 1, 2020;
  • As of June, the exception list, which excluded certain sectors and categories from the payroll support program, is no longer in force;
  • when applying for payroll support for the months of July, August and September, employers must sign a digital statement that unambiguously authorizes the name of the employer to be published on the internet, in the newspaper and in the National Gazette if this employer has received payroll support. The publication is with retrospective effect as of the first time the employer received payroll support.

Application

Employers must verify the employees’ information in SZV’s registry via the online SZV Employer Portal. The correctness of this information is important as the calculation of the Payroll Support contribution is based hereon. The deadline for submitting the application is:

  • For July: October 1, 2020, but the Minister of Finance has Authorized the SZV to reopen the portal from October 16 till October 21, 2020.
  • For August: November 6, 2020
  • For September: December 4, 2020

An employer has to prove, based on the declared revenue (the total of the taxed- and exempted revenue) as per the comparison of the monthly TOT returns for the months of July, August and September 2020 with the TOT returns of respectively July, August and September 2019, that their revenue has declined by at least 20% because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Employers must upload the applicable TOT returns when filing their July, August or September application.

In order to provide proof of the revenue decline, employers must submit and pay on time to the applicable authorities their monthly ZV/OV declarations, Wage Tax & AVBZ tax returns and TOT tax return:

  • The declarations for the Month of June 2020: declaration and payment no later than July 15, 2020 for the month of July Covid-19 stimulus payroll support. The declarations and payment of June will be used by SZV to evaluate the Payroll Support Plan for the month of July 2020.
  • The declarations for the Month of July 2020: declaration and payment no later than August 15, 2020 for the Month of August Covid-19 stimulus payroll support. The declarations and payment of July will be used by SZV to evaluate the Payroll Support Plan for the month of August 2020.
  • The declarations for the Month of August 2020: declaration and payment no later than September 15, 2020 for the Month of September Covid-19 stimulus payroll support. The declarations and payment of August will be used by SZV to evaluate the Payroll Support Plan for the Month of September 2020.
  • The employer must pay the monthly taxes and social premiums and must continue paying its registered employees.
  • The submitted application will be processed internally by SZV. If there is any information missing in the application, SZV will contact the employer via the correspondence section in the Employer Portal.

Final remarks

  • The employee must agree to a 20% contribution of the new basis. The employee's own contribution can be made from the total benefits package and doesn’t necessarily result in a decrease of salary. For example, the employee can make contributions by giving up (part of) vacation payments, vacation days off, secondary benefits and/or working hours.
  • The employer must enter into an agreement with the employees, stating the exact employee’s contribution for the month of June 2020 and indicate how the USZV can check the interpretation of this personal contribution.
  • The Payroll Support Plan is not applicable for employees that were hired after April 1, 2020. The calculation of the qualifying registered ZV/OV wages is based on the employees that were already on the payroll before April 1, 2020.
  • The contribution from the Payroll Support Plan is maximized to the registered ZV/OV wages at SZV, taking into consideration the applicable part time factor if applicable.

 

[1] the maximum reimbursement from the government is 60% of the registered ZV / OV wages at USZV with a maximum of the ZV wage limit (ANG 5,651.36 per month)