The payment of the fifth stage of the cheap state loans program known as the “Deposit To Be Returned” will begin on Monday, January 25, 10 days after the deadline for application submissions this Friday.
However, speaking on Tuesday on Mega TV, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras did not rule out a few days’ extension, explaining that this would happen if it turns out there is a significant number of potential recipients who are yet to apply. The minister added that some 400,000 stand to benefit from the fifth stage of the program, while only 211,000 applications have been made to date.
The funds to be disbursed are estimated at 1.5 billion euros and will be credited to the recipients’ bank accounts by the end of the month, following checks by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.
Just as in the fourth phase, half of the loans issued will be in the form of grants that will not be returned, and the minimum amount disbursed will be €1,000 per recipient, which will not be offset by any amounts received during the fourth phase.
According to Staikouras, the fifth phase will be followed in March by a sixth: “Regardless of whether the operation of the market is partly or fully restored, the government will be present so as to continue supporting enterprises,” the minister stated.
He went on to say it is possible that the corporate tax deposit will be reduced or waived for enterprises in 2021 too, just as in 2020, when the measure effectively channeled €1.5 billion euros in to the market. This measure can be repeated this year if the market remains under pressure – i.e. if the health crisis is not effectively over after the first quarter – and the checks on businesses’ financial balances confirm that their earnings crumbled last year.
According to ministry officials, the cost of the measure for the 2021 budget would be minimal due to the dismal business conditions, as provisions are already low for corporate tax revenues this year.
The reduction of the corporate tax deposit will in most cases lead to very low tax obligations anyway, which will probably be covered by the reduced deposit already paid from this year.