The Argentine government has taken several measures to support businesses in Argentina due to the COVID-19 crisis, including those described below.
The creation by the Argentine government of a Specific Purpose Guarantee Fund to be applied to the granting of guarantees for facilitating the extension of financing for working capital to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); and the creation by the Argentine Central Bank of a series of incentives for the extension of credit facilities to MSMEs.
The suspension of attachments and other precautionary orders by the Federal Tax Authority; and extension until June 30, 2020 of a moratorium on the payment of taxes and social security contributions (with certain limited exceptions) to the Federal Tax Authority due as of November 30, 2019 by MSMEs.
The creation of an Emergency Work and Production Assistance Programme providing certain benefits to all employers that comply with any of the following requirements (excluding those rendering services deemed essential): (i) perform activities critically affected by the geographical areas where they are carried out; and/or (ii) have a significant number of employees infected with COVID-19 or subject to mandatory isolation or with work exemption (e.g. falling within a risk group); and/or (iii) have suffered a significant reduction of sales. Benefits of the programme include:
>> An extension of the expiry of the terms for the payment of employers’ contributions to the Argentine Social Security System accrued in March and April, 2020 or a reduction of up to 95% on employers’ contributions to the Argentine Social Security System accrued during April 2020.
>> An allowance granted by the Social Security Authority to companies with up to 100 workers for the payment of salaries in an amount equal to up to 100% of each employee’s gross salary depending on the number of workers of each eligible company. In case of suspension of the worker, the amount of the allowance will be reduced in 25% and may be deemed part of the non-remunerative amount established for cases of suspension.
>> A non-contributory allowance to the Argentine Social Security System of a minimum amount of AR$6,000 and a maximum amount of AR$10,000 per worker, to companies with more than 100 workers.
The prohibition of the suspension of utility services, telephone, Internet and Cable or Satellite TV services rendered to MSMEs and Workers Cooperatives or Recovered Companies registered with the National Institute of Associativism and Social Economy, among others, for delinquency in up to three monthly payments since March 1, 2020.
The frozen until September 30, 2020 of the amount of the following monthly lease fees: for the leasing of properties small family business or small agricultural production; for the rendering of services to commerce and industry by small individual taxpayers registered under the Single Tax regime; for individual professionals; for the rendering of services to commerce and industry by MSMEs; and for Workers Cooperatives or Recovered Companies registered with the National Institute of Associativism and Social Economy; the suspension until September 30, 2020 of eviction orders in connection with the default in payment of those leased properties’ monthly fees and of the term of the statute of limitations in connection with those proceedings; and the extension until September 30, 2020 of the terms of the lease agreements for the purposes described above expiring after March 20, 2020.