The Venezuelan government has implemented support or protection measures for workers and employees, as well as for certain taxpayers, business and individuals.

Labor Measures:

In the context of the March 13 state of alarm declaration, employment relationships in every sector but those deemed essential (health services, utilities, police, etc.) are suspended to the extent that work cannot be performed remotely (meaning employees are not required to work and employers are not required to pay salary but must continue to pay social security contributions and food benefits and seniority continues to accrue). 

The Venezuelan President has announced that the government would pay the wages of all employees working for small and medium companies, for six months (March to August).  Payment would be made through the “Patria” platform (an online system originally used for individuals to register and receive benefits from social assistance programs).  No guidelines or regulations on how this will be implemented have been published yet.

The labor freeze has been confirmed until December 31, 2020.  The labor freeze was already in place before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tax Measures:

The government has granted a VAT and custom duties exemption for the import and sale of face masks and other coronavirus-related products made by public entities.

Regarding income tax, the government has exempted individuals earning less than three minimum wages a year (approximately US$ 5.00) from the payment of annual income tax.

Some municipalities have extended the due date for filing the municipal tax on economic activities.

Debt Relief Program:

The Venezuelan President ordered the creation of a special regime for providing financial relief of debtors of Venezuelan banks.  The guidelines of the debt relief program include: (a) potential suspension of debt payments for a period of up to 180 days, (b) the debt relief will apply to all types of outstanding bank loans granted by Venezuelan banks until March 13, 2020, (c) the suspension of payments will apply to principal and interest payments, restructuring terms or any other clause set out in the loan agreements, (d) priority for granting credit for strategic areas to address the health emergency. 

Rent Payments for Homes and Commercial Use Real Property:

The Venezuelan President has granted certain relief to tenants of homes (vivienda principal) and commercial use real property (inmuebles de uso comercial).   The relief granted includes: (a) suspension of lease payments until September 1, 2020; (b) suspension of evictions of main homes until September 23; and (c) suspension of evictions for failure to pay rents of commercial real property until September 23.

The suspension will not be applicable to tenants of commercial real property that are still operating or actively providing services during the Covid-19 emergency, or tenants that resume activities before September 1.

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