Moratorium and Deferral of Social Security contribution payments

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1. What specific measures are contained in Royal Decree Law 11/2020 in favour of the self-employed?

  • Royal Decree Law 11/2020, establishes the following for the self-employed:
    In its Article 34, moratoriums on Social Security contributions for six months, without interest, corresponding to the months of May, June and July 2020, and
  • In its Article 35, deferment of the payment of its debts with the Social Security whose regulatory period of entry takes place in the months of April, May and June 2020, being of application an interest of 0.5%.

Order ISM/371/2020, of 24 April, implements Article 34 of Royal Decree Law 11/2020, of 31 March, which adopts urgent complementary measures in the social and economic field to deal with COVID-19.

Said Order determines the economic activities that may use it, in accordance with the current National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE-2009).

These activities are as follows:

119 (Other non-perennial crops).
129 (Other perennial crops).
1812 (Other printing and graphic arts activities).
2512 (Manufacture of metalwork).
4322 (Plumbing, heating and air conditioning system installations).
4332 (Carpentry installation).
4711 (Retail trade in non-specialised establishments, predominantly food, drink and tobacco)
4719 (Other retail trade in non-specialised stores).
4724 (Retail trade of bread and bakery products, confectionery and pastry in specialised establishments)
7311 (Advertising agencies).
8623 (Dental activities).
9602 (Hairdressing and other beauty treatments).

2. Deferral or moratorium?

For contributions corresponding to April, it is only possible to request deferment of payment. With respect to the contributions corresponding to the months of May and June, self-employed workers whose activity is not suspended due to the state of alarm and is included among those listed in Order ISM/371/2020, of 24 April, may opt to request a moratorium or deferment of payment, as appropriate. The contributions corresponding to the month of July may only be subject to a moratorium, if the activity requirements demanded for this purpose are met.

3. Within what time frames must I present the requests?

Both moratoriums and deferrals must be requested within the first ten calendar days of the statutory deadline for the deposit.

Therefore, those workers included in the Special Scheme for Self-Employed or Freelancers who wish to do so, and provided that the conditions established for access to both the moratoriums and the deferrals indicated are met, may:

  1. Request until 10 April next, the deferral of the payment of dues for the month of April 2020, and 
  2. Request from May 1 to May 10, the moratorium of 6 months, without interest, in the payment of the payment corresponding to the month of May, or, in its absence, the postponement of the payments of the said month of May, which would imply the payment in the regulatory term of the payments for accidents at work and occupational diseases, and 
  3. Request from June 1 to June 10, the moratorium of 6 months, without interest, in the payment of the payment corresponding to the month of June, or, in its absence, the postponement of the payments of that month of June, which would imply the entrance in the regulation term of the payments for work accident and occupational disease, and 
  4. Request from July 1 to July 10, the 6-month moratorium, without interest, on the payment of the quota corresponding to the month of July.

Finally, it should be noted that self-employed workers who are recognised as receiving the extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity referred to in Article 17 of Royal Decree Law 8/2020 must not pay Social Security contributions during the period in which the benefit is paid.  In the event that the aforementioned contributions are charged to the account because the benefit was not recognised in time by the corresponding management body, these contributions will be returned ex officio by the Social Security General Treasury, and therefore it is not necessary to make any request for a moratorium or deferral in respect of these contributions.

In addition, the contributions corresponding to the month of March, for the days in which the extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity is not recognised, and which have not been paid in time, may be paid without the application of a surcharge.

4. What payments may be subject to a payment moratorium?

Social Security contributions whose accrual period is between the months of May, June and July 2020.

5. For how long can payment of fees be delayed?

Article 34 of Royal Decree-Law 11/2020 of 31 March authorises the Social Security General Treasury to grant six-month moratoriums, without interest, to companies and self-employed workers included in any Social Security scheme, provided that the activities they carry out have not been suspended with the declaration of the state of alarm and the requirements of Order ISM/371/2020 of 24 April, which develops the aforementioned article 34, are met.

6. How and where can I apply for the moratorium?

Applications for moratoriums must be submitted through the Electronic Data Transmission System in the area of Social Security (RED System) regulated in Order ESS/484/2013, in the case of self-employed workers who have been assigned a RED Authorised person.

To this end, in May, once the requirements and conditions that must be met to access the moratorium on payment have been established by Order of the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, a new service will be implemented so that applications submitted by means other than those indicated will not be effective.

When the self-employed worker has been assigned a RED Authorised Person, it will not be necessary to present an application document, or form, but it will be sufficient to communicate the details of the settlement period, or periods, for which the moratorium on payment is requested, through the new service.

In the case of self-employed workers who have not been assigned a RED authorisation, applications must be submitted by electronic means available on the e-Office of the State Secretariat for Social Security (SEDESS) using the form provided in the “Application for COVID-19 Moratorium or reduced base for multiple activity RETA” procedure.

In order to simplify the submission of applications, it shall be possible to submit an application comprising several consecutive settlement periods, always within the first ten days of the month concerned.

The Social Security General Treasury may enable any other electronic means other than the RED system or SEDESS for the application to be made.  In such a case, information will be provided.

7. What requirements must be met for its concession?

In order for the Social Security General Treasury to grant the moratoriums on the payment of Social Security contributions, the activity requirements established in Order ISM/371/2020, of 24 April, which develops article 34 of Royal Decree Law 11/2020, of 31 March, which adopts urgent complementary measures in the social and economic field to deal with COVID-19, must be met.

8. When should self-employed workers deposit fees affected by moratoriums?

In the case of self-employed workers, the payments corresponding to the settlement periods of May, June and July 2020 must be made in November 2020, December 2020 and January 2021, respectively, and simultaneously with the payments for those same months.

In the case of self-employed workers included in the Special Social Security Scheme for Seafarers, the contributions corresponding to the May, June and July 2020 settlement periods must be paid in December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021, respectively, and simultaneously with the contributions of November 2020, December 2020 and January 2021.

9. How will the granting of the moratorium on payment of contributions be communicated?

Such a communication shall be deemed to have been made with the effective application of the moratorium on liquidations which are practiced from the time the application is submitted. Therefore, no specific resolutions or communications on the granting of the moratorium will be sent.

10. What debt can I defer?

You can request the deferral of the payments corresponding to April, May and June.

11. Within what time frame should the COVID deferral application be filed?

For workers included in the Special Scheme for Self-Employed Workers or those who are self-employed, the application must be submitted within the following deadlines:

  1. Between 1 and 10 April, when the requested deferment is that of the payments corresponding to the April settlement period.
  2. Between 1 and 10 May, when the requested deferment is that of the payments corresponding to the May settlement period. 
  3. Between 1 and 10 June, when the requested deferment is that of the payments corresponding to the June settlement period.

Requests for deferral which are submitted after the indicated deadlines for the current month shall be considered extemporaneous for the purpose of obtaining a COVID deferral with reduced interest, and the interest of delay shall be applicable.

12. If I am a self-employed worker under the special scheme for Sea Workers, what deadlines do I have to request a Postponement?

The same rules and considerations apply to requests for deferral made for self-employed persons and companies.

14. What requirements must be met to request deferral because of COVID-19?

Firstly, the self-employed person must be up to date with the payment of their Social Security obligations, but the following will also be necessary:

  1. not having a deferral in effect for debts corresponding to periods prior to March
  2. The application shall be made within the time limits set out in Royal Decree-Law 11/2020, and
  3. through the channels indicated in the previous section.

If any of these requirements in subparagraphs (a), (b) or (c) are not met, the submitted request for deferral shall be processed and resolved in accordance with the general procedure, and the rate of interest of delay referred to in article 23.5 of Royal Legislative Decree 8/2015, approving the consolidated text of the General Law on Social Security.

15. Under what circumstances is the COVID deferral of Social Security debt granted?

The COVID deferral shall be processed and decided in accordance with the general procedure, with an interest of 0.5% being applied instead of the interest of delay in force at that time, which is that of the ordinary deferrals (art. 23.5 of Royal Decree - Law 8/2015).

Therefore, the general rules governing deferrals of Social Security debts will be applicable, as well as the conditions required for their effectiveness and validity: the constitution of the guarantee offered when it becomes due and the non-generation of debt after the granting of the deferral.

16. What other issues should I take into account when completing the COVID deferral request?

If the self-employed worker is also the owner of a company and wishes to extend the deferral to the payments corresponding to company’s employees, this must be stated in the same application.

17. How is it established whether it is up-to-date or not?

During the processing of requests for deferral submitted within the statutory time limit, and irrespective of the date on which the corresponding resolution is issued, no prejudice shall arise to the person concerned for the purpose of obtaining the certificate of being kept up-to-date prior to the month of accrual for which the deferral is being requested, nor shall it be after the concession charged for the time of processing of the deferral.

18. Are the moratorium (art. 34) and deferral (art. 35) approved by Royal Decree-Law 11/2020 compatible?

For the May and June payments, this deferral may be an alternative for those self-employed workers who cannot access the moratorium, as they do not meet the activity requirements established in Order ISM/371/2020, of 24 April, which develops Article 34 of Royal Decree Law 11/2020, of 31 March, which adopts urgent complementary measures in the social and economic field to deal with COVID-19.

However, both measures are incompatible with each other, with respect to the periods for which the deferral or moratorium is being requested.

13. Who should file COVID deferral applications and where?

For self-employed workers who do not have a RED Authorisation, they must submit Deferral requests through the  Social Security Deferral procedure of the Electronic Social Security Register.

The RED Authorised Person must present the applications for deferral as a representative of the self-employed worker assigned to them through the aforementioned procedure in the Register on the Social Security e-Office.

The corresponding field will be incorporated into the Electronic Register on the Social Security’s e-Office to specify that the request for deferment corresponds to the case of the reduced interest rate of Article 35 of Royal Decree Law 11/2020, as well as the possibility of identifying the condition of authorised network of the applicant acting as a representative of the self-employed worker.

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