Corona: bridging loans for small companies (KKC)

Do you own a small company and are you in need of a relatively small loan of between €10,000 and €50,000 as a result of the corona crisis? You may be eligible for a bridging loan facility. This is called Small credits guarantee for SMEs (Kleine Kredieten Corona garantieregeling, KKC). The Dutch government will stand as guarantor for 95% of these bridging loans.

Who can apply?

  • You own a micro, small or medium sized business.
  • You were sufficiently profitable before the corona crisis.
  • You were registered in the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce Commercial Register (KVK Handelsregister) before 1 January 2019.
  • KKC is a loan of €10,000 up to €50,000. The term of the loan is at most 5 years and the interest rate is maximum 4%.
  • You pay a one-time premium of 2% to the State.

Loans that have been granted from 7 May 2020 may be refinanced under the conditions of the KKC.

How to apply?

Entrepreneurs do not apply for the Small Credits for Corona guarantee (KKC) themselves. You can apply for a loan from your credit supplier, a bank or other funder affiliated with this measure. Funders or banks that participate in the extended SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB-C) can also offer the KKC. Other funders can apply for accreditation to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency

SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB)

If you have a business in the Netherlands and employ no more than 250 workers (you have an SME), you may be eligible for a guarantee for part of a loan through the SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB). The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy stands as guarantor. This will enable you to borrow more than would otherwise be possible based on your collateral.

The bank and other possible funders are covered by the government’s SME credit guarantee scheme.

Corona crisis: Extension SME credit guarantee scheme

The SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB) has been extended (in Dutch) to deal with the economic consequences of the corona crisis:

  • Businesses can use the BMKB for a bridging credit, or to increase their overdraft (how much they are allowed to be in the red) on their current account.
  • The credit guarantee has been increased from 50% to 75%. This enables banks to extend credit more easily and quickly, and businesses to lend more money faster.
  • The BMKB interest percentage is lowered from 3.9% to 2% for a maximum period of 8 quarters and 3% for a period of 9 to 16 quarters.
  • The BMKB guarantee budget is increased from €765 million to €1.5 billion.
  • Accreditation becomes available to financiers other than banks, to enable them to finance their clients using this extended BMKB scheme.

Dutch Caribbean

This measure is also open to agricultural entrepreneurs, including the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, in the Dutch Caribbean.

In the Netherlands agricultural and horticultural entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors can apply to the – also extended – Credit Guarantee Scheme for Agriculture (BL).

PFAS and nitrogen

The government offers extra support within the BMKB scheme to SMEs whose turnover relies for at least 20% on activities affected by the PFAS and nitrogen developments (in Dutch). The government can be guarantor for a larger credit sum. You can make use of this extra support until and including 31 December 2020.

When do you qualify?

To be eligible for the SME credit guarantee scheme, you must fulfil various conditions, including the following:

  • Your business is established in the Netherlands, Bonaire, Saba or St. Eustatius.
  • Your business has up to 250 FTE employees.
  • Your business has an annual revenue of up to €50 million or has a balance sheet total of up to €43 million.
  • Your company has been established for over 3 years.

The scheme offers extra opportunities for innovative companies and startups (in Dutch). It is also open to entrepreneurs who want to start businesses in Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.

How to apply?

Entrepreneurs do not apply for the SME Credit Guarantee themselves. They simply apply for a loan from one of the participating banks or other funders (in Dutch), which in turn submits an application for the SME credit guarantee from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). A special webportal (partly in Dutch) is available for funders with all relevant information.

Business loan guarantee scheme (GO)

The Business loan guarantee scheme (Garantie Ondernemingsfinanciering, GO) makes it easier for large and medium-sized companies in the Netherlands to borrow substantial amounts of money. Capital providers receive a 50% guarantee from the government. The term for the Business loan guarantee scheme (in Dutch) is maximum 8 years.

Corona crisis: temporary extension of GO

The Business loan guarantee scheme has been extended (GO) to help businesses deal with the corona crisis. The amount for which the government stands as guarantor has been increased to €150 million. The maximum guarantee percentage has been increased from 50% to 80% for large companies (public limited companies, nv) and to 90% for SMEs. The GO guarantee ceiling has been raised to €10 billion.

When do you qualify?

To qualify for the GO Business loan guarantee scheme (in Dutch), the following criteria must be met:

  • Your company has its registered office in the Netherlands. The commercial activities are conducted primarily in the Netherlands.
  • You have a healthy company.
  • Your business has reasonable profitability and continuity prospects.
  • The financing qualifies as Fresh Money (in Dutch).
  • In the last 12 months, no excessive capital withdrawals from your company have taken place.
  • You are only requesting GO financing for your own company activities.

How to apply for the GO-scheme?

You don’t apply for the GO-scheme yourself. Your financier can apply for you if they participate in the GO-scheme (in Dutch). The financier submits the application to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

Tax and Customs Administration corona measures for businesses and employers

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has implemented a number of measures to help businesses and employers with payment difficulties due to the corona crisis, and to avoid extra costs. This page lists measures for businesses in general and employers in particular, and gives information on the Customs measures for entrepreneurs during the corona crisis.

Tax measures as of 1 October

These tax measures will be extended after 1 October:

  • Businesses that have applied for payment extensions for taxes will have 2 years to pay their taxes after the extension period has ended;
  • The interest rate on tax collection will remain close to zero.

https://business.gov.nl/corona/financial-support-measures/tax-and-customs-administration-corona-measures-for-businesses-and-employers/

Tax and Customs Administration corona measures for businesses

Payment extension for several taxes

You can apply for a payment extension of 3 months for all your income tax, corporate tax, payroll tax, and turnover tax (VAT) assessements at once, by filling out an online form (in Dutch). You need a DigiD for this, but if you don’t have one, you can ask an employee or a financial advisor to login for you, using their DigiD. You will need to fill out your RSIN number or your citizen service number (BSN), so keep these ready. The Dutch Tax Administration will put on hold any measures in place to collect payment immediately upon reception of your request. You can also change your provisional assessment, to lower your financial obligations.

You can also apply for payment extension of several other taxes and duties: excise dutylandlord levy, environmental taxes, insurance premium tax, and betting and lottery tax.

Lower tax interest rates

The tax collection interest rate was lowered from 4% to nearly 0% at the beginning of the corona crisis. It will remain nearly 0% until 1 December 2021. Tax collection interest is the interest you pay over a tax debt.

The tax interest rate was also lowered, from 8% (corporate income tax) or 4% (other taxes) to nearly 0%. From 1 October 2020, the tax interest rate will be increased to 4% for all taxes, including corporate income tax. Tax interest is the interest you pay if the Tax Administration cannot assess your tax return in time, for instance because you have filed your return too late or incorrectly.

No tax on TOGS and TVL

No tax will be levied on the funds you have received under the schemes Reimbursement for businesses affected by the corona measures (TOGS) and Reimbursement for Fixed Costs SMEs (TVL).

No VAT on face masks

You do not have to pay VAT on the supply of face masks in the period 26 May – 31 December 2020. If you sell face masks, you may continue to deduct pre-tax. The government takes this measure to make face masks more cheaply available, as the use of face masks has been mandatory in public transport since 1 June.

VAT rules eased to help the care sector

Businesses that second care personnel or donate medical equipment or devices will not have to deal with the usual VAT rules concerning these actions. This will ease the administrative and financial burden in the care sector.

Also, the low VAT tariff of 9% applies to cotton tips and bandaging materials used for medical purposes, such as COVID-19 testing. These measures are in place from 16 March through 31 December 2020.

Online sports lessons back to normal VAT tariff

On 1 July, sport schools re-opened. For that reason, the temporary low VAT tariff of 9% no longer applies to online lessons. The low tariff applied from 16 March – 1 July.

Hours criterion relaxed

Some tax deduction schemes such as private business ownership allowanceworking partner’s abatement and retirement reserve require a minimum number of 1,225 hours spent working in your company per year, or approximately 24 hours per week. The corona crisis may make it impossible for businesses to meet this criterion. For that reason, you are allowed to claim you have spent 24 hours a week on your business during the period 1 March – 1 September, even if you have not.

Corona reserve for corporate tax 2020

The Tax Administration will allow businesses to deduct losses from their profits in the 2019 corporate tax return. This way, businesses can build a corona reserve. This may help to keep your cash flow at an acceptable level.

Customary salary for DGA’s lowered

If you are a director or major shareholder (DGA) in your company, you have to meet a so-called customary salary (‘gebruikelijk loon’), over which your company levies payroll taxes. For 2020, it will be possible to lower your customary salary proportionate to your company’s turnover loss. This means you will have to levy less payroll tax.

More time for some changes in legal structure, mergers or divisions

In some cases, you can take more time to change your company’s legal structure or to arrange a company merger or division. See the conditions (in Dutch) on the Tax Administration website.

More information

See the Dutch Tax Administration website (in Dutch).

Apply for a reduction of your provisionary assessment

Do you expect lower profits due to the coronavirus, and are you currently paying a provisionary assessment for income tax or corporate income tax? You can change your provisionary assessment. Go to the online portal for individuals: MijnBelastingdienst (in Dutch); to change a corporate tax provisionary assessment, go to the business portal: MijnBelastingdienst Zakelijk (in Dutch).

Tax and Customs Administration corona measures for employers

No tax on reimbursement for face masks

As of 1 June, face masks are mandatory in public transport. If you reimburse your employees for the costs of these face masks, you may do so free of tax.

Measures to ensure low unemployment benefit premiums

The Tax Administration has extended the period during which employers can record permanent contracts, so that they avoid having to pay high unemployment benefit premiums under the Balance Employment-Market Act (Wab). Also, employers will not have to pay high unemployment benefit premiums for permanent staff who have worked more than 30% overtime in 2020.

Payroll taxes and travel allowance rules eased

These rules have been temporarily eased:

  • Payroll taxes for employees who live or work across the Belgian or German border;
  • Travel allowances for employees who have to work from home;
  • Payroll tax administration.

Extension of discretionary scope work-related cost scheme

The work-related cost scheme enables you to use part of the fiscal wages for tax-free allowances, benefits in kind and provisions for your employees. The percentage you can use (the discretionary scope or ‘vrije ruimte’) is increased from 1.7% to 3% for wages of up to €400,000. For fiscal wages of over €400,000 the scope remains 1.2%. You can use the extension to award your employees a courtesy gift, or home working equipment.

More information

See the Dutch Tax Administration website (in Dutch).

Customs and corona

Customs supports businesses with a set of measures. Read about these measures. Do you import or export face masks or other protective equipment? Read the Customs article on this subject.

Check the Corona – consequences for your customs affairs page regularly for updates.

Corona crisis: tax payment extension and repayments

Tax payment extension at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration

To help entrepreneurs, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) has relaxed the options for payment extensions. Businesses can apply for tax payment extensions until 1 October, including the taxes they were already granted a 3 month extension for. You won’t have to pay all your taxes in one go. Also, the Tax Administration will not impose fines for late payments until that date.

After 1 October

You can apply for the special corona-related tax payment extension until 1 October. This extension will be for 3 months. After that, so 1 January 2021 at the latest, you will have to start paying the taxes you are due. You will be given a 2-year period to do so. On the Tax and Customs Administration website, you will find more information (in Dutch) on what happens after the special tax payment extension ends.

Request tax payment extension for multiple taxes at once

You can apply for postponement of payment for the following tax assessments at once:

  • Income tax
  • Healthcare Insurance Act
  • Corporation tax
  • Payroll taxes
  • VAT (Turnover tax)

You can choose if you want to apply for a deferral of other taxes. You must continue to file a tax return for all your taxes.

You can request a 3-month extension online and in writing.

Apply online for a special 3-month extension of payment

You need your DigiD to apply for postponement online. As a self-employed professional, sole trader or partner in a partnership, you also need your citizen service number (BSN).

For other legal structures you must use your RSIN (Legal Entities and Partnerships Information Number). The RSIN is, for example, stated on the extract from the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. This is a number you have received when you registered your business with the KVK.

Request a tax payment extension for more than €20,000

If you want to request a postponement for a total tax debt of over €20,000, you must send a letter to the Dutch Tax and Customs Authorities. In the letter, you provide information about the impact of the corona crisis on your company and enclose a statement from a third-party expert. A third-party expert is someone from outside your organisation who declares that you have payment problems of due to the corona crisis. Your tax advisor or accountant are examples of third-party experts.

Request postponement

Read how to request postponement on Belastingdienst.nl (in Dutch).

Decrease provisional assessment

If you pay a monthly provisional assessment for income or corporate tax, you can lower it if you expect less income in the near future. Are your earnings increasing again? Make sure that you change your provisional assessment. This prevents you from having to pay additional costs with your final assessment.

Decrease provisional assessment

Read on Belastingdienst.nl how you can change your provisional assessment (in Dutch).

Unblocking the g-account for payroll taxes and VAT

Companies that post, lend or second employees and use g-accounts, can ask the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration to have these accounts unlocked. Due to the corona crisis, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration can also temporarily release amounts that are reserved for (additional) assessments of payroll taxes or VAT.

Unblocking the g-account

Read on Belastingdienst.nl how to unblock the g-account (in Dutch).

Deferral of other taxes

Municipal taxes and water board taxes

You can request postponement for the regional water authority taxes at most water authorities. There are also several extensions for municipal taxes if you are experiencing financial problems due to the coronavirus. Examples are tourist tax, waste tax and sewerage charge. Ask your municipality about the conditions.

Request postponement

You apply for deferment of payment from your regional water authorities.

Energy tax and ODE

Participating energy suppliers can delay your monthly energy tax (EB), sustainable energy surcharge (ODE) and VAT payments. This is only possible if you receive a monthly final invoice from your energy supplier on which the actual consumption of the electricity and /or gas is stated. You will be granted a postponement for the months of April, May and June. The deferred tax will be charged in October 2020.

Request a postponement

Your energy supplier can grant this extension. Keep an eye on your supplier’s communication. Read more about the postponement of Energy Tax and ODE.

Postpone your payments

Banks

Do you have a business loan from the bank? Several banks grant their customers postponement of 6 months on loans of up to €2.5 million.

Request a postponement

Ask your bank what the arrangements and options are.

Mortgage repayments

  • Your bank can grant you a mortgage payment break of 6 months, which will unburden you both in interest and repayments. Normally, you would have to catch up the repayments before 31 December 2021. Given the exceptional circumstances, it will be made possible for you to spread the eventual repayments over alonger period (for instance, over the entire mortgage period, or over a period of a few years). Discuss your options with your bank.

Microcredit

Qredits provides microcredits to small businesses and self-employed professionals. Entrepreneurs who have a loan will receive a 6 month repayment extension for their loan. Qredits also reduces interest to 2% over this period.

Request a postponement

Contact Qredits to apply for postponement.

Proof-of-concept funding (VFF) and Innovation credit

Do you use proof-of-concept funding or an Innovation Credit? If you have financial problems as a result of the corona crisis, you can receive postponement of repayment and interest for the period from 1 April to 1 October. The interest for VVF is temporarily discontinued for this period.

Request a postponement

You will receive a letter from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) explaining how to apply for postponement.

Sector organisations

Are you a member of a sector organisation? Several sector organisations have prepared templates for requests for extensions of payment for rent, loans and other financial obligations. Or they offer advice and help to businesses that encounter difficulties when asking for payment extensions. Contact your sector organisations to find out how they can help you.

Call the Tax Information Line

Since the information on the tax options offered to entrepreneurs during the coronavirus crisis is mostly only available in Dutch, it would be wise to consult the Tax Information Line if Dutch isn’t your primary language. The number for resident entrepreneurs is +31 (0)800 0543; non-residents can call +31(0)55 538 53 85.

It is also a good idea to ask someone – your accountant, for instance – to help you.

COVID-19 Pandemic: The financial crime threat for private and public organizations

Financial Crime Risk Management (FCRM) in private and public organizations has undergone big changes due to paradigm shifts in business dynamics, emerging threats, regulatory climate and technological advancements. However, in the last few months, the world has been experiencing something unprecedented that has made all other changes somewhat secondary: The Coronavirus (COVID-19). This once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon will change the face of Financial Crime Risk Management (FCRM), compliance and sanctions forever. In this article, I will examine the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 on financial crime and how private and public organizations can address them.

Increased cyber (financial) fraud

Money transfers through online wallets and online payments, including e-commerce transactions, were used moderately in the past. However, these have now become one of the only ways to conduct transactions due to social distancing measures. Seizing this opportunity, fraud perpetrators equipped with the latest technology are perpetrating more sophisticated online transaction frauds. Because a large part of the global population is not tech-savvy enough to ward off the (financial crime) risks associated with online transactions, they are becoming victims of social engineering and cyber (financial) frauds.

Proliferation of money mule-induced laundering

COVID-19 is going to trigger many small-value fund transfers from various governmental bodies, non-governmental organizations and other agencies to fund relief work. Therefore, transaction patterns may stray from the norm. Any Transaction Monitoring (TM) system will need some time to get tuned to these patterns, and this time will ironically present a golden opportunity for launderers to route funds through money mules and escape detection. Fear of being laid off and the lure of earning income from home will entice people into becoming money mules. Most of the leading regulators, including the Dutch National Police, have warned private and public organizations to be vigilant about any such situation.

Imposter scams

A pandemic of this magnitude brings panic and anxiety among the masses, which in turn presents an opportunity for imposters to design scams impersonating government agencies, international relief organizations or healthcare service providers. One such scam that is already occurring involves banking institutions’ moratorium on equated monthly installments. Borrowers are being contacted by fraud perpetrators over the phone or by email and being asked to reschedule a loan as a relief measure. This allows fraud perpetrators to extract account details and siphon off funds in no time.

Money laundering camouflaged as COVID-19 relief

While the world adapts to fight The COVID-19 Pandemic, launderers are using this time to transfer illicit funds under minimal or no suspicion. Regulators such as the European Banking Authority (EBA) have already warned banking institutions about emerging criminal activity linked to COVID-19.

As stated by the European Banking Authority (EBA), “As most economies are facing a downturn, financial flows are likely to diminish. However, experience from past (financial) crises suggests that in many cases, illicit finance will continue to flow.” Other major regulators have also released similar COVID-19 guidelines. It is incumbent for cash-starved banking institutions to maintain high levels of rigor while monitoring cash transactions.

COVID-19-related insider trading

The current COVID-19-crisis has impaired the business dynamics that drive economic activities in a normal scenario. Only essential companies are open under strict regulatory control. As a result, governmental policies and decisions carry huge implications on trading prices of stocks and if used scrupulously, can lead to market abuse.

Cybercrime and associated crypto-threats

There are reports of cyber-criminals taking advantage of COVID-19 to scam the vulnerable public. Some examples include the following:

  • Healthcare providers being attacked by ransom-ware such as Bitcoin ransom-ware, which is wreaking havoc on the already stressed hospital information technology (IT) infrastructure and cashing in on the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Cyber-attacks on the depleted security systems of organizations due to limited staff presence and unpatched vulnerabilities.
  • Launching fake mobile apps, which claim to be providing information on COVID-19, aimed at stealing personal data or even rendering phones unbootable.

All the above developments have two things in common: fear and chaos caused by The COVID-19 Pandemic. This has provided the perfect platform for launderers and fraud perpetrators to thrive until private and public organizations develop a defense mechanism and adaptations become institutionalized. Private and public organizations must quickly improvise to this changed scenario to avoid further damage.

Managing the impact of COVID-19: A job made for private and public organizations

Having understood the gravity of the problem, private and public organizations must now address (financial) crimes triggered by COVID-19. One silver lining in this grim situation is seeing several innovations develop that were unimaginable just a few weeks ago, such as the production of ventilators by car manufacturers and the conversion of trains, ships and even airplanes into hospitals. Private and public organizations are likely to create their own innovative solutions to stay afloat during these testing times as well. The following are realignments that might be used to mitigate COVID-19-related financial (crime) risks.

Strengthening Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) investigation, factoring in emerging risks and enhancing automation

As most client interactions for banking are now happening through online channels, anti-money laundering (AML) procedures will change. The financial (crime) risk perception of banking institutions should also change accordingly as bad actors will introduce newer forms of suspicious activities into the system. The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has already advised private and public organizations to remain alert to malicious/fraudulent transactions from exploiting The COVID-19 Pandemic.

Given the above changes and with minimal staff strength at their disposal, banking institutions that have introduced automations in the past will gain from these implementations. Others will need to work hard to introduce cognitive Robotic Process Automation (RPA) based on Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) investigation and reporting solutions to meet this challenge.

Fine-tuning adverse media screening

As part of anti-money laundering (AML) investigations, adverse media screening is performed to ascertain whether the investigated entity is involved in anything negative such as criminal proceedings, penalties and fines, involvement in laundering of funds, and so on. Important aspects of adverse media screening include news categorization, context-sensitive interpretation and automation of screening process. With COVID-19 introducing new sets of (financial) crime typologies, private and public organizations will face increased false positive alerts as well as true positive misses. Therefore, private and public organizations need to review their media screening and introduce necessary changes to stay effective. In short, private and public organizations must redefine screening typologies for drawing insights.

New scenario building for Transaction Monitoring (TM)

Like adverse media screening, Transaction Monitoring (TM) scenarios will also need to be adjusted so newer forms of money laundering are kept in check. Therefore, banking institutions need to review Transaction Monitoring (TM) scenarios and introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based detection wherever possible to take care of any new anomalies or pattern changes automatically.

Stricter insider-trading detection through Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based models

Insider-trading as a result of regulatory policy information being leaked must be addressed. Additional scenarios to consider include timing of policy information dissemination and timing of trading. This will be a tough job as it needs to be accomplished in the interest of market integrity. A more rigorous trader and employee communication surveillance will also help a great deal.

Finding newer acceptable ways to perform Know your Customer (KYC) updates

Know your customer (KYC) updates will have serious challenges as social distancing measures continue. Private and public organizations need to develop a robust mechanism using unconventional channels wherever possible, such as online data collection for collecting customer data.

Enriching fraud scenarios with the latest event information

As newer forms of frauds are gaining prominence, Private and public organizations need to enrich their fraud event repository so COVID-19-induced frauds are not missed. Here again, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based detection models will be quite handy for making unsupervised adjustments in flawed indicators.

Keeping cyber threats at bay by deploying adequate staff

Cyber-security and data breach prevention are nonnegotiable under all circumstances. These are now even more critical due to the following factors:

  • Stress of digital transaction volumes on IT-infrastructure
  • Current onslaught of cyber-criminals
  • Data access by employees working from remote locations

Any frugality in terms of staffing this function will only attract hefty financial and reputational losses and cause severe business continuity issues. Therefore, IT-support should receive top staffing priority.

Including the above-mentioned set of measures, the broad readiness agenda for C-level risk and compliance heads of private and public organizations is depicted below.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 Pandemic will likely be present for the foreseeable future, so appropriate changes in how companies manage (financial crime) risks must be made. After getting over the initial hiccups of grappling with immediate business continuity challenges, (financial crime) risk and IT teams of private and public organizations are now gearing up for the next challenges: how to plan, introduce and institutionalize the above-mentioned adaptations that will help them currently and in the long term. As there is less time to react, operational resiliency and managing speed of change is of utmost importance. One thing that will help private and public organizations a great deal is introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based capabilities, which have very high levels of adaptability to changes in data and information by learning from newer patterns, anomalies and outliers. Private and public organizations that already have these capabilities stand to gain a lot and will be better equipped to handle this COVID-19-crisis now and in the future.

However, it is not possible to develop these capabilities overnight if not existing in their current ecosystem. Therefore, it will be prudent to develop a two-pronged strategy comprising of strategic and tactical measures. The following are key elements of this strategy:

  • All types of detections might be improved through strategic measures, i.e., either by deploying new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based models within a reasonable time or fine-tuning existing models. For example, money laundering or fraud detection models might be retrained with additional data in order to maintain their detection effectiveness.
  • Changes in manually performed activities might be handled through remediation in the short term so that compliance objectives are quickly achieved. However, in the long run, they would require measures like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to save effort and time as well as meet new compliance requirements.

Regardless of the strategy, it is important to stay compliant at all times as regulators are not going to provide any major leeway during this hour of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Coronavirus stimulus payment scams: What you need to know

We know there’s been a flood of information and updates about the government’s economic impact payments, or so-called stimulus checks, lately. But quickly and safely moving massive amounts of money into the hands of those who need it is a big job with a lot of moving parts.

We also know that the more you know about the process, the less likely you’re going to be tripped up by calls, text messages, or emails from scammers trying to steal your money or personal information.

Here’s what you need to know about the stimulus payments and how to avoid scams related to these payments.

Who will get money?

Adult U.S. residents that meet established income limits are eligible to receive money from the government. This includes:

Taxpayers – people who filed a federal tax return for 2018 or 2019.

Retirees – people who get Social Security, Railroad, or other retirement benefits.

Beneficiaries – people who get public benefits like SSDI, disability, or veterans’ benefits.

Non-filers – people who do not have to file a federal tax return, including people who made no income or made less than $12,200 (or $24,400 for married couples).If you get Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, have a qualifying child, and didn’t file a return in 2018 or 2019, you have to take action by noon ET on Wednesday, April 22 to add the $500 per eligible child to your payment. See details from the IRS.

What to do

Most people don’t have to do anything to get their money because the IRS will use the same payment method – direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or paper check – used to send you your tax refund, Social Security, retirement, or other government benefits money. If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information, you can go to the “Get My Payment” feature at irs.gov/coronavirus and let them know where to send your direct deposit.

If you don’t usually file a tax return, go to irs.gov/coronavirus to access the “Non-filer” portal and to figure out what, if anything, you have to do to claim your money.

To check on the status of your payment, you can now use the “Get My Payment” feature at irs.gov/coronavirus.

Avoiding Coronavirus stimulus payment scams

Scammers are using these stimulus payments to try to rip people off. They might try to get you to pay a fee to get your stimulus payment. Or they might try to convince you to give them your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number.

4 tips for avoiding a Coronavirus stimulus payment scam

  1. Only use irs.gov/coronavirus to submit information to the IRS – and never in response to a call, text, or email.
  2. The IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number. Anyone who does is a scammer phishing for your information.
  3. You don’t have to pay to get your stimulus money.
  4. The IRS won’t tell you to deposit your stimulus check then send them money back because they paid you more than they owed you. That’s a fake check scam.

Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

To keep up with the latest scams, sign up for the FTC’s consumer alerts.

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Fraud Perpetrators are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. Here are some tips to help you keep the fraud perpetrators at bay:

  • Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Fraud Perpetrators are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  • Fact-check information. Fraud Perpetrators , and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What our Government is Doing for links to central and local government agencies.
  • Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
  • Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a fraud perpetrator.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the RIVM/GGD or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the RIVM/GGD and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
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