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11.4.2024 15:24

Tax authority and pension providers must show SMEs suffering from strikes flexibility

The political strikes are affecting many SMEs’ cash flow. Suomen Yrittäjät, the Finnish SME association, calls for the Tax Administration and pension providers to more actively support companies who need temporary flexibility on tax payments and pension contributions.

The association says that companies should be awarded payment plans to overcome temporary payment difficulties. Creditors should refrain from applying for companies’ bankruptcies during the strike period.

“The Tax Administration and the pension providers should consider the strikes and the payment difficulties they cause companies. Because of the strikes, they should agree on payment plans with companies suffering from temporary payment difficulties,” says Jukka-Pekka Hellman, a tax expert at Suomen Yrittäjät.

SY believes that the Tax Administration and pension providers should, when necessary, direct companies suffering from the impact of strikes towards the entrepreneur financial counselling service and offer payment plans.

“When you consider the interest on tax you make a payment plan for, companies might need advice on questions such as the appropriate length of a payment plan,” Hellman says. 

SY would like to see the Tax Administration and pension providers show particular restraint when considering bankruptcy applications.

“We hope that as a rule, the Tax Administration and pension providers refrain from applying for companies’ bankruptcy during and immediately after the strikes. No one wins if the big creditors begin actively applying for the bankruptcies of companies suffering from strikes.

“Companies would also like to see the Tax Administration use the Covid-era procedure, whereby merely requesting a payment plan kept tax debts from being sent to debt recovery and being published on the ‘protest list’ or tax debt register. In addition, companies should be allowed to add new tax debts that arise during the strikes to an existing payment plan,” Hellman says.

Strikes benefit no one

Suomen Yrittäjät CEO Mikael Pentikäinen considers the continuation of the political strikes extremely unfortunate and regrettable.

“The strikes harm Finland, Finnish companies and their workers. They benefit no one. That is why SAK should end them immediately,” Pentikäinen says.

“In a parliamentary system, a Government with a majority in Parliament cannot bend to pressure from outside Parliament. That’s why it’s important for Parliament to press on with the reform and enactment of industrial peace regulation.”

Pentikäinen says that many SMEs are suffering because of the strikes.

“There’s no money left, they have to furlough and sack staff. To avoid permanent damage, I hope the Tax Administration and pension providers show flexibility and arrange payment plans with companies to keep them from bankruptcy.”

Pentikäinen also highlighted payment flexibility in his appearance on the MTV Huomenta Suomi breakfast TV show on Thursday 28 March.

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