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Category Archive: Freelance Life
“So.. what do you do in Berlin?” It’s fun to wave the term freelancer around casually, perhaps even with an air of pride. But then you have to deal with the tax and immigration offices and suddenly everyone’s confused. Red Tape Translation would love to help you find your bureaucratic identity.
Provisional Aid for companies and self-employed people will be extended until the end of September. Furloughed work regulations will apply until then as well.
Translation by Malte Gensch
The federal government has agreed to extend economic aid programs for companies that have been particularly affected during the Corona crisis, according to information provided by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). Members of the government stated that Überbrückungshilfe III (provisional aid III) shall be extended until the end of September 2021 as “Überbrückungshilfe III Plus”. Additionally, they plan to give incentives to businesses to reopen faster.
Provisional Aid III has been previously limited until the end of June as a central means of aid by the government. The Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance negotiated an extension of the program in the last weeks.
DPA information indicates that businesses are supposed to also receive staff costs aid in the future if they decide to take employees off furlough, or hire new staff. Neustarthilfe (Restart Aid) is also supposed to be adjusted.
Restart aid for businesses with low fixed costs
Provisional Aid III provides companies and self-employed people with subsidies for their fixed costs. The condition for this is a Corona-based drop in revenue of at least 30%. The reference value for this is usually the respective month in 2019. In April, the federal government also agreed on an equity subsidy for companies that experienced a drop in revenue of more than 50% for at least three months since November of 2020.
Until now, the federal government has paid up to €7,500 worth of Restart Aid to self-employed people in all sectors and industries that experienced substantial drops in sales while having low fixed costs. This money is paid in addition to other benefits and will not count towards those. This amount is supposed to be increased. That way, self-employed people would be able to receive up to €12,000 for the first three quarters of the year.
Furlough benefits are said to be extended until the end of September
The planned extension of the simplified access to furlough benefits until the end of September is also relevant for this agreement. The Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil (SPD), also plans to present a respective decree to the federal cabinet. According to Heil, it is about “stabilizing employment until after the 30th of June 2021, therefore preventing unemployment and potential bankruptcy as far as possible.”
The rules are specifically about social security contributions for canceled work hours during furlough. Until now, those were taken on by the government until June 30th. This is now going to be extended to the end of September. In addition, it will continue to be possible for businesses to file for furlough, as long as at least 10% of their employees are affected, contrary to one third, which is usually required.
The Ministry for Economic Affairs announced that, following the beginning of the Corona crisis, more than €105 bil. have been approved to serve as economic aid. On top of that, there are furlough work benefits amounting to about €32.3 bil. One substantial tool of the government, aside from Provisional Aid, are loans to companies through the Federal Förderbank (Federal Business Development Bank), KfW. The political goal here is to soften the effects of the crisis on jobs and businesses.
Good news: It’s finally here. The application process for Überbrückungshilfe III started in mid-February, and the coveted Neustarthilfe für Soloselbstständige followed last Tuesday.
Lots of freelancers find themselves in a tough financial situation. Ever since the pandemic started, many of us have been left entirely without work. There are financial instruments like Kurzarbeitergeld for employees, but freelancers have often been left with no choice but to get their basic needs covered by the Jobcenter.
Lockdown ruining your revenue? Homeschooling your kids instead of earning? Enter a confusing array of government grants designed to compensate you. There are so many of them, it’s hard to keep track. Here’s what we know so far.
The Investitionsbank Berlin will be asking all freelancers and small businesses who received Soforthilfe in the Spring whether they needed it or not. If they didn’t really need it or didn’t need all of it, they should pay some or all of it back.
Feeling the financial squeeze of Lockdown Light? Enter “November-Hilfe”, a flat-fee designed to compensate you for the revenue you lost this month. It’s not to be confused with Soforthilfe or Überbrückungshilfe. Red Tape Translation will take you through what it is, whether you’re eligible and how to apply.… Read More
Ahhh, is that autumn in the air? Must be time for the Künstlersozialkasse’s random income audit! Every year in September, a handful of Künstlersozialkasse members get sent a special yellow letter. … Read More
If you’re receiving ALGII benefits and you have a residence permit, you might have been feeling on edge lately as the deadline given by the Berlin foreigner’s office edges closer. You’ll be pleased to read that you can now receive social welfare at leastuntil the end of 2020.
The Berlin Senate met yesterday to discuss how to support artists and cultural workers during the Corona crisis. The Senate resolved to convince the Bundesrat (German council of states) to request that the Federal government support artists and freelancers in cultural and media by paying them a flat fee of 1,180€ monthly while they are unable to work. In Baden-Württemburg, this initiative has already been combined with the Federal “Soforthilfe” programme.
If this goes through, it won’t be influenced by savings or assets – just a flat fee to cover living expenses. The decision in Berlin is only at the Senate level so far, so there is still a long way to go. There might be opposition. But it an important decision and we will wait eagerly to see how it develops.
Press release from the Senate here.