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ANCHIDIM ZĂGREAN

Gambling in Romania during the measures adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The practice of gambling in 2020

Article from the series „The practice of gambling”, by Anchidim Zagrean, vice-president ROMBET

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, following a public health risk assessment that indicates a massive increase in the number of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, it was necessary to take urgent, exceptional measures in the social field. and economically by establishing a state of emergency. As a result of the measures adopted, the activity of gambling, which takes place indoors, has been suspended as of 19 March 2020. A number of measures have also been taken to mitigate the economic and social consequences of protecting business, including in the field of gambling.
We will try to summarize the effects of these measures by expressing opinions on the foreseeable behavior of their implementation, in order to minimize the losses generated by the government measures, as follows:

1. Organizational licenses and operating authorizations
Based on the provisions: – Decree 195 of 2020, Annex no. 1: First aid measures with direct applicability – Chapter II: Economic field, art.14
-„The validity of the documents issued by the public authorities that expire during the state of emergency is maintained”;
– Art. 12 of the Military Ordinance no. 3 of March 24, 2020 – „Documents that expire during the state of emergency, issued by public authorities, can be exchanged within 90 days from the date of cessation of the state of emergency”;
– Art. 332 of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 1/1999 regarding the state of siege and the state of emergency, amended and supplemented by GEO no. 34 of March 26, 2020 – „The validity of the documents issued by public institutions and authorities is maintained throughout the period of siege or emergency, as well as for a period of 90 days from the termination of these states.”
– at least three situations can be clearly distinguished:
a) The licenses or authorizations of the gambling operators are in the validity period and the practical consequences, after the cessation of the state of emergency, means their extension by 90 days, from the moment of cessation of the state of emergency, without the obligation to make additional payments to the state budget, the additional period being considered as part of the licensing year or authorization year;
b) The period of validity of the licenses or authorizations has expired, after the establishment of the state of emergency and the gambling operators had the documents submitted for relication or re-authorization. In this case, the practical consequences, after the cessation of the state of emergency, means their extension by 90 days, from the moment of cessation of the state of emergency, without the obligation to make additional payments to the state budget, the additional period being considered as part of the year of licensing or authorization year. Licenses or authorizations granted shall enter into force after the expiration of 90 days and after full payment of the license or authorization fees due in advance, made before the expiration of 90 days;
c) The economic operators have requested the granting of new licenses and authorizations, for the organization and operation of the games of chance and these have been approved by the issuance of the Decisions of the Supervisory Committee of ONJN. In this case, the practical consequences, after the cessation of the state of emergency, mean the extension of the validity of these decisions by 90 days, from the moment of cessation of the state of emergency. The licenses and authorizations granted enter into force on the first of the month following the one in which the advance payment of the license and authorization fees was made, but before the expiration of 90 days.

2. Measures in the field of social protection
During the period of emergency, for the period of temporary suspension of the individual employment contract, at the initiative of the employer, the allowances that the employees receive are set at 75% of the basic salary corresponding to the job occupied and is supported from the unemployment insurance budget, but not more than 75% of the gross average wage stipulated by the Law of the state social insurance budget for 2020.
These measures benefit the employees of the employers who temporarily reduce or interrupt the activity in whole or in part, according to a declaration on their own responsibility assumed by the employer.
The compensation calculated by the employer is subject to taxation and payment of compulsory social contributions and the calculation, withholding and payment of income tax, the state social insurance contribution and the social health insurance contribution is made by the employer from the benefits received from the unemployment insurance budget.

3. Economic and fiscal-budgetary measures
a) The granting of state guarantees in favor of each participant in the program, for one of the following categories of credits:
– One or more loans for investments and / or working capital – guaranteed by the state – maximum 80% – of the value of the financing – excluding interest, commissions and bank charges – with a maximum guaranteed value of 10,000,000 lei, with the subsidy 100% interest rates;
– One or more guarantees for loans from the financing of the working capital guaranteed by the state – maximum 90% – of the value of the financing – excluding interest, commissions and bank charges – with a maximum guaranteed value of 500,000 lei for micro-enterprises and maximum 1,000,000 lei for enterprises small, with 100% interest subsidy.
The interest subsidy may last until March 31, 2021, subject to certain conditions.
The maximum duration of financing is 120 months in the case of investment loans and 36 months in the case of working capital loans.
b) In 2020, the deadline of March 31, for granting the discounts on local taxes and fees, established by the local council, is extended until June 30, including;
c) The debtor who wishes to restructure his budgetary obligations, must notify the competent fiscal body between February 1 and July 31, 2020, subject to the sanction of the decease of this right. The request for restructuring shall be submitted by October 30, 2020, subject to the sanction of decay;
d) For due tax obligations, starting with March 21, 2020 and not paid up to 30 days from the end of the state of emergency, no interest and penalties for delay are calculated and not due.
By way of derogation from the provision of the Fiscal Procedure Code, according to which: the outstanding fiscal obligations are the fiscal obligations for which the maturity or payment term has been fulfilled, the fiscal obligations referred to in point d) are not considered as outstanding fiscal obligations.
Important:
It is submitted, within the legal term, the tax declarations constituting the fiscal debt, but between March 21, 2020 – up to 30 days from the end of the state of emergency these fiscal obligations are not considered to be outstanding fiscal obligations.
The taxpayers applying the system of declaration and payment of the annual profit tax, with quarterly advance payments, can make quarterly advance payments for 2020, at the level resulting from the calculation of the tax on the current quarterly profit, by keeping this calculation method for all quarters of fiscal year 2020;
Taxpayers paying corporate income tax, regardless of the declaration and payment system, which pay the tax due for the first quarter of 2020, respectively for the advance payment related to the same quarter, until the due date of April 25, 2020 inclusive, benefit from a bonus calculated on the profit tax due, as follows:
a) 5% or large taxpayers;
b) 10% for medium taxpayers;
c) 10% for other taxpayers.
g) During the state of emergency, the small and medium-sized enterprises, defined in Law 346 of 2004, updated, which have interrupted their activity in whole or in part based on the decisions issued by the competent public authorities – during the state of emergency declared and holding the certificate emergency situation issued by the Ministry of Economy – benefits from deferred payment for utilities services (electricity, natural gas, water, telephone and Internet services) as well as deferred payment of the rent for the building for social headquarters and premises side.
By way of derogation from other provisions provided in the contracts in progress, other than the above, the force majeure may be invoked against them, only after the proven evidence with documents communicated by any means, including electronic, for renegotiating the clauses taking into account. of the exceptional conditions generated by the state of emergency.
h) The term for submitting the declaration regarding the real beneficiary, according to Law 1 2 9 of 2019, is extended by 3 months from the date of cessation of the state of emergency.

4. Submission of electronically signed documents
All public institutions in Romania are obliged to accept electronically signed documents and to respond to the requests submitted by citizens also in electronic format, as stipulated in GEO 38 of 2020, published in the OG no.289 of 07.04.2020.
From the date of entry into force of this emergency ordinance – the ONJN:
– issues documents in electronic format with electronic signature, these being assimilated to the authentic documents;
– is obliged to receive the documents signed by electronic signature;
– is obliged to provide its own portals or to use such tools, provided by third parties, in order to receive electronic documents, and if they cannot be used, the documents will be received by e-mail;
– within 15 days, it will issue the administrative documents establishing the type of electronic signature, applicable to a service available online, for natural or legal persons.

We return, in the following issues of the magazine, with the practices and procedures of taxation by types of gambling…