COVID-19 Correspondence Information for Business Operators

First and foremost, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As part of our efforts to continue supporting our clients despite these trying times, we have compiled useful information below related to systems established in Japan to address the pandemic, including financing, subsidies, taxation, and the like (as of April 27, 2020).

  1. Financing
    • (1) Financing with Private Credit Guarantees
      From No. 4 and No. 5 Safety Nets for Financing Guarantee, to the Emergency Guarantee Program, to Private Credit Guarantees, Japan has implemented various support measures that cover guarantee fees and interest reduction and exemption. No. 4 Safety Nets for Financing Guarantee for natural disasters and other unexpected disasters has a guarantee coverage ratio of 100%. This is a separate framework from ordinary guarantees, and has a maximum guarantee amount of 280 million JPY. No. 5 Safety Nets for Financing Guarantee for industry categories affected by an economic slump (nationwide) has a guarantee coverage ratio of 80%. Again, this is separate from the ordinary guarantees, and has a maximum guarantee amount of 280 million JPY. No. 4 and No. 5 Safety Nets can be used in conjunction with each other. Additionally, the Emergency Guarantee Program is a separate framework that guarantees up to 280 million JPY from April 1, 2020.
    • (2) Government Financing (General)
      Support measures from the government include the Novel Coronavirus-related Special Loan Program, the crisis response loan through the Shoko Chukin Bank, special interest subsidy system (virtually no interest), and relaxation of requirements for safety nets loans.
    • (3) Government Financing (living and health-related)
      Support measures from the government that focus on living and health include Novel Coronavirus-related Living and Health Special Loan Program, Novel Coronavirus Countermeasure Loan, special interest subsidy system (virtually no interest), and special loan for measures to address drastic changes in sanitary environment.
  2. Grants, subsidies and benefits
    • (1) Employment Adjustment Subsidy
      This subsidy provides support to employers who are forced to reduce their business activities due to economic reasons and allow their employees to be placed on temporary leave, occupational training or secondment, with the objective of maintaining employment. Requirements to qualify for this subsidy has been relaxed.
      The following apply when the first day of temporary leave falls in-between January 24, 2020 to July 23, 2020:
      ① Plan document for employee leaves, etc. can be submitted in backdated manner
      ② Validation period for checking production indicators was shortened to 1 month
      ③ Even if an applying company’s employment index for the latest 3 months has increased compared to the employment index during the same period in the previous year, the company is still eligible
      ④ A new company (within a year of establishment) is still eligible
      ⑤ Abolition of the cooling-off period
      ⑥ Elimination of insured period requirements
      Reference URL: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/11602000/000604757.pdf
    • (2) Subsidies for sustaining businesses
      This program targets companies facing severe conditions due to the spread of the disease. This aims to provide subsidies for a wide variety of purposes that in general are considered effective in supporting them in sustaining or reviving their businesses (assuming the passing of the FY2020 Draft Supplementary Budget).The total amount of subsidies is 2 million yen for a corporation and 1 million yen for an individual business operator, etc. In principle, the amount should not exceed the figure for the year-on-year loss of sales.
      Reference URL: https://www.meti.go.jp/covid-19/pdf/kyufukin.pdf
    • (3) Telework subsidies
      As a measure to prevent the spread of new cases of the COVID-19 disease and business continuity emergency measures for companies, the Tokyo Foundation for Employment Services will provide a subsidy for equipment, software, etc. necessary for the introduction of teleworking to medium-sized and small businesses in Tokyo. The maximum subsidy is 2.5 million yen, and a subsidy rate of 10/10.
      Reference URL: https://www.shigotozaidan.or.jp/koyo-kankyo/joseikin/kinkyutaisaku.html

      [What PKF Shiodome Partners Can Do]

      • Guidance regarding the Employment Adjustment Subsidy, subsidies for sustaining businesses, and telework subsidies, etc.
      • As these subsidy programs have not been finalized yet, we cannot accept requests to process applications on behalf of companies. We will focus on providing advice and guidance on how to apply for these subsidies.
  3. Accounting and tax

    Japan has implemented accounting and tax measures as a response to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Grace period and extension of tax payment deadlines;
    • Extension of tax filing and payment deadlines;
    • Special consideration for grace period (national and local tax);
    • Grace period for payments (national tax);
    • Grace period for payments (local tax);
    • Refund by carryback of losses; and
    • Reduction of property taxes.

    [What PKF Shiodome Partners Can Do]

    • Consultations regarding financial and taxation matters
  4. Labor and human resources

    There are support measures such as the grace period on payment for welfare pension insurance, national health insurance, latter-stage elderly healthcare system, and long-term care insurance premiums (tax), etc.

    [What PKF Shiodome Partners Can Do]

    • Consultations regarding health and labor insurance matters
  5. Legal and visa

    Considering the impact of COVID-19, with the intention of preventing the spread of infection and reducing the amount of people visiting the Immigration Bureau for visa concerns, foreign nationals whose visas expire between March and June 2020 can apply for renewal or change in their visa statuses up to three months after the expiration date.

    [What PKF Shiodome Partners Can Do]

    • Consultations regarding visa applications and renewals, etc. for foreign nationals

    For a more detailed information regarding visa measures in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, please refer to this website.

  6. Other information

    Below we have compiled a list of websites that provide updated information daily that may be useful.

    • A pamphlet released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry titled “To all business operators who are affected by the novel coronavirus” contains information on business consultations, cash flow support, financing, subsidies, support for capital investment and market development, improvement of business environment, tax, social insurance, public utility charges, etc.
      URL: https://www.meti.go.jp/covid-19/pdf/pamphlet.pdf
    • Operated by the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, “J-Net21” is a website that collected information related to the coronavirus according to prefecture. In addition to national policies, local bodies such as prefectural and municipal governments may also implement various support measures.
      j-net21
      URL: https://j-net21.smrj.go.jp/support/tsdlje00000085bc.html
    • The official website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries introduces financial support measures and Employment Adjustment Subsidy support measures that can be utilized by food business operators.
      URL: https://www.maff.go.jp/j/shokusan/saigai_r2-march.html
    • Listed below are the websites for the Japan Finance Corporation, the Shoko Chukin Bank, and the Japan Federation for Credit Guarantee Corporations.
      jfc
      URL: https://www.jfc.go.jp/n/finance/saftynet/covid_19.html
      shokochukin
      URL: https://www.shokochukin.co.jp/disaster/corona.html
      jfg
      URL: https://www.zenshinhoren.or.jp/model-case/keiei-shisho.html
    • When searching for support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises including countermeasures that address the Coronavirus disease 2019, you can business portal site “Mirasapo plus” website, which can support searches for various topics from subsidies to electronic applications. Keyword searches for various support measures are also possible.
      mirasapo-plus
      URL: https://seido-navi.mirasapo-plus.go.jp/catalogs

    We will update this post with the latest information every week. Please take good care of yourselves to avoid infection. We sincerely pray for everyone’s good health, and we hope that we can overcome this crisis together.

PKF Shiodome Partners’ Service Features

Able to provide support quickly and with a sense of urgency

As the average age of PKF Shiodome Partners is younger than that found in this industry, our team of consultants are light on their feet. To facilitate global business during and after the coronavirus pandemic, PKF Shiodome Partners promises the speedy support for the business continuity and development of our clients.

A one-stop service consisting of professionals who demonstrate their strengths in environments where complex and timely responses are required

PKF Shiodome Partners is home to several certified professionals, such as public accountants, tax accountants, lawyers, social insurance and labor consultants, judicial scriveners, administrative scriveners, and patent attorneys. With our wide range of services that make us a one-stop service, we will help our clients overcome this crisis together.

Able to offer multilingual services and support

PKF Shiodome Partners is also home to bilingual staff proficient in major languages such as English and Chinese. Our clients may feel that it is difficult to collect and respond to information in Japanese. On the other hand, we believe there is a need to collect information globally. We use English and Chinese to support various client operations during and after the coronavirus situation.

Cross-border support using overseas networks is possible

These days, the growth of companies is becoming cross-border. As a member of PKF’s international accounting network, and we will support the client’s business during and after the coronavirus situation with the wealth of knowledge offered by this network.