2020.03.20 16:45

Around 32,000 businesses in Lithuania offered tax breaks

BNS2020.03.20 16:45

Lithuania's State Tax Inspectorate (VMI) has published a list of 32,000 businesses directly affected by the coronavirus crisis, which will be eligible for tax breaks.

Listed business will be able to request interest-free tax loans, will be exempt from interest charged on tax arrears, as well as tax recovery, according to Edita Janušiene, the head of VMI.

The tax-break period begins on March 16 and will last until the state of emergenct is lifted. The businesses will also be eligable for social insurance social insurance tax breaks, according to the VMI.

Read more: Lithuanian government's business support plan: 10 key measures

Lithuania's largest chains and companies are among those eligable for the tax breaks. The list includes travel companies Novaturas, Tez Tour, Baltic Clipper, Baltic Tours, catering companies Čili Piza, Charlie Pizza and La Crepe chains, as well as Premier Restaurants which operates the McDonald's chain in the Baltic states.

DIY and household goods chains are also on the list and include Ermitažas, Kesko Senukai, Depo, as well as the largest clothing retailer in the Baltic states, Apranga, and Felit, the company operating the IKEA franchise.

Read more: Biggest DIY chain backtracks on decision to halt paying suppliers

Agrokoncernas, owned by Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, is also on the list.

Car retailers and hotel operators, including Lietuva Viešbutis, operating the Radisson Blu hotel in Vilnius, as well as Congress, Stikliai, Narutis hotels in Vilnius and Grand SPA Lietuva in Druskininkai, are also eligable.

Estonia's railway services group Skinest Baltia, IT company Atea and the are also on the list.

Businesses that aren't on the list can also turn to the VMI for assistance.

Lithuania hopes to borrow at low interest rates

Lithuania's financial reputation is now the best in the country's history, therefore the country hopes to borrow at low interest rates, Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka says.

"In every case, interest rates will vary depending on issued financial instruments. We should be glad that at the moment Lithuania's financial reputation in the world is the best in the country's history, and we will make use of that, therefore, those interest rates will definitely be low," Šapoka told reporters on Friday.

He added that the state is not experiencing a lack of funds at the moment.

"We now have plenty of funds in the state coffers and we are [..] borrowing to avoid a shortage in the future," the minister said.

Earlier this week, the Lithuanian parliament raised the government's net borrowing limit from 904.6 million to 5.4 billion euros

In late February, Standard & Poor’s raised Lithuania's credit rating to A+ with a stable outlook. Fitch Ratings' rating for Lithuania now stands at A with a stable outlook, compared to Moody‘s A3 (a positive outlook) and DBRS Morningstar's A (a positive outlook).

Read more: Lithuania gets A+ credit rating in a 'historical moment'

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