In the first phase of the corona crisis, nearly 140,000 organisations applied for an advance payment on wage costs under the First Temporary Emergency Bridging to Maintain Employment (NOW 1).

The purpose of NOW 1 is to support employers who are facing a substantial loss of turnover as a result of the corona crisis.

Employers were able to apply to the UWV for an advance payment to cover their wage costs for the months of March, April and May. On the basis of the application, the UWV provided advances amounting to 80% of the expected compensation. Now, a few months later, it is time to investigate the situation and draw up a final statement.

Final statement based on actual decrease in turnover
In order to be able to make the final statement, the actual decrease in turnover in the months March, April and May is taken into account. Based on this, the amount of the final compensation can be calculated and it is determined whether a correction to the previously paid advance is necessary. The research differs per organization and depends on the size of the enterprise and the amount of the subsidy.

Different gradations in intensity of audit
Accountants have an important role to play in the final settlement. Different gradations have been chosen in the intensity of the audit, so that the administrative burden is proportional to the actual risk of fraud.

If the advance amount paid is less than €20,000 and the subsidy amount is ultimately less than €25,000, there is no need for an additional check. However, random checks will be carried out. So it remains important for every enterprise to keep the administration in good order!

Enterprises whose subsidy amount is between €25,000 and €125,000 require a third party statement to prove the legitimacy of the subsidy. This statement may be issued by an administrative office, tax consultant or accountant.

Auditor’s report
Above €100,000 as an advance or €125,000 as a subsidy amount, the enterprise must issue an auditor’s report.

The intensity of the audit depends on the amount of the subsidy and whether or not the enterprise is subject to audit for its annual accounts.

The limit amount is set at € 375,000. If the enterprise is entitled to a subsidy of less than € 375,000 and does not meet the criteria for the obligation to audit the annual accounts, an auditor’s report is sufficient. More accountability is expected from enterprises that are entitled to a subsidy of more than € 375,000 and have annual accounts that require an auditor. These enterprises are required to issue an audit product whereby the auditor provides a reasonable degree of assurance. The amount of the subsidy justifies this intensive investigation.

The aim is that organisations that have used NOW 1 are able to submit a request for their subsidy to be definitively determined as of 7 October 2020.