e p t e m b e r 2 0 2 0 S s s u e C W 3 9 I TAX OBLIGATIONS WITHHOLDING FOREIGN EMPLOYEES FOR ENTRY EASING RESTRICTIONS FREE SERVICE OF: A GLOBAL MOBILITY SOLUTIONS CONVINUS 70, 8001 ZÜRICH, SCHWEIZ TALSTRASSE / INFO@CONVINUS.COM WWW.CONVINUS.COM WHEN OBLIGATION FROM ENTERING News from the world of global mobility The “Irish Revenue” authority has updated the rules on withholding taxes (PAYE - pay-asyou-earn) for foreign employees working temporarily in Ireland. For withholding obligations, the actual employment relationship between the employee and the employer is relevant for the withholding obligation; neither the function nor the tasks of the employee are considered. The regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2020, provide clear guidelines about when the withholding obligation for foreign employee starts. The total number of working days for each calendar year is considered on a stand-alone basis. For employees who come from countries with which no double taxation agreement IRELAND: RULES ON UPDATED exists (DTA), withholding tax must be paid after 30 working days. For employees from countries with which a double taxation agreement exists, the obligation to deduct withholding tax generally begins after 60 days. However, the specific provisions of the respective DTA must be observed. Since the beginning of July 2020, persons from a country or area with high infection rates who enter Switzerland are obliged to spend ten days in quarantine. With a decision of September 11, 2020, the Swiss Federal Council is now pursuing a regional approach regarding Switzerland's neighbouring countries. Only the regions above the threshold will be added to the list of states and areas with an increased risk of infection, not the entire country. Border regions of neighbouring states may not be added to the list at all. Cross-border commuters have already been exempted from the quarantine obligation before. SWITZERLAND: QUARANTINE NO Persons engaged in the cultural sector after a cultural event, athletes after a competition and participants in trade fairs are also not obliged to go into quarantine based on the new decision - provided that the attended event abroad has developed BORDER REGIONS and implemented a specific protection concept. In order to cope with the entry restrictions due to COVID19, the Finnish government drafted on 11 September 2020 a resolution on a new test-based operating model to manage travel from countries with the permitted limit of infection rates. Moreover, as of September 19, 2020, the threshold for establishing entry restrictions was increased from less than 8 to less than 25 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. Travel restrictions between Finland and Cyprus, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Sweden, as well as for residents of Australia, Canada and Japan have also been lifted. Due to the increasing numbers, new travel restrictions have been imposed for Italy and Hungary, as the new permitted threshold of COVID19 is exceeded in these countries. For all other countries, the previous regulations on travel restrictions apply, especially regarding quarantine obligations. FINLAND: SET ON SIGHTS Based on the new operating model, all travelers from the risk countries should be able to show a negative COVID19 test before entering Finland. However, the government will not announce concrete measures until November 23, 2020. Until then, there will be a transit phase, according to which a negative COVID19 test shall happen in the last 72 hours before arrival. STATES OF AMERICA: UNITED BAN FOR TRAVEL MEXICO AND CANADA EXTENDED The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has extended the ban on “non-essential” travels from Mexico and Canada until October 21, 2020. The initial ban on entry from these countries began on March 21, 2020 and has been extended several times. However, this does not apply to air travel. As “non-essential” travels are qualified travels for tourism purposes and for visiting nature. Travelling for the following reasons is still permitted: US citizens and persons with lawful residence Travel for lawful cross-border trade Travel for professional reasons Travel for medical purposes Travel to educational institutions Emergency and public health travel (e.g., government officials or officials entering the United States to assist the government in the fight against COVID-19 or other emergencies) Travel to the USA by members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children Travel for professional reasons as well as in the trade sector is increasingly subject to strict controls.