The law firm Tax Compliance estimates that 40% of those companies subject to the moratorium on bankruptcy are at risk. Once the moratorium is over, their counterparties and creditors will start filing claims - but it's not a fact that the business affected by the pandemic has recovered during the moratorium.
Recall that the moratorium on bringing bankruptcy proceedings against the taxpayers most affected by the spread of coronavirus infection was the government in early April, it expires on October 4, 2020. The moratorium applies to companies whose main code of OKVED (as of March 1, 2020) is attributed to the most affected industries or to systemically important or strategic organizations. The moratorium has affected about 1.3 million organizations and IEs - most of them belong to the air and road transport, culture and tourism sectors. Also, small and medium businesses have received deferred taxes and insurance premiums.
However, experts warn that the six-month "vacation" has not helped all companies to recover, and this will be discovered after the moratorium expires. "The measures related to the moratorium have already exhausted themselves, and in general have not had much impact on the results of the companies that fell under the moratorium," Tax Compliance lawyer Andrey Solomyany told "Expert". - And once the moratorium is lifted, they may initiate bankruptcy themselves. The fact is that in Russia, a creditor may file an application to declare the debtor bankrupt if there is a debt of at least 300 thousand rubles and filing an application does not depend on the turnover of the company. As long as the moratorium lasts, obligations are frozen, and the companies' counterparties hope that they will eventually be able to get the money. But when the moratorium comes to an end, it turns out that travel agencies, organizers of public events, airlines and others still have nothing to pay. In this regard, the heads of organizations are required to file an application for bankruptcy of the legal entity - as they will meet the signs of insolvency and the inability to simultaneously pay off overdue debt to all creditors. Thus, some time after the moratorium has been lifted, bankruptcy proceedings may be expected to grow; in the meantime, Andrey Solomyany adds, it may well be expected that businessmen who assume such an outcome will withdraw property and capital from companies.
During the seven months of the pandemic, from early February to early September, according to the Federal Tax Service, the number of small and medium-sized businesses in Russia has decreased by 300 thousand - from 5.9 to 5.6 million, or about 5%, which is generally a little. Interestingly, the number of employees in SMEs has even slightly increased - from 15.3 to 15.5 million people.
The largest and most strategically important companies will be supported by the state in various ways - for example, Aeroflot will be additionally capitalized through an SPO, which will erase the shares of current shareholders, but will curb the debt growth.
But medium-sized companies, which realized that their business will not recover in the near future, will have to make some decisions after the end of the moratorium.
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