Hmm, that last part seems complicated - who can actually apply?
Self-employed persons from all sectors are generally eligible to apply for the restart assistance if they work as self-employed as your main occupation, i.e. the majority of the total of your income (at least 51 percent) comes from a commercial (§ 15 EStG) and/or freelance (§ 18 EStG) activity, and:
- employ less than one salaried employee (full-time equivalent) ( see 2.5 ),
- are recorded by a German tax office for tax purposes,
- do not claim any fixed costs in bridging aid III and
- started their self-employed business before May 1, 2020
You are excluded from receiving this help if you:
- were already in (economic) difficulties as of December 31, 2019 (EU definition 3 ) and have not overcome this status afterwards 4 ,
- have ceased their business activities permanently or have applied for or opened national insolvency proceedings.
The old two-step tango...
The government has created an advance payment system for this Restart Help, which essentially involves a person receiving the money as an advance. Essentially, after submitting your application, you will receive the restart aid as an advance. After the end of the funding period (from July 2021), you will prepare a final statement and state the sales you have achieved in the first half of 2021.
This will check whether you can keep the advance payment in full (the advance payment then becomes a grant), or whether you have to repay all or part of the advance payment. That depends on how badly your business was affected by the corona pandemic. It’s complicated, but fair. The more your business suffered from the corona pandemic in the first half of 2021, the less you will have to repay the restart aid. Self-employed people who only achieved 40 percent of the reference turnover in 2019 or even less in the first half of 2021 can keep the advance payment in full and do not have to repay anything.
What counts as reference turnover?
The simple answer is your entire 2019 sales minus VAT, divided by 12 and multiplied by 6. This is essentially giving you a monthly average revenue, and allowing its multiplication of half a year to act as your reference sales. Simply put: you generate sales of 24,000 EUR per year. You divide that by 12 (2,000 EUR) and you multiply by six - meaning your reference sales are 12,000 EUR - of which you are eligible to claim restart help of 6,000 EUR.
For those who were not operational in the year 2019, or who began activity from January 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020 have a different set of rules for calculating their reference sales. There are three options of a timeframe to be used for this:
- the average monthly sales over all full months of business activity in 2019 (reference period: January 1, 2019 (or later) to December 31, 2019).
- the average monthly sales in the two months before the crisis, January and February 2020 (comparison period: January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020)
- or the average monthly turnover of the 3rd quarter 2020 (comparison period: July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020)
The sales of January and February 2020 can only be taken into account for the calculation of the reference month if the self-employed persons were self-employed on all days in both months, i.e. the self-employed activity was started before January 1, 2020. Self-employed people who have started their own business on May 1st, 2020 are not eligible to apply. The date on which the self-employed activity was registered with the tax office counts as the date for starting self-employment.