IBB Corona Zuschuss - if I work in the next 3 months do I have to pay it back?

11 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

I like many received the IBB corona zuchuss for 5,000euro as I am a freelancer. From what I can tell in their limited terms and conditions and from one email they sent me this is considered taxable income for my 2020 tax return, which is understandable, but there are some phrases and i've read online that talk about this like a conditional loan?

 

I'm a bit perplexed, because from what I understand this 5,000euro is considered an emergency fund, given out but that are to return a certain amount if it was too much? I most certainly would have been screwed if they hadn't given out the fund, but as a freelancer, if I am offered work in the 3 months from when I received the fund, am I supposed to repay them any amount I earn within that 3 months? And what happens if I do work one day after those 3 months? I am happy to give them back money if I'm obligated to, but surely if it is the case that I would have to repay any of this money if I earn any money from freelance work in those 3 months, then where the hell is the incentive for me to do any work at all within those 3 months? Or am I getting it wrong completely?

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4 hours ago, terenceterence said:

where the hell is the incentive for me to do any work at all within those 3 months?

Self respect and civic responsibility?

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18 minutes ago, Acton said:

Self respect and civic responsibility?

You selectively quoted one phrase out of context just to be condescending. From OPs question, I only see them trying to understand what the terms and conditions of this bonus are.

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3 hours ago, generalmartok said:

You selectively quoted one phrase out of context just to be condescending. From OPs question, I only see them trying to understand what the terms and conditions of this bonus are.

 

Thank you - it's ok this is a forum, I expect replies like that. I was trying to understand the terms and conditions, because if I am offered a contract now for say 3000 euro, which is attractive to me of course as a freelancer, but the profit of that labour would actually go back to the bank, then that is something I would like to know, and I've heard mixed reports and the IBB website isn't clear on that.

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Following. I’d like to know this, too as I am getting 4500 from Bavaria and I’d like to know if it has to be paid back. 

 

ETA: I won’t get paid until August or September (freelance English teacher; you get paid when the course finishes, so it’s not guaranteed you will get the amount if the course is cancelled), so this might not apply to me. 

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There's a difference if you received the Berlin Soforthilfe (which IBB ran out of on April 1st) or the federal one later. The latter (Berlin State Soforthilfe) you could use for 3 months for your business costs AND your living expenses (but for living expenses only up to 5000 Euro in case you received more, which is irrelevant for you). The federal aid is limited to only the operating costs for your business as a freelancer for 3 months and not your personal living expenses (such as rent, health insurance, food, etc.). 

 

Now, to your questions more directly - if at the time of the application your freelance business was, due to COVID-19, in an existential economic situation or in a liquidity shortage then you had the right to apply for the Soforthilfe. But only if financially your business was not in trouble BEFORE Covid-19. So if you had the right pre-conditions at the time you applied, no one could question the given aid. If you, however, start working during these 3 months and your financial circumstances change (ONLY during those 3 months) then you should reassess. Some people have decided to pay back what they won't need since they don't want to wait for the audits, others have decided to put the extra money aside and see what happens after 3 months. There isn't a direct requirement or explanation that I have read or heard of how exactly they might control your changing financial situation but my guess is, compare income taxes from the previous period(s) of earnings. It's quite clear though that they can check anyone who received the aid since by signing you gave them that permission:

 

"Applicants must expect their information to be checked at all times, since they have made the following statement: “I agree to a possible review by the Court of Auditors in Berlin, the institutions of the State of Berlin and the European Commission and confirm that I accept these institutions Provide the documents and information required to clarify the facts and process my application and to demonstrate the appropriate use of the grant." (Die Antragsteller müssen jederzeit damit rechnen, dass ihre Angaben überprüft werden, haben sie doch folgende Erklärung abgegeben: „Einer etwaigen Überprüfung durch den Rechnungshof von Berlin, den Einrichtungen des Landes Berlin und der Europäischen Kommission stimme ich zu und bestätige, dass ich diesen Institutionen auf Verlangen die zur Aufklärung des Sachverhalts und Bearbeitung meines Antrags sowie für den Nachweis der zweckentsprechenden Verwendung des Zuschusses erforderlichen Unterlagen und Informationen unverzüglich zur Verfügung stelle.) This quote is from a question asked to IBB in a German-language article from 1.05.2020 in the Berliner Zeitung https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/mensch-metropole/coronahilfe-erhalten-nur-dann-war-es-korrekt-li.82525

 

If you have work during these 3 months I would be very careful to document everything so you can prove those job opportunities were not existent before, as well as verything else you may need to present at an audit.

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1 hour ago, terenceterence said:

 

Thank you - it's ok this is a forum, I expect replies like that. I was trying to understand the terms and conditions, because if I am offered a contract now for say 3000 euro, which is attractive to me of course as a freelancer, but the profit of that labour would actually go back to the bank, then that is something I would like to know, and I've heard mixed reports and the IBB website isn't clear on that.

Well, it's not that the profit of your labor will be going back to the bank but 3000 (more or less) from the money that the bank gave you will be going back to the bank :) I see this as a big difference. If you take the gig that's your work, you'll be earning money with, and probably creating for yourself more opportunities for further contracts based on your current labor. That would be my personal choice. But you do have a choice - you can also lose any offered business now and use the bank's money until it runs out and line something up afterward. I don't think the second one makes much sense, do you? Still, you may have circumstances that I don't know about. 

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22 hours ago, generalmartok said:

You selectively quoted one phrase out of context just to be condescending. From OPs question, I only see them trying to understand what the terms and conditions of this bonus are.

 

It is not a "bonus", but rather emergency financial assistance for freelancers whose economic activities have been negatively impacted by corona. If he has other sources of revenue he is expected to pursue them.

 

16 hours ago, alexapearl said:

Well, it's not that the profit of your labor will be going back to the bank but 3000 (more or less) from the money that the bank gave you will be going back to the bank :) 

 

Small correction, it is not going back to the bank, but rather any funds the OP returns lowers the amount that the state needs to borrow to finance this programme. 

 

18 hours ago, terenceterence said:

I was trying to understand the terms and conditions, because if I am offered a contract now for say 3000 euro, which is attractive to me of course as a freelancer, but the profit of that labour would actually go back to the bank, then that is something I would like to know, and I've heard mixed reports and the IBB website isn't clear on that.

 

Based on the info in your other threads I suspect that you are only eligible for at most a loan and not a grant; it is possible that you will have to repay the funds if you are audited. 

 

I think it is in everyone's best interest in the long-term if you follow up on opportunities.

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1 hour ago, engelchen said:

 

Small correction, it is not going back to the bank, but rather any funds the OP returns lowers the amount that the state needs to borrow to finance this programme. 

 

By bank, I meant the IBB which administers these funds but you're right of course, in the end, it goes back to the program which can finance more freelancers/small businesses, or if in theory there aren't any, lowers the amount borrowed by the state.

 

I just realized that the OP didn't mention it but to be eligible for the emergency aid you cannot be also a student, part-time employed, receiving unemployment money, and you have to be officially registered as a freelancer at the financial office before the Covid-19 emergency aid became available. 

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On 5/5/2020, 11:40:31, alexapearl said:

Well, it's not that the profit of your labor will be going back to the bank but 3000 (more or less) from the money that the bank gave you will be going back to the bank :) I see this as a big difference. If you take the gig that's your work, you'll be earning money with, and probably creating for yourself more opportunities for further contracts based on your current labor. That would be my personal choice. But you do have a choice - you can also lose any offered business now and use the bank's money until it runs out and line something up afterward. I don't think the second one makes much sense, do you? Still, you may have circumstances that I don't know about. 

Hello thanks for your replies - sorry my phrasing wasn't quite correct - I guess my question was simply that if I worked in the 3 months would I be required to pay that amount back. Just as that's something I need to plan around of course.

 

23 hours ago, engelchen said:

 

It is not a "bonus", but rather emergency financial assistance for freelancers whose economic activities have been negatively impacted by corona. If he has other sources of revenue he is expected to pursue them.

 

 

Small correction, it is not going back to the bank, but rather any funds the OP returns lowers the amount that the state needs to borrow to finance this programme. 

 

 

Based on the info in your other threads I suspect that you are only eligible for at most a loan and not a grant; it is possible that you will have to repay the funds if you are audited. 

 

I think it is in everyone's best interest in the long-term if you follow up on opportunities.

 

Thanks for the advice, again sorry if my phrasing was wrong, Germany was already looking at stagnancy so it is of course better if people are working. God knows I'm going mad sitting at home trying to read books but worrying about the future. Like I said above, I just wanted to be clear that if I was offered a contract now (and hopefully those will start again soon - but I'm also imagining I might have to switch careers altogether the way things are looking) that I would be required to pay back whatever I earned offset against the money I received from IBB.

 

I've used card for everything I've bought and rent has been through transfer so I'm not worried about audit - although should I have kept receipts for groceries though? I stopped buying the Bonne Mamant jam and have only been buying the gut und gunstig!

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On 07/05/2020, 15:55:01, terenceterence said:

I might have to switch careers altogether the way things are looking) that I would be required to pay back whatever I earned offset against the money I received from IBB.

 

I've used card for everything I've bought and rent has been through transfer so I'm not worried about audit - although should I have kept receipts for groceries though? I stopped buying the Bonne Mamant jam and have only been buying the gut und gunstig!

 I though you just switched careers? 

 

The reason I'm not sure whether or not you qualify for a grant (as opposed to just a loan), is because from your other posts I understood that you gave up teaching English last year and had not yet started with your new business before corona. 

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