State aid: Commission approves €156 million Lithuanian tax deferral scheme to support businesses affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €156 million Lithuanian aid scheme for enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of tax deferrals and tax-related liquidity measures (payment in instalments of tax arrears, interest free periods, as well as the suspension of tax debt recovery). The scheme will be open to businesses affected by the containment measures imposed by the Lithuanian government to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The aim of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Lithuanian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will be granted before 30 June 2021; and (ii) the deferred contributions will be paid no later than 31 December 2022. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.60632 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.