SME relief package scheduled for September
European Commission (EC) intends to launch an ‘SME relief package’ on 12 September. The package aims to introduce legislative reforms to improve SMEs’ business environment and conditions in the EU.
It consists of two elements. The first is a revision to the late payments directive to ensure SMEs’ clients pay for the provided goods or services on time. The second is in taxation, the so-called Business in Europe: framework for income taxation (BEFIT) which is expected to include significant tax compliance alleviations for SMEs operating across borders.
Typical for EC timelines, the date is tentative and may change.
Commission’s sustainable finance agenda emphasises SMEs
EC published a new sustainable finance package consisting of a Communication on sustainable finance, a proposal on ESG ratings, a “recommendation” for companies and EU countries on transition finance, and delegated acts on the EU taxonomy on 13 June.
Of interest for SMEs, EC states in the Communication that it will ask EFRAG to prioritise work on “a voluntary standard for non-listed SMEs, which may use it to standardise the sustainability information they wish to report, and which can make it easier for them to participate in the transition to a sustainable economy.”
The Recommendation emphasises the need to reinforce SMEs’ access to and opportunities in transition finance. It calls on “financial intermediaries (…) to offer education and awareness programmes, advisory services or web-based tools to help SMEs that are interested in transition finance to increase their awareness of transition risks and opportunities.”
Accountancy Europe has been active in producing support tools for SMEs’ sustainable transition, including a paper on SME sustainability risk management, a 3-step sustainability checklist and more to come in the coming months.