The Corona crisis hits us all hard. With 34 organizations, united in the Creative Coalition, we try to give self-employed people in the cultural field a clear picture of the developments. We will always add new information on this website and on the website of the Creatieve Coalitie.
Information about the temporary benefits for freelancers (TOZO), concerning the Coronavirus.
On the 17th of March the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SWZ) announced a support scheme (TOZO) for freelancers. Currently there is still a lot of uncertainty amongst freelancers about this scheme: how and when can freelancers apply, and when are freelancers eligible for these benefits? The Creatieve Coalitie tries to provide more clarity on these questions.
The conditions are adopted from the website of the Ministry of the SWZ. The TOZO is not yet in force and still needs to officially be published. However, in some municipalities applications for this temporary benefit can be processed. If a freelancer is in serious financial stress, the municipality can give an advance.
Only apply now if you need immediate financial support
The ministry of SZW asks freelancers who still have sufficient financial reserves to wait with the application. In this way municipalities are less overburdened and can handle more adequately. The official KvK-advisory team of the Coronavirus can be reached from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 17:00 by calling 0800- 2117. The KvK-advisory team also answers Tweets: @KvK-NL. FAQ are answered in English on their website.
Temporary benefits for freelancers (TOZO)
The temporary benefits (TOZO) are for freelancers and entrepreneurs who have become the victim of the coronavirus crisis.
There are two types of benefits:
- A maximum of 3 months income-support up to a social minimum.
- A loan for working capital.
TOZO for freelancers amounts to a maximum of €1.500,31 net per month per household. This is based on the existing Bbz (decree on assistance for freelancers), but in this case will be processed and provided more quickly. Because of the exceptional situation in which The Netherlands currently finds herself this scheme has temporary flexible conditions: The income-support for life sustenance will not have to be repaid. In addition, a loan for working capital can be requested.
For the time being, TOZO applies for 3 months (until the 1st of June 2020 and with retroactive effect from the 1st of March 2020). It is carried out by the municipality in which the freelancer lives. The ministry of SZW will further elaborate the scheme together with the association of the Dutch municipality among others.
What will the scheme look like?
You will be able to request support in the form of an additional benefit for living and/or working capital. The scheme is based on the existing Bbz and will be processed by municipalities where you live, not the municipality where your company is located.
The TOZO includes the following:
- Testing for viability is not in order, which means that applications can be processed more quickly.
- Within 4 weeks and for a period of max. 3 months income-support for life sustenance will be provided. Municipalities have the ability to work with advances.
- The amount of income-support, depending on both income and the household situation, is a maximum of €1.500,31 net per month.
- The accelerated procedure also applies to working capital loans and amounts up to €10,157.
- Income-support for life sustenance will not have to be repaid in the future. There is no asset- or partner test.
- The option to postpone the repayment obligation is included when a working capital loan is granted.
- When a working capital loan is granted, a lower interest rate than the usual Bbz is applied.
To whom does TOZO apply?
The scheme applies to freelancers who have become a victim of the Coronavirus crisis. The government is asking all freelancers to only apply for the scheme for this special case. Freelancers residing in Belgium or Germany are not eligible.
- You are an established freelancer from the age of 18 to the retirement age.
- You are a resident (lawfully) in the Netherlands.
- You are Dutch or equivalent; a citizen of a country within the European union, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Lichtenstein, Norway; or in possession of a valid residence permit.
- Your business or profession is carried out in the Netherlands (commissions abroad are allowed).
- You meet the legal requirements for running your own business, including being registered in the Trade Register of the KvK.
- You started your business before the 1st of January 2020 and you meet the hour criterion, that is to say at least 1,225 hours per year working in your own company or profession.
- You are a resident in the municipality in which additional income-support is requested.
Attention! Freelancers on a payroll (who are not self-employed professionals and are not registered at the KvK) are noteligible for the temporary benefit. They may be eligible for WW (unemployment benefits). For them the existing conditions are applied, including the wekeneis (the requirement that you have worked at least 26 weeks out of the 36 before you became unemployed). We await the precise rules of the new regulations. These have yet to be officially published.
TOZO is not yet in force
Because TOZO is not yet in force, municipalities do not have access to it yet. However, they can process applications. Municipalities that desire to support freelancers without the official scheme can do this by granting an advance. For those who are financial stable the government requests to wait a little longer with the application, this will relieve the municipalities and the people who really need the support. Some municipalities use separate organizations for the implementation of temporary benefits.
For more information on granting advances, check the website of your municipality under Corona info.
How to apply for TOZO?
To apply you must fill in the existing Bbz application form, which you can find on the official website of the municipality in which you live. Submit this form to your municipality, together with an extract from the Trade Register from the KvK, copies of your identification, bank statements and existing orders and letters. Municipalities will attempt to process these digitally.
Currently the Ministry of SWZ is working on TOZO and expects to be able to provide more details by 25th of March 2020. The official scheme itself is not yet in force due to the demanding procedures attached to it.
If you apply you have to choose your category (below the links to the webpages of the municipality of Amsterdam):
Starting freelancers Freelancing for less than a year and a half but experiencing temporary financial problems? Read about the possibilities for benefits or working capital through the following link: Bbz-regeling voor startende ondernemers/zzp’ers.
Established freelancers Freelancing for more than a year but experiencing temporary financial problems? Read the possibilities for a benefit or working capital through the following link: Bbz-regeling voor gevestigde ondernemers/zzp’ers.
60+ freelancers Freelancing over the age of 60 but not earning enough? Read the possibilities for a benefit or working capital through the following link: Bbz-regeling voor ondernemers/zzp-ers van 60+