24.06.2022 | Corona Update #25: IBB's audit sampling (Stichprobenprüfung) of Corona Soforthilfe II / Landeszuschuss

We are receiving countless inquiries about the audit sampling that IBB is currently conducting on the use of the Corona Soforthilfe II (5,000 € grant from the state of Berlin).

It is clear that these Berlin state funds (unlike the federal govt. funded Soforthilfe of 9,000 € available at the same time), which could be applied for until 01.04.2020, were explicitly compensation for uncovered private living expenses and private health insurance costs as a result of lost entrepreneurial income (Unternehmerlohn) for a period of *6 months*. We quote from the IBB instruction letter, "You will use the funds [state funds] appropriately; i.e., you can use the grant amount of 5,000 € for lost entrepreneurial income for a maximum of six months."

The current audit sampling form requests recipients to fill in the use of funds for the period April - June 2020, i.e. for *3 months*. If the sum of 5,000 € is not reached in the given expenditure fields, a message appears stating that the existing difference is to be entered in the field "Unneeded Corona Soforthilfe".

In short: In the form, the use of 5,000 € in the period of 3 months must be proven, otherwise the difference - it seems - results in a reclamation.

But how is the form supposed to provide proper information on the use of funds if the period of their designated use is halved?

Our inquiries with the IBB and the responsible Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises so far show that they are aware of this inconsistency, but that "there will be no changes to the form or additional assistance in filling it out." We were, however, assured that via e-mail and phone hotline, "all inquiries will recieve advice very quickly (within 1-2 working days) and accurately regarding the (...) question on the application of the 6-month period for private living expenses that were not covered due to lost entrepreneurial income of self-employed applicants."

Our call to the hotline resulted in the advice that the form should simply be filled out in such a way that 5,000 € Corona Soforthilfe II was used. Many artists who contacted us received the same information via the hotline.

We understand the concerns and worries of artists who are anxious to provide the correct information in this audit sampling and must fear the risk of repayment demands du to a form error - and we share their displeasure!

Obviously there is a lack of awareness among those responsible for this audit sampling that there are occupations in which people cover their cost of living & expenses for 6 months with 5,000 €.


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