Business Support Measures Extended
The Irish government has announced the extension of the Business Support Measures. The extension of the two schemes intended to support businesses during this public health crisis while also pushing back the VAT Return of Trading deadline due to the recent reduction in the headline VAT rate.
Covid-19 Wage Subsidy
The EWSS or Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme provides a flat rate to employers that qualify based on the number of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll. Qualifying for the scheme, a business must have the tax clearance from the Revenue and they must also be registered for PAYE and PRSI.
Under the scheme, employees are eligible if they are in receipt, weekly, of gross wages of between €151.50 and €1,462 which is subject to certain exemptions.
In the period from the 20th October 2020, – 31st March 2021, the rates of the subsidy range from €203 to €350 per employee, depending on the level of weekly pay. This subsidy can also be claimed for certain proprietary directors.
The EWSS replaced the Temporary Wages Subsidy Scheme last September and is now set to remain in place until March 31st, 2021.
Extension to Debt Warehousing Scheme
In January of this year, the Revenue confirmed that the Debt Warehousing scheme would remain available to businesses who were and are experiencing tax payment difficulties arising from the current Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions.
What this scheme allows businesses to do is ‘park’ tax debts. These included employer tax, value-added tax and self-assessed income tax, interest-free for 12 months following the resumption of trading. Following the conclusion of the 12 month period, businesses may settle the outstanding tax in a lump sum, free from interest. They also have the option to pay it back over time, subject to an interest rate of 3% (the default rate on the overdue tax being 10%).
Access to the scheme is granted automatically to SMEs and on request for large businesses. It’s important to note, businesses must continue to file tax returns during the period of restricted trading so that the tax debt can be included in the warehousing scheme.
Deadline Extension on VAT Return of Trading
Lastly, the Revenue has extended the VAT Return of Trading deadline (RTD). Traders are required to complete and file and RTD annually in Ireland. The RTD form details the total purchases and sales for the year, alongside the applicable VAT rate for each transaction. Normally, the RTD must be filed by the 23rd of the month following the end of the preceding accounting period.
The standard rate of VAT has been reduced temporarily from 23% to 21% during the period of 1st September 2020 – 28th February 2021. The Revenue has had to redesign the RTD to meet this change. The Revenue has extended the deadline for its submission to the 10th March