COVID 19 Supports For Businesses
Susan Wylie
15/01/2021

covid 19Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

The most significant support available is through wage subsidies.

To qualify for the EWSS, as well as having tax clearance, an employer must demonstrate that their business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders as a result of COVID-19.

From 1 January 2021, the period for determining eligibility for EWSS will be Q1 and Q2, 2021 compared with the same period in 2019.

The rate of subsidy under the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) was revised last October to better support businesses impacted with Level 5 restrictions imposed at that time. Earlier this month, the Government decided to continue the enhanced rate of subsidy until the end of March 2021 to cover the current period of public health restrictions.

Employee Gross Weekly Wage Subsidy Payable
Less than € 151.50 Nil
From € 151.50 to € 202.99 € 203
From € 203 to € 299.99 € 250
From € 300 to € 399.99 € 300
From € 400 to € 1,462 € 350
More than € 1,462 Nil

Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)

The key features of the scheme are:

  • to assist those businesses whose trade has been significantly impacted or temporarily closed as a result of the restrictions as set out in the government’s ‘Living with COVID-19’ Plan.
  • to operate when Level 3 or higher is in place and will cease when restrictions are lifted.
  • to apply to businesses where government restrictions prohibit or reduce access by customers to their business premises. Where a qualifying person carries on more than one eligible business activity from separate business premises, a claim in respect of each activity can be made.
  • to operate from 13 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 and there is provision for the Minister of Finance to vary aspects of the scheme.

To register for CRSS, the eligible business must:

Shop temporarily closed during coronavirus pandemic

  • make a declaration that it meets the eligibility criteria for the scheme
  • have tax clearance, and
  • provide certain information in relation to the business activity, the business premises and previous turnover details.

A qualifying person will be able to make a claim to Revenue under the CRSS for a cash payment to be known as an “Advance Credit for Trading Expenses”. This payment will be equal to 10% of their average weekly turnover in 2019 up to €20,000, and 5% thereafter, subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000, for each week that their business is affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Weekly turnover Rate Amount
First €20,000 10% €2,000
Next €60,000 5% €3,000
Maximum payment €5,000

Warehousing of tax liabilities

The Debt Warehousing Scheme allows VAT and PAYE (Employer) debts incurred by businesses during the period of restricted trading caused by Covid-19 to be ‘parked’ on an interest free basis for 12 months following the resumption of trading.

At the end of the 12-month interest free period, the warehoused debt may be paid in full without incurring an interest charge or paid through a phased payment arrangement at a significantly reduced interest rate of 3% per annum. This compares to the standard rate of 10% per annum that would otherwise apply to such debts.

The scheme was expanded in the Finance Act to provide similar arrangements for self-assessed income tax debt and Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme overpayments.

Commercial Rates Waiver

The Waiver in connection with Commercial Rates for those businesses impacted by COVID-19 has been extended for the first quarter of 2021.

How PKF can help?

If you think you are eligible for any of the above supports but are unsure how to access them, please contact Susan Wylie or one of the Business Services team at PKF.

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