As part of the July 2020 Jobs Stimulus Package, the Government announced a reduced interest rate of 3% per annum to apply to non Covid-19 related tax debts. This reduced rate is available to all taxpayers that have declared but unpaid tax liabilities for any period. The reduced 3% rate is also available to any undeclared liabilities that predate Covid-19 provided the liabilities are declared and a Phased Payment Arrangement agreed with Revenue by 31 October 2020.
This scheme is available across all tax types including VAT, income tax, corporation tax, CGT, RCT and PAYE (Employer) taxes and was introduced to provide vital liquidity support to struggling businesses and sole traders that have historic unpaid tax debts. By applying the lower interest rate of 3% per annum, the cost of paying unpaid tax debts is significantly reduced.
In addition, any individual or business with non Covid-19 unpaid tax liabilities will not qualify for a tax clearance certificate unless there is a Phased Payment Arrangement in place. Businesses cannot avail of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, the Stay and Spend Scheme, accelerated loss relief and other measures without a tax clearance certificate.
Any existing Phased Payment Arrangements with Revenue will be reviewed automatically, and the reduced rate will be available for any tax debts that remain outstanding from 1 August 2020.
To avail of this reduced rate of interest, taxpayers must agree a phased payment Arrangement with Revenue before 31 October 2020. The first step is to apply online via ROS for a Phased Payment Arrangement (PPA).
Please contact us if you have any queries on how to avail of this reduced rate of interest.
One of the key measures from the Government’s July Stimulus Package is the temporary reduction in the standard rate of Irish VAT for a six-month period. Between 1 September 2020 and 28 February 2021, the standard rate of VAT will change from 23% to 21%.
The standard rate of VAT applies to a wide range of goods and services e.g. the sale of motor vehicles, adult clothing, alcohol, electrical goods, most household goods, non-basic foods stuffs, many e-services, professional services and telecommunications.
The VAT rate change will not impact the VAT treatment of supplies which qualify for the reduced rate of VAT which remains at 13.5%. This includes tourism-related activities including restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and hairdressing as well as cleaning and maintenance services.
Businesses will need to consider the impact on their business and updates to their systems to account for the new rate of VAT.
Systems will have to be updated and tested for the new VAT rate change. Depending on the particular systems, this may either be a simple task or may involve some work.
Many businesses may already have had a 21% VAT code on their systems from prior years – however, they will need to check whether this code continues to function correctly and can the changes be easily reversed when the rate reverts back again?
Businesses need to consider whether they should amend the pricing of goods and services as a result of the temporary VAT rate change.
This is particularly relevant for businesses who set their prices on a VAT-inclusive basis such as retailers or suppliers to businesses with limited VAT recovery.
They should also consider how this will impact budgets heading into the last quarter of 2020.
Businesses should review existing contracts and consider whether the price is VAT-exclusive or VAT-inclusive. Do you need to engage with any of your suppliers or customers in respect of the VAT rate change?
On or after 1 September 2020, VAT invoices issued by a VAT registered person who isnot onthe cash receipts basisto a VAT registered person, a public body or, a business carrying on a VAT exempt activity should show VAT at the new 21% rate. This is so even if the goods or services were supplied before this date.
A VAT registered personon the cash receipts basis should who is required to issue a VAT invoice to another VAT registered person, should show the VAT rate which applies on the date of the supply, not on the date of receipt of payment.
If the date of supply is prior to 1 September 2020, then the VAT rate is 23%.
Reverse Charge VAT:
For businesses with partial VAT recovery entitlement, VAT at 23% must be accounted for on the reverse charge basis on taxable foreign purchase invoices dated on or before 31 August, even if those invoices are not received until September 2020.
Credit or Debit Notes:
Any credit notes or debit notes issued on or after 1 September 2020 in respect of supplies of goods or services made to a VAT-registered person, a public body or a business carrying on a VAT exempt activity prior to this date must show the VAT rate in force at the time the original invoice was issued, i.e., 23%.
If the goods or services are supplied on or after 1 September 2020 businesses who account for VAT on an invoice basis: the appropriate VAT rate is the rate in force at the time the invoice relating to the advance payment is issued, or ought to have been issued, whichever is the earlier.
Businesses who account for VAT on a cash receipts basis: the appropriate VAT rate is the rate in force at the time of the advance payment.
An advance payment received from an unregistered person is subject to VAT by reference to the rate in force at the time of the advance payment.
Crowleys DFK are here to help you in these unprecedented times. We are at the other end of telephone (+353 1 679 0800/+353 21 427 2900) or on our dedicated COVID-19 Client Response Team email: firstname.lastname@example.org when you need us.
https://www.crowleysdfk.ie/wp-content/uploads/Copy-of-Client-Response-Team.png5121024Alison Bourkehttps://www.crowleysdfk.ie/wp-content/uploads/crowleysdf-chartered-accountants-1.pngAlison Bourke2020-08-20 13:37:112020-08-21 11:07:21Are you ready for the VAT rate change?
On July 23, the Government announced the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). This scheme provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.
EWSS will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) from 1 September 2020 and is expected to continue until 21 March 2021.
The TWSS will finish on 31 August 2020 and no new applications can be accepted from that date. If an employee is already on the TWSS, they must stay on it until 31 August 2020. The two schemes will run in parallel from 1 July until the TWSS closes at the end of August.
Qualifying Criteria for Employers
In order to be eligible for the EWSS, employers must demonstrate that:
their business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020; and
the disruption is caused by COVID-19.
The reduction in turnover or customer orders is relative to:
the same period in 2019 where the business was in existence prior to 1 July 2019;
the date of commencement of a business to 31 December 2019; or
where a business commenced after 1 November 2019, the projected turnover or customer orders had COVID-19 disruption not arisen.
Employers are required to conduct a monthly review to ensure they continue to meet the eligibility criteria under the EWSS. The EWSS will be administered by Revenue on a ‘self-assessment’ basis. The normal requirement to operate PAYE on all payments will be re-established under the EWSS however, a 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will continue to apply for employments that are eligible for the subsidy.
From 31 July:
TWSS employers can claim for non-TWSS employees (new hires) under the new EWSS.
Non-TWSS employers, who have not previously availed of TWSS, will only be eligible to apply for the EWSS.
EWSS support will be backdated to 1 July for eligible employers who did not qualify for the TWSS.
Employee gross weekly wages
Less than €151.50
From €151.50 to €202.99
More than €203 and less than €1,462
More than €1,462
If you have any queries or need assistance registering for the scheme, please contact our COVID-19 Client Response Team at email@example.com or on +353 1 679 0800/+353 21 427 2900.
Applications are now open for the Restart Grant Plus Scheme, which gives grants of between €4,000 and €25,000 to businesses to help them to re-open.
The Restart Grant Plus Scheme was part of the Government’s July Stimulus package, a €7.4bn package of measures and it replaces and supersedes the existing restart grant schemes.
The scheme is open to those with less than 250 employees that have reopened or planned to reopen and have seen a 25% reduction in turnover between 1 April and 30 June 2020.
Key changes to the Restart Grant Plus Scheme:
€300m additional funding in addition to €250m previously committed
Grant amount has increased substantially. Minimum grant is now €4,000 and maximum is €25,000. Previous grant amounts were €2,000 and €10,000 respectively
Medium sized companies now eligible Companies with up to 250 employees can now apply (previously the grant was for companies with less than 50 employees)
Increased eligibility Non-rateable B&Bs, sports clubs with commercial activities and trading charity shops are now eligible
Businesses that received a grant under the first scheme can re-apply to local authorities to receive additional funding. For first-time applicants under Restart Plus, the minimum grant is €4,000 and the maximum is €25,000.
Interested businesses can apply through their local authority.
To qualify for a grant, the important criteria are:
https://www.crowleysdfk.ie/wp-content/uploads/Copy-of-Client-Response-Team.png5121024eibhlinhttps://www.crowleysdfk.ie/wp-content/uploads/crowleysdf-chartered-accountants-1.pngeibhlin2020-08-11 14:45:072020-08-27 11:17:44Restart Grant Plus Scheme
On 23 July, the Government announced a €7.4bn Jobs Stimulus Package which aims to help businesses get back on their feet, get people back to work and build economic confidence.
Outlined below are some of the measures covered by the stimulus.
The Restart Grant for Enterprises is being extended to a broader base of SMEs and expanded by €300 million. The maximum payment level is being increased to €25,000. Further top ups may be available to firms who have already received payments under the existing restart grant.
Under the €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Government will provide an 80% guarantee for a wide range of credit products from €10,000 to €1 million up to a maximum term of 6 years.
All businesses (with limited exceptions) will be granted a waiver of commercial rates for the six months to end-September 2020, at a total cost of €600 million.
The Future Growth Loan Scheme is being expanded from €200 million to €500 million. This will enable businesses with up to 499 employees to invest for the longer-term at competitive rates.
A €55 million Package of Liquidity and Enterprise Investment measures will be put in place to support small and micro companies through additional resources for MicroFinance Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. This includes measures to reduce interest rates on lending for micro and small businesses, including grants equivalent to 0% interest on the first year of SBCI and MFI loans.
There will be a further funding call of the Online Retail Scheme of €5.5 million through Enterprise Ireland. This will support businesses with more than 10 employees in developing their online presence. The Scheme opens for applications on Monday, 31 August 2020 and closes at 3pm on Monday, 28 September 2020.
There will be an expansion of the Online Trading Voucher Scheme from the Local Enterprise Offices of €20 million, which will support small businesses with less than 10 employees in developing their online presence.
A €26 million Covid-19 Adaptation Fund to help tourism and hospitality businesses offset some of the costs incurred in adapting their premises or operations for re-opening. The Fund is being administered by Fáilte Ireland and eligible businesses can apply for these grants from now until 31 October 2020.
Employer and Employee Supports
A new Employment Wage Support Scheme will succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme at the end of August and will run until April 2021. Employers whose turnover has fallen 30% from 2019 figures will receive a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 per week per employee, including for seasonal staff and new employees.
A new income tax relief for self-employed individuals will be made available to those who were profitable in 2019 but, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, incur losses in 2020.
A 6-month reduction in the standard rate of VAT from 23% to 21%, effective from the beginning of September, at a cost of €440 million.
The government will pass legislation to confirm the previously announced Warehousing of Tax Liabilities. This will allow for businesses affected by COVID-19 to delay payment of their PAYE and VAT debts in part of in full for a set period with no interest or penalties.
A Reduced Interest Rate of 3% will be applied to agreed repayments of all tax debt (where agreement has been reached prior to 31 October 2020), in order to provide support to taxpayers experiencing difficulty with tax liabilities.
The Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme will provide a €2,000 payment to support employers to take on new apprenticeships in 2020.
Crowleys DFK are here to help you in these truly unprecedented times. We are at the other end of telephone (+353 1 679 0800/+353 21 427 2900) or on our dedicated email (firstname.lastname@example.org) when you need us.
As of 13 July 2020, we have re-opened our offices. While remote working will continue for many of our employees and we will be restricting visitors to our offices, our return-to-work taskforce and COVID-19 Employee Representatives have our COVID-19 systems and controls in place to ensure the safety of employees and visitors.
This includes the installation of sanitisation stations, screens at the reception areas and in meeting rooms, staggered seating arrangements/desk screens and signage to keep everyone at a safe distance.
This is an unprecedented and evolving situation and we are closely monitoring events as they unfold. We will keep you informed of any future changes should they arise.
While the health and safety of our staff members remain our top priority, please rest assured that we are committed to continuing to provide the same high level of service at this time.
https://www.crowleysdfk.ie/wp-content/uploads/Covid-19-Firm-Update.png5121024Alison Bourkehttps://www.crowleysdfk.ie/wp-content/uploads/crowleysdf-chartered-accountants-1.pngAlison Bourke2020-07-13 08:39:142020-08-06 09:27:39COVID-19 Update: Continuing to Protect the Health of our Employees and Visitors
Our COVID-19 Client Response Team is continuing to closely monitor developments relating to COVID-19 as they emerge and is ready to provide you with quick and up to date advice on all your Banking, Working Capital, Cashflow, Tax, Employee and Insurance queries and concerns.
We have outlined below details on the current supports available to businesses, useful Government guidelines and other areas of consideration.
On May 15, the Government approved details of the Restart Grant. The Scheme offers grants worth between €2,000 and €10,000 to qualifying firms.
Direct grant aid of between €2,000 minimum and €10,000 based on commercial rates bill from 2019.
Scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5m and employing 50 people or less.
Grants are now open for application through Local Authorities.
On May 02, the Government announced additional measures to support business which include waiver on commercial rates, warehousing of tax liabilities and grant schemes – click here.
This follows the range of supports previously put in place by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation:
A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19, which has subsequently been increased by €250m to €450m. Loans of up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates, with up to the first €500,000 unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI website.
A €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises – (sole traders and firms with up to 9 employees) – are facing. Applications can be made through the MFI website or through your local LEO.
The Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available to COVID-19 impacted firms through the Pillar Banks. Loans of up to €1m will be available at terms of up to 7 years. The scheme provides an 80% guarantee to participating banks which are AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.
Other Enterprise Ireland/Local Enterprise Office supports include:
Strategic consultancy grant for SME’s to assist the company development of a strategic response plan.
Act On Initiative, providing access to 2 days consultancy engagement at no extra cost to assess Financial Management, Strategic sourcing and transport and logistics advice.
Key Manager Support to provide partial funding towards the recruiting of a Full or Part Time Manager with critical skills for future growth.
Agile Innovation Fund and Operational Excellence Offer.
Be Prepared Grant for contingency planning.
Additional financial supports are available locally through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (localenterprise.ie).
Employer and Employee Supports
On March 24, the Government announced a National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme to provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis.
A COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to enable employers to continue to pay their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to keep employees registered with their employers, so that they will be able to get back to work quickly after the pandemic.
Workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203).
The COVID-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week.
Self-Employed will be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme).
COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
If you are an employer who can demonstrate that the negative disruption is leading to a minimum of 25% decline in actual or predicted turnover and an inability to pay normal wages and outgoings – you will be able to claim the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.
The temporary wage subsidy of 70% of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week is aimed to help affected companies keep paying their employees.
On April 15, further changes were announced to the scheme:
For those employees with previous average net pay up to €412 per week (equivalent to almost €24,400) the subsidy will be increased from 70% to 85% of their previous net weekly pay.
For those employees with previous average net pay between €412 and €500 per week (equivalent to €24,400-€31,000), the subsidy will be up to €350 per week.
The wage subsidy is now also available to support employees where the average pre-COVID-19 salary was greater than €76,000, and their gross post-COVID-19 salary has fallen below €76,000.
The new rates apply from 4 May 2020 and will not be backdated. More details can be found here.
Income tax, USC, LPT, if applicable, and PRSI are not deducted from the Temporary Wage Subsidy. However, the subsidy will be liable to Income Tax and USC on review at the end of the year.
Employers have to sign up to the scheme through Revenue.
Employers should note that the names and addresses of all employers operating this scheme will be published on Revenue’s website in due course, after the scheme has expired. Penalties will apply to any abuse of the Wage Subsidy Scheme by self-declaring incorrectly, by not providing funds to employees or non-adherence to Revenue and any other relevant guidelines.
The recently published Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020, which is expected to be passed this week, contains amendments to the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 to extend the time-periods under which a person who has been laid off or kept on short-time due to COVID-19 can claim a redundancy payment from their employer.
In normal circumstances, an employee can serve notice on the employer of their intention to claim a redundancy payment if they have been placed on lay-off or short time for a period exceeding four consecutive weeks or six weeks in any thirteen-week period.
The Bill provides that, for the duration of a designated “emergency period”, employees on lay off or short time will not be in a position to claim a redundancy payment if the lay-off or short time is due to due to COVID-19.
The “emergency period” as currently defined begins on 13 March 2020 and ends on 31 May 2020.
Cashflow and Projections
Cashflow will inevitably be an issue for all businesses in the coming weeks. It is vital that you monitor cashflow, plan and are prepared for reductions in cash inflows. Make sure that you have a cash flow projection that can be tested for various scenarios.
If you make loan repayments on bank debt you may be able to get a moratorium on repayments.
The Revenue have stated that businesses experiencing cashflow issues should still submit their tax returns on time, but that applications of interest on late payments will be suspended for VAT and PAYE liabilities. All debt enforcement activity will be suspended and tax clearance status will remain in place for businesses over the coming months.
If you need our help with cash flow reviews and projections or with your Bank or Revenue, please let us know as soon as you are aware that you have a problem.
Loss of Income
Does your insurance include cover for business interruption? Check your insurance policy and speak with your insurance broker to determine if there are any potential impacts on your business for which cover is provided in your policy. There may be little cover on common policies but some businesses may have specific Business Interruption Cover. If you have cover this can be a valuable means of recuperating loss in income.
Even if you don’t have insurance cover it will be important that you quantify the effects of the coronavirus on your bottom line. This will help you later in discussions with finance providers, suppliers, tendering etc.
Examine all aspects of your operations to identify potential areas of impact.
Track time spent managing issues related to the crisis.
Keep detailed records of direct costs associated with any affected business process.
Segregate unusual or potentially claim-related costs from normal operating expenses.
Maintain customer correspondence regarding cancelled orders and sales.
Retain copies of your pre-crisis projections, forecasts, budgets, meeting notes, etc. that detail expected operations.
Ensuring your business and employees are operational during these unprecedented times requires careful planning and having a response team who is ready to make quick and sometimes difficult decisions. We would encourage you to look at The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s user-friendly Business Continuity Planning Checklist. This can be downloaded here.
In line with our own Business Continuity Plan and taking guidance from the Checklist, on 11 March 2020 we initiated protocols to maintain continuity on service delivery to our clients while safeguarding the health and safety of our staff. Our employees are now carrying out their work from home locations. If you need advice with your contingency planning, please contact us.
The new Business Continuity Voucher is available through Local Enterprise Offices and is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people.
The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Business Continuity Voucher is available to support businesses:
Develop business continuity plan
Assess current financial needs in the short term to medium term
Reduce variable costs, overheads and expenses
Review and explore supply chain financing options
Implement remote working processes or procedures
Leverage HR expertise
Leverage ICT expertise
Prepare a business case for application to emergency financial interventions available through Banks, SBCI and Microfinance Ireland
The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.
The scheme is not suitable for clients of Enterprise Ireland, IDA or Údarás na Gaeltachta. Client companies of Enterprise Ireland, IDA or Údarás na Gaeltachta should contact their relevant agency, which have other suitable supports in place.
This is a restricted scheme with ordinarily one voucher available per business.
Qualifying applications will be processed and assessed on the basis of their receipt by the LEO to such time as the fund is exhausted or on 15 May 2020, whichever is earlier.
In light of recent developments reported on the spread of COVID-19, on 11th March 2020 our Management Board initiated the firm’s Business Continuity Protocols.
These protocols are a series of active measures aimed at maintaining continuity on service delivery to our clients while ensuring the health and safety of our staff are safeguarded. These protocols are being continuously updated with guidance from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Health Service Authority (HSE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
What measures are we taking?
The firm will operate both Dublin and Cork offices with minimum staffing in order to reduce the number of people in the office.
We have started rolling out our Remote Working from Home procedures. By 13th March 2020, the majority of our employees will be carrying out their work from home locations. Employees are completely contactable and available for business using their existing contact details (email, phone numbers etc). We expect to be able to continue to support our clients’ needs with a minimal level of disruption.
All Partners and Heads of Departments have nominated deputies and senior members of their respective Departments.
All non-essential business travel has been paused.
We are transitioning to virtual meetings.
This is an unprecedented and evolving situation and we are closely monitoring events as they unfold. We will keep you informed of any future changes should they arise. This includes any Government guidelines which might have a potential impact on compliance deadlines and incentives announced.
While the health and safety of our staff members remain our top priority, please rest assured that we are implementing all feasible measures to continue to provide the same high level of service at this time.
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