COVID-19 – Supports for Business

COVID-19 supports and reliefs – what businesses need to know

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on business operation, a range of supports have been made available to you and your business by Government, Revenue and various other agencies. We have compiled a list of the key supports and reliefs currently available which can help you to weather this storm. At CDS Law & Tax, we can help you make the most of the supports available to your business.

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – what you need to know

The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme was introduced to replace the COVID-19 Refund Scheme. Managed by Revenue, this scheme will enable employers to keep employees on their payroll throughout the pandemic. The key elements of the scheme include:

  • A subsidy payment, covering up to 70% of the normal net weekly income for employees, up to a maximum of €410 per week;
  • The scheme is expected to last 12 weeks from 26th March;
  • Employers will be reimbursed for amounts paid to their employees;
    • This payment will be made within two working days of receipt of payroll submission, however there will be exceptions to this;
  • Employers are expected to make their utmost effort to maintain as close to 100% of normal income for the period of subsidisation;
  • Employers are also encouraged to ‘top-up’ wages to maintain the current levels of earning for employees. Eligibility is not determined based on this ability;

The main eligibility criteria to note are: 

  • Employers must declare to Revenue that they are experiencing significant negative economic disruption due to COVID-19;
  • Employers must be able to demonstrate a minimum of 25% decline in turnover and an inability to pay normal wages and other outgoings in full;
  • Employees covered must have been on the payroll in February 2020.

There have already been a high number of businesses successfully applying for this scheme, however Revenue has advised businesses to ensure that their bank details on file are correct in order to receive this payment. Registration for this scheme can be done online at ROS myEnquiries. 

Financial supports for your business

A number of other financial supports have been made available to businesses through this period, including: 

  • Local Enterprise Offices across the country are providing business continuity vouchers of values up to €2,500;
  • Microfinance Ireland has increased the maximum loan amount to €50,000. These loans will be interest-free with no repayments for the first six months;
  • Enterprise Ireland has made available a €200m Rescue and Restructuring Scheme to vulnerable but viable firms;
  • €200m Working Capital Scheme from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland;
  • Many banks are offering deferrals of up to 3 months on loan repayments, along with the extension of credit lines. 

Revenue relief measures

Revenue have implemented measures which will alleviate short-term difficulties for businesses. These include:

  • The suspension of interest on late payments for:
    • January and February VAT liabilities
    • February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities;
  • The suspension of all debt enforcement activity, until further notice;
  • The suspension of the Relevant Contracts Tax rate review
    • In the case of subcontractors, existing rates will continue until further notice;
  • Current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses.

Revenue have advised that businesses should engage with them early when they are experiencing temporary cashflow or trading difficulties.  

Should you have any queries on how the Revenue relief measures may impact you, or need advice on banking issues, please do not hesitate to contact us at the usual phone numbers, Cork 021 235 5810 and Tralee 066 716 9033, or email info@cdslaw.ie.