Revenue's Tax Bill

Revenue’s Tax Bill

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency, we have spoken many times about the various supports made available to both employers and employees to help weather the storm. Two of the main supports that was put in place by the government are the ongoing Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). The scheme has seen a number of changes since its inception last year, but this month saw many recipients left confused and concerned.

Over 630,000 taxpayers who were in receipt of either scheme will have received their preliminary end of year statements and found themselves facing a tax bill from Revenue. Any individual who was in receipt of either scheme must pay particular attention to their end of year statement as it is likely that there may be an underpayment of tax listed. While Revenue have long stated that this will be the case, this has still come as a shock for many recipients.

These bills have arrived because neither the TWSS nor the PUP schemes were taxed at the source through the PAYE system from March to August 2020. As a result, the employee is seen to have underpaid income tax and USC for 2020. Although tax was not paid during this period, recipients will still be deemed to have made their PRSI contributions, so neither scheme should affect social welfare entitlements.

The scheme which replaced the TWSS in September 2020, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), is now taxed through the PAYE system, so no further hefty tax bills should be seen as a result of this scheme.

The brighter news for those who find themselves with a somewhat unexpected tax bill following these schemes is that the bill is not required to be immediately paid, nor required to be paid in a lump sum at all if this is not something the employee can manage. Revenue have said that they will collect the full, or remaining bill interest-free by reducing tax credits over the course of a four-year period, beginning in January 2022, so there will be no need for immediate action.

It is recommended that you complete your online tax return via MyAccount to ensure that all information is correct and that your outstanding bill is also correct, this also allows employees to claim any tax credits or reliefs they may be due in order to reduce the overall bill (for example, the remote working credit is one which is often overlooked).

We hope that this information has been useful for you and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we remain open and ready to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information visit revenue.ie

Euro Currency

Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) Update

The first week’s of 2021 may not have held all the solutions or change from 2020 that many had hoped, with many businesses once again closing after a brief opening for the Christmas period, so we wanted to take the time to remind you that we are here and happy to help with any business questions or queries you have. We will also continue to bring you the information to help your business and financial lives, across, what will be hopefully, a brighter 2021.

As we work our way through another lockdown, we find ourselves once again focusing in on the supports available to keep businesses alive during Level 5 restrictions, with the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) finding itself swooping in to save the day once more.

However, it is vital to highlight the changes to the EWSS since its inception and it’s important to keep yourself informed of the requirements and guidelines for eligibility, even if you are currently in receipt of the scheme. So it is important that you stay aware of what is required:

The Company must:

  • Have a Tax Clearance Cert for the duration of the scheme.
  • Have turnover projections and demonstrate that the business is expected to experience a 30% reduction in turnover between January 1st and June 30th 2021.
  • Show that this reduction in turnover is directly caused by Covid-19.
  • Show that this reduction is relative to the same period in 2019 if the company was in existence prior to this date.

Revenue’s in-depth guidelines can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

When calculating your projections for 2021, we strongly advise you to keep copies of both the projections and the actual turnover figures as they come in, in case Revenue requires them in the future. As always, it is better to be over than underprepared.

Should you have any concerns or queries about these or any other business and financial issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we remain open and ready to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Brexit - The Urgent Need To Be Prepared

Getting Your Business Brexit ready

As we all know, Brexit will formally exit the European Union on 31st December 2020, and it is vital for Irish businesses to prepare for the changes ahead.

The Department of Enterprise has released a Brexit readiness checklist which we recommend consulting in full to ensure that your business is prepared, and to contact your Local Enterprise Office for information and assistance. We have compiled the main points to consider here.

 

Supply Chain:

If your business trades with Britain, you will need to take steps to reduce the impact of Brexit on your business and your supply chain.

  • Contact your suppliers and logistics carriers in Britain.
  • Look into the charges that may apply to you when your product reaches Britain, even as a stop-off.
  • Discuss with your Local Enterprise Office.
  • Look into the Brexit Loan Scheme to assist with cashflow.

 

Customs:

Following Brexit, you will likely be required to comply with new customs obligations. New declarations for both import and export will be necessary. There are a number of steps which can be taken in advance to limit the impact of this change on your business.

  • Obtain an EORI number if you have not already – This can be obtained via the Revenue website and will be essential for trade with Britain going forward.
  • Decide if you wish to hire an outside customs officer or process customs in-house.
  • It may be necessary to VAT register in the UK.
  • Ensure that you have a ‘Customs Guarantee’ in place. Authorisation for this may be required from Revenue, and this may provide some security against unforeseen costs.
  • Check with your Local Enterprise Office if they provide customs workshops.

 

Duty:

Beginning January 1st, Customs Duty will apply to the import of some goods from Britain. Here are some steps you can take now to prepare.

  • Classify your goods into the appropriate categories.
  • Identify the cost implications customs duty may have on your products.
  • Apply to Revenue for a VAT and Duty deferment, which allows you to defer payment to the 15th of the month.
  • Review contracts with your suppliers and logistics carriers.
  • Assess your accounts department for readiness to deal with these changes and adapt as needed.

 

Certification: 

There may be new certifications and licenses required for trade with the United Kingdom going forward, and it will be important to ensure that you are compliant with EU rules for trade outside of the union. The below are some steps that can be taken to mitigate these issues.

  • Check whether your current licenses and certifications will be valid after the transition period.
  • Check that your product meets all required guidelines for export outside of the EU.

 

Currency Movement:

Since the result of the Brexit vote, Sterling has been somewhat volatile and is expected to remain so for some time, it is important to consider the impact of this weakened currency on your business.

We recommend consulting with the Revenue website and your Local Enterprise Office for information on further steps that can be taken to ensure that your business is Brexit ready. Let’s get all businesses prepared for Brexit and do what we can to start 2021 off on a good foot.

As always, we are available and happy to help should you require any further information or guidance on any business or financial matters.

 

 

Revenue Irish Tax Firm

Revenue Compliance Checks on TWSS Payments

As we are all aware, there have been a number of supports in place over the past number of months in order to safeguard businesses and employees during the Covid-19 crisis. One of the major supports in place that has changed format a couple of times this year but has been invaluable for many businesses is the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). This scheme allowed businesses to keep employees on their payroll during times the office may have been closed, or the business came under financial strain due to the pandemic, by having the Government cover the majority of an employee’s wage and the employer being given the option to top this up to the full amount. The subsidy has been extended into the New Year under new rules.

 

Unfortunately for some businesses, they may find themselves needing to pay back funds received through the scheme, as it has been reported that while the majority of companies have satisfied Revenue’s requirements for the scheme, as many as 66,500 or 10% companies in receipt of funds between March and August have failed to submit proof that these funds were used for the intended payroll purpose of paying employee wages. Compliance checks are not a new phenomenon with Revenue or TWSS as these have been ongoing since the change of the scheme in September, with some companies found in breach and required to repay their payments.

 

These businesses may be required to pay back a hefty €300m in subsidy repayments if they fail to satisfy Revenue’s reconciliation process before the timer runs out. These employers will be treated as owing the full amount paid out to them over this time period. It is worth noting that in addition to this, any companies failing to enter into the process will also find themselves excluded from Revenue’s debt warehousing scheme and will not be allowed to suspend their tax payments.

 

The first stage of the reconciliation process involves submitting the data as required as proof of how the funds were allocated, while the second stage could see Revenue assess employee payslips individually to assess the amounts paid against the amount received from the government, to ascertain if any outstanding amounts are in need of being returned.

 

We hope that this information will be of interest and use to you and that 2021 holds success and prosperity for you and your business. As always, we here at EcovisDCA are available should you have any concerns or queries about any business or financial matters.

Brexit - The Urgent Need To Be Prepared

Brexit – The Urgent Need To Be Prepared

In another lifetime we spoke regularly about the looming threat to Irish business that was Brexit. With the Brexit date of January 1st now fast approaching, Brexit preparations join the long list of issues facing Irish businesses going forward. Irish businesses are currently under more pressure than ever before with the current Covid-19 crisis and with a recent survey by Enterprise Ireland finding that just 42% of businesses feel prepared for Brexit, the time to act and prepare is now.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has recently stated amidst negotiations that a failure for the EU and Britain to reach an agreement on post-Brexit trade would be “very, very damaging all-round”, and he re-positioned Brexit as an issue economically on par with Covid-19:

“We’ve all had a very significant shock to our economic system because of Covid-19, the last thing we need now across all of our respective economies is a second major shock”.

With this in mind, and despite all other issues currently facing us, we advise early preparation for Brexit, as it is essential to prepare as much as possible. As the relationship between Britain and Ireland is soon to change, there will now be additional hoops for Irish businesses to jump through in order to trade with Britain. This week we will step away from the usual topics associated with Covid-19 and focus on the issue of Brexit and ways in which Irish businesses can be Brexit ready.

EORI Number

As we have recently discussed, one of the most urgent steps that Irish businesses need to take ahead of Brexit is to register for an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number. This number is essential for all businesses importing and exporting goods into the European Union. Applications are made through the Revenue Online System (ROS).

Brexit Readiness Checklist

A helpful way of ensuring you have all Brexit bases covered is to check in with your Local Enterprise Office and avail of their ‘Brexit Readiness Checklist’. This may assist you in identifying any areas of weakness that need to be addressed before January 1st and show you the steps that need to be taken to prepare your business for Brexit.

Customs Issues

One of the main changes which will arise on January 1st for Ireland is the new scenario of facing customs issues in trade between Ireland and Britain. As we have long relied on trade routes with Britain, this will be a major stumbling block to be prepared for and will require your product to be priced with this in mind.

The Clear Customs Virtual Training:

One major issue facing Irish trade with Britain going forward will be the issue of customs. As this will be an entirely new stumbling block between Britain and Ireland, it is advised to research and review any areas in which this may be an issue for your business. Many businesses may not deal with customs in house and will need training in this area.

With this area of confusion in mind, Skillnet Ireland has created a new free of charge online training programme (The Clear Customs Virtual Training Programme) to assist businesses in dealing with the increased customs requirements that will arise as a result of Brexit. Advance training will reduce the likelihood of delays and disruptions for customers and business owners.

The programme will be available to all eligible businesses and will be run as part of the “Getting Ireland Brexit Ready” initiative. Visit the Skillnet Ireland website for full information and criteria.

The Ready for Customs Grant:

Enterprise Irelands “Ready for Customs” grant has been set up to provide companies with the financial assistance they may require as a result of Brexit. Once Brexit occurs, companies may incur additional costs in hiring in house customs officials, mobilizing existing staff to other locations for customs related roles. The grant allows for €9,000 to be made available for each full-time employee as well as €4,500 available for each part-time employee. Repayment may be required if it is established that a customs role was not sustained. Applications will be accepted until December 15th via Enterprise Ireland’s online portal. Visit Enterprise Ireland’s website for full details and eligibility criteria.

Deferred Payments:

Deferred payment can be applied for via Revenue and can allow the deferral of the payment of import charges until the month following import. There may be other reliefs available to you, we advise researching via the Revenue site to see what is available.

Communication:

With the issue of customs, open communication will be key. Communicate with your courier’s & logistics carriers so that you have the full picture of your product’s journey going forward. In uncertain times, knowledge is key.

Funding

We have recently discussed the funding opportunities available to Irish SMEs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and with Covid rightfully taking up so much airtime, it may slip the notice of many that there are still some funding options available to assist in the Brexit transition for Irish businesses.

Brexit Loan Scheme:

The Brexit Loan Scheme is operated by the SCBI (Strategic Bank Corporation of Ireland) and is intended to assist with liquidity issues that may arise as a result of Brexit and makes funds of up to €300 million available to Irish businesses. Applications can be made through the SCBI website.

Ready for Customs Grant:

The Ready for Customs Grant was announced in the July Jobs Stimulus Package. It was announced that Enterprise Ireland would manage a new fund to assist Irish businesses to increase their capacity to manage the new customs processes ahead. Eligible businesses should visit the Enterprise Ireland website for full information.

Brexit Information Hub

In terms of overarching preparedness, it is advised to visit the Government’s new Brexit Information Hub which is intended to help business prepare for Brexit and beyond. This new service is free of charge and provides information, resources and webinars for all businesses.

We hope that this information assists you in some way to get ready for these further business changes. As always, should you have any concerns or queries about these or any other business and financial issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we remain open and ready to help. 

Brexit - The Urgent Need To Be Prepared

Brexit – It’s All Customary

It seems so long ago that one of the largest looming threats to Irish business life was the notion of Brexit and the atmosphere of uncertainty that surrounded not knowing what form Brexit was to take. Obviously with the current Covid-19 emergency there are much bigger threats to Irish businesses, but Brexit remains a very real issue that we need to be aware of.

If your business trades directly with the United Kingdom, there will obviously be some changes to your daily business life which it is important to prepare for. From January 1st, 2021, all goods imported into Ireland from Great Britain will be subject customs processes.

As we have discussed previously, one of the most vital ways to prepare for these changes is to register for an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number, we recommend completing this step ASAP if you have not done it already. This can be done through Revenue’s MyAccount online system.

Once you have your company’s EORI number you must then decide if all customs work will be completed in-house if you feel competent to do so, and have the required software and access to Revenue’s customs systems. If you are not comfortable with completing customs work yourself, you can engage a customs agent to work on your behalf.

We hope that this information has been of use to you and your business, and as always would like you to know that we are here for you and your company at any time should you have any queries.

The SME Credit Guarantee Scheme

The SME Credit Guarantee Scheme

We have discussed Covid-19 business supports at length since the onset of this global emergency, while also discussing the vital nature of the SME area in Ireland. SMEs make up a huge portion of Irish businesses, and whilst last years looming Brexit panic may have seemed like an enormous threat to their business activities, this year has proven the ultimate challenge. With this in mind today we will be discussing another area of assistance for these types of businesses both in the wake of Covid and in the realm of what the new normal will look like.

The SME Credit Guarantee Scheme is intended to encourage additional lending to SMEs, something we can all agree is absolutely essential. This scheme offers a partial Government guarantee of 80% to banks against losses, essentially placing the Government as a guarantor against the SME’s loan. The scheme is aimed at SMEs facing difficulty in accessing traditional lending and is operated on behalf of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SCBI) and is accessible from lenders such as AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. These loans are available to fund working capital, refinancing current Covid19 funding and also in order to invest in your business so it can adapt to the current emergency.

Loans range from €10,000 to €1million and can have a term of up to 7 years. A guaranteed premium will apply to be paid directly to the Government. The scheme is available until December 2020. We recommend checking in with your local banking branch for further information and eligibility requirements.

As always, we here at Ecovis DCA are available should you have any concerns or queries on any business or financial matters.

For more information visit Enterprise.gov.ie

The Help to Buy Incentive

The Help to Buy (HTB) Incentive

The Help to Buy (HTB) incentive is a scheme introduced in 2014 aimed at assisting first time buyers in getting a foothold on the property ladder and helping them to navigate the newer and stricter mortgage rules for prospective homeowners. The scheme is intended to help first time buyers with the deposit needed to build or purchase a new home. The scheme will give you a refund of the Income Tax and DIRT paid over the previous four years which is then used as the partial or full deposit.

 

The scheme has undoubtedly already helped many first-time buyers purchase their homes, but it has also come under fire in recent months as it has been suggested that the scheme has driven up house prices, thereby excluding more prospective buyers from the market. It has also been suggested that the scheme has aided many who were not in fact relying on it, and who already have the means to purchase their home.

 

This scheme was not only extended to the end of 2021 but enhanced in the July Stimulus plan and now allows for first time buyers to claim back the lower of either 10% of a property’s value or €30,000. For homes purchased after January 1st, 2017, the refund will be paid directly to the contractor.

 

Applications for the scheme must be made online via the myAccount or Revenue Online services.

 

We advise checking the Revenue website for information on contractors and developers taking part in the scheme as a first port of call. Should you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Euro Currency

Wage Subsidy Scheme Extension

The Wage Subsidy Scheme has been vital for the continued survival of many Irish businesses amidst this current crisis, allowing them to keep staff on payroll during a time that otherwise may have necessitated mass layoffs. The scheme was changed to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) on September 1st and has now been extended until 31st March 2021, it is not yet known if the scheme will continue past this date.

With the current Level 5 restrictions, the Government announced that the rates for the scheme will be revised to better support businesses, with these new rates becoming effective as of October 19th. In terms of qualifying criteria, the turnover criteria for application is now 25% of the turnover for the same period in 2019.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said of these changes:

“Consistent with the revised health restrictions that have been announced by Government, a decision has been made to revise the pandemic supports that have been key to sustaining businesses and helping people to manage financially in the midst of this very challenging time. […] The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is being enhanced, with a maximum rate now payable at €350, bringing it in line with revisions that are being made to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment”.

Both the extension of and the newly enhanced nature of the scheme are intended to ensure that companies can keep their employees employed where possible and avoid layoffs and employees needing to revert to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). It is hoped that these changes will help companies easier transition back to normal business activities when it is safe to do so.

Further information on all Covid-19 pandemic supports can be found on the Revenue website. As always, we here at Ecovis DCA are available should you have any concerns or queries.

The Phased Payment Plan

The Phased Payment Plan – (PPA)

We have dedicated ourselves over the past couple of months to sharing important information with our clients and friends, information which could assist in keeping businesses alive and kicking during such a difficult time, as our country begins to play hopscotch between the levels within the Living with Covid Plan.

As we discussed in recent weeks, a number of extensions have been granted which may assist businesses in filing on time, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the Coronavirus Emergency. It was announced recently that companies would be given more time to pay any outstanding tax bills to Revenue using a payment plan at a discounted rate of interest and would have until the end of September to agree.

Previously the July stimulus package allowed the warehousing of Covid tax debts until a period of reopening, as well as offering a level of amnesty on non-Covid tax debts. This saw a phased payment plan (PPA) enacted by Revenue wherein companies could repay their outstanding dates at a 3% interest rate over a phased plan. The deadline for putting this arrangement in place has now been extended to the end of October, which may allow for many other companies to avail of this plan.

Revenue themselves issued a statement stating that the extension was due to the challenges faced by taxpayers and tax agents during this time, while Collector General Joe Howley state that:

“The 3% interest rate available to taxpayers under this measure is a significant reduction from standard interest rates of 8% to 10% per annum that normally apply to late payments of tax. I strongly encourage the uptake of this opportunity and of the extended deadline that now applies”.

Another bonus to partaking in this PPA is that your company may qualify for tax clearance as a result of utilising this plan of debt payment.

Visit the Revenue site for more information on this and other matters, including a comprehensive booklet here Revenue information booklet .

We hope that this information is of use to you, and as always, we are fully available should you have any queries or concerns on any business and financial matters.