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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.

How to Release Cash Flow from your Business

Here at EcovisDCA we are constantly striving to ensure that our clients and friends have the most successful business and financial lives possible. We are not just a faceless company who talk the talk, we walk the walk. We know that your business is a labour of love and we endeavour to ensure the one-to-one advice and care you and your business deserve. With that in mind, we have decided to focus this week on ways in which you can release cash flow from your business. As you know, we are great supporters of Irish SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and these businesses are often the first to suffer any ill-effects of a downturn and as such it is vital that they are protected. Cash doesn’t often flow readily in February after the excesses of the festive season and the January sales, so we are here to discuss the ways you can manage and release business cash flow.

Projections:

When projecting cash flow, the impulse is to assume regular income, however, the peaks and valleys of business life are often first seen through cashflow, so it is important to take this into account when projecting the year ahead regardless of the size or avenue of your business. Being armed with the knowledge of potential financial issues ahead and projecting a realistic cashflow cycle for the year ahead may allow you to avoid a cash shortage during tighter times.

Enforce Payment Terms:

The payment terms for your business should never be a casual affair, it is essential to create and enforce your payment terms. Create incentives for suppliers to meet your payment terms, and penalties for non-payment. It is worryingly becoming normal for payment terms and dates to be exceeded, if this becomes a problem, we advise strengthening these terms and consistently following up. Having suppliers be consistently late on payments can push you into debt. Enforcing terms will free up cash flow.

Marketing:

Marketing isn’t just a sales pitch; it is the creation of your brand and creates an image of your business in the minds of potential customers. It may seem counter intuitive to spew the adage “You have to spend money to make money” but in this case it is entirely true. Good or bad marketing can make or break your business, so it is worth investing time, money and resources in.

Keep it Simple:

Simplicity is often the key and we regularly find our cashflow tied up in long term projects which are offering no short-term return. Evaluate what are the essential projects your company is budgeted to work on and go from there. The same can be said for many business processes, are there ways your business can be more efficient, are you expending employee time in valuable or invaluable tasks?

Pay Debts:

Again, it seems counter-intuitive to insist on debt payment to release cash flow but once all company debt is paid, that cash becomes available and can be saved or re-invested into the business.

External Income:

Occasionally there will be times when it is not possible to finance your business internally. In these cases, applying to schemes, applying for grants or loans etc. can be the reason for the extended lifespan and rejuvenation of your company.

These are just a few of the ways in which you can better manage the cashflow of your business, should you have any concerns or questions about these or any business or financial matters, please do not hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA, where we will be happy to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

Revenue will no longer add charges for payments via Credit Cards

Re-Charging your Wallet

The convenience that comes with our current modern lives of being able to pay for and receive items immediately digitally as well as dealing with many or our transactions in a virtual manner does of course have its downsides. Whilst modern life has us all connected to each other at all times via our phones this does cause a new innate lack of face to face conversation and whilst being able to pay online using our cards is convenient, there is also the downside of so many hidden charges being applied to our accounts that we may not have accounted for in our budgeting.

There was good news in this regard earlier this month as it was announced that as of April 5th 2018, Revenue would no longer be adding charges for payments via credit card, whether these cards are personal, business or international. This will bring Ireland in line with new EU Rules enforced early this year which banned any surcharges on payment of tax liability. This charge could add as much as 2% onto the tax bill of those paying online. Revenue’s previous 1.1% charge was as a result of service provider charges, which will now be abolished for these payments.

Revenue have stated that this is in line with their focus on making it easier and more convenient for customers to do business online, which can only be a positive step in our busy digital modern lives, and one which we think will be of great benefit to all. Revenue have already taken steps to make online transactions easier with the upgrading of their MyAccount online service which takes the headache out of a great many tax issues and allows people to do most of their transactions from the comfort of their homes or offices, so we welcome any further changes that will ensure our clients and friends have clearer minds and fuller pockets at the end of the day.

Should you require any help, advice or guidance on any financial or business matters, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at EcovisDCA, where we will be happy to support you in getting your business to the next level.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

GETTING SEPA READY

What is SEPA, and why does it matter for your business?

 

Back when the powers that be introduced the Euro, they had a vision of easy cross-border commerce driving prosperity for all. Even though the currency has had its ups and downs, authorities are still striving towards that goal, with the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) the latest initiative.

 

Simply put, SEPA is a standardised way of processing payments that applies to 34 European countries, replacing national systems. It was due to come into force on February 1, but has since been delayed by six months to give banks and businesses more time to switch over. It’s unlikely that we’ll get another extension on the SEPA deadline, so it’s vital that your business is ready for the change this year.

 

Credit Transfers

SEPA is a simple system with a few modifications. SEPA Credit Transfer allows you to make euro electronic payments to domestic and cross-border beneficiaries. International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Business Identifier Code (BIC) will replace national sort codes and account numbers as the key input information.

 

These numbers should be readily available on any bank statement. However, businesses and invididuals can work out their IBAN using sort codes and standard bank account numbers here. The standardised format should make electronic payments For a business to switch over to SEPA, therefore, you will need to obtain the IBANs and BICs for your employees and key suppliers if they haven’t provided them already. It is also a good idea to modify your invoices to include the relevant bank details.

 

Direct Debits

Things are a bit more complicated when it comes to direct debits. If your business collects direct debits from customers, SEPA Direct Debit brings changes including new file submission time frames, new customer file formats, and a new automated process for rejected or returned transactions.

 

Of course, the IBAN and BIC will replace national sort codes and account numbers used for direct debits. Beyond this information, any direct debit mandates will need a creditor identifier, the debtor name and address, the creditor’s Name, address and postal code, the type of payment (whether one off or recurrent), the date of signing the mandate, a unique mandate reference (UMR) and approved Legal Text. Your direct debit service provider should be able to advise you of any changes you need to make, but you can download an in-depth guide to the new regime here.

 

The SEPA transition should be a positive step, even if it comes with some confusion for consumers and businesses. If you haven’t already laid the groundwork for a SEPA switchover, you should advantage of the extended deadline and get ready now to avoid disruption. If you need assistance in getting your company SEPA-ready, you can contact us for an initial, no-obligation meeting.

 

Do you have a question for DCA’s experts? Contact us or connect with us on Twitter.