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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.

Covid 19 – Update on Social Welfare supports for Employees and Employers

  • Social Welfare measures for Employees & the Self Employed
  • Process for Employers for keeping staff on the Payroll
  • The process for Refunds to Employers who engage with the scheme

COVID 19 – Pandemic Unemployment Payment

If you have lost work due to a downturn in economic activity caused by COVID-19 you can apply for the new  COVID 19 – Pandemic Unemployment Payment at this link – https://www.gov.ie/en/service/be74d3-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-payment/

This new payment quickly delivers income support to the unemployed (be they self-employed or employees) for a 6-week period.

It is designed to provide income security for a period during which you can apply for a full Jobseekers payment (and receive any additional entitlements backdated).

You can apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment by filling in a one page application at the link above and returning to PO BOX 12896, Dublin 1. by FREEPOST. You do not need to visit an Intreo Centre to apply.

 

How to Qualify

Both employees and self-employed people can apply for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

You can apply for the payment if you:

  • Are aged between 18 and 66 years AND
  • You have lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
  • And it also includes people who have been put on part-time or casual work.
  • Students who have lost employment can also apply.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is paid at a flat rate of €203 per week for 6 weeks. It is equivalent to the jobseeker payment rate.

If you are getting another social welfare payment and you have lost your employment, it can be paid in addition to this.

 

Employers – Keeping Staff & Refunds

Revenue has worked closely with Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) to provide an option for employers to make this payment to their employees through the normal payroll process. The amounts paid to employees under the scheme are not subject to tax, USC or PRSI.

Employers are encouraged to facilitate employees by operating the scheme. The amounts paid to employees and notified to Revenue will then be transferred into the employer’s bank account by Revenue.

This reimbursement will, in general, be made on a ‘next day’ basis. It will ensure a speedy payment process for employees and minimise the hardship for employees who are temporarily laid off. Refunds of income tax or USC that an employee may be entitled to because of being laid off will also be administered by the employer and will be repaid (to the employer) through the scheme.

The scheme can be operated for all employees for whom a payroll submission was made by the employer in the period from 1 February 2020 to 15 March 2020. Where employees have already been laid off and their employer has ceased their employment, they can apply directly to DEASP for the payment.

 

Who does the scheme apply to?

  • Employers who have temporarily laid off staff as a result of the impact on their business of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
  • Employers that keep their staff on payroll and have not ceased the employee(s) with Revenue
  • Employees for whom a payroll submission was made by the employer in the period from 1 February 2020 to 15 March 2020
  • Employers that are unable to make top-up payments over and above the emergency payment of €203 per week.

Making an application for the Refund Scheme

Employers, or their agents, apply to Revenue to operate the scheme by carrying out the following steps:

Log on to ROS myEnquiries and select the category Employer COVID -19 Refund Scheme’.

Read the declaration and press the ‘Submit’ button.

Log on to ROS and in ‘Manage bank accounts’, ‘Manage EFT’, ensure that the bank account details provided are correct.

 

Key features of the scheme

The employer will make the payroll submission to Revenue on or before each pay date.

Employers should contact their payroll software providers for assistance in respect of payroll to be processed under this scheme.

The employer runs the payroll as normal, entering the following details for each relevant employee:

 

PRSI Class set to J9

A pay amount of €0.01 (there must be some pay entered for the payroll to run).

A non-taxable amount of €203. No other payment amounts are made by the employer to the employee and all temporarily laid off employees are granted the €203.

The payroll submission must include pay frequency and period number.

No other payments are made by the employer to the employee for the applicable week(s) and all temporarily laid off employees receive the €203 per week.

Income tax, USC and PRSI are not deducted from the €203 payment.

Any Income Tax and USC refunds that arise as a result of the application of tax credits and rate bands can be repaid by the employer and this amount will also be refunded to the employer.

The employee must confirm to the employer that they have not, and will not, claim a payment from DEASP whilst the employer makes this payment through the payroll.

Employers will be asked to advise employees to make a Jobseeker’s Benefit claim via the MyWelfare.ie online portal (so that the employee(s) can access qualified dependant payments if appropriate).

Based on the information provided in payroll submissions, Revenue will credit €203 per employee per week to the employer’s bank account recorded in ROS.  The credit will include the reference COVID Employer Refund. (The main identifiers include Employer Number Gross Pay of €0.01, J9 PRSI class, Pay Frequency and Employee PPSN, Employment ID).

Revenue will credit the employer bank account for payroll submissions received before 2:00 PM each day.  Depending on the individual bank, the refund should be with the employer on the next banking day.

If the employee(s) resume employment with the employer, or obtains other supports from DEASP, or secures employment elsewhere, the employer will not include the employee(s) concerned in future submissions.

 

Guidance/Information

For general issues relating to the Scheme, employers should contact Revenue’s National Employer Helpdesk via the myEnquiries system, providing details of the query and a direct dial contact number.

Employers should make sure to select ‘Employer’s PAYE’ and then ‘Employer’s PAYE General Enquiry’ when submitting the query through myEnquiries.

 

Budgeting for the Budget

As the Budget announcement approaches, conversation has turned largely to conjecture over what changes may be made to safeguard against Brexit related issues. As you will all be aware, we here at EcovisDCA are massive supporters of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These vital businesses are enormously important to Irish business in general and due to their size are vulnerable during this uncertain time.

Recently Dublin Chamber Chief Executive Mary Rose Burke spoke out about the importance of safeguarding these businesses and enabling them to not only survive but to thrive in  a post-Brexit world and suggested that Burget 2020 must endeavour to help SMEs to compete with larger, more economically attractive companies. In order to face Brexit head on, Burke suggests that Capital Gains Tax may be the first port of call as the current set up of an overall 33% rate is damaging to small companies and favours attracting larger companies. It is suggested that this be reduced to 20% for all unlisted trading firms and should take into account the level of risk taken by entrepreneurs in order to protect these important business owners.

“We need to foster an entrepreneurial environment and strengthen Ireland’s indigenous business base.”

Given that SMEs form over half of all Irish business operations, it would be wise to begin investing heavily in the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in our country. The Dublin Chamber has stated that the UK is ahead of Ireland in terms of supporting Irish SMEs, and proposes that we follow suit. The current taxation system which applies across the board actively encourages investment in larger multinationals over SMEs. As these large companies are such a small fraction, it is easy to see how smaller businesses may suffer further blows following Brexit, as Burke suggests;

“[Large multinationals] are already more attractive for entrepreneurs. We need to look to improve our competitiveness in ways that are under our control. […] with Brexit on the horixon, it is vital that we react and fight back.”

There is a concern that if changes are not made in the coming Budget, the UK may eclipse our small island in terms of attractiveness to foreign trade which could see significant damage dealt to our economy. As such a long term plan in the coming Budget would be a welcome safety net for Irish SMEs

As always, we will be reporting on this year’s budget as it happens and keeping you up to date on what these changes will mean for you and your business. Should you have any concerns or queries on any business or financial issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we are always happy to assist.

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The EORI – In Advance of Brexit

What’s Your Number?

As you will all know, we have spoken many times over the past year about Britain’s exit from the European Union, the term ‘Brexit’ has been utilised so often by so many people over the past few months that it has almost lost all meaning, with various extensions making the exit seem more like a myth than an impending reality. With so much uncertainty surrounding our position in this puzzle it has been quite difficult to predict where we will stand, with a ‘Hard Brexit’ with Irish borders becoming more and more likely as the months go on. There are a couple of things that we do know for certain, by virtue of the rules surrounding the European Union, today we will be focusing on one such change which will directly affect all companies with trade dealings with the United Kingdom.

Following the eventual Brexit, there will be a new requirement for all Irish companies trading with the UK. From October, any company trading with the UK will need an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) Number in order to trade. This number is a requirement for all traders who import or export goods into or out of the European Union, the number is valid throughout the EU and is used as a reference number for customs authorities within any EU member state. As the United Kingdom will soon exist outside of the boundaries of the European Union, this number will now be a requirement for all Irish companies trading with the UK.

You can obtain your EORI number online via the Revenue website, and there is also an eLearning tool available regarding the EORI numbers on the European Commission website. If you are not already familiar with this system prior to Brexit, we would suggest making full use of these resources in advance so that you understand the requirement and are prepared well in advance of any changes due to Brexit coming into effect.

In order to utilise the Revenue service to set up your new EORI number you will need the following:

  • Revenue Online log in details.
  • A valid Revenue Online Services (ROS) digital certificate.
  • A registration for customs and excise in ROS (if you do not have this, you will need to register for customs and excise before beginning the EORI process.).

The Revenue Online System will then take you through the rest of the process. Should you have any concerns or queries about any business or financial matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we are always happy to be of service.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

 

Planning Your Best Exit Strategy

We have discussed in the past, the importance of having a long-term plan for your business, particularly for when you are no longer in a position to run the company yourself. The importance of an exit strategy or long-term plan can not be overstated for businesses of all sizes, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is as always advisable to stay abreast of current issues and changes that may affect the long and short term plans you have in mind for your business and in this vein, there has been some cause for concern in recent days regarding ways that taxation could inhibit future planning.

A new report issued by PwC this week has stated that current tax rules which hit the transfer of family businesses are putting both jobs and companies at large in danger. These rules make options incredibly limited for business owners as they limit owners passing on their business to family members while they are living. Some anomalies to the system in this respect mean that the new business owner could find themselves incurring high tax costs that would potentially place additional pressures on the business and put it at risk.

PwC have given some suggestions on changes they would like implemented in the next budget to protect business owners and entrepreneurs in the event of passing their business on while still living. One such suggestion is the removal of the current cap of €3million on the value of business assets which can benefit from Retirement Relief. There is also calls for the Entrepreneurial Relief Capital Gains Tax threshold to be reduced to allow further relief to these businesses as well as increasing the lifetime limit applicable and reducing current restrictions which may exclude many. It has also been suggested that tax relief options could be made available.

Consultation with the Government for this process is ongoing and submissions will close on May 24th and there are hopes that there will be changes announced in the next Budget to combat this issue and make the family handover of businesses a smoother and more profitable process. The transition of a business is inevitably a stressful and concerning time, so any changes that can be of benefit and ensure the longevity of an existing healthy business should certainly be embraced.

Should you have any queries or concerns on any business or financial matters, please do not hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we are always happy to help you and your business.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

Revenue Commissioners New Debt Management System (DMS)

Onward, to the Future

The past number of months have been a time of increasing change for Irish businesses. From large scale changes to payroll systems to the clamping down of Revenue on all forms of tax evasion and tax fraud. These have been major changes to the ways in which Irish companies do business day-to-day and are hoped to be a solution to some long-term issues facing Irish business life, as it is hoped it will all lead to smoother business operations and less issues facing the Irish tax system.

The season of change continues onwards as it was recently announced that The Revenue Commissioners were set to release a new system for debt management, one which will be more technologically advanced than previous iterations and which will assist them in chasing down more unpaid tax, particularly in the sector of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).

Revenue’s new system entitled DMS (Debt Management Services) was launched just recently and promises to utilise high-tech means to target and deal with a wider range of tax payer. Whilst this may seem like a frightening prospect for SMEs, it is in fact a positive step towards ensuring that all Irish businesses are compliant, and that smaller business need not suffer the consequences of the failures of their larger brethren. The system will be able to target businesses and individuals who may previously have been too expensive to identify and pursue.

A spokesperson for Revenue has stated of the new DMS system that it will:

“Deliver significant increased capacity to manage and support compliance and tackle non-compliance” and will “enable Revenue to review customers with lower turnarounds on a more regular basis”.

So, whilst this means that SME’s will of course naturally fall under the Revenue microscope more often than previous, it is a step in the right direction for the future of business in Ireland, as it is set to join the Payroll Modernisation system in making it easier and more transparent for businesses to submit documentation and queries as the spokes person went on to say:

“The new system is fully online, allowing documentation to be uploaded electronically. It gives customers greater flexibility to manage their payment schedule and make certain alterations to suit their circumstances.

We as always advise to ensure that all your documentation and tax files are in order well ahead of time to ensure that you do not face further issues going forward. Should you have any queries or concerns, our doors are always open here at EcovisDCA.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

2019 Economic Crystal Ball Gazing

Hello and welcome to 2019! We here at EcovisDCA hope that all of our clients, colleagues and friends had a wonderful festive season and are well-rested and ready to face the working year ahead. With 2019 just getting ready to kick off, we have decided to begin the year with a little run down of the most prominent predictions for the financial year ahead. Chief Economist for EY, Professor Neil Gibson has given his predictions for the year even amidst all of the Brexit uncertainty surrounding the year, and it will be interesting to see what comes to pass.

  1. GDP Growth to rise by 4.2%

According to Dr. Gibson it is likely that 2019 will see GDP growth remain strong. Rising employment levels and increasing wages should all contribute to this growth which he estimates could reach 4.2% this year.

  1. Employment Growth to rise by 2.7%

In welcome news for our island’s continued economic recovery, it is predicted that employment rates will continue to rise in 2019. According to EY’s studies, Dublin is now the most popular relocation location for firms needing to move in full or part out of Britain due to Brexit

  1. Wage Growth to rise by 3.6%

Following on from the previous, it is predicted that wage growth will remain strong in 2019.

  1. Consumer Spending to rise by 2.9%

It is predicted that consumer spending will grow steadily in 2019, with Brexit making Ireland a very attractive trade location.

  1. Migration to Increase the Population by 40,000

In perhaps one of the more unexpected predictions, it is presumed that Brexit tensions and a growing labour market may create migration, as Ireland becomes a more attractive prospect for companies and workers alike. The risk here is that our ever increasing rent prices may postpone some of the influx.

  1. Inflation to Increase by 1.8%

It is predicted that in 2019 inflation may increase, as prices continue to push upwards.

  1. House Prices to Increase by 4%

An unwelcome prediction for many who already feel pressured by the house prices in Ireland. It is predicted that migration following Brexit may mean that this will be largely felt in rental prices.

  1. Construction Inflation to rise by 7.5%

As we have spoken about many times, there is an increasing demand for housing in Ireland and rising prices reflect this. It is predicted that the cost of construction will continue to rise in the year ahead.

  1. Housing Completions to top 25,000

Demand for housing is set to rise in 2019 and this is set to place a further push on the construction sector.

  1. Tax Collected from Businesses and Tax Payers will rise by 4.2%

This is likely to be a simpler process due to PAYE modernisation, and it is said that a strong labour market and strong economic growth should see an increase in collected tax going forward.

  1. Government to Spend more than Collected in Tax by 0.1% of GDP

According to Dr. Gibson, “Ireland looks set to enjoy its first positive general government balance in a decade.” As the pressure to spend increases, it is thought that the balance may tip in a more positive direction this year.

  1. Unemployment will reduce further to 4.9%

Unemployment was an issue that plagued Ireland during the economic downturn, and it is predicted that growth will cause unemployment levels to drop even further, perhaps even down to the levels seen at the peak of the financial boom.
It remains to be seen whether these predictions will come to fruition, and it will be interesting to check back in on them next year. We ourselves are very much looking forward to the year ahead and as always, should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

PAYE Modernisation – Part 2

Getting Ready to Face 2019 Head On

Following on from last week’s focus on Revenue’s end of year notice, today we will focus on some of the other main points raised in the notice which may be of benefit to you and your business in the new year of change ahead. Here at EcovisDCA, we want to ensure that our clients and friends head in to 2019 with the right mind-set and have their most successful year.

Statements:

As we have already discussed, Revenue are abolishing a number of their regular forms including the P30 and P35. Instead of these forms, Revenue will issue a monthly statement on your payroll submissions. This statement will include a summary of total liability as well as a breakdown of liability.

It is important to note that the monthly statement will be accepted as your return if no amendments are made by the return due date which will be the 14th of the following month.

Employees:

Beginning January 1st 2019, commencing and ceasing employees will become part of the normal payroll process. We discussed RPNs in last week’s post, and these must be requested for any new employees before payment is issued to them. This action creates the employment in Revenue records and is the only action you need take on this.

USC (Universal Social Charge) and Emergency Tax:

It was announced in Budget 2019 that there will be changes to USC and Emergency Tax, the information on the Revenue online system has been updated with these details.For employees who are exempt from USC, their exemption will be noted on their RPN. If circumstances change, the employee may need to contact Revenue to have a new RPN created.

Further Information:

Revenue are constantly updating their guide to PAYE Modernisation for 2019 on their website so be sure to stay informed. Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

PAYE Modernisation – Part 1

Everything Changes and Stays the Same

It’s getting to that special time of year again, when everything starts to wind down (or ramp up for those in retail businesses of course), the evenings get darker and darker and the early birds begin putting up twinkling lights much to the chagrin of the late starters. It is also that time of year when thoughts begin to turn inwards and you may be reminiscing about the year 2018 and whether it has been a successful or turbulent year for your business. It is important at this time of year, to take time to focus on the year ahead and make plans for the future. As such, Revenue have released an end of year notice for employers, and we thought this would be the perfect time to take you through the main points. This week we will focus on the first half of the notice, with next week’s post detailing the second half.

2018 Employer Tax Credit Certificates:

Revenue have stated in their brief that they would cease issuing 2018 P2Cs as of November 30th, with the exception only of those employees commencing employment notifying Revenue in December, these will continue to be issued until the end of the year.

PAYE Modernisation:

This will come as no surprise to our regular readers as we have focused quite heavily on this of late, but this long discussed and well overdue change will be introduced on January 1st 2019. The old PAYE system will be changed to a real time system. In advance of this it is imperative that you ensure all employees are registered with Revenue, and that all of your employment and payroll data is correct and up to date. This will ensure a smoother transition into the new system.

It is also advised that if you currently utilise payroll software, to contact your provider to ensure that you are set up for the new system.

Similarly, if you use the services of an accountant for your payroll, it is advised to contact them and ensure that all is in order for the changes ahead.

ROS Digital Certificates:

As we have previously discussed, all Revenue operations will be moving to the online system, it is crucial that you should review your digital certificates and ensure that they have not expired to avoid any delays to your services as these certs must be renewed every 2 years. Ensure that your contact details are up to date so you do not miss any important reminders.

P2Cs:

As discussed above, Revenue will be discontinuing the practise of issuing these, instead you will utilise your payroll software or input Revenue Payroll Notifications (RPNs) onto the ROS system yourself. This system will provide you with all information required to process taxes etc. and will be available from December 5th.

Forms:

As we have discussed previously in relation to PAYE modernisation, forms such as the P45, P46, P30, P35 and P60 are to be abolished in favour of real time reporting.

Further information on how to prepare for the coming year is available on the Revenue website. Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

Changes to Tax Allowances

Squeezing the Squeezed

There were some financially negative headlines this week, with publications announcing that many thousands of Irish workers now find themselves in the firing line for an apparent “tax grab” which would affect some of the lower paid PAYE workers in our country, ranging from employees of the hospitality sector (who already find themselves in hot water following the changing of their VAT regulations in this year’s Budget announcement) to construction workers and teachers.

Reports suggest that the Revenue Commissioners find themselves under fire for this apparent attack on our lower paid workers as it moves to take annual tax allowances away from these people from January 1st. This comes on the back of the Finance Minister being accused of not doing enough to protect the “squeezed middle” during the Budget announcements, and adds fuel to the fire of the public belief that the Government seeks to protect only the very wealthy in society.

As we have discussed in the past, the Revenue system has been undergoing a major overhaul in recent months, with a clamp down on tax fraud and evasion as well as changes to the online services and a general overhaul of Irish tax affairs. As a result of this, and following on from the taxation changes to be made in the hospitality sector, it is now reported that Revenue are beginning to look closely at other sectors to review the current flat-rate tax scheme.

This scheme is intended to cover some costs for workers such as tools and uniforms etc. By reducing the portion of income that a worker is required to pay tax on, this is intended to allow these costs to be covered without interfering directly with the worker’s take home pay. It is estimated that over 500,000 Irish PAYE workers currently avail of this scheme. Teachers and construction workers could find themselves the hardest hit by this change.

As of right now, there is no concrete information on these changes, and it will doubtless be ill-timed as it will eliminate any gains felt by the Budget for many employees. The only word from the Revenue Commissioners at present is that all allowances paid to all categories of staff who are eligible to claim tax relied will be examined as the review continues.

Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

*Note: Since time of writing, new information has surfaced, suggesting that the Government may delay the implementation of the below until 2020, we will give more information on this when confirmed