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Revenue to withhold EWSS from firms who fail to file on time

Revenue to withhold EWSS from firms who fail to file on time.

As we are all aware, the emergency funds set up by the Government at the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency have seen many changes and adaptations over the last 18 months, both the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) have continued to change and adapt to suit the current needs of the pandemic. Following on from the recent announcement of a move for Ireland from a period of continued restrictions to an easing into personal accountability and no further requirement to work remotely after late October, there are certain to be more changes and the likely phasing out of these schemes ahead.

We have often discussed in recent years, the many ways in which Revenue have automated their processes and functions to facilitate increasingly efficient compliance reviews, and in line with this, they have begun to increase checks on these schemes to ensure continued eligibility. As Covid restrictions begin to be lifted, new measures are required to ensure the smooth and fair operation of the scheme.

Revenue’s latest figures have shown that almost 41,000 employers were registered for the EWSS at the end of August 2021 and eligibility review forms have been issued to all. With only 70% of businesses having returned these forms, it is important to ensure that all business and financial information is up to date and presented to Revenue on time as Revenue will withhold all support payments from employers who fail to file their forms on time.

These previous deadlines had been amended on two occasions. Access to the EWSS will be effectively paused until forms are submitted. This system of pausing is in place from Sept 1st, once eligibility is confirmed, payments will resume. Revenue have clarified this by saying;

Where such businesses subsequently complete and submit the outstanding EWSS eligibility review forms, and thereby confirm they continue to meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme, they can resume claiming EWSS support […] Any subsidies claimed but not paid while EWSS eligibility review forms were outstanding will then also be processed for payment.”

We would advise getting eligibility forms submitted before the deadline each month for the previous month to avoid any delays or disruptions to your payments, which could financially damage your business. Should you have any concerns or queries on any business or financial matters please do not hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we will be happy to help.

Changes to Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme

Changes to the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme

As we are all aware, the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) has been an integral part of protecting Irish businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic emergency. The scheme has seen many changes and taken on new forms over the course of the past year, having been set up on an emergency basis but requiring updates and extensions as the pandemic continues. The latest extension to the EWSS states that The Finance (Covid-19 Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 has allowed for the scheme to be extended through to December 31st, 2021.

With this extension come two major changes to how the scheme will operate going forward. As our country slowly continues the reopening process, these changes will be important to ensure that the scheme is allocated appropriately.

The two new key changes to the EWSS are as follows:

Change to Assessment Period.

The assessment period for eligibility to this scheme has now changed. It is now a requirement to show that your business will incur a 30% reduction in turnover* or orders for the 2021 calendar year as a direct result of Covid-19.
This can be assessed by:

Comparison to the 2019 calendar year if the business was in operation for the full year.
Comparison to the date of commencement to December 31st, 2019, if business commenced between January 1st and October 31st, 2019.
Comparison to projections for the 2021 calendar year, based on the assumption that the Covid-19 emergency had not occurred, if business commenced on or after November 1st, 2019.

*It is important to note that childcare businesses remain exempt from the 30% calculation criteria.

Mandatory Monthly Reviews to be Submitted Online.

A new key criterion to maintaining eligibility for the EWSS is the undertaking of monthly performance reviews for your business to ensure that your business continues to meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme.

A new form (EWSS Eligibility Review Form) has been created for this purpose, which must be submitted online on a monthly basis.

This form must be submitted by August 15th for June’s reviews and following on from this, will be expected by the 15th of each month.

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

Revenue's Debt Warehousing Scheme

Revenue’s Debt Warehousing Scheme

Revenue recently reminded businesses that were to resume trading, once lockdown ended, that their Debt Warehousing Scheme was still in operation. The process of debt warehousing essentially allows businesses to “park” their debts for a period of time in order to support cash flow when the company resumes trading. This will have been an invaluable asset to many companies, who may otherwise have struggled to reopen their doors following the Covid-19 lockdowns, however, this has naturally not come without drawbacks.

One issue for businesses to be aware of this scheme is if the company were availing of Debt Warehousing for PAYE employer liabilities, any directors or employees with a material interest in the company cannot claim for taxes deducted if these have been warehoused and not paid over to Revenue. This may mean that individuals could find themselves personally liable for PAYE deducted but not paid. While this is unlikely to become a major stumbling block, this is one issue that has not been widely spoken about but you very much need to be aware of it.

The system was put in place to ensure that cash flow would remain available to businesses at a time of need, with some 86,000 businesses availing of the scheme. The scheme has provided approximately €2.3 billion of cash flow to businesses and is now being extended to the end of 2021, with no interest during 2022 and a rate of 3% applying thereafter.

Revenue has assured businesses that payment terms will be flexible at the end of the term. This will also be determined by the company’s capacity to pay these arrears at the same time as paying their current liabilities. Collector General Joe Howley has stated that:

“This initiative gives viable businesses the opportunity to survive the economic shock of the pandemic and to hopefully thrive as the economy recovers. We will be in contact with each business that is availing with the Debt Warehousing Scheme to explain how the arrangements will operate for their business. The flexibility around debt that is warehoused will allow businesses additional time to get back on their feet after re-opening”.

It is important to remember that even businesses availing of this scheme must file all tax returns as soon as they are due.

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.

Revenue’s game-changer for tax administration

Revenue’s game-changer for tax administration

As we have discussed recently, the Revenue system has been undergoing massive amounts of welcome changes in recent years. As Revenue continues to invest in the future of their systems, how we do business daily is likely to shift along the way.

Revenue have become increasingly advanced and sophisticated in their systems over the past couple of years and their systems will continue to evolve. Where tax administration was once a long and protracted process, Revenue have managed to create a game-changing and more sophisticated system to catch non-compliance by investing in their IT and data analytics in a much more streamlined fashion.

“A system is only as good as the information it runs on – Revenue’s ability to collect vast and detailed information, as well as its ability to sort and collate this into useful data means their vigilance and efficiency is increasing year on year,” says Cian Rowlands, a tax manager in Ecovis DCA.

Revenue’s recent focus on the area of data analytics allows them to follow a more risk-assessment-based approach to tax issues with one leading tax commentator noting:

“Revenue have become much more advanced and sophisticated in its use of analytics and e-audits in recent years. Taxpayers can see it for themselves when they are filing returns and paying their tax online.

Revenue is now better positioned to tackle non-compliance. It is using data to determine which returns are higher risk and realigned its operating structure in 2018 to complement that. Revenue is focusing its resources on those cases which it believes will most likely deliver a yield on an audit.”

Revenue now utilises a risk-evaluation tool called the Risk Evaluation Analysis and Profiling (REAP), which is a highly sophisticated system that takes data from numerous sources and cross-checks this data against tax returns filed in order to attribute a risk ranking to the individual. Higher risk individuals are more at risk of being selected for audit.

This system continues to advance, and Revenue continues to refine the process. This increased sophistication means that Revenue can now carry out digital audits on an individual if an issue is flagged. As well as this, Revenue’s appeals system has been streamlined recently to begin to clear the backlog caused by the pandemic.

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.

Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)

Payments received by employers :

Payments received under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) are revenue in nature and will be treated as a reduction of otherwise tax-deductible trading expenses for tax purposes.

Similar to the accounting and tax treatment where the restart grant was used to defray revenue related expenditure, where the CRSS receipts are used to defray expenditure which is revenue in nature like utility bills or insurance costs then it will be taken into account when calculating the amounts chargeable to income tax or corporation tax.

In essence, the payments are taxable income and for accounting purposes, the CRSS receipts will be credited against the expenses incurred thereby leaving the net expense reflected in the accounts which are then allowable as a deduction for income tax or corporation tax purposes.

Therefore the payments received are effectively taxable payments subject to income tax or corporation tax depending on the structure of the entity receiving the payments.

Entities should keep a log of the expenditure which they have discharged from the CRSS receipts which can then be used by the agents to make the appropriate credit entries against the expenditure to arrive at the tax-deductible net figures.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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.

 

 

Home Renovation Incentive Tax Credit

A Bit of a Fixer Upper

We have spoken many times over the years about the ongoing struggle people face in attempting to gain a foothold on the elusive property ladder, but what about those who are already securely on the ladder and seeking to upgrade their home whether the home is their forever home or being rented out to tenants? The good news is there is relief available in the form of a Home Renovation Incentive Tax Credit. Tax Credit is always a welcome term, particularly when it comes to necessary renovations.

The HRI is a form of Income Tax relief for homeowners including landlords and local authority tenants who are paying tax. The relief applies to renovations and approvements including painting, tiling, plastering, electrical work, window replacements, attic conversions, fitted kitchens and more. This relief allows the homeowner to claim a tax credit of 13.5%. New builds do not qualify for this scheme and the home must be either your main home, a home you rent out to tenants, or a local authority home and you must be registered as the homeowner on Revenue’s Local Property Tax Register. If the property is jointly owned, both owners can claim the credit.

To qualify for the tax credit, the homeowner must spend at least €4,405 on either one or a number of projects on the property and can be completed by one or more qualifying contractors. A maximum claim of €30,000 of total cost applies. If the property is divided into multiple rental units, each can be treated individually for the purposes of HRI.

The amount of HRI credit that can be claimed will depend on the amount spent on the renovations and also any grants or compensations claimed. In the event that you have received a grant for the works, the qualifying amount will be reduced by three times the grant amount.

Should you have any queries on any business or financial matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we are always happy to assist.

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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