Government supports overview

A. Latest support scheme updates

1. Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)

The Covid-19 Restrictions Support Scheme will be extended beyond 30 June until the end of the 2021.

As firms are able to re-open and exit the scheme, there will be an enhanced restart payment of three weeks at double rate of payment to support businesses in meeting the costs of re-opening as they exit the scheme.

The maximum re-start payment will be increased to €10,000 per week, allowing businesses to receive up to a maximum of €30,000.

2. Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended until the end of the 2021 and businesses may apply for enhanced reopening payments.

Current enhanced payment rates will be maintained for Quarter 3 (July, August, September) at current turnover thresholds. In order to benefit more firms, the time period for assessment will be broadened from the current 6 month period of assessment to a full 12 month period.

The question of an employer contribution to employee wages under the scheme will be considered for the remainder of 2021 alongside the issue of the appropriate calibration of rates of subsidy for that quarter.

3. Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be extended beyond 30 June 2021 for existing claimants.

The scheme will be closed to new applicants from the first of July 2021

PUP claims for students will be extended until the start of the 2021/2022 college year (final payment on 7th September) in line with normal circumstances where students do not qualify for unemployment payments while at college.

The current rates of support under the PUP scheme will remain in place until 7th September at which point, they will be gradually reduced on a phased basis in increments of €50 per week. Two further phases of changes will take place on 16th November 2021 and 8th February 2022.

4. Enhanced Illness Benefit

The enhanced Covid-19 illness payment will remain available to all those diagnosed with Covid-19 or asked to remain away from work as a close contact.

5. Business Resumption Support Scheme

A new business support scheme, the Business Resumption Support Scheme, will be introduced in September 2021 for businesses with significantly reduced turnover as a result of public health restrictions.

It is designed for 'vulnerable but viable' businesses, particularly in sectors that were significantly impacted throughout the pandemic, even during periods when restrictions were eased.

Businesses whose turnover is reduced by 75% between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021, compared with 2019 will be eligible.

The scheme will not be restricted by location, rate paying or physical premises.

The BRSS will be administered by Revenue and will operate in a similar way to CRSS.

Details to follow.

6. COVID-19 Deferred Payment arrangement

The right of an employee to trigger a redundancy claim following certain periods of lay-off or short time work due to COVID-19 has been extended to 30 September 2021.

Businesses with verified financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 emergency measures will be supported to deal with potential additional statutory redundancy costs through the provision of a COVID-19 Deferred Payment arrangement. Further details will be worked out in conjunction with employers and unions.

B. Tax considerations

1. VAT

The lower tourism VAT rate of 9% will be extended until 1st September 2022.

2. Tax Warehousing

The Tax Debt Warehousing Scheme, available to support businesses that are experiencing tax payment difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, will be extended to the end of 2021 for all eligible taxpayers with an interest free period during 2022.

COVID related liabilities will then fall to be paid from 1 January 2023. The scheme allows businesses to warehouse liabilities relating to VAT, PAYE (Employer) liabilities, certain self-assessed income tax liabilities and overpayments of Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

Overpayments of Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will now be included in the scheme.

C. Enterprise Support Grant

Enterprise Support Grant for Self-Employed Business Owners

The special Enterprise Support Grant of €1,000 for self-employed people returning to work will be continued to assist self-employed sole traders, leaving PUP, to meet re-start costs.

Find details of the scheme, including application forms, on the government website.

Application forms must be returned to your local Intreo office.

D. Commercial Rates Waiver

Commercial Rates Waiver

The Commercial Rates Waiver will be extended to end of September in its current form.

Businesses should contact their Local Authority directly with any queries relating to the scheme.