COVID-19 SUPPORT MEASURES IN IRELAND

COVID-19 IRISH UPDATE

The Irish Government have put measures in place to support businesses with COVID-19. Below we set out some of the measures in place and provide Revenue clarification on certain cross border and working from home issues.

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

Financial support is available to Irish workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. As part of these measures, Revenue will operate a Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. The scheme, enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer. The scheme will run for 12 weeks from 26 March 2020. Click the link for key features of the scheme.

Trans-Border Workers Relief

If employees are required to work from home in the State due to COVID-19, such days spent working at home in the State will not preclude an individual from being entitled to claim this relief, provided all other conditions of the relief are met.

PAYE Exclusion Order – Irish Contract of Employment

Regarding employees who are working abroad for a foreign employer under an Irish contract of employment where a PAYE exclusion order is in place, the position will not be adversely impacted where the employee works more than 30 days in the State due to COVID-19.

PAYE Dispensation Applications

Given the unprecedented circumstances and the restrictions on travel as a consequence of COVID-19, Revenue will not strictly enforce the 30 day notification requirement for PAYE dispensations which is applicable to short term business travellers from countries with which Ireland has a double taxation treaty who are going to spend in excess of 60 workdays in the State in a tax year.

Employer provided equipment

A BIK will not arise where employers provide equipment such as laptops, printers, scanners and office furniture in order for employees to set up a working space in their homes.

Payment of taxi fares

Where an employer pays for a taxi to transport an employee to or from work due to health and safety concerns, BIK will not apply for the duration of the COVID-19 period only.

Benefit in Kind (BIK)

Tax treatment of reimbursements by an employer to an employee regarding holiday/flight cancellations or in relation to costs of assisting employees returning to the State

Provided the employee is integral to the business and was required to return to deal with issues related to the COVID-19 crisis by his or her employer, the costs incurred are reasonable and the employee is not otherwise compensated (i.e. via an insurance policy or direct claim to the service provider), a BIK will not arise. This may include costs related to family members who were on holiday or due to go on holidays with the employee.

Residence rules – Force Majeure circumstances

Existing guidance states that where an individual is prevented from leaving the State on his or her intended day of departure due to extraordinary natural occurrences or an exceptional third party failure or action – none of which could reasonably have been foreseen and avoided – the individual will not be regarded as being present in the State for tax residence purposes for the day after the intended day of departure provided the individual is unavoidably present in the State on that day due only to ‘force majeure’ circumstances.  Where a departure from the State is prevented due to COVID-19, Revenue will consider this ‘force majeure’ for the purpose of establishing an individual’s tax residence position.

Corporation Tax Return Surcharge

The application of a surcharge for Corporation Tax returns (CT1’s) for accounting periods ending June 2019 onwards (i.e. due by March 23 onwards) is suspended until further notice.

Debt Management

Revenue services are working with taxpayers to resolve their tax payments difficulties. While taxpayers are advised to pay tax liabilities if at all possible, it is recognised that tax payment difficulties are an inevitable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following measures are in place to assist taxpayers who are experiencing tax payment difficulties:

  • All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.
  • The application of interest on late payments is suspended for all SME* businesses in respect of January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.
  • Businesses, other than SMEs, who are experiencing difficulties in paying their tax liabilities should contact the Collector-General’s office on (01) 7383663. Alternatively, these businesses can engage directly with their branch contacts in Revenue’s Large Corporates Division or Medium Enterprises Division.

If you require assistance please reach out to us on 02871370886 or email dawn@dawnmclaughlin.co.uk

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