We are half-way through January. The weather has picked up, so we only need 3 layers for the walks. Dry January didn't start and watching Ireland's fittest family is the closest I have come to sweat. But there is hope on the sporting front. Man Utd have found themselves top of the Premier League and Brian Cody is back at the helm in Kilkenny again. These are distractions from the grim month that it is. Hats off to our healthcare workers who are doing everything they can to keep the system going. They are under extreme pressure. All we can do is the right thing to help them.
Last week we focused on 10 things that you need to know about the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme. In case you missed it Click here
This week we are going to give you a short summary of what's out there to help your business now. We will look at Revenue supports, bank supports and a few other bits.
Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme [EWSS]
The question to ask yourself is will your business suffer a 30% or more reduction in sales in the first 6 months of 2021? You are comparing the 2021 6 month period with the same 6 month period in 2019. The reduction has to be as a result of Covid. If the answer is yes then you need to find out more to see if your business can qualify for this scheme. The main things to know are that
- You need to make a declaration to confirm that you have read the terms and conditions and that you qualify
- You need to register before getting the subsidy and have to have tax clearance
- Revenue will check your numbers at some stage, so they need to be in place before entering the scheme. Hold onto them for a Revenue check
- At the end of each month, you have to review your numbers to see if you continue to qualify. Again, have the documents to show you did this
The benefit of this scheme is that your employees are on the payroll and are available to you for work. Employees cannot be on the EWSS and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment [PUP]. If you have only a few days’ work for employees you can still get the EWSS provided you meet the conditions. The employees won't get the PUP for the other days but can get jobseekers. But, if you take employees back on and then have to let them go again, they can get the PUP at that stage.
Have a look at our blog mentioned above for more information and there are links in the blog to the guidelines.
Covid Restrictions Support Scheme - CRSS
This is for businesses that are significantly restricted from trading or cannot trade. The business must be operating from premises. There is a restriction on the public from entering the business premises. The level of reduction in turnover has to be 75% or more compared to the average turnover of the business in 2019. What do you need to do?
- Ensure your business is operating from a qualifying premises
- Check if you meet the 75% reduction in turnover test compared to average turnover in 2019
- If you qualify check that you have tax clearance
- Register on ROS to make a claim
If you are already in the CRSS make sure you are not missing out on seasonal bonuses. We did a blog on the CRSS at the end of last October called 10 questions answered on the CRSS. To view this Click here. For an updated link to the guidelines on this scheme go to our Supporting you page - see here
Pandemic Unemployment Payment - PUP
Unfortunately, many employers will have no work for their employees and will have to lay them off. If this is a result of Covid then the employees will be eligible for the PUP payment. The amount the employee gets will depend on their earnings. There are 4 rates
- if you earned €400 or more - you will get €350
- if you earned between €300 and €399.99 - you will get €300
- if you earned between €200 and €299.99 - you will get €250
- if you earned less than €200 per week - you will get €203
This payment is also available for the self-employed. This is when your trading income has ceased or reduced to €960 over 8 weeks. For further information on this click here
Revenue confirmed that the Debt Warehousing Scheme is still available to support businesses. For the Revenue press release read here. It is to support those experiencing tax payment difficulties due to the restrictions. It allows businesses to park Vat and employer PAYE tax debts. See our previous blog on this read here . The main points are
- TWSS overpayments can also qualify
- These tax debts are interest free for the 12 months following the resumption of trading
- After 12 months you can pay the tax debts in full or paid through a phased payment arrangement at 3% per annum
- You need to continue to file all Vat and employer PAYE returns on time as part of the scheme
Access to the scheme is automatic for SME's and on request for larger businesses.
Local Enterprise Office [LEO] Supports
They have a range of support available. Among these are
- Trading Online Voucher to help small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online
- Microfinance Ireland Covid-19 Business loan fund. This is for business loans from €5000 to €25000.
- Mentoring support
- Online training and webinars
- Lean for Micro
- Other Financial Supports
We know that clients of ours have benefitted from trading online vouchers. Trading online and taking online payments is vital for retail businesses. Let the world be your marketplace. We are exploring Lean for Micro to see if it will benefit our clients. The people in the local Waterford LEO are excellent. Click here for more information on the above
Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland [SBCI]
These are government backed loans that are available from certain banks. The two Covid related loan schemes that are available are
- Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme
- Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme
To read more about these loan schemes click here
To access these loans you have to get outline approval from the SBCI first. Once you get that then you go to a participating bank to process the loan application. Normal lending requirements from the participating bank apply. The main benefits of these loans are
- The interest rate is lower than normal lending rates
- The loans are unsecured up to certain amounts
- There can be optional interest only repayments at the start of the loans
You need to ask yourself do you need a loan or not? Are there other ways that you can improve your business without incurring more debt? Areas such as pricing, invoicing and debtor’s collection could improve your cashflow.
Benefit in Kind & Taxes during Covid
Click here to see the Revenue page on this. This gives very useful information on the BIK rules in areas such as
- Covid-19 Testing for employees
- Flu- Vaccination for employees
- Flights for employees returning to the State
- Provision of equipment and furniture to enable employees to work from home
- Company Cars during Covid
- E-working and Tax
- Payment of Tax fares
- Small benefit exemption
- Employer provided accommodation
- Refund of health insurance premiums
- Various PAYE situations for workers in and out of the State
- Sundry other tax issues
The above is a very general overview of some of the supports that are out there. There has been an exceptional effort by the Government and other state agencies to help. With the EWSS and CRSS, you will need to make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Revenue will check and you will need your figures and information in order when they do. It would be advisable to consult with your accountant before availing of these.
Interested in talking to us? If so, call Deirdre on 051 396703 or contact us. We can find out more about you and how we can help your business.