Supports for Businesses Affected by COVID-19

It has been a difficult and anxious few days for business owners, the self-employed and employees. We have summarised below some supports that have been introduced to assist those affected financially by COVID-19.

Note that the self-employed are entitled to illness benefit and unemployment benefit (see below).

Among Revenue’s measures are several concessions:

  • the suspension of application of interest on late payments (for January/February VAT and February and March PAYE liabilities)
  • the postponement of debt enforcement, until further notice
  • the deferral of the RCT rate review (previously scheduled for March 2020)

Revenue is also deferring the collection of Local Property Tax for those paying by Annual Debit Instruction or Single Debit Authority payment. It had been due by 21 March, but has been deferred to 21 May 2020.

For more information about Revenue’s measures, you can visit their website.

Similarly, the Registrar of Companies has stated that ‘all annual returns due to be filed by companies between now and 30th June, 2020 will be deemed to have been filed on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and filed by that date’. For more updates, visit the CRO Twitter account.
 
The government have also announced details of an Illness Benefit for COVID-19. This entails an increase in the personal rate of Illness Benefit from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum period of two weeks of medically certified self-isolation, or for the duration of a person’s medically-certified absence from work due to Covid-19 diagnoses. More information and application instructions can be found here.
 
There is also a new payment, the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who qualify, the flat rate for this payment is €203 paid for a 6-week period. It is equivalent to the jobseeker payment rate. During that 6-week period the person will be required to complete and return a full jobseeker’s form.

More information, including details of qualification for the payment, can be found here. Eligibility criteria apply.
 
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has also provided in-depth practical steps for businesses.

They include:
– discussing the situation with your bank and seeking advice from the Local Enterprise Office

– accessing government supports such as the Credit Guarantee Scheme, COVID-19 loans from MicroFinance Ireland, or COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme from the SBCI

– consulting the Department’s checklist of preparatory actions

If you need any assistance with tax returns or arranging payment plans and deferrals with Revenue, please contact us. We are ready to assist you. Email us at welcome@fidelia.ie.

– The Fidelia Team

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