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Debt Warehousing & Interest Suspension

On 2 May 2020, the Government announced it would legislate to provide that Revenue would warehouse deferred VAT and payroll taxes debts associated with the Covid-19 crisis.


The tax debt warehousing arrangement allowed a business to park unpaid VAT and PAYE (Employer) tax debts, that arose from the COVID-19 crisis for a period of 12 months after a business resumed trading. No interest was to accrue during this period with an interest rate of 3% per annum to apply on the repayment of these ‘warehoused tax debts’ after that date.


Legislation underpinning the tax measures announced in the July Jobs Stimulus, the Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020, was signed into law by the President on 1 August 2020. It provided for an extension of the reduced 3% per annum interest rate on warehoused VAT and payroll tax liabilities to other tax debts agreed before 30 September 2020. In a press release on 30 September 2020, Revenue confirmed the deadline to avail of reduced rate of interest on outstanding non-COVID-19 tax debts would be extended to 31 October 2020.


Finance Act 2020 extended the Debt Warehousing Scheme to include certain income tax liabilities for 2020 and 2021 for the self-employed and to include overpayments of Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) payments by Revenue to employers.


In January 2021, Revenue confirmed that the Scheme remained available to support businesses experiencing tax payment difficulties arising from the COVID-19 Level 5 public health restrictions


On 1 June 2021, the Government launched the Economic Recovery Plan 2021 and as part of the measures announced, the period of time during which tax debts could be warehoused was extended until the end of December 2021 and it was extended to cover overpayments of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). The Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021, which includes the amendments to the Scheme announced in the Economic Recovery Plan 2021, was signed by the President on 19 July 2021.


The Act inserted a new section 28D into the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 to provide for warehousing of EWSS overpayments, refunds of TWSS payments, PAYE, income tax, VAT and PRSI, as follows:




  • Period 1 (the “Covid-19 restricted trading phase”) will run from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2021

  • Period 2 (“the zero interest phase”) will run from 1 January 2022 until 31 December 2022 during which no interest will be charged on warehoused relevant tax from Period 1; and

  • Period 3 (the reduced interest phase) will run from 1 January 2023 until the relevant tax is repaid to Revenue. During Period 3, interest will be charged at 3% per annum on warehoused relevant tax from Period 1.


On 21 December 2021, the Scheme was extended to assist businesses impacted by the newly announced public health restrictions. Period 1 (the Covid-19 restricted trading phase) was extended to 31 March 2022, where certain criteria are satisfied. On 21 January 2022, the Government extended this period by one month to 30 April 2022. Period 2 (the zero-interest phase) for these taxpayers will now run from 1 May 2022 until 30 April 2023. Period 3 (the reduced interest phase) will run from 1 May 2023.


The extension to the Debt Warehousing Scheme will not apply to businesses that are not currently in receipt of one of the relevant COVID-19 Support Schemes.


More information on these developments is included below.


Irish Tax Institute Representations

The Institute has been in ongoing engagement with Revenue on measures to help deal with cash-flow issues for businesses and on clarifications required on tax administration issues the COVID-19 pandemic presented for affected businesses and employees.

  • The Institute wrote to the Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., on 23 March 2020, seeking urgent measures to deal with the cash-flow difficulties for businesses and noting the wide-ranging tax administration and payment issues arising for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, previously submitted to Revenue on 19 March 2020.
  • On 23 July 2020, the Institute created a dedicated webpage on the tax debt warehousing arrangement to keep members up to date on Revenue Guidance on the operation of the warehousing arrangement as it was released.
  • The Institute held a Branch Network Online Event for members with Revenue on 2 September 2020, to hear topical updates from Revenue’s Personal, Business, Medium Enterprises and the Collector General’s Divisions.
  • In a press statement issued on 17 September 2020, Institute President, Sandra Clarke, urged businesses to act now to save on interest charged on overdue tax.
  • At meetings with Revenue in September and October, the Institute raised the cash-flow difficulties for many self-employed due to the impact of COVID-19 and that these taxpayers could not avail of the extension to the Income Tax ROS Pay & File deadline (to 10 December 2020) due to their inability to pay their income tax liabilities. We sought alleviation of the “late” surcharge in circumstances where taxpayers would be unable to meet their income tax obligations by the 31 October 2020 deadline.
  • On 7 October 2020, the Institute wrote to the Minister for Finance about the challenges in meeting the income tax filing deadline for Covid-19 impacted businesses who could not pay their income tax liabilities. We sought an extension to the deadline for filing their income tax returns for 2019 and forbearance for taxpayers who would be unable to pay their income tax liabilities by the due date. The Minister subsequently announced an extension to the Debt Warehousing Scheme to include the warehousing of certain income tax liabilities by the self-employed and to allow these taxpayers to avail of the extended Pay & File deadline. Finance Bill 2020, published on 22 October outlined the conditions applying to this provision.
  • The Institute has continually raised concerns with Revenue at TALC regarding the interaction of section 997A TCA 1997 with the Debt Warehousing Scheme for employers’ COVID-19 related PAYE liabilities. In addition, the Institute made representations on this issue to the Minister for Finance in our Pre-Budget 2022 and Pre-Finance Bill 2021 Submissions. Further to the Budget publication, Budget 2022 Tax Policy Changes, published on 12 October 2021, the Department of Finance has outlined the intention to allow self-assessed income taxpayers with employment income who have a material interest in their employer company to warehouse income tax liabilities relating to their Schedule E income in these circumstances, subject to the enactment of the Finance Bill. See further detail here.

We will continue to engage with the Department of Finance and with Revenue on the cash-flow difficulties and the tax administration and payment issues arising for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we will update members on this webpage, on Twitter and in TaxFax.

Revenue Resources and Documents

May 2022 – Revenue sample letter: Final Notice – Action required to Retain Debt Warehousing where returns are outstanding

March 2022 – Revenue sample letter: Warehouse Taxpayer with Period 1 end date 31 December 2021 – all returns up to date

March 2022 – Revenue sample letter: Warehouse Taxpayer with Period 1 end date 31 December 2021 – outstanding returns

March 2022 – Revenue sample letter: Warehouse Taxpayer with extended Period 1 end date 30 April 2022 – all returns up to date

March 2022 – Revenue sample letter: Warehouse Taxpayer with extended Period 1 end date 30 April 2022 – outstanding returns

March 2022 – Information Booklet on warehousing of tax debts associated with COVID-19

December 2021 – Revenue update on claiming support under CRSS and EWSS and availing of the Debt Warehousing Scheme

July 2021 – Revenue reminds businesses of key supports available as the economy continues to reopen

May 2021 – Revenue confirm Debt Warehousing Scheme still in operation as businesses reopen

In March 2021, Revenue wrote to taxpayers and agents in respect of businesses that availed of the debt warehousing to advise that the Debt Warehousing Scheme remained available to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 related trading restrictions. Samples of the letters issued by Revenue are available below:

March 2021 – Letter to taxpayers with all returns filed including details of the debt warehoused to date

March 2021 – Letter to taxpayers with returns outstanding including details of any debt warehoused and the returns outstanding  

March 2021 – Letter to taxpayers with returns outstanding and availing of CRSS or EWSS or both (tailored according to the taxpayers circumstances) including details of any debt warehoused and the returns outstanding

January 2021 – Revenue confirms Debt Warehousing Scheme remains available to support businesses impacted by current Level 5 restrictions

December 2020 – Information Booklet on warehousing of tax debts associated with COVID-19 and reduced interest rate on other tax debts

Debt warehousing and reduced rate of interest for outstanding ‘non-COVID-19’ debts webpage

In November 2020, Revenue wrote to businesses that qualify for the Debt Warehousing Scheme about the tax liabilities that have been warehoused. Taxpayers with outstanding returns are reminded in the letter about tax returns that are outstanding and need to be filed to retain the debt warehouse status. Samples of the letters issued by Revenue are available below:

November 2020 – Revenue sample letter to taxpayers who qualify for debt warehousing confirming the amount of tax debt warehoused 

November 2020 – Revenue sample letter to taxpayers who qualify for debt warehousing but have outstanding tax returns 

October 2020 – eBrief No. 190/20: Budget 2021 – Income Tax Warehousing

October 2020 – Revenue confirms Debt Warehousing Scheme remains available to support businesses impacted by Level 3 restrictions  

October 2020 – eBrief No. 180/20: Extension of deadline to avail of a 3% reduced rate of interest on outstanding ‘non-Covid-19’ tax debts 

September 2020 – Revenue extends deadline to avail of reduced rate of interest on outstanding non-Covid-19 tax debts

August 2020 – Revenue provides further information on tax measures outlined in July Jobs Stimulus

May 2020 – Revenue update on additional measures to support businesses and Debt Warehousing Scheme

May 2020 – New “warehousing” of deferred tax debts and interest suspension arrangements

May 2020 – Revenue confirms ‘warehousing’ of COVID-19 related tax debt for businesses