In March 2020, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in businesses closing their doors and many employees working remotely, where possible, to help maintain social distancing and suppress the transmission of the virus. Although necessary, these measures have severely affected businesses in the weeks and months that followed. A number of measures were introduced by the Government and the Revenue Commissioners to mitigate the negative impact of the Covid-19 restrictions on businesses, employees and the economy as a whole.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has provided an overview of the financial supports, training and guidance to help businesses mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and return to work safely on their Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses webpage.
The Revenue Commissioners also created the COVID-19 information and advice for taxpayers and agents webpage providing information, guidance and advice to assist taxpayers, and their agents, experiencing a range of difficulties caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 23 July 2020, the Government announced the July Jobs Stimulus 2020, which provided for several measures to boost the economy and get people back to work. Legislation underpinning the tax measures announced in the July Jobs Stimulus, the Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020 was passed by Dáil Éireann and signed into law by the President on 1 August 2020. The Institute has collated the latest updates and links to information which members may find useful on the Institute’s July Jobs Stimulus 2020 webpage.
On 1 June 2021, the Government launched the Economic Recovery Plan 2021. The Plan sets out a new phase of supports for the next stage of the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the measures announced in the Economic Recovery Plan, the reduced 9% VAT rate applying on a temporary basis to Hospitality and Tourism related goods and services was extended until 1 September 2022.
On 22 June, the Government published the Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 and section 6 of the Bill provides for the extension of the reduced 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector from 31 December 2021 to 31 August 2022. The 9% VAT rate applies to the supply of restaurant and catering services, guest and holiday accommodation and entertainment services, such as admissions to cinemas, theatres, museums, fairgrounds, amusement park and sporting facilities, and also to hairdressing and the sale of certain printed matter (e.g. brochures, maps and programmes).
The Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 was signed by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins on 19 July 2021.
The Institute is in ongoing engagement with Revenue on measures to help deal with cash-flow issues for businesses and on clarifications required on tax administration. Following our representations, Revenue updated their website and provided further clarity to the Institute on a range of matters including:
The Institute also 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.
The Institute wrote to the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D., on 7 October 2020, seeking to alleviate the late filing surcharge for income tax and to consider including income tax in phased payments arrangements at the reduced interest rate of 3% due to the challenges facing businesses impacted by Covid-19 in meeting the income tax filing deadline.
We will continue to engage with the Department of Finance and with Revenue on the impact of the crisis and supports for businesses and we will update members on this webpage, on Twitter and in TaxFax.
August 2020 – Reduction in the standard rate of VAT
August 2020 – Enhanced Help to Buy (HTB) scheme
June 2021 – Economic Recovery Plan 2021
February 2021 – COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery: The Path Ahead
Department of the Taoiseach
June 2021 – Launch of the Economic Recovery Plan 2021
July 2020 – July Jobs Stimulus
Department of Finance
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP)
Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI)
Companies Registration Office
October 2020 – Update regarding annual filing of returns for companies
April 2020 – State aid: Commission extends Temporary Framework