The facility to e-register for the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) opened on Saturday, 26 November on Revenue’s Online Service (ROS). The claims process opened on Monday, 5 December. Revenue confirmed in a press release on 21 December that the first payments under the scheme have issued.
We outline below some key matters to be aware of when registering for and submitting claims under this new scheme. Our TBESS webpage summarises the important features of the scheme and provides links to relevant guidance. We will update members on any TBESS developments in TaxFax and on our webpage over the coming weeks.
Revenue hosted a live webinar about the TBESS on Wednesday, 14 December 2022 which provided information about the scheme and addressed questions submitted by participants. A recording of the webinar is available to view on the Revenue website.
Before a business can start the registration process for TBESS, it must hold a current tax clearance certificate. Businesses can apply for clearance on the electronic Tax Clearance (eTC) system on ROS.
Businesses availing of the Debt Warehousing Scheme or making tax payments under a Phased Payment Arrangement, will be eligible for tax clearance provided they are meeting their obligations under those arrangements. In response to Institute queries at TALC, Revenue confirmed that outstanding VAT Return of Trading Details (VAT RTD returns) will not impact the tax clearance status of a business.
Section 6.2.1 of Revenue’s TBESS Guidelines lists the specific information on the business, trade/profession and energy account type (electricity and/or natural gas) required to register for TBESS. Appendix I of the Guidelines includes screen-by-screen images of the registration process including the relevant declarations to be made on screen, when submitting the registration application.
Revenue has published an Understanding Your Bill Guide to highlight the key data needed from energy bills to register for TBESS, with samples of a cross-section of suppliers’ bills. For example, these samples show businesses where to locate:
- the required Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) on their bills, which is unique to their electricity account
- a Gas Point Reference Number (GPRN), identifying their connection to the State’s natural gas network
- the specific information needed from the bill where the electricity or gas connection has not been held since 1 September 2021
The TBESS is not available for energy bills for oil and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). Responding to Parliamentary Questions on this issue, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D., advised that the scheme is based on information made available through electricity and gas meters, identifiable by a MPRN in the case of electricity, or a GPRN in the case of gas. It would not be possible to accurately determine the actual usage for each monthly claim period, the relevant unit price for each claim period, or the actual increase in that unit price and usage over the same period in the reference period for energy sources such as oil and LPG.
If a business is operated out of the business owner’s home, and the MPRN or GPRN supplies both the business and the home, the percentage of ‘eligible use’ must be provided (i.e., the use that is wholly and exclusively associated with the qualifying business).
In the case of a partnership, the precedent partner must register on behalf of the partnership. The precedent partner will register under the tax reference number of the partnership trade.
The Claims Process
The facility to submit a claim under TBESS opened from Monday, 5 December to those who had registered for the scheme.
Revenue advises eligible businesses to collate their electricity and natural gas bills covering the reference periods (i.e. each month from 1 September 2021 to 28 February 2022) and relevant energy bills from September to November 2022, so once registered, businesses have the information they need to submit a claim.
Businesses that began to trade or obtained a new MPRN/GPRN connection since September 2021 may not have bills from the reference periods. As outlined previously, deemed reference unit prices will be provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to Revenue and will be published in the TBESS Guidelines when available.
It will not be necessary to upload energy bills when making a claim unless requested to do so by Revenue. Revenue is also permitted in the legislation to verify any bill with the bill supplier if it considers the claim may be invalid or an overclaim.
Section 6.3 of Revenue’s TBESS Guidelines sets out the steps in the claims process. Section 6.3.1 sets out the particulars required from the electricity/natural gas bills. Appendix II includes screenshots from ROS and additional guidance to help claimants.
Similar to the COVID-19 related support schemes, an agent must be agent-linked for TBESS to act for a business in relation to the scheme.
Temporary Business Energy Payment (TBEP)
Revenue advises that eligible businesses who have successfully completed the registration process and made valid claims for September, October and November by the third week in December, will receive a Temporary Business Energy Payment (TBEP) under the scheme before the end of 2022.
This TBEP will be paid in full where a claimant’s tax affairs are up to date. If the business has outstanding tax liabilities, the TBEP will first reduce those liabilities with the balance remaining paid to the claimant.
Revenue also has a TBESS Calculator where businesses can enter details of current and reference period energy bills to calculate the potential amount of a payment under the scheme.
We outline below the pathways to select when using MyEnquiries to raise queries with Revenue.
For TBESS queries: Select “Enquiry relates to” and “Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS)” and “More specifically” – “TBESS”
For eTax Clearance queries: Select “Enquiry relates to” and “Tax clearance” and “More Specifically” – “Tax Clearance”.
Phone Contact: Revenue can also be contacted on 01 738 3663.