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Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)


The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020 was signed into law on 27 March 2020 and introduced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). The TWSS, which superseded the Employer Covid-19 Refund Scheme, took effect from 26 March 2020. The scheme was expected to last 12 weeks from this date. On 5 June, the scheme was extended by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. to 31 August 2020.


Initially the subsidy scheme refunded employers €410 for each qualifying employee i.e. Transitional Phase of the TWSS. From 4 May 2020, the subsidy payment moved to a system based on the previous average net weekly pay for January and February 2020 for each employee i.e. Operational Phase of the TWSS.


To qualify for the scheme, a business must have experienced a significant negative economic disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key indicators of this were that the employer’s turnover was likely to decrease by 25% for quarter 2, 2020; that the business was unable to meet normal wages or normal outputs and any other indicators set out in Revenue guidelines.


Revenue will perform a reconciliation of employer refunds made to the employer for the duration of the scheme i.e. the difference between subsidy the employee was eligible for and the €410 that Revenue refunded to the employer during the Transitional phase. In Stage one, employers are required to report the actual subsidy paid to their employees for each pay date. In Stage two, Revenue will determine the amount of TWSS, if any, owing back to Revenue from employers. Each active payslip will be reconciled. This stage is due to commence in October 2020.

Irish Tax Institute Representations

During the implementation of measures to combat the economic disruption resulting from the public health crisis the Institute was in constant contact with Revenue on the operation of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). We submitted extensive lists of queries that members had raised with us, such as, issues relating to the employer eligibility criteria, qualifying employees, timelines, worked examples, payroll reconciliation exercises etc. Revenue responded directly to the Institute’s list of queries on the scheme and we circulated these responses to members in TaxFax on 3 April, 24 April and 12 June 2020.

Read Revenue’s responses to the Institute’s questions on the TWSS – 3 April

Read Revenue’s responses to the Institute’s questions on the TWSS – 24 April

Read Revenue’s responses to the Institute’s questions on the TWSS – 12 June

To help members understand and implement the scheme, we held two complimentary webinars for members on the Transitional Phase of the TWSS and Operational Phase of the TWSS with Revenue on Thursday, 16 April 2020 and Monday, 8 June 2020 respectively. We held a third complimentary webinar on 17 August 2020, during which Revenue provided an update on the TWSS and answered questions on the TWSS compliance checks, reconciliation exercise and the end of year review.

The recordings of the webinars are available here:

Watch the webinar – 16 April

Watch the webinar – 8 June

Watch the webinar – 17 August

Revenue continued to work through the issues raised and update its Frequently Asked Questions: Guidance on the Operational Phase of the COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme on an ongoing basis. We will keep members informed of developments through Twitter, this webpage and TaxFax.

Revenue Resources and Documents

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) webpage

September 2020 – COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme statistics

August 2020 – Guidance on the Operational Phase of the COVID-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

July 2020 – Frequently Asked Questions on: Guidance for PAYE Employees whose Employers have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and are availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)

June 2020 – Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme Compliance Check Sample Letter

June 2020 – eBrief No. 117/20: Extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to August 2020 and update on a range of developments under the Scheme

June 2020 – Revenue provide important information on extension of TWSS, including employer compliance programme to ensure correct operation of scheme

June 2020 – Revenue confirm TWSS changes for employees who have been on maternity, adoptive and certain other benefits paid by DEASP are now in place

June 2020 – eBrief 106/20: Update to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

May 2020 – Guidance for PAYE employees whose employers are availing of Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)

May 2020 – Notes for Guidance – Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 – Part 7 Section 28

April 2020 – Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – Sample Subsidy Calculator

April 2020 – Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – Sample Employer CSV File

April 2020 – Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – Employer CSV Description

April 2020 – Guidance on Operation of the Transitional Phase of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

April 2020 – COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – Employer Eligibility Update

April 2020 – Revenue announces access to TWSS for certain employers who missed 15 March payroll deadline

April 2020 – COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – Employer Eligibility and Supporting Proofs

April 2020 – Head of Revenue’s Personal Division addresses questions on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme on Newstalk, the Hard Shoulder

April 2020 – Revenue urges employers registered for Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to update bank details

March 2020 – Revenue Chairman clarifies key questions on Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme about the employer declaration and the turnover test on RTE Morning Ireland

March 2020 – Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

March 2020 – Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme

March 2020 – eBrief No. 044/20: Revenue to operate Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme on behalf of DEASP