I propose to take Questions Nos. 200 and 201 together.
I am advised by Revenue that, if a business had re-opened but has had to close again as a result of the imposition of restrictions such as the “Level 3” restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19 mentioned by the Deputy, the business can continue to warehouse VAT and PAYE (Employer) debts in respect of the extended restricted period, including the period while the business was temporarily re-open and trading, until the restrictions are lifted. This issue is covered in the current version of Revenue’s Information Booklet on Warehousing of Tax Debts Associated with Covid-19, available on Revenue’s website at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/documents/debt-warehousing-reduced-interest-measures.pdf.
I am further advised by Revenue that the warehousing of unpaid VAT and PAYE (Employer) “Covid-19 liabilities” will not prevent a business from obtaining tax clearance, so long as the business continues to meet its obligations for qualifying for warehousing of tax debts – that is, filing all tax returns and paying other liabilities as they fall due.
I announced in the Budget Statement last week that, subject to the agreement of the Oireachtas to the relevant provisions in the Finance Bill, excess payments received by employers under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, and the balance of Income Tax for 2019 and Preliminary Tax for 2020 for self-assessed taxpayers, may also be warehoused in circumstances where the taxpayer is unable to pay those liabilities as a result of the impact on their business or income of Covid-19 restrictions. Those proposed measures, the details of which are expected to be published in the Finance Bill later this week, will include provisions that businesses or individuals who warehouse those liabilities will not be prevented from obtaining tax clearance so long as they meet the obligations to qualify for warehousing.