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Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Questions (39, 41, 44)

Niall Collins

Question:

39. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33965/20]

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Brendan Griffin

Question:

41. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if he will address an anomaly in the Covid-19 restrictions support scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33979/20]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

44. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the Covid restrictions support scheme scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34060/20]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 39, 41 and 44 together.

The Financial Measures (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020 put on a statutory footing the arrangements for the ‘warehousing’ of tax debts that Revenue had been operating on an administrative basis since the beginning of Covid-19 related restrictions in March 2020. I also announced in Budget 2021 that warehousing arrangements would be extended to the balance of 2019 income tax and 2020 preliminary tax obligations for the self-assessed taxpayers whose income has been adversely affected by Covid-19 restrictions.

Businesses that avail of the ‘warehousing’ scheme also qualify for a Tax Clearance Certificate if they continue to meet their qualifying obligations – that is, filing all tax returns and paying other liabilities as they fall due. I should add that taxpayers with non-COVID-19 tax debts which are included in a phased payment arrangement (PPA), can also qualify for tax clearance.

Revenue adopts a pragmatic approach in circumstances where a taxpayer has payment difficulties and it is important that the taxpayer or their tax agent contacts Revenue as early as possible so that alternative arrangements can be agreed.

Tax clearance allows taxpayers to avail of other essential Covid-19 related supports such as the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Stay and Spend Scheme and the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) to which the Deputy refers.

The details of the CRSS are set out in the Finance Bill 2020 and guidelines on the operation of the scheme are available on the Revenue website (https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/budget-information/2021/crss-guidelines.pdf ). The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The support will be available to companies and self-employed individuals who carry on a trade or trading activities from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions, introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan, with the result that the business is required to prohibit or considerably restrict customers from accessing their business premises.

As I have previously indicated, it is not sufficient that the business supplies goods or services to another business that qualifies for the support because, under the Covid restrictions, that other business is required to temporarily close, or significantly reduce, its activity. Each business must satisfy the eligibility criteria in their own right.

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