Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (158)

Darren O'Rourke


158. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Finance if he is satisfied that a company (details supplied) operated the temporary wage subsidy scheme correctly; if the national employer unit at the Revenue Commissioners has been contacted by employees of the company regarding its operation of the scheme; if so, the number of occasions; the investigations that have been carried out on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2769/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 imposes an obligation of taxpayer confidentiality on Revenue and accordingly I am advised by Revenue that it is not in a position to comment on the tax affairs of any specific taxpayer.

Accordingly, I propose to respond in general terms in relation to the operation of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and the compliance checks conducted by Revenue on all employers who registered for and received funding under TWSS.

The Government's Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) operated by Revenue from 26 March 2020 to 31 August 2020, enabled employees, whose employers were affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer. TWSS was available to employers who kept their employees on the payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so that employers could retain links with employees for when business picked up after the crisis.

If an individual employee has a concern over how his/her employer has operated TWSS, he/she can see the amount of TWSS claimed by their employer on their behalf and included in their wages/salaries by examining their pay slip or by logging on to their Revenue myAccount. Any specific queries in relation to the amount of subsidy received would then be best raised by the individual with that individual’s employer.

I am advised by Revenue that risk focused compliance checks were conducted by Revenue to ensure TWSS was operated correctly by employers who availed of TWSS.

I am advised by Revenue that where an employer received amounts under TWSS, and the employer was, or is, found to have not paid the subsidy amount to the specified employee, or where the employer was not entitled to receive the subsidy as it did not meet the qualifying criteria, or in circumstances where the employee does not meet the eligible employee criteria under the TWSS, the employer is, or would be, required to refund such amounts to Revenue.