Thursday, 21 January 2021

Questions (62, 63, 70)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

62. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a grocery store (details supplied) located in a gated business park, fully reliant on the custom of staff working with the business park, has been refused the Covid restrictions support scheme despite a 90% fall in revenue due to the current public health instruction that employees work from home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3073/21]

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Chris Andrews

Question:

63. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Finance if consideration will be given to expanding the Covid restrictions support scheme to take into account excluded businesses that are classed as essential but are down more than 90% trade due the specific difficulties they face due to their location and the erosion of their usual customer base as a result of Covid-19 and the level 5 lockdown; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3079/21]

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Emer Higgins

Question:

70. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Finance if community centres can avail of the Covid restrictions support scheme initiative. [3136/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 62, 63 and 70 together.

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 is available to companies, self-employed individuals and partnerships who carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan.

To qualify under the scheme a business must, under specific terms of the Covid restrictions, be required to either prohibit or significantly restrict, customers from accessing their business premises to purchase goods or services, with the result that the business either has to temporarily close or to operate at a significantly reduced level. Details of CRSS are set out in Finance Act 2020 and detailed operational guidelines on the scheme have been published on the Revenue website at: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/budget-information/2021/crss-guidelines.pdf.

It is not sufficient that the trade of a business has been impacted because of a reduction in customer demand as a consequence of Covid-19. The scheme only applies where, as a direct result of the specific terms of the Government restrictions, the business is required to either prohibit or restrict access to its business premises.

Businesses whose trading profits are not chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D do not meet the eligibility criteria for CRSS.

A community centre that is not chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D will not qualify for CRSS. This includes a community centre that has been granted charitable tax exemption status because it is exempt from paying corporation tax or income tax on any income received where the income is used for its main charitable purpose.

A community centre that is an approved charity is not exempt from Value Added Tax (VAT) or payroll taxes and may be entitled to financial support under other measures put in place by the Government, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) as may other businesses who do not qualify for the CRSS. They may also be eligible under the Debt Warehousing Scheme to ‘park’ certain VAT and PAYE (Employer) liabilities and any excess payments received under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

The purpose of the CRSS is to provide additional support to the businesses who have had to close temporarily or significantly restrict access to their premises as a direct result of public health Regulations. The Government will continue to assess the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and I will continue to work with Ministerial colleagues to ensure that appropriate supports are in place to mitigate these effects.