Thursday, 18 February 2021

Questions (91)

Richard Bruton


91. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Finance if a mechanism exists within the scope of the Covid restrictions support scheme, CRSS, to suspend, pause or cease receipt of payment of the direct support in order to make an application without penalty for support under the tourism business continuity scheme administered by Fáilte Ireland in the case of a business affiliated with an organisation (details supplied) that was not eligible for a full Covid restrictions support scheme payment but is in receipt of a partial payment towards sustaining their business costs during Covid restrictions; if no such mechanism exists, if he will request that officials in his Department contact the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and Fáilte Ireland to facilitate this mechanism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9046/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

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.

Where a business is eligible to make a claim under the CRSS, a claim may be made through the Revenue Online System (ROS). A claim may be made through ROS up to eight weeks from the date on which a claim period commences, which in most cases will be the first day on which the Covid restrictions apply to the business concerned. Where Covid restrictions continue to apply to the business, a new claim is required every three weeks.

The Tourism Business Continuity Scheme (TBCS) was recently launched by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to provide support for tourism businesses which have not received Covid-19 support from other schemes. I understand that the businesses which are eligible for the CRSS at any level of restrictions or for any portion of their business are not eligible for the TBCS. I should also point out that businesses eligible for the Fáilte Ireland Coach Tourism Business Continuity or the Ireland Based Inbound Agents Business Continuity Scheme are not eligible to apply for the TBCS.

It is not intended to create a situation in which businesses can “shop around” to find the scheme which results in them receiving the greatest support but my officials will consider the matter further in conjunction with Revenue and Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

I also understand that the TBCS eligibility does not mean an entitlement to funding, which is at the sole discretion of Fáilte Ireland, rather it means eligibility to make an application for grant funding.