The flexible approach taken by Revenue to debt collection and enforcement activity has provided vital liquidity support to businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
In this context, Revenue has emphasised the importance of businesses continuing to file tax returns promptly, even in circumstances where they cannot pay the associated liabilities. Revenue has also acknowledged that some businesses may have difficulty in completing accurate returns due to the pandemic and in such circumstances advises that they submit a best estimate, which can be amended at a later date if necessary. This is important to enable both Revenue and my Department to have a clear picture of the portfolio of emerging debt, particularly debt that may be included in the proposed tax ‘debt warehousing’ arrangements that will be provided for in legislation later this year. In relation to ‘debt warehousing’, it will be a condition of the scheme that tax returns are kept up to date.
It is too early to make decisions regarding tax filing deadlines that fall due later in the year as it is not possible to predict the progress of public health measures and their likely impact on the capacity of businesses to meet their obligations with the support of their professional advisers. However, I have every confidence that Revenue will make appropriate decisions regarding these deadlines in due course and will continue to support all businesses affected by the pandemic to the greatest extent possible, as has been the case to date.