Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Ceisteanna (42, 44, 45, 46, 51, 53, 56, 59, 62)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

42. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Finance if track bookmakers can qualify for supports under the Covid-19 restrictions support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31802/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

44. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if the Covid-19 restrictions support scheme will be available for businesses such as those in the live events, arts and entertainment sectors that do not own their own premises. [31991/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gary Gannon

Ceist:

45. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Finance if travel agencies qualify for the CRSS [32069/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gary Gannon

Ceist:

46. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Finance if businesses closed during level 1 and level 2 qualify for the CRSS and payment breaks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32070/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

51. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide a schedule of businesses and sectors that qualify for CRSS scheme. [31839/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McNamara

Ceist:

53. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Finance if travel agents qualify for the Covid restrictions support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31847/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

56. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Finance if Irish licensed travel agents fall within the remit of the CRSS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31860/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Steven Matthews

Ceist:

59. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide clarity with regard to the new CRSS scheme; and if there is flexibility in the qualifying criteria which refers to annual turnover of less than €2 million to reflect businesses such as travel agents that may have significant turnover but the vast majority contributes to other business endeavours rather than their own. [31902/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niall Collins

Ceist:

62. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter in relation to the Covid restrictions support scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31939/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42, 44, 45, 46, 51, 53, 56, 59 and 62 together.

The details of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) will be set out in the Finance Bill due to be published this week. 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.  Generally, this refers to Covid restrictions at Level 3, 4 or 5 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid-19 but certain businesses may qualify for the support where lower levels of restrictions are in operation.

Where, as a result of the restrictions, a company or a self-employed individual is either forced to temporarily close their business, or their business is required to operate at significantly reduced levels, they will qualify for support under the scheme.  Certain other conditions will apply, including that the person has a tax clearance certificate.

Qualifying businesses will be able to make a claim to Revenue under the CRSS for a cash payment, which will be known as an “Advance Credit for Trading Expenses” (“ACTE”). The ACTE will provide an immediate cash support to businesses. The amount of the ACTE will be based on an amount equal to 10% of the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 (or in the case of new businesses, the average weekly turnover in 2020) up to €20,000 and 5% thereafter, subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000.

All eligible businesses can claim the support irrespective of their turnover levels, but the amount of the ACTE cannot exceed the lower of the amount based on 10%/5% of the relevant weekly turnover or €5,000 per week. 

Where businesses ordinarily operate from a business premises (generally a building) located in a region for which restrictions are in operation, they may qualify under the scheme provided they meet the eligibility criteria, including the requirement that customers are either prohibited, or significantly restricted, from accessing their business premises to purchase goods or services due to the specific terms of the Covid restrictions announced by Government. It is not sufficient that the trade of a business, such as a travel agency, has been impacted because of a reduction in customer demand as a consequence of Covid-19, or 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.  

Where a business does not ordinarily operate from a fixed business premises located in a region that is subject to restrictions, as in the case of a track bookmaker, that business will not meet the eligibility criteria.  Similarly, a business that does not ordinarily operate from a fixed business premises, but rather provides goods and services in connection with live events and shows held across a range of venues, will also not be eligible under the scheme.  A business that does ordinarily operate from a music or entertainment venue (for example, a company that operates a theatre) located in a region subject to restrictions, and who meets the eligibility criteria, will however be able to claim support under CRSS.   

Companies and self-employed workers who do not qualify under this scheme may be entitled to support under various measures put in place by Government, including the range of measures announced as part of Budget 2021 to support live entertainment in 2021, and existing supports available under the COVID Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). They may also be eligible to warehouse VAT and PAYE (Employer) debts and also excess payments received by employers under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, and the balance of Income Tax for 2019 and Preliminary Tax for 2020 for self-assessed taxpayers if applicable.