COVID-19 Up to Date Information
At PHAccountants we aim to get the most up to date information to our clients, in particular in these difficult times. While we will add and update individual news items, we will be using this page to keep a brief summary of the most up to date procedures, information, advice and assistance. If you have any queries on the below or anything else you think we can help you with please get in touch, we remain open for business to help and support the entire Irish business community.
Above all please stay safe, wash your hands, look out for each other and remember this will pass and we will come back even stronger.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have announced a number of COVID-19 measures.
COVID-19 Illness Benefit
Firstly, they have introduced a social welfare program for those that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically certified to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19. This payment will be €350 (increased from €305) per week and can be claimed through the department website.
COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
Secondly, they have introduced a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment worth €350 per week (increased from €203), the same rate as current jobseekers benefit. This will be paid immediately and for a period of 6 weeks to allow for individuals to make a full application for jobseekers allowances, any additional payments will be backed dated to the start of this period once approved.
The Department have asked businesses where possible, to pay their staff at least this minimum to continue the link between employers and employees and have added that a reimbursement scheme will be set up in the future. This scheme is currently being operated by the Revenue Commissioners through employer’s payroll and P30 returns, contact us if you require further information.
The Department have also removed a number of conditions for individuals in respect to receiving jobseekers benefit including minimum wait times and some social insurance conditions.
COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Department have also announced a wage subsidy scheme which will be rolled out for employers who are facing disruption because of the current crisis. The subsidy will allow for a payment of 70% of an employees salary, up to €410 per week, for qualifying companies. The are a number of conditions which much be met prior to payment but do allow for the vast majority of businesses who are significantly effected to claim.
The Revenue Commissioners have outlined a number of recommendations for individuals and businesses who face financial difficulties in the current climate.
- Continue to file all returns on time as per normal practice
- Engage with them if you or your business is facing difficulties in discharging your liability
- Revenue have suspended the application of interest on late payments for the following returns
- VAT period January – February 2020
- PAYE periods February 2020 and March 2020
- All debt enforcement activity has been suspended
- Tax clearance cert status will remain unchanged for the coming months in accordance with the above points
Companies Registration Office
The Companies Registrations Office have announced that all annual returns due to be filed by any Company now and up to 30th June 2020 will be deemed to have been filed on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and filed by that date.
We are currently aware of all upcoming annual returns but if you have received an email from Karen regarding your return being due we would appreciate it if you can deal with in an even more urgent manner to ensure we have the time to get your returns filed.
Financing and Funding
Many individuals and businesses will be facing serious cash flow and financing difficulties throughout this period. There are plenty of options available on the market provided by both private and public bodies.
Most of the Irish based banks have said that they will offer flexibility to their customers, and they may be able to provide payment holidays or emergency working capital facilities where required. They have asked those in or with potential difficulties to engage with them as early as possible.
The Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland (SBCI) have a number of schemes in place, including the newly announced SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme, which will allow for loans up to €1.5 million with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Further details are available at https://sbci.gov.ie/
For Enterprise Ireland clients there is a number of supports available in particular a €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme, full details of which will be released shortly. They also carry a number of checklists and planning documents to help companies through this period and to best position them for the environment after.
MicroEnterprise Ireland have launched a scheme for qualifying businesses with turnover less than €2m can access COVID-19 loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 6.8% and 7.8% and businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office.
Finally the Local Enterprise Offices have a large number of programs in operation to assist businesses in their regions including the Business Continuity Voucher which will help defer the cost of engaging professional services during this time and their Online Trading Voucher which assists companies bring their business online.
Please see the links below for the most up to date advice from the Irish Government regarding COVID-19