(Updated 8th September 2020) – Richard Marshall, Associate Director – Tax
As the Coronavirus protective measures adapt, workers are concerned about the impact the virus will have not just on their daily lives but on their ability to go to work, earn their living and pay bills. Here is a useful summary of the updated supports.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment [PUP] is a social welfare payment for employees and self-employed people who have lost their employment due to the Covid-19 public health emergency and will remain open to new applicants until the end of 2020.
Those currently in receipt of PUP will continue to receive same but at a reduced rate of payment. The weekly rates from 17 September 2020, which are based on your average weekly earnings, are as follows –
|Average Weekly Earning||Rate|
|€300 or more per week||€300|
|€200 to €300 per week||€250|
|€199.99 or less per week||€203|
Some points to note –
Short Time Work Support is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit and is an income support payment if your contracted hours have been temporarily cut back.
The payment is made in respect of your regular income for the days that you are no longer working. For example, if your working week has been reduced from a 5 day work pattern to a 3 day work pattern, you can receive support for the other 2 days.
Short Time Work Support is paid for a maximum of 234 days. Your entitlement will depend on the number of social insurance contributions you have.
o qualify for Short Time Work Support, you must be:
Your rate of payment will depend on your average weekly earnings in the governing contribution year and the change in your work pattern. For example, if you are placed on a 3 day work pattern having previously worked 5 days, you may be entitled to up €81.20 for the 2 days you are no longer working. This represents two fifths of the maximum weekly rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit of €203.
You may also get an increased rate of payment for a qualified adult and qualified children.
Short Time Work Support is not taxable.
The quickest way to apply is through MyWelfare.ie – however you must have a verified MyGovID account. You can also apply through your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.
When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week. This has been extended until 31 March 2021.
To be eligible for this payment a person must be confined to their home or a medical facility.
Do not visit your doctor. You must contact them by phone.
Important note: If a person decides to self-isolate without it being medically certified, they won’t be entitled to the payment or job seekers benefit.
To receive the enhanced payment, you must be:
The personal rate for this payment is €350, as compared with the normal Illness Benefit rate of €203. It was originally set at a rate of €305 but it was increased by Government on March 24.
It will be paid for a maximum of 12 weeks where a person is self-isolating but will be paid for the duration of a person’s absence from work if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
If you are an employee or self employed and feel you may be suffering from Covid-19 or may need to self-isolate, you should contact your doctor by telephone.
If the doctor is satisfied that you have Covid-19 or that you should self-isolate, they will advise you accordingly.
The doctor will then complete a medical certificate on your behalf and send this directly to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
To receive a payment, you will need to provide your doctor with your:
Complete an application form for Illness Benefit (Form IB1) which is available in any of the following ways;
Note: It is important to complete part 5 of the Illness Benefit form as this contains how you would like to be paid. You don’t have to fill in part 7 of the form.
Send your application form by Freepost to:
Social Welfare Services, PO Box 1650, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Dublin 1.
Once both the application form and the medical certificate are received payment will be processed.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme [EWSS] replaces the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme [TWSS], which ended on 31 August 2020.
Where a company satisfies the eligibility criteria for EWSS (e.g. hold a valid tax clearance certificate, experience a 30% reduction in turnover between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020) they will;
The rate of payment per eligible employee is as follows –
|Gross Weekly Wage||Subsidy|
|Less than €151.50||No subsidy payable|
|Between €151.50 and €202.99||€151.50|
|Between €203 and €1,462||€203|
|More than €1,462||No subsidy payable|
As EWSS applies to Proprietary Directors, Professional Contractors operating through their own personal limited company may be able to avail of the scheme if they satisfy all other conditions.
At the outset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Irish Tax Authorities permitted businesses to defer the payment of certain VAT and Payroll Taxes. This permission has now been formalised under the Tax Debt Warehousing Scheme. In this scheme, businesses may freeze the payment of those debts for 12 months without incurring an interest exposure or payment being sought by the Authorities. At the end of that 12-month period, business may then avail of reduced interest rate of 3% (instead of 10%) if they enter into a Phased Payment Plan.
All Small Medium Sized Business [SMEs] automatically qualify whereas larger companies need to seek formal approval from the Irish Tax Authorities. In the coming weeks, the Irish Authorities plan to write to all businesses that they believe have tax debts to be warehoused.
Individuals or business with a tax debt owing to the Irish Authorities that are not covered by the Tax Debt Warehousing Scheme, have an opportunity to enter into a Phased Payment Plan by 30 September 2020. By entering in to phased payment plan, they will be able to avail of a reduced interest rate of 3% (instead of 10%) and will have greater flexibility around the repayment period.
The Irish Government have made available various funding supports to help business adapt and therefore facilitating them getting back on the road to recovery. Supports include – Trading Online Voucher, Restart Grant for Enterprises, COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme, Micro Finance Business Loans and more. Full details on all these schemes can be found here.
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