Timing of Revenue compliance checks on Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme very unhelpful – Chartered Accountants Ireland

Jun 24, 2020

Tuesday's announcement that Revenue is to query claims made by 55,000 Irish businesses for temporary wage subsidies is very unhelpful to Irish industry which already has so much to deal with. 

While claims for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme should of course be policed, the announcement that Revenue is to correspond with so many Irish businesses runs counter to their previous indication that vetting would only take place at the end of the scheme.  Claiming the Temporary Wage Subsidy depended on eligibility, and businesses were asked to self-assess their entitlement. The blanket enquiry approach suggests that no attempt is being made to identify risky claims by the authorities. 

All claimants of the scheme are to have their names published, and all employees are clear from their payslips that their employer is claiming money through the scheme.  These very public checks should go a significant way towards satisfying the authorities that the process is transparent.   

Commenting, Norah Collender, Professional Tax Leader at Chartered Accountants Ireland said 

     “Carrying out blanket enquiries of this nature the very week that so many businesses are trying to reopen signals an indifference to the plight of many businesses. We are calling on Revenue to defer any compliance interventions until the Autumn. This will help businesses to focus on getting back to work rather than having to deal with Revenue correspondence following their enforced shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic.” 

The Revenue Commissioners have to date been exemplary in their response to dealing with the pandemic, and in particular, their operation of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has been deservedly praised.  Unfortunately, this blanket and unselective compliance measure, launched at this critical juncture, could undermine much of the good work and a lot of goodwill established in recent weeks.