Revenue’s measures in response to Covid-19

Mar 16, 2020

Continue to file tax returns on time and engage with Revenue.  That is the advice to businesses navigating the trading difficulties caused by the impacts of Covid-19.  Small and medium enterprise (SMEs) dealing with trading and cash flow difficulties and, consequently their ability to maintain a good tax compliance record is hindered, will not have the added worry of statutory interest charges.  That is because Revenue announced that interest will not be applied to late tax payments of VAT for the January/February period due by 23 March or employer PAYE liabilities for the months of February and March.  Revenue announced additional measures to assist businesses. Revenue also announced that the payment date for local property tax will be deferred until 21 May for certain homeowners.  

Measures to assist business 

Revenue issued a statement on the following:  

Information for SMEs  

  • Tax Returns: businesses experiencing temporary cash flow difficulties should continue to send in tax returns on time.
  • Application of Interest: the application of interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.
  • Debt Enforcement: All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.
  • Tax Clearance: current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses over the coming months. 

Information for Subcontractors 

  • RCT (Relevant Contract Tax): the RCT rate review scheduled to take place in March 2020 is suspended. This process assesses the current compliance position of each subcontractor in the eRCT system and determines their correct RCT deduction rate, i.e. 0%, 20% or 35%. As this process may result in a subcontractor’s RCT rate increasing due to changes in their compliance position, the review is suspended.
  • Subcontractors and agents are reminded that RCT rate reviews can be self-managed in ROS. Subcontractors can check if their rate should be lower and can then ‘self-review’ to get that lower deduction rate. 

Information on importing goods 

  • Customs: critical pharmaceutical products and medicines will be given a Customs ‘green routing’ to facilitate uninterrupted importation and supply.

Businesses, other than SMEs, who are experiencing temporary cash flow or trading difficulties should contact the Collector-General’s office on (01) 7383663. Alternatively, these businesses can engage directly with their branch contacts in Revenue’s Large Corporates Division or Medium Enterprises Division. 

End of statement

Local Property Tax

Revenue subsequently issued the following regarding Local Property Tax payments:

For property owners who opted to pay their LPT for 2020 by Annual Debit Instruction or Single Debit Authority payment, the deduction date will change from 21 March 2020 to 21 May 2020.Property owners who have opted to make a payment by Annual Debit Instruction or Single Debit Authority do not need to advise Revenue or take any action. The payment date will be changed automatically to 21 May 2020.


Tax payment difficulties
 

Revenue’s guidance on Phased Payment Arrangements may be helpful. Revenue have said that they will continue to engage with any viable business that experiences temporary cashflow difficulties.  

Revenue services 

Revenue have told us that all Revenue public offices, excluding ports, airports and trade facilitation stations, are closed to the public until further notice.   

Revenue has also published the following COVID-19 resources:

Future 

Revenue say that they will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19 and will issue further updated guidance for businesses when required and particularly in good time before the March/April VAT returns, and other future returns are due.  

We will continue to communicate members’ concerns to Revenue and publish any relevant updates as soon as appropriate.