COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme – clarifications from Revenue

Apr 03, 2020

We have been in constant contact with Revenue to clarify issues raised by members on the Wage Subsidy Scheme. We have received a number of clarifications to date and these are included in the read more section below. We are expecting Revenue to provide examples shortly which will hopefully help with the operation of the scheme. We understand the difficulties and confusion for members, particularly those involved in payroll processing and related services. We are continuing to obtain timely clarifications and as we receive relevant updates, we are advising all members via the appropriate channels.  Please check in regularly on the COVID-19 Hub for latest updates. 
 Clarifications from Revenue:

  • The period for the calculation of the employee’s Average Net Weekly Pay is January and February 2020 based on payroll submissions made to Revenue by the employer by 15 March 2020. The Average Net Weekly Pay is calculated using the values in the payroll submission for each pay date in January and February 2020. For more information refer to 4.3 and 4.4 of Revenue’s FAQ and Section 28(6) of the Covid-19 Act 2020.
  • A temporary wage subsidy shall not be paid to an employer in relation to a specified employee where the amount of the net weekly emoluments of that employee is in excess of €960 per week as stated in Section 28 (6)(f) of the Covid-19 Act 2020.However, in the calculation of the Average Net Weekly Pay there may be a number of pay dates where the net weekly pay was in excess of €960.This will influence the result but unless the average net weekly pay for the period is in excess of €960 the employee is eligible.
  • The Average Net Weekly Pay used in the calculation of the wage subsidy will be based on the pay information reported to Revenue. Bonuses and once off payments reported in this period will be taken into account if these were included as Gross Pay in the January and February 2020 payroll submissions.
  • Where the net weekly emoluments that would have been payable prior to the COVID-19 pandemic exceed €586 per week but are less than €960 per week, the amount of the temporary wage subsidy will ultimately be an amount determined by the Minister.

For more information read our update on the scheme, Revenue’s guidance and Revenue’s FAQ's, which are being updated regularly. The latest updates are highlighted in grey and include information on;

  • What is an additional taxable payment under the Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme? (point 1.6)
  • Are payments made deductible against income tax or corporation tax? (point 1.8)
  • How are non-statutory deductions processed? (point 1.9)
  • Must all my employees be affected to avail of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme? (point 2.6)
  • Scheme compliance (point 7)
My Enquiries update:

Revenue have advised us that the acknowledgement message that a user receives when they submit a query using MyEnquiries is changing. Revenue have outlined that with the current crisis there may be more cases falling outside of the 20/25 day Customer Service Standards than usual. The updated acknowledgement message is below:

‘Dear Customer,

Due to the current restrictive measures to suppress the spread of COVID-19 we have altered our normal working arrangements. Our online services are available 24/7 and enable you to fully manage your tax. We continue to reply to correspondence and would like to assure you that we are making every effort to respond to your query as quickly as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Revenue Commissioners’

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