Revenue recently released a statement confirming the extension of the COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) to 31 August 2020.
The eligibility criteria for continued participation in the scheme, or to now join the scheme, remains unchanged and you can review the eligibility criteria for employers from Revenue here.
One of the key criteria was that a company be able to demonstrate that they suffered a significant negative economic impact to their business in the three months up to 30 June 2020. Revenue stated that one of the indicators of this would be a minimum of a 25% reduction in turnover, customer orders or any other ‘reasonable basis’.
In March, when registering for the scheme, businesses had to make their best guess as to how badly they would be affected by COVID-19. However, as we now approach the end of Q2 it will be clear to some businesses that they were not as badly affected as they expected.
What should employers availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme do now?
Employers who availed of the TWSS should review the eligibility criteria to ensure that they are satisfied that they meet the requirements. If you are satisfied that you meet the eligibility criteria then you can continue to avail of the Wage Subsidy Scheme for the extended period to 31 August.
What if I review my business performance and I do not meet the eligibility criteria, will I be penalised?
If you can provide, to the satisfaction of Revenue, a reasonable argument/basis as to why you would have expected to meet the criteria then you will not face a clawback for the subsidy already claimed. You should, however, cease making any claims under the scheme for the extended period to 31 August 2020.
What do I need to do to stop claiming the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme?
Employers who no longer wish to avail of the scheme should no longer make any payroll submissions using the J9 PRSI Class. They should also advise Revenue of their intention to stop making claims through the My Enquiries messaging system on ROS.
Will Revenue be doing spot checks on those employers who claimed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme?
Revenue have commenced a compliance programme and they will be contacting employers who utilised the scheme to confirm it is being used correctly in the coming weeks.In particular they will seek certain documentary evidence to establish that:
- employers participating in the scheme meet the eligibility criteria
- employees are receiving the correct amount of subsidy, and
- the subsidy amount is being correctly identified in employee payslips.