Access information and briefings on Covid State support schemes.
Government supports for business
There is a wide range of Government supports available to help businesses impacted by the pandemic.
- Government Financial Supports - for businesses impacted by Covid 19 (Updated 30 June 2021)
- The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) - provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.
- Business Resumption Support Scheme - eligible businesses can now register and make a claim for the Business Resumption Support Scheme.
- Covid Restrictions Support Scheme - CRSS was introduced to support businesses significantly affected by restrictions introduced to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citizen Advice Covid business supports guide
Wage Support Schemes
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) on 1 September 2020.
Revenue has also published a new document answering common questions from PAYE workers about the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). The 'FAQ', which provides guidance to employees on the tax issues raised by the scheme, is available from the Revenue website.
Revision to Pandemic Unemployment Payment
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is now closed to new applicants.
It is a scheme which involves a payment of €350 per week.
Initially, there were conditions attached to this scheme that were difficult for many self-employed solicitors to comply with. These conditions included a requirement that an applicant had to have ‘ceased to trade’.
Rules have significantly changed. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is now advising as follows: "You may, if your trading income has collapsed to the extent that you are available to take up other full-time employment if it was offered to you, receive a payment of €350 per week for so long as you are available to take up other work."
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was open to you if you were an employee or self-employed and lost your job due to the pandemic between 13 March 2020 and 7 July 2021. If you lost your job before 8 July while getting Maternity Benefit, you may apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment once your Maternity Benefit claim closes.
If you were getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on 8 July 2021 and are still eligible - your payment will continue.
Any self-employed solicitor who wants information on any scheme should contact Small Practice Support at the Law Society of Ireland without delay. You can get information about your particular circumstances in absolute confidence.
To do this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01 672 4866.
Government supports for small business practices
A number of State supports are of particular relevance to small practices.
- Business Support Call Centre: The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have established a Business Support Call Centre for information on the government supports available to businesses and enterprises affected by Covid-19. Practitioners can call (01) 631 2002, or email email@example.com.
- Business Continuity Voucher: The Local Enterprise Office Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employs up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies or sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Trading Online Voucher: The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Trading Online Voucher is a government grant scheme, designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees. It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help your business to trade online.
The Business Continuity Voucher and the Online Trading Voucher require applicants to contact their Local LEO office. There are 31 offices nationwide, with details available on the Local Enterprise Office website.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have published an updated booklet detailing the key supports and resources available to help businesses impacted by Covid-19. The booklet, updated on 13 September 2021, is available on the Gov.ie website.
On 7 May 2020, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners provided details of how taxes owed by businesses will be warehoused.
Under the scheme, VAT and PAYE (Employer) tax debts deferred while the business was unable to trade or was subject to restricted trading due to the COVID-19 related health restrictions (as well as debts for an additional two months after the business resumes ‘normal' trading) will be ring-fenced by Revenue.
The initiative will cover VAT and PAYE liabilities from the end of March until two months after the business resumes ‘normal trading’. There will be no effort made to collect any of the debt involved during this period and no interest will apply.
If firms want to avail of the scheme, they will need to first quantify their tax debt by filing all relevant returns. Revenue has also made it clear that businesses will be expected to pay current liabilities that arise during the 12-month period.
When the 12-month period is up, any outstanding debt will incur a 3% per annum interest charge. Revenue normally charges 10% on unpaid VAT and PAYE. A business’s tax clearance will not be impacted if it avails of the scheme.