The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), introduced in March 2020, was initially intended to run for a 12-week period, ending on 18 June 2020 but has now been extended to 31 August 2020. In light of the extension to the scheme, Revenue has issued an eBrief outlining some of the recent updates and developments, which include:
When most businesses initially joined the scheme they made their best estimate in regards their eligibility. It is now evident, at the end of Quarter 2, whether a business did in fact meet the eligibility criteria. If a business did not meet the eligibility criteria but had reasonable grounds for assuming it would, Revenue has stated that it should immediately cease claiming the subsidy for the extended scheme. Revenue will require evidence of the assumptions supporting the original self-assessment of eligibility and, once the basis is reasonable, will not seek to claw-back the subsidy paid for the original period.
Employers who believe they do not meet the eligibility criteria or who no longer wish to avail of the TWSS, should cease returning J9 PRSI Class payroll submissions to Revenue. Employers should also inform Revenue via MyEnquiries of their intention to exit the scheme and ensure the employee J9 PRSI Class is reverted on future payroll submissions for each employee to their normal PRSI class.
Revenue has calculated employees’ ARNWP as well as the maximum weekly wage subsidy applicable and maximum weekly employer pay before tapering in respect of each employee’s active employments. They provide this information for download in the Employer ‘CSV file’.
Revenue has confirmed that the subsidy amounts paid to some employees earning in excess €586 per week has been underpaid due to the interaction of gross and net pay. They are developing a solution whereby the underpaid subsidy amount will be calculated and paid directly to the employees affected towards the end of July 2020.
Employers are advised to review their processes and the ARNWP for each eligible employee along with other subsidy data provided by Revenue in the Employer ‘CSV’ file. Revenue is reminding employers not to amend or re-submit any TWSS payroll submission as this may result in further delays in the processing of refunds.
Notifications have been sent to employers to operate the payroll on a Week 1 basis since 21 June 2020. Employers should download the most up to date RPN from ROS when running the payroll to ensure that employees are correctly switched to the Week 1 basis as soon as possible.
Where employees identify discrepancies between the TWSS amounts shown in myAccount and those provided by the employer, Revenue advises employees to firstly contact their employer to have the matter rectified. If it is not subsequently rectified to the employee’s satisfaction, they should contact Revenue directly via MyEnquiries under the category 'PAYE (Pay As You Earn) employee/pensioner - Other' and the subcategory 'Employee Payroll Reporting – Compliance.
and may not have been on their employer’s payroll on 29 February 2020 or may not have been paid in January or February 2020. Details are available at the following link – eBrief 106/20.
Employers wishing to access the TWSS subsidy on behalf of apprentices returning to work since 26 March 2020, should log on to ROS MyEnquiries, click ADD “A New Enquiry” and select the category “Covid-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy”, subcategory: “TWSS - Apprentices”. Revenue will then manually calculate a net weekly pay for each apprentice concerned and will create a revised ‘CSV file’ for the employer.
For each apprentice returned to the payroll by the employer, Revenue will apply the scheme retrospectively to the date of return to employment, or, the date the employer joined the scheme, or 26 March 2020, whichever is the latest. For apprentices who were ceased from payroll and in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, no retrospection to TWSS can apply. However, employers may rehire these apprentices and can operate TWSS to subsidise their pay.
The compliance check programme will also address any identified issues in respect of the operation of Real Time PAYE (PMOD) by employers over 2019 and 2020 and will also provide an opportunity for employers to address any other outstanding tax issues. This will be of importance to employers who may intend to avail of the 'debt warehousing' scheme for employer PAYE and VAT liabilities incurred during the pandemic period as up-to-date compliance will be a pre-requisite in order to avail of that scheme.
Letters will issue to employers and their agents, where relevant, mainly through the ROS Inbox. The programme is expected to last for several months. Revenue has stated that it is essential that employers respond promptly as failure to do so may lead to suspension of future payments.
If you require assistance in accessing these supports or with any challenges you currently face during this crisis, please contact a member of the tax team or your normal Crowe contact.