Events are changing rapidly and many businesses are now considering ways to defer cash payments and the possibility of having to lay off staff or implement short time working arrangements.

If you, like many others, are faced with any of these issues, we have set out below some points to consider.

Cashflow – Payment of liabilities to Revenue

In a recent communication, Revenue indicated that while all tax returns should continue to be filed on time, the application of interest on late payments will be suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE liabilities for businesses in the SME division. Further information on Revenue’s press release can be found here.

For those who pay VAT and PAYE/PRSI liabilities by fixed amount direct debit, you may want to consider the amount that you currently pay to Revenue and to reduce same or suspend payment until you have control of your cashflow.

For those who pay their monthly PAYE/PRSI liability based on the previous months payroll and have opted to make the payment of Februarys liability earlier this month, payments to Revenue relating to this liability will be deducted from your account on the 23 rd of March 2020. If you do not want this payment to be deducted from your account, you will need to contact your bank and request that they stop the payment deduction.

To withhold payment of the March PAYE/PRSI liability do not opt to make payment of same when notified of the liability through ROS.

If your company is scheduled to pay preliminary corporation tax this month or next month, please consider whether the amount of the payment previously arranged is more than will be necessary and take steps to reduce same.

Lay Off and Short Time Working Arrangements

As an employer, you may have to consider temporary lay-off or to place employees on short time for a number of weeks whist the current situation continues. Should either of these situations arise we recommend that you take advice from a HR specialist.

Government are encouraging employers who find themselves in these situations to continue contact with employees by making the special support payment of €203 per week to employees who have been temporarily laid off as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Amounts paid to employees will be refunded to the employer’s bank account, in general, on a ‘next day’ basis. Details of how to operate this scheme can be found here.

In addition to the above, the Government has set out a wealth of information for employers and employees in relation to how to make the various benefit claims and the related forms. Please follow this link for some very useful information.

Your Business Continuity Plan

We are conscious that many of our clients are facing operational issues due to staff illness or the inability to operate remotely. Should you require payroll or book-keeping services during this difficult time please contact us.