The Irish Government introduced the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme ('CRSS') aimed at helping Irish businesses adversely affected by COVID-19.
The CRSS scheme provides for a cash payment to be made weekly to affected businesses that meet the qualifying criteria. Qualifying businesses will be able to make a claim for payment under the CRSS on Revenue Online Services ('ROS').
How does the scheme work?
Under CRSS, a business can make a claim for the payment as follows:
- equal to 10% of average turnover in 2019 up to €20,000 weekly limit and
- 5% of average turnover in 2019 on amounts that exceed the €20,000 weekly amount
- subject to a cap of €5,000, for each week that a business is affected
If your 2019 turnover was €500,000 then the average weekly turnover for 2019 was €9,615. You can claim 10% of the first €20,000, however because turnover is less than €20,000 per week the CRSS payment should equal 10% of weekly turnover being €962.
In contrast, if your 2019 turnover was €5 million then the average weekly turnover for 2019 was €96,000. You can claim 10% of the first €20,000 (€2,000) and 5% of the remaining €76,000 (€3,800), totalling €5,800. However, in this case the entitlement would be capped at €5,000 per week.
Potential Additional Relief Available
For businesses which have been subject to a 31 December 2020 government restriction, they would be entitled to a "double payment" for the week beginning on 28 December and the week beginning on 4 January 2021. For businesses subject to restrictions from 24 December onwards, they would be entitled to a double weekly payment for a period of three weeks from 21 December onwards.
A business may be entitled to receive an extra week of funding in certain circumstances under the scheme. This will be referred to as the "Restart Week" which will apply after a period of restrictions to businesses reopening. The aim of the extra week of support is to assist businesses with the reopening costs.
The maximum a business can claim in any one week is €5,000. Therefore, if a business is already claiming the €5,000 then no further claim can be made for the restart week or the double payment.
You do not need to send a separate claim for this “double week”. Revenue will automatically adjust the claim when a business makes the normal claim for these weeks. However, the restart week needs to be claimed separately through ROS.
What is an eligible Business?
Businesses include companies, sole traders, self-employed individuals and partnerships.
The following key qualifying conditions need to be satisfied by the Business:
- Income is down 75% compared to the average 2019 income for the same number of weeks (must be able to validate with records if requested)
- The business trades from a permanent location
- Restricted from allowing customers on to their premises for the duration of this lockdown
- The business must intend to carry on the business activity once this lockdown is lifted;
- The business must have complied with all VAT registration and return obligations; and
- The business must hold a valid tax clearance certificate.
Revenue will publish a list of businesses who availed of the CRSS at the end of the scheme.
Construction businesses that do not provide necessary construction or development facilities may not apply for CRSS. This is on the grounds that any resulting decrease in turnover is not the direct result of Covid's injunctions requiring a business to ban or limit customers' access to the purchase of products or services at its business premises. Therefore, such businesses are not eligible for a CRSS claim.
How does an employer register for the CRSS?
There is a two-step process for claiming the relief which requires registration for the CRSS followed by submission of a specific claim for relief online via the ROS system.
What are the key dates businesses need to keep in mind?
In order to make a claim a company has an eight week timeframe. The eight weeks begin at the beginning of the claim period. For example, if the claim period for a restaurant begins on 24 December, they have eight weeks from this date to make the claim. Revenue put emphasis on qualifying businesses applying for the CRSS to make their claim as quickly as possible in order to avoid losing the full value of the scheme.
It is expected that eligible businesses will be able to make a claim for CRSS until 31 March 2021.
How can Mazars Help?
Mazars are here to support any organisation that needs us. Please contact our team below for more information on the CRSS program, eligibility and assistance with claims.