The debt warehousing scheme (“the scheme”) was first introduced in May 2020 in response to the significant impact the Covid 19 pandemic had on the cash flow demands of businesses.
The scheme moved into its second stage on 1 January 2022.
The debt warehousing scheme was designed to temporarily ease the cash flow demands on businesses and certain self-assessed taxpayers whose business operations were significantly impacted by the restrictions introduced during the pandemic. The scheme allowed for the warehousing of certain tax liabilities from early 2020 onwards. The tax liabilities which could be warehoused were
- VAT liabilities from the January – February 2020 VAT period onwards
- PREM liabilities from February 2020 onwards
- TWSS overpayments from 26 March 2020 onwards
- Income Tax liabilities due on 31 October 2020 and 31 October 2021 (subject to certain criteria)
Finance Act 2021 extended the debt warehousing scheme to allow employees/directors in receipt of employment income from a company in which they have a material interest, to warehouse income tax liabilities relating to their Schedule E income. The extension applies to self-assessed employees/directors that would not be entitled to a credit for tax deducted which has not been remitted to Revenue under Section 997A TCA 1997.
There is a requirement that businesses ensure all tax returns are filed up to date to allow the warehoused debt to be quantified and a requirement that tax liabilities due for periods outside the applicable dates for warehousing are paid.
This article summarises the interest implications of debts that have been warehoused under the scheme.
Liabilities Warehoused Pre 1 January 2022
Any debts that have been warehoused prior to 31 December 2021 will not be subject to any interest on late payment up to 31 December 2022. From 1 January 2023, any unpaid debts will be subject to interest at a rate of 3% per annum until the debt is repaid.
Warehoused Debt Post 1 January 2023
If any warehoused debt has not been repaid by 01 January 2023, Revenue will require a repayment schedule detailing how and when the business owner / the company intends to pay the warehoused debt. This repayment schedule must be submitted to Revenue before 31 December 2022.
Liabilities Arising Post 1 January 2022
Subject to the extension set out in the next section, from 1 January 2022 all VAT, PAYE, and income tax liabilities that arise can no longer be warehoused and any liabilities arising after this date must be paid on or before the applicable pay and file deadlines. Any liabilities which are not paid on time will be subject to the normal interest rate rules for late payment.
As interest will apply to debts arising after 01 January 2022, it is imperative that businesses are aware of the potential interest which could be imposed where non-payment continues. Payments of these debts should be prioritised before paying debt that has been warehoused.
Extension for taxpayers availing of EWSS/CRSS
In late January 2022, an extension was announced to the first stage of the debt warehousing scheme for taxpayers who are availing of either the EWSS or CRSS in the period 1 January 2022 – 30 April 2022. If you/your company are currently availing of either of these schemes, the second stage of the debt warehousing scheme will not come into effect until 30 April 2022, meaning liabilities arising before this date are still available to be warehoused. The second stage will then begin on 1 May 2022 with no interest being applied to the warehoused debt until 30 April 2023 at which point the 3% rate of interest per annum will come into effect until the debts are repaid.
For businesses who have availed of the debt warehousing scheme, it is imperative that consideration is given now to how to plan for the repayment of the warehoused debt alongside the current tax liabilities and begin factoring that into cashflow planning and projections for 2022 and 2023.
If you have any questions in relation to the above, or if you would like to discuss this topic further, please contact any member of the Mazars tax team below: