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Covid 19 Supports Summary

Covid 19 Supports Summary

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, causing a lot of uncertainty and challenges in our daily lives, we hope you are doing well and taking good care of yourselves and your families.

Covid 19 Business Support

We have been updating our Social Media Channels on supports available for business as they have been issuing. In the past week there have been many updates with further clarifications issuing within a matter of hours in some cases. I have prepared the below summary of the various supports as of 21st March 2020. We are continuing to monitor information being released and will post the notifications on our Social Media Channels accordingly.

We are still open and operational. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

#1 COVID-19 PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENT

This payment is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The payment has a one-page application form and will be paid for a period of 6 weeks at a flat rate payment of €203 per week for jobseekers. It is designed to deliver a social welfare payment to the unemployed and provide income security during the pandemic.

Individuals applying for the payment will be required to apply for the normal jobseeker’s payments within this 6-week period. Once this normal jobseeker claim is subsequently received, the department will process these claims and make payments at that time. This will involve backdating increased payments for certain customers.

Former employees and self-employed people can apply for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

You can apply for the payment if you are aged between 18 and 66 years and you have lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic or you are a non-EU/EEA worker over 18 who has lost employment or you are a student over 18 who has lost employment or you are a non-EU/EEA student over 18 who has lost employment or you are a part time worker over 18, earn less than € 203 per week and have lost employment due to pandemic.

There is a guide on how to claim here: https://services.mywelfare.ie/

#2 SUPPORTS FOR BUSINESS – DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS ENTERPRISE AND INNOVATION   

The Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses and some practical steps you can take can be found below and include:  https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/Government-supports-to-COVID-19-impacted-businesses.html

CREDIT GUARANTEE SCHEME: Supports loans up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years. Applications can be made to AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Eligibility criteria apply.

See: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/Credit-Guarantee-Scheme-COVID-19-FAQ.html

MICROENTERPRISES can access COVID-19 loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 6.8% and 7.8%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at microfinanceireland.ie. Eligibility criteria apply.

See: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/Microfinance-Ireland-COVID-19-Business-Loan.html

€200m SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses will be available within the next week. Maximum loan size will be €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) and the maximum interest rate will be 4%. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at sbci.gov.ie. Eligibility criteria apply.

See: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/SBCI-Covid19-Working-Capital-Scheme-FAQ.html

A €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme is available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.

https://enterprise-ireland.com/en

#3 CONCERNED ABOUT MEETING YOUR TAX LIABILITIES?

If you have concerns about your ability to pay your tax liabilities speak to the Revenue Commissioners, who have advised:

“On an on-going basis, Revenue engages with viable businesses experiencing temporary cash flow or trading difficulties that affect the timely payment of tax. Revenue works very successfully with businesses that engage early to resolve their tax payment difficulties. Revenue will engage with any viable business experiencing temporary cashflow difficulties, including difficulties arising from exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.”

VAT and PAYE returns and payments due on 23rd March 2020

Revenue issued guidance last week regarding tax payment difficulties at this time.

Revenue have advised:

  1. : businesses experiencing temporary cash flow difficulties should continue to send in tax returns on time.
  •  the application of interest on late payments is suspended for 
  • Debt Enforcement: All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.
  • current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses over the coming months.

See: www.revenue.ie.

#4 IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING ANNUAL RETURNS

The Registrar of Companies has also decided that all annual returns due to be filed by companies between now and 30th June, 2020 will be deemed to have been filed on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and filed by that date. This will enable businesses and their financial advisers to focus on the more pressing and immediate financial challenges. The situation will be kept under review and the date of 30th June may be extended depending on the situation at that time. Companies should check the CRO website www.cro.ie for more details

#5 IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

Please refer regularly to these web sites as Government support is changing daily.

Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses See: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/Government-supports-to-COVID-19-impacted-businesses.html

Some useful websites:

Revenue: www.revenue.ie.

Short time work support: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b-short-time-work-support/

Employer refund scheme: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/6c6582-employer-covid-19-refund-scheme/

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/be74d3-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-payment/

Grant supports

#6 HELP DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant supports will be available to firms to help with strategies to innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness.

Contact us if you need help in applying for a Grant.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation will provide a joint First Responder support service through the Intreo Offices and development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in each region to provide tailored supports for impacted firms, with objective of avoiding mass lay-offs and buying time for firms to work through the short-term disruptions.

#7 BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING CHECKLIST

The Department has updated its checklist on Business Continuity Planning which provides a checklist of preparatory actions for businesses in responding to COVID-19.

See: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Business-Continuity-Planning-A-checklist-of-Preparatory-Actions-in-Responding-to-the-COVID-19-Outbreak.html

Updated Covid-19 Temporary Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme changes from 4 May

Updated Covid-19 Temporary Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme changes from 4 May

As you are aware, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) has had many changes and updates following its initial  announcement in March 2020. Updated Covid-19 Temporary Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme changes from 4 May. Anyone processing payroll from 4th May 2020 can now apply these updates and changes where applicable.

Eligibility for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme Revision:

The criteria for eligibility remains the same and so the scheme continues to be open to employers who self-declare to Revenue that they have experienced significant negative economic disruption due to Covid-19.

It should be noted that previously one of the conditions of the scheme was that all payroll submissions for February 2020 should have been made to Revenue on or before 15th March 2020. Where the payroll submission had not been filed by this date, the employer was not eligible for the TWSS.

Changes to this were announced on 24th April 2020 to permit an employer who made the payroll submission after 15th March 2020 and before 1st April 2020 in relation to pay dates in February 2020 (all previous months submissions were to be submitted before 15th March 2020) will be eligible for the scheme for payroll submissions and pay dates after 24th April 2020. So, if you were not previously eligible as a result of late filing of the February 2020 payroll submission, then you should consider the revised condition now.

All other eligibility criteria remains the same as previous.

Key Changes to the Scheme effective from 4th May 2020:

With effect from 4th May 2020, the changes are as follows:

  1. Employees with a net pay of €412 or less

An 85% subsidy for employees up to a maximum payment of €350 per week. The employer can pay a top up exceeded 15% to bring the total net payment of €350 per week (i.e. subsidy plus gross ‘top up’ pay) to €350 net.

  • Employees with a net pay between €412 and €500

A flat rate subsidy of up to €350 will be payable to employees.

  • Employees with a net pay between €501 and €586

Employees can get up to 70% of their previous average net pay., up to a maximum of €410 per week.

  • Employees with a net pay between €586 per week and less than €960 per week

A tiered approach will apply if an employer has reduced the salary of the employee post Covid-19 as follows:

Where the employer pays 60% of net salary, a subsidy of €350 is payable.

Where the employer pay between 60% and 80% of the net salary, a subsidy of €205 is payable.

Where the employer pays between 80% and 100% of the net salary, no subsidy is payable.

  • Employees with a pre-Covid salary greater than €960 and post-Covid less than €960

It should be noted that this change became effective from 16th April 2020 and remains effective under the new changes from 4th May 2020.

The wage subsidy is available to support employees where their pre-Covid salary was greater than

€960 net per week, and their post-Covid salary has fallen below 960 per week. Tiered arrangements apply as follows:

  • Where an employees salary has been reduced less than 20%, no subsidy is payable.
  • Where the employee salary is reduced between 20% and 40%, a subsidy of €205 is payable.
  • Where the employee salary is reduced more than 40%, a subsidy of up to €350 would be payable.

The total of the net pay of the employee cannot exceed €960 per week after applying the subsidy plus the top up from the employer.

Taxation of the subsidy payment

As was previously outlined, the wage subsidy is not taxable by the employer through the payroll system, but rather it is a taxable payment for the employee. The individual’s taxes will be reviewed by Revenue at the end of the year and any liability will be collected. We would advise that if you are operating the Employer Wages Subsidy Scheme, then you should ensure that you inform your employees of this. Revenue have confirmed that  individual employees may contact Revenue through “My Account” and request that their tax credits be changed to a Week1/Month 1 basis. This will help to reduce and minimise their any potential tax liability at the end of the year.

There have been so many changes to this scheme since it was first introduced, it is important to ensure that you continue to review salaries, qualifying criteria and amendments and effective dates of each of the changes introduced. We will continue to review and monitor the scheme for any updates, clarifications and further changes. However, in the meantime, if you have any queries or requires assistance, we are happy to help.

Stay safe

Re-Opening Ireland New Business Supports have been announced

Re-Opening Ireland New Business Supports have been announced

Re-Opening Ireland New Business Supports have been announced. It was a welcome to hear the details of the plan to reopen Ireland over the coming months. There is no question that that the slow phased re-opening is necessary for everyone’s ongoing health and welfare, but there is also no doubt that this will continue to have a huge impact on all business as we adapt and change to a new normal.

Covid 19 Business Support

The Government introduced a number of additional measures to aid the economy as the Covid-19 restrictions start to be lifted which include the following:

A €6 billon support package for farmers, small, medium and larger businesses has been agreed by Cabinet. It includes the following:

  • A €10,000 restart grant for micro and small businesses based on a rates/waiver rebate from 2019;
  • A three-month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses;
  • A €2 billon Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms;
  • A €2 billon COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from three months to six years, which will be below market interest rates;
  • The ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of 12 months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue and no interest charge accruing in respect of the warehoused debt;

For earlier supports announced, please refer to our previous newsletter HERE

Revenue confirms ‘warehousing’ of COVID-19 related tax debt for businesses

Following this announcement, Revenue has assured businesses severely impacted by COVID-19 that it will continue to work with them to agree payment arrangements that support both the capacity of the business to resume trading as well as the national recovery, post COVID-19.

While the finer details of the ‘warehousing’ measures have still to be worked out, Revenue has confirmed the following:

  • COVID-19 related VAT and Payroll tax debts, due from 1 March 2020 to the date when sectoral restrictions are lifted, will be parked for a period of 12 months
  • no interest will accrue on the tax debts during the 12 month period
  • thereafter, the COVID-19 related tax debts will carry a reduced interest rate of 3% (down from 10%), until the debt is paid
  • the timeframe allowed to pay the ‘warehoused’ debt will be flexible and determined by the ability of the business to pay both COVID-19 related debts as well as meeting its ongoing tax liabilities as they arise in the normal course
  • for the warehousing arrangement to apply, all returns must be filed in accordance with the Revenue guidance that has applied since the start of the current pandemic.

Tax Relief for Pension Contributions

Contributions to an exempt approved scheme are allowable as an expense in assessing an employee’s liability to tax under Schedule E. This is only an income tax relief and does not apply to the Universal Social Charge (USC) and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). The following are the applicable pension plans:

  • Occupational pension plans
  • Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs)
  • Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs)
  • certain overseas plans
Continue reading “Tax Relief for Pension Contributions”

Effective multi-tasking

In today’s fast-paced business world, here are some tips to help you to be more effective at multi tasking.

Over the past 10 years or so businesses have become leaner by reducing employee numbers, focusing on efficiency and increasing the demands on their staff. An increased workload forces us to multitask, which may be effective for a short period of time, but over the long term, can cause stress.

Multitasking is not about “piling on the work” to the point of exhaustion. It’s about training the brain to channel energy in an efficient and effective manner so you can accomplish more in less time. One of the keys to learning how to multitask effectively is actually to slow down, in order to accomplish more.

Continue reading “Effective multi-tasking”

Tax Relief on Nursing Home Expenses

You may claim income tax relief on nursing home expenses paid by you. You can claim this relief at your highest rate of tax if the nursing home provides 24-hour on-site nursing care.

Nursing Homes Support (Fair Deal) Scheme

The Health Service Executive (HSE) can provide you with assistance for the cost of your nursing home care. The HSE will review your income and assets to calculate the amount you should pay towards the cost of your care. You can claim health expenses relief on the amount you pay yourself.

The HSE pay the balance of the costs of the nursing home. You cannot claim health expenses relief on this amount.

Continue reading “Tax Relief on Nursing Home Expenses”

Delivering Customer Value

Understanding what your customers really value can help you to market your products and services more effectively.

Customer value is the perception of what a product or service is worth to the customer. Customers don’t buy features – they buy benefits. Your customers will buy your product or service because of the benefits that they get. If you take the time to understand what your customers value and what they are willing to pay for, you will be able to market your business more effectively. You may also be able to win new customers from your competitors.

Most businesses make the mistake of thinking about value purely in terms of money. They create special offers to promote their products and services, but all they are doing is cutting their profit margin in a race to the bottom. Sure, there is a place in most markets for a lowest priced competitor but this doesn’t work for everyone. Take the airline industry – there isn’t room for more than a handful of low cost airlines and that is why many of them are in financial difficulty – their costs have gone up, but there is downward pressure on pricing.

Continue reading “Delivering Customer Value”

CONNECTING YOUR HR SYSTEMS WITH THE REST OF THE BUSINESS

CONNECTING YOUR HR SYSTEMS WITH THE REST OF THE BUSINESS

 Integration of systems and the sharing of data is key to running a successful business, no matter how big or small the company. HR is no exception, and HR systems should connect to others for both reporting and triggering actions. A useful suite of standard reports configured by HR software should include:

  • HeadcountHR
  • Employee turnover & stability
  • Departmental salaries & payroll
  • Absence costs by department
  • Objectives met and outstanding – individually and within department
  • Training needs met and outstanding – individually and within department

 

Such reports are only as good as the quality of the information within them. All too often, reporting in a business is full of errors, due to a failure to cleanse and update data on a regular basis. Once the integrity is questioned, it is very difficult to get confidence restored in the system.

Training is also important. Make sure that everyone who needs to know how to use the systems in your business receives adequate training. For example, Finance should be trained on how to run reports from the HR system in order to run cost and budget reports, which are affected by HR data such as headcount etc.

After reporting, your business should also consider triggered actions. Actions which are automatically triggered could include appraisal dates, probation review, sickness absence reports, etc. Triggered actions can help to reduce the admin workload for HR and are useful in helping busy managers ensure that work gets completed as it should.

 

TIPS FOR BUYING OUT A COMPETITOR

TIPS FOR BUYING OUT A COMPETITOR.

As the economy begins to recover, many businesses are finding themselves in a rather enviable position: large cash reserves in the bank and weaker competitors just waiting to be snapped up (for a bargain price!). So you know you want to expand by acquiring another firm, but where to start? comp

Analyse Your Business

Start with a good old-fashioned SWOT analysis. Get a flip chart and a marker and, with your management team, write up the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your business. Now identify the gaps; if for example, a weakness is that you have only 3 large clients, you could fill that gap by buying a competitor who has a further 4 large clients, thereby giving you 7 large clients. Repeat this process for the other areas.

Search for a Business

Now that you have your criteria from SWOT analysis, make sure you know how to look for a business. Don’t just go to one source; really check multiple (and reliable) sources to find the business that is right for you. Talk to your team and establish a list of competitors who are considered to have a good client base, good products or services, a good reputation etc. Get the right team of advisors in place (accountants, lawyers, etc.) and draw up a plan.

Value the Business Properly

Your accountant can help you with this, but you should read up and understand the basic financial techniques to value a business; it’s cash flow and other assets. Know how to prepare a basic business plan in order to make projections into the future. You should conduct research in order to understand how the business is getting its customers. Know how it delivers goods and services. You should try to gain an understanding of the cash flow and think about how you can maintain this flow before thinking about increased profitability.

Structure and Finance

Your advisors should be able to give you a basic understanding of how the business valuation and related cash flow tie together. Make sure you examine a number of possible ways to put a transaction together in order to overcome different risks. Your legal team and accountant should provide guidance on the best way to structure the deal and finance it in order to complete the acquisition.

 

ENSURING YOUR STRATEGY WORKS AT ALL LEVELS IN YOUR FIRM

ENSURING YOUR STRATEGY WORKS AT ALL LEVELS IN YOUR FIRM

High-level strategy gives direction to the management team of a business. However, such high level plans can often prove to be of little use to other workers within the organisation. Aspects of the strategy must be distilled down to actions and plans which will drive the various areas of the business towards the common goals outlined in the overall strategy.

strategy

It is often said that a strategy doesn’t fail in its formulation but in its implementation. The key to implementing a strategy successfully is communication.

Many leadership teams, in their excitement and enthusiasm to turn their strategy into reality, fail to take the necessary steps to ensure that it can be delivered effectively by the various departments in the firm. Taking the time and energy to translate your strategic vision into operational success, demands that you focus on the following:

Communication – Your strategic intent and agenda should form the basis of all your communication with the business. When you make and communicate a decision, for example, you should clearly state how it will help move the strategy of the business forward.

Resources – Resources should be allocated on the basis of their ability to deliver the agreed strategy, and not simply reflect historic trends and decisions.

Alignment – The goals of the business must align with the objectives of the departments and people within the firm. Tiny differences of opinion in the boardroom can become huge divisions across the organisation, rapidly reducing your chances of successful implementation.

People – Your best and most appropriate people should be leading the delivery of your key strategic objectives. Not only does this increase the firm’s chances of success, but it also sends a signal to the business about what management considers to be important.

Accountability – The individual performances, and the collective performance of the team, should be directly based on implementing the strategy.

Measurement – Your KPIs should mirror the strategy, as should your associated rewards and bonuses. If you are serious about your strategy you will define appropriate ways to track its delivery and effectively report on progress.