Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Finance
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
302. To ask the Minister for Finance if the applications received for the Covid restrictions support scheme prior to the new guidelines for the scheme being issued in December 2020 will be assessed on the guidelines in place at the time of application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44403/20]
The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The support is available to companies, self-employed individuals and partnerships who carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan.
To be eligible to make a claim under CRSS, a business must, under the specific terms of the regulations, be required to either prohibit, or significantly restrict, customers from accessing its business premises to purchase goods or services, with the result that, during the period of restrictions, turnover does not exceed an amount based on 25% of the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 (or in 2020 in the case of a new business).
The legislative basis for CRSS is Section 11 of Finance Bill 2020, which is currently making its way through the Oireachtas and is expected to be enacted before the end of the year. Revenue is administering the scheme and has published detailed guidelines on its operation which are available on the Revenue website at: .
The guidelines are based on the terms and conditions of the scheme which are set out in the legislation. The purpose of the guidelines is to assist businesses in understanding the scope of the scheme, assessing their eligibility and making a claim. The guidelines published on 4 December did not introduce new conditionality but rather were updated to address common queries and issues raised by taxpayers in relation to eligible businesses, how to make a claim and also to reflect the recent announcement of the “restart week” available to businesses who have recommenced on the lifting of the Covid restrictions.
Revenue does not have the flexibility to extend the scheme beyond the terms of the legislation.
The scheme commenced with effect from 13 October 2020 and is in place until 31 March 2021 and operates on a self-assessment basis. A person registering their details and details of their business activity for the purposes of making a claim should retain evidence supporting their basis for making a claim under the scheme. Where a person’s application or claim is selected for verification by Revenue, Revenue will request such evidence to verify the person’s entitlement to make a claim under the scheme based on the eligibility and qualification criteria as set out in legislation.