Thursday, 29 April 2021
Department of Finance
Wage Subsidy Scheme
32. To ask the Minister for Finance if he is satisfied that a company (details supplied) operated the temporary wage subsidy scheme correctly; if the national employer unit at the Revenue Commissioners has been contacted by employees of the company regarding its operation of the scheme; if so, the number of occasions; the investigations that have been carried out on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22460/21]
Revenue is statutorily bound to confidentiality in respect of taxpayer information. Section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 formalises taxpayer confidentiality and reassures taxpayers that their personal and commercial information disclosed to Revenue for tax purposes is protected against unauthorised disclosure by Revenue to third parties. Therefore, Revenue is precluded by reason of its taxpayer confidentiality obligations, from providing any details in relation to the company in question.
Accordingly, I propose to respond in general terms in relation to the operation of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and the compliance checks conducted by Revenue on all employers who registered for and received funding under TWSS.
The TWSS operated by Revenue from 26 March 2020 to 31 August 2020, enabled employees, whose employers were affected by the pandemic, to receive supports directly from their employer. TWSS was available to employers who kept their employees on the payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so that employers could retain links with employees for when business picked up after the crisis.
If an individual employee has a concern over how his/her employer has operated TWSS, he/she can see the amount of TWSS claimed by the employer on their behalf and included in their wages/salary by examining their pay slip or by logging on to their Revenue myAccount. Any specific queries in relation to the amount of subsidy received would then be best raised by the individual with that individual’s employer.
I confirm that compliance checks were conducted by Revenue to ensure TWSS was operated correctly by employers who availed of TWSS. I understand that where an employer received amounts under TWSS and the employer has not paid the subsidy amount to the specified employee or where the employer was not entitled to receive the subsidy as it did not meet the qualifying criteria, or the employee was not an eligible employee, the employer is required to refund these amounts to Revenue.