Revenue announce measures in relation to COVID-19

Interest and debt enforcement suspended

Revenue measures and guidance

On Friday, 13 March 2020, Revenue announced the following welcome measures to assist small and medium enterprises (‘SMEs’) experiencing cash-flow difficulties arising from COVID-19:

  • Imposition of interest on late payments – Revenue has suspended the application of interest being applied in respect of the January/February 2020 VAT accounting period and both February and March 2020 PAYE liabilities.
  • Debt enforcement – With immediate effect, all debt enforcement activity has been suspended until further notice.
  • Tax clearance – Current tax clearance certificates will remain in place over the coming months.

Importantly, Revenue have underlined that taxpayers should continue to file tax returns on time. While the filing of returns informs Revenue of a taxpayer’s liability (if any) for a period, and would typically see Revenue take action in respect of late payment, this will not be the case for the returns outlined above.

Taxpayers, other than SMEs, which are experiencing temporary cash-flow or trading difficulties should contact the Collector-General’s office. Alternatively, such businesses can engage directly with their branch contacts in Revenue.

In addition to the measures above, Revenue have suspended the Relevant Contracts Tax (‘RCT’) rate review that was scheduled to take place in March 2020. Subcontractors’ existing rates will continue for now, but any subcontractor can check if their current rate should be reduced using the self-review feature on the Revenue Online Service (‘ROS’)

Revenue have also announced that critical pharmaceutical products and medication will be given ‘green routing’ status for customs’ purposes. The effect of this is that the normal checks of the goods and supporting documentation will not be required in an effort to ensure that the importation process is completed without delay.

In light of the unprecedented and exceptional circumstances, we welcome Revenue’s proactive decision to support businesses by announcing the measures, and would anticipate that Revenue will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks.

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