SINN FÉIN TD Maurice Quinlivan has called on SMEs and people affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak to engage with Revenue as a matter of priority.
Due to the economic impact of the virus outbreak, Revenue has outlined key advice and measures now in place to assist SMEs who will experience trading difficulties in the coming weeks and months.
Deputy Quinlivan has called on businesses to avail of these supports and for local media outlets to play their role in supporting the local economy at this difficult time.
Speaking on Friday, the Limerick TD acknowledged Limerick’s businesses and works will “face a difficult time” in the near future as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak and the economic impact that will have.“It is therefore essential that we do all we can to support families, communities, workers and local businesses,” he said.
The Sinn Féin TD continued, “Today Revenue announced a number of measures that are now in place to assist SMEs who will suffer from cash-flow problems and trading difficulties in the time ahead. “It is essential that businesses and the self-employed in our county avail of these facilities to lessen the impact of this shock to the local economy and support their employees.”
The measures include the following:
Information for SMEs:• Tax Returns: businesses experiencing temporary cash flow difficulties should continue to send in tax returns on time.• Application of Interest: the application of interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.• Debt Enforcement: All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.• Tax Clearance: current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses over the coming months.Information for Subcontractors:• RCT (Relevant Contract Tax): the RCT rate review scheduled to take place in March 2020 is suspended. This process assesses the current compliance position of each subcontractor in the eRCT system and determines their correct RCT deduction rate, i.e. 0%, 20% or 35%. As this process may result in a subcontractor’s RCT rate increasing due to changes in their compliance position, the review is suspended.• Subcontractors and agents are reminded that RCT rate reviews can be self-managed in ROS. Subcontractors can check if their rate should be lower and can then ‘self-review’ to get that lower deduction rate.Other businesses suffering from cash flow or trading difficulties should contact the Collector General’s Office on (01) 7383663.
Deputy Quinlivan noted Sinn Féin were engaging with the Department of Finance to discuss further proposals the party believe could, depending on practicality, assist SMEs and affected sectors.
These proposals include:
• Implementing a commercial rates “holiday” for the hospitality, tourism, retail and SME sectors for a prescribed period of time, such as 3 months, with the Central Exchequer funding the shortfall in revenue experienced by local authorities;
• Facilitating the deferral of VAT payments for the hospitality, tourism, retail and SME sectors for a prescribed period of time, such as 3 months;
• The scrapping of charges for card transactions, including contactless and chip-and-pin transactions to include non-cash payments.
“We recognise these measures will bring costs to the Exchequer, and at a time when an all-island approach is crucial, we are acutely aware that financial constraints exist for public finances in the North where they do not in the South. “What is essential is that we do what we can as an island to deliver a coordinated response to this challenge.“This will be a difficult time for workers and many of our indigenous sectors, and we must work together to respond to this challenge in the interests of workers and families,” The Limerick TD concluded.