Newsletter – May 2021

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Well, May has arrived, and with it brings a great air of optimism as many people have received their first vaccination, and many key industries such as construction and retail have reopened. We can meet friends again and we can get out of our county for a break, thank God.

Good News – Confirmed

Last month, we reported that proprietary directors who had availed of the TWSS, were responsible for their own tax liability if one arose as a result of participation in the scheme. The CCAB-I – a body representing all accounting institutes in Ireland – had written to Revenue to contest this and to seek more time (pushing it out to June 2022) for employers to pay any TWSS tax liability due on behalf of employees. I am glad to report that Revenue have accepted the plea, and a company may now pay the TWSS liability of any director PROVIDED THE COMPANY PAYS THE TWSS LIABILITY OF ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES. The date for payment has been extended to 31st August 2021.

More Good News – CRSS Restart Week

As many businesses reopen, Revenue have introduced that any business availing of the CRSS may claim a double week to assist them with reopening costs. If you have, or are shortly reopening, please contact us, and we will process a claim on your behalf. The maximum additional claim is €5,000. Detailed information on the CRSS, including in relation to claiming the ‘Restart Week’, can be found here.

And Even More Good News

The Government continue to introduce supports and grants for business. There are still various grants available from your Local Enterprise office such as:

  • Trading online vouchers – Assistance towards building a website and to develop your marketing strategy.
  • Business expansion funding – Grant assistance of up to 50% subject to a maximum grant of €80,000 may be given towards salary costs. Capital expenditure and consultancy fees may also qualify.
  • Innovation vouchers – A voucher of €5,000 or a contribution of up to 50% of a €10,000 spend is available to help develop a new product / process or business model, or new service delivery method, etc.
  • Subsidised loans are also available. If you haven’t already discussed your needs with us, please do contact us now and we will explore what suits your circumstances best, or visit your Local Enterprise Office website.

Travel & Subsistence for the Construction Sector Site-Based Employees

Site-based employees do not have a fixed base and, in the course of their employment, perform their work duties at different locations. These duties generally last for periods longer than one day. You can pay your employees expenses of travel and subsistence, not exceeding the approved rate (currently €181.60 per week), except where either:

  • Your employee does not have to pay to travel to and from the site (for example, if you provide the transport)
  • You provide your employee with board and lodgings
  • Your employee was recruited to work at one site only.

In order to qualify for these expenses, the employee must be working at a site 32km (20 miles) or more from your base. You may also pay an ‘eating on site’ allowance, tax-free, to site-based employees in some sectors of the economy if:

  • You do not provide facilities for making tea, coffee, or other refreshments
  • Your employee does not receive any other form of tax-free subsistence payment
  • Your employee works on the site for at least 1.5 hours before and 1.5 hours after their normal lunch break
  • You pay a maximum allowance of €5 per day.

Benefit-In-Kind for Drivers of Electric Cars

The current scheme allows that there is Zero BIK on drivers of electric cars up to €50,000. It is in place until December 2022. It is expected that this exemption will be extended beyond 2022.

However, Minister for The Environment Eamonn Ryan has recently muted that he may reduce the €50,000 ceiling, as he wishes it to incentivise ordinary car owners, rather than “expensive cars” that the buyer can already afford, and therefore should not be subsidised.

This may act as an incentive to go out and buy your more expensive electric models now, before these changes are introduced, as it is likely the €50,000 limit will remain on any car already purchased – this occurred where Tesla owners who had bought between 10th October 2017 and 9th October 2018 were able to avail of Zero BIK on the full purchase cost.

New Addition – Personal Finance Corner

Many of our clients are asking us for advice on how to save money personally. This month, I would like to talk about Life Insurance. Most people take out life insurance / a mortgage protection policy when they buy their first property, and often never revisit it. I would like to mention 2 points:

  1. Life insurance premiums are constantly dropping over the last 7-10 years, especially for non-smokers. It means you can either get higher cover for the same premium, or the same cover for a smaller premium. You should contact your financial advisor to discuss this.
  1. Tax relief is not available on life insurance premiums. However, a limited company may take out Executive Pension Term Assurance, which is essentially life cover and the premiums are a fully allowable business expense, and no BIK is applicable to the director.

If you wish to discuss this, please contact your financial advisor or give any member of our team a call, and we can refer you on to a financial advisor.

Filing Date for Income Tax & Inheritance Tax Returns 2020

Revenue have announced that the latest date for filing online is 17th November 2021.

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