The Irish government has extended the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) until 31st December 2021. The scheme gives employers impacted by COVID-19, a subsidy per employee to help keep them in employment. On 9 July, Revenue published guidelines to highlight the changes to the EWSS applicable for the period from 1 July 2021. The main change made to the scheme was in relation to eligibility.
To assist employers in ensuring continued eligibility for the scheme, from 30th June 2021, all employers are required to complete and submit an online monthly EWSS Eligibility Review Form (ERF) through ROS by the 15th of each month. Companies claiming EWSS must fill out a monthly eligibility form, showing their revenue for 2021 remains at least 30% below the reference period in 2019 and a declaration to confirm that the information submitted is correct and accurate to the best of their knowledge. Failure to complete and submit the EWSS Eligibility Review Form that confirms the required reduction and related declaration will result in suspension of payment of EWSS claims.
Revenue has stated: “Where Revenue determines that an employer, at any time over the term of the scheme, claimed and received payment by applying accounting practices that are clearly not appropriate, or by deliberately misrepresenting the true financial situation of the business, it will be excluded from the EWSS in its entirety. No further claims will be accepted, and all subsidy paid and PRSI credit issued will be immediately repayable together with interest and penalties. The business may also face possible criminal prosecution.”
The government has paid nearly €4 billion to date in EWSS payments on top of the €2.9 billion paid under the earlier TWSS. Revenue have launched an investigation on companies that are suspected of overclaiming pandemic wage subsidies.
According to Revenue’s code of practice for audits and non-audit interventions, officials can make unannounced site visits, conduct profile interviews with business owners, carry out assurance checks, and initiate investigations. Please ensure you are submitting correct information to avoid any penalties.
Join BrightPay for a free webinar on 30th September where we will be joined by representatives from the Revenue Commissioners to discuss upcoming changes to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme in October and the Employer Eligibility Review Forms. There will also be a live Q&A session to answer any questions that you may have.
Limited Places Remaining – Click here to reserve your place.