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Revenue have begun checks on over 55,500 employers that have received subsidy payments under the COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to confirm that the scheme is operating correctly. 
In particular they are seeking certain documentary evidence to establish that:
  • employers participating in the scheme meet the eligibility criteria
  • employees are receiving the correct amount of subsidy, and
  • the subsidy amount is being correctly identified in employee payslips.

Here we answer some of your questions on what will happen:

How will Revenue contact me?

Revenue are issuing letters to businesses via the MyEnquiries messaging portal on ROS.

How soon do I need to reply?

Employers have 5 days to reply but Revenue has confirmed that the employer’s subsidy will not be immediately reduced if the employer cannot reply within this timeframe. 
If employers are having difficulty in replying within the timeframe they should contact Revenue immediately and request more time to respond.
Revenue will actively follow up with employers where a satisfactory response is not provided and will, where necessary, cease payments to employers who do not co-operate with the checks or who are not complying with conditions of the scheme.

What information will I be asked to provide?

One of the main requirements to be eligible for the scheme was that the business would experience a reduction of at least 25% in turnover or customer orders (or other reasonable basis, where applicable) from April to June 2020. As this period is coming to an end on 30 June Revenue will be looking for confirmation that this reduction materialised. 
They are asking employers to summarise the basis on which they believed their business would be significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the criteria to be eligible to claim the subsidy. 
At this point employers are not expected to provide detailed documentation to prove that they have met the employer eligibility criteria but based on the summary provided, Revenue may look for more detailed information in some cases.

What happens if I did not actually see a fall in turnover or customer orders, as I expected?

If the predicted fall in turnover or customer orders did not materialise, Revenue is advising employers to immediately exit the TWSS by ceasing to submit J9 payroll submissions and returning employees to their normal PRSI class for all future payrolls. 
Revenue will require evidence of the basis on which the employer felt they were eligible to apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme. Once the basis for the assumptions is reasonable, they will not seek to claw back subsidy amounts already paid.  

What else will Revenue check?

Revenue are also seeking copies of payslips as evidence that subsidy amounts have actually been paid to employees. 
You can view a copy of the standard Revenue TWSS Compliance Check letter here
Published 08/07/2020

Date published 8 Jul 2020 | Last updated 8 Jul 2020

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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