The following is a summary of the principal measures and initiatives that the government is implementing in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. The response to the crisis involves multiple government departments and agencies. It addresses long and short-term financial supports, tax alleviation measures, banking and credit measures and employee supports.
This all-of-government approach will continue to guide our actions.
As with all sectors of our society, the situation for business and enterprise is being constantly monitored: it can be expected that measures already taken may be altered, and that additional measures will be implemented as needed.
The following are the measures now in place:
The government has put in place a range of financial supports, including:
For firms experiencing trading difficulties and short-term shocks, the following additional supports are now in place:
The Revenue Commissioners have confirmed their flexibility in dealing with the crisis. The following is the general advice.
On an ongoing basis, Revenue engages with viable businesses experiencing temporary cash flow or trading difficulties that affect the timely payment of tax. Revenue works very successfully with businesses that engage early to resolve their tax payment difficulties. Revenue will engage with any viable business that experiences temporary cashflow difficulties, including difficulties arising from exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
Revenue has also posted specific advice for businesses experiencing trading difficulties as a result of COVID-19 including information on tax returns, the application of late payment interest, debt enforcement, tax clearance and customs.
These are the highlights:
All the banks have announced that they will offer flexibility to their customers, and they may be able to provide payment holidays or emergency working capital facilities. We are seeking to ensure that forbearance measures will not affect credit ratings.
A deferral of up to 3-months on loan repayments will be available to many businesses. In addition, the banks are adopting a customer-focused approach to these businesses with a wide variety of tailored supports including extensions of credit lines, risk guarantees, and trade finance.
These supports complement the range of government supports available through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.
The Central Bank has confirmed that it will allow banks to dip into their rainy-day capital reserves to keep lending flowing. It is anticipated that this move could free up considerable additional credit for households and businesses.
A small but important change for many businesses is the limit for contactless credit card payments has been raised from €30 to €50.
People are the lifeblood of business. For that reason, the government has introduced general eligibility for a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of up to €203 per week for 6 weeks.
Employers are requested to pay affected employees the equivalent amount to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment through their normal payroll process and employers will be reimbursed by the Revenue Commissioners. The reimbursement will be transferred into the employer’s bank account by Revenue, generally on the next banking day following the submission of the payroll details. There is a streamlined and web based application process for the payment.
The government is working with the European Commission on additional changes to State Aid de minimis rules that may be required to ensure the enterprise development agencies can respond effectively to the crisis.
A note on Social and Civic responsibility:
The government on your behalf is making efforts to support businesses and individuals who need help in the face of this crisis. If you can, you should continue to file returns and pay outstanding taxes in the normal way.
If you do not need additional supports, we ask you not to apply for them.
Resources are limited and must be allocated to those who need them.
The department is now operating a Business Support Call Centre to advise on the government supports available to businesses and enterprises.
The number is 00 353 1 631 2002.