The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (‘CRSS’) is specifically targeted at sectors which have been impacted by the restrictions which have been set out in the Government’s overall ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan.
Again, registration for the scheme is still open and is managed via the Revenue On-Line Service (ROS).
Similar to the EWSS, the CRSS is currently scheduled to remain in place until 31 March 2021.
The key qualifying conditions differ to those which apply in the case of EWSS, the primary considerations being that access to the business premises must be prohibited or restricted as a direct result of the pandemic restrictions, and as a result the turnover of the business must be no more than 25% of the average weekly turnover for 2019 reflecting the same period of time as bears to the restricted period.
It is important to bear in mind that there are considerations which can be applied to certain businesses which may operate in various qualifying sectors, where only one aspect of their business is affected. Therefore, it is important that all businesses who feel they may have been impacted to assess the guidelines to ensure a valid claim is made where it is appropriate to do so.
The CRSS offers a good liquidity support to affected businesses, broadly speaking giving rise to a weekly entitlement calculated at 10% of the business average weekly turnover for 2019, up to €20,000 per week. If it is the case that the average weekly turnover for 2019 which exceeded €20,000, it is possible to increase the claim amount by a further 5% of the average weekly turnover which exceeded the €20,000 limit. However, the weekly entitlement is subject to an overall cap of €5,000 per week.
The CRSS payment being made to the employer is effectively treated for tax purposes as an advance of credit for otherwise tax-deductible trading expenses for tax purposes. As a result, the CRSS payment is effectively a taxable subsidy. The cash flow impact of any additional tax liability in the subsidy is unlikely to arise in current year terms assuming most businesses availing of the scheme are likely to otherwise be in a tax reported loss position for the year.
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