The CRSS, announced in the Budget for 2021 by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, aims to assist businesses whose trade have been significantly impacted as a result of government restrictions.
Minister Paschal Donohoe said that he was “confident” that the CRSS will and has provided much needed support to businesses that have had to close as a result of the restrictions.
The business must have been required to prohibit or considerably restrict customers from accessing their business premises. Generally, this refers to COVID-19 restrictions at Level 3, 4 or 5 as explained in the Government’s Plan for Living with COVID-19. Certain businesses may qualify for the support where lower levels of restrictions are in operation. The specific restrictions applying to businesses are provided for in regulations made by the Department of Health.
Eligible businesses can make a claim to Revenue for a payment known as an Advance Credit for Trading Expenses (ACTE). An ACTE is payable for each week a business is affected by the restrictions.
The CRSS is expected to continue until 30 June 2021.
The ACTE is equal to 10% of the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 up to €20,000, plus 5% on turnover over €20,000. In the case of new businesses, the turnover is based on the average actual weekly turnover in 2020. The ACTE is subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000.
All eligible businesses can claim the support irrespective of their turnover levels, but the amount of the ACTE cannot exceed the lower of the amount based on 10%/5% of the relevant weekly turnover or €5,000 per week.
Where COVID-19 restrictions for a geographical region are extended beyond the date on which they were due to expire, a new claim is required for each extension period.
Revenue will publish a list of businesses who availed of the CRSS at the end of the scheme.
What you need to know about CRSS
Businesses who apply for the scheme must be able to “demonstrate” the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on their business. The impact must show “significantly” affected turnover rates for the business in the period for which the restrictions are in operation.
If a business makes a claim, the government will provide up to 25% of an amount equal to the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 (or average weekly turnover in 2020 in the case of a new business) multiplied by the number of weeks in the period for which the claim is made.
Businesses who qualify will be able to make a claim to Revenue under the CRSS for a cash payment to be known as an “Advance Credit for Trading Expenses.” The payment will be equal to 10% of their average weekly turnover in 2019 up to €20,000 and 5% thereafter, subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5000, for each week that their business is affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.
For New Businesses
If a business was established between December 26th 2019 and the 12 of October 2020, the claim will be based on their actual weekly average turnover in the period between the date of commencement and the 12th of October 2020 (subject to the weekly cap of €5000). Payments made under the scheme will be treated as an advance credit for trading expenses.
Applying for CRSS
On the announcement of the 2021 Budget, Tánaiste and Business Minister, Leo Varadkar, said those who meet the criteria for CRSS are “urged” to contact the Revenue Commissioners as soon as possible. Tánaiste Varadkar also indicated that the CRSS will be based on a self-assessment basis, but stated there “will be audits.”
Published in the Finance Bill, the key features of the scheme are:
- The CRSS is designed to assist businesses whose trade has been significantly implicated or temporarily closed as a result of the restrictions as set out in the government’s Living with COVID-19’ Plan.
- The scheme will generally operate when Level 3 or higher is in place and will cease when restrictions are lifted.
- CRSS will apply for businesses where government restrictions prohibit or reduce access by customers to their business premises.
- Qualifying businesses can now apply to the Revenue Commissioners for a cash payment in respect of an advance credit for trading expenses for the period of the restrictions.
- To qualify for the scheme, a business must be able to demonstrate that, because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the turnover of the business in the period for which the restrictions are in operation, and for which a claim is made, will be no more than 25% of an amount equal to the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 (or average weekly turnover in 2020 in the case of a new business) multiplied by the number of weeks in the period for which a claim is made
Revenue has published an overview of the scheme with some detailed examples, together with guidance on the operation of the scheme on Revenue.ie
Qualification criteria (please see Revenue.ie for full details)
To qualify for the scheme, you will need to demonstrate:
- your business operates from a business premises wholly located in a region subject to Government restrictions in the claim period
- because of the Government restrictions, your business must prohibit or significantly restrict members of the public from your business premises
- the turnover of your business during the period of restrictions (the claim period) will be no more than 25% of the:average weekly turnover of the business in 2019
- average weekly turnover in 2020 in the case of a new business)
- your business has complied with obligations in relation to registering and accounting for Value Added Tax (VAT)
- your business intends to resume trade after the Government restrictions are lifted.
How to make a claim
If your business is eligible for the CRSS scheme, you must claim it through Revenue Online (ROS) for an ACTE.
If you are going to apply, first you need to
- Register for CRSS on ROS
- Complete a claim in respect of a claim period or periods.
Step 1 Registration:
It is more than likely that you have ROS online, but if you don’t, you must register for it now to avail of the claim.
In the case of a partnership, registration can only be made by the precedent partner, on behalf of the partnership. The precedent partner will register under the tax reference number of the partnership trade.
When you are registering for the CRSS, you will be required to provide details on the location you are signing up to the claim if there is more than one, each of your business.
You will need the following information when signing up for the CRSS:
- Business/ Premises Name (required for each business premises in which a relevant business activity is carried on and for which a claim will be made),
- Address, including the Eircode for the business. Each one of your premises will need to have the address and Eircode inputted where a relevant business activity is carried on and for which claim will be made),
- Business Sector
- If the registration is being made by a precedent partner on behalf of a partnership, the partnership number,
- Average weekly turnover in respect of 2019 (required for each business premises in which a relevant business activity is carried on and for which a claim will be made) for a business established before the 26th of December 2019
- Average weekly turnover for 2020 (required for each business premises in which a relevant business activity is carried on and for which a claim will be made) for businesses established on or after the 26th of December 2019 and before the 13th of October 2020,
- Date of commencement for new business,
- VAT in respect of T1 on VAT 3 (i.e. VAT on outputs)
- Other income in respect of which VAT was charged.
For a comprehensive PDF on the CRSS, click here
Step 2: Claiming CRSS
A claim portal in respect of CRSS will be available via the eRepayments system on ROS from mid-November. It is important to note that the CRSS ‘Tax Head’ will only be visible to those persons who have successfully completed the CRSS eRegistration process.
Qualifying persons can claim for each claim period in which they meet the eligibility criteria, and a new claim should be made for each claim period. Before any further claim, taxpayers should review the eligibility criteria in Section 4 and ensure they meet all conditions before making a claim for each claim period.
The following information will be required at the claim stage:
- Business Premises (in which relevant business activity is carried) in respect of which a claim is made,
- Claim period start week,
- Claim period end week
For a comprehensive PDF on the CRSS, click here