Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform, Seán Kyne, has said Revenue should extend the deadline for employers seeking to help their workers with tax bills arising from Covid-19 supports, from June to the end of the year.
Commented Senator Kyne: “In March 2020, during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic we introduced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) which helped employers subsidise the wages of the their workforce and crucially keep people on the payroll during a very difficult and uncertain time.
“Without doubt, the TWSS supported households across the country and helped businesses stay afloat and re-open when restrictions were lifted. The TWSS operated until 31st August 2020 when the new scheme, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, took over.
“As with all income, payments under the TWSS were liable to income tax, as evidenced by the preliminary 2020 tax statements issued by Revenue last week to all PAYE workers.
“Thankfully, workers have four years, starting from next year, to clear any tax liability which, in many cases will be achieved by reducing tax credits or tax bands on a gradual, manageable basis.
“Several employers and many workers in Galway have contacted me regarding the tax liabilities. Revenue has confirmed that employers can help workers with their 2020 income tax and USC liabilities caused by the TWSS which is positive and helpful. However, Revenue maintains they must do so by the end of June which prevents some employers from helping their workers with their tax bills. It also prevents workers from clearing tax bills now, thereby delaying the payment of tax at a time when every cent counts.
“I would appeal to Revenue to extend the June 2021 deadline to at least the end of 2021 and show flexibility and understanding as we continue to grapple with the immense challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic,” added Senator Kyne.