We have written on various government initiatives designed to help businesses recover from the effects of the COVID-related shutdown, including the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme. Another important step was taken when the Minister for Finance announced on 6 September that the Business Resumption Support Scheme (“BRSS”) is open for registration on the Revenue Online Service. A guidelines document has been provided and further details are available on the Revenue website.
The BRSS is provided for in section 5 of the Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 enacted in July. It is a new support scheme for businesses with reduced turnover as a result of public health restrictions. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply to Revenue for a cash payment, representing an advance credit for trading expenses that are deductible for income and/or corporation tax purposes. Applications under the scheme may be made between 1 September 2021 and 30 November 2021.
Payments will be calculated on the basis of 3 weeks at 10% of the first €1m in turnover per week and 5% thereafter, based on average VAT exclusive turnover for 2019, and will be subject to a maximum payment of €15,000. Businesses will be required to have tax clearance and payment will be conditional on the business actively trading on 1 September with an intention to continue to trade.
Businesses that previously availed of other schemes such as SBASC (Small Business Assistance Scheme), the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme or COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (“CRSS”) will be eligible to apply provided they meet the qualifying criteria. However, businesses eligible for the CRSS on 1 September 2021 will be paid the CRSS and will not be eligible for the BRSS. They may also be eligible for “restart weeks” under the CRSS.
The main criteria for eligibility of the BRSS are:
- businesses must be able to demonstrate that their turnover reduced by at least 75% during the period 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021 compared with the reference turnover period, which for the majority of businesses will be 1 January to 31 December 2019;
- the profits of the trade, or trading activities of the business, must be chargeable to tax under Case 1 of Schedule D;
- the business must possess a valid tax clearance certificate and continue to maintain tax clearance for the duration of the application period.
We are pleased to see this new scheme operational and hope that it will provide businesses with valuable assistance in recovering from the effects of the COVID shutdown.