Here are the main points from Budget 2021, as delivered by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.
There is no change to tax rates for 2021, the standard rate will remain at 20% and the higher rate at 40%.
In addition, there is no change to Standard Rate Cut Off Points (SRCOPs).
The Earned Income Tax Credit will be increased by €150 from €1,500 to €1,650 to bring it in line with the PAYE tax credit.
The Dependent Relative Tax Credit will be increased by €175 from €70 to €245 to support families with caring responsibilities.
For 2021, USC will apply at the following rates for those earning in excess of €13,000
|Up to €12,012||0.5%|
Medical card holders and individuals aged 70 years and older whose aggregate income does not exceed €60,000 will pay a maximum rate of 2%.
The emergency rate of USC remains at 8%.
Non-PAYE income in excess of €100,000 is subject to USC at 11%.
The National Minimum Wage will increase by 10 cent from €10.10 to €10.20 per hour from January 1st 2021.
The weekly threshold for the higher rate of employer PRSI will increase to €398 from €395, this is in line with the increase in the National Minimum Wage.
The age to qualify for the State Pension will remain at 66 for 2021, it was due to increase to 67.
The ‘waiting days’ for Illness Benefit will reduce from 6 days to 3 days for all new claims from the end of February 2021.
Parent’s Benefit has been increased by three weeks, this brings it up to five weeks. The leave must be taken during the first year following the birth of a child.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is due to continue until 31st March 2021, a wage subsidy scheme in some form is expected to be in place until the end of 2021.
The tax debt warehousing scheme will be expanded to include repayments of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) owed by employers.
A new scheme was introduced for businesses impacted by Covid-19 restrictions, it will provide support for businesses that have had to close because of Covid-19. The scheme is operational from October 13th until March 31st 2021.
The payment will be calculated as a percentage of the business’s average weekly VAT exclusive turnover in 2019 subject to a maximum payment of €5,000 per week. The first payments are expected to be made in Mid-November.
The 13.5% rate of VAT for the tourism and hospitality sector will be reduced to 9% from November 1st 2020, the reduced rate will remain in place until December 31st 2021.
For the latest payroll updates, don’t miss our next free webinar where we are joined by Revenue.
10.30am | 19th November
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The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – also known as TWSS, was in operation since 26th March, and it ended on 31st August. The subsidy was processed through the payroll as a non-taxable addition, and instead, the subsidy will be taxable and USC-able via an end of year review by Revenue.
Employees will be taxed via a reduction in tax credits and cut off points from 2022. Revenue have confirmed that the liability will be collected over 4 years to avoid hardship. Employees will have the opportunity to pay it in full before then if they wish.
There are two stages to the TWSS Reconciliation process. For stage one, employers are required to report the actual subsidy that they paid to employees on each pay date.
Thesaurus Payroll Manager have made it easy to create these TWSS CSV Reconciliation files within the 'Reports' section on the payroll software. The CSV file can then be uploaded in the Employer Services section on ROS, as per Revenue's requirements. This file must be uploaded to ROS by 31st October. If you do not provide this data about payments to your employees, Revenue will recoup the total temporary wage subsidy paid and related interest charges.
Stage two of the reconciliation process is due to commence later this month, and during this stage, the total subsidy payable amounts will be compared against the subsidy amounts paid to the employer. Revenue will then determine the amount of TWSS, if any, owing back to Revenue from employers.
A Statement of Account will be sent to your ROS inbox. You will either be paid any additional amount due to you by Revenue or be required to repay any amount that you owe to Revenue.
In some cases, an employer may decide, or Revenue may instruct the employer, to repay to Revenue some or all the subsidy refund payment received from Revenue. Employers can repay excess subsidy values to Revenue via a new facility within ROS, this can be done under Payments & Refunds by selecting ’Submit a Payment’ and then TWSS (Employer). Customers should no longer use the Revenue bank account details previously provided for repayments of TWSS.
Only subsidy amounts should be repaid to Revenue through this method - Do not include any repayments in respect of income tax and USC through this RevPay facility. This should be done separately under PAYE EMP to ensure that the payment is correctly reflected on the employers PAYE EMP balance.
To ensure that the TWSS was operated correctly, Revenue are conducting a programme of compliance checks on all employers who availed of the scheme at any stage. Letters are being issued to employers and tax agents. Revenue were previously sending these to certain employers/agents via MyEnquiries. Since the start of October, Revenue have started sending them direct to the main ROS inbox, along with all other correspondence, so there’s a greater chance that they could be missed.
The letter will set out the steps that employers need to take to verify their compliance with the regulations of the TWSS.
Employers will need to confirm:
At this point employers are not expected to provide detailed documentation to prove that they have met the employer eligibility criteria but based on the summary provided, Revenue may look for more detailed information in some cases.
If you receive such a letter, please note that there is a 5-day time limit to respond to the Revenue’s request. It is essential that employers respond promptly as failure to do so will lead to immediate escalation. Therefore, it is important that employers keep an eye on both the ROS inbox and MyEnquiries or the letter.
This Revenue compliance check is not part of an audit or intervention. Instead, it is a request for information to provide assurance that the scheme was operated as intended by employers.
In addition, the compliance check programme will address any issues identified in respect of the operation of PAYE Modernisation by employers over 2019 and 2020. It will also provide an opportunity for employers to address any other outstanding tax issues that they may have.
For the latest payroll updates don’t miss our next free webinar, where we are joined by Revenue.
10.30am | 19th November
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In the July Jobs Stimulus Plan, announced by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, changes were introduced to the existing Cycle to Work scheme. The Cycle to Work scheme is a government initiative that was introduced in January 2009 and allows the employer to purchase a bicycle and safety equipment for an employee for travelling to and from work. The cost of the bicycle and safety equipment can be deducted from the employee’s wages in the form of salary sacrifice. This salary sacrifice is set up as an allowable taxable deduction and reduces the gross salary for PAYE, USC and PRSI purposes by the amount of the salary sacrifice. The salary sacrifice cannot be more than 12 months and the employer and employee must agree how the deductions can be made.
The allowance for the cost of the normal bike and safety equipment was €1,000 and in July this was increased by €250 to €1,250. The allowance cost of an electric bike and safety equipment rose to €1,500 from the previous rate of €1,000. The existing period to avail of the scheme every five years is being reduced to every four years. The tax year that the bike is purchased counts as the first year under the scheme. The bike and safety equipment must be used as part of the journey the employee takes between their home and their normal place of work.
If an employer purchases a bike for an employee and does not require the employee to pay for it, the employee will be exempt from tax on the benefit on the cost of a normal bike up to €1,250 and on an electric bike for up to €1,500. If the cost exceeds these exemptions, the employee will have to pay PAYE, USC and PRSI on the balance of the cost of the bike.
An employer does not have to inform Revenue if they have employees availing of the Cycle to Work Scheme but records must be maintained by the employer for any purchases made under this scheme, such as invoices, which employee the purchase was for, payment amounts, etc.
New webinar: Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) - What you need to know
Join our new webinar, Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) - What you need to know, to learn about the latest government scheme and its impact on payroll. As the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has now ended, there is a new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme which will run until April 2021. Register now.
In this webinar, we discuss what you need to know about TWSS Reconciliation and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). We are delighted to be joined by guest panelist Sandra Clarke - President of the Irish Tax Institute & Partner at BCC Accountants. Register now.
As the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is now closed, to enable an accurate reconciliation between subsidy amounts refunded by Revenue and the amounts of subsidy that employers paid to their employees, Revenue requires employers to report the actual subsidy paid to employees, on each pay date. TWSS Reconciliation files can be created in Thesaurus Payroll Manager within Reports > TWSS Report. This file must be uploaded to ROS by 31st October.
When employees are working remotely, even the most basic tasks such as distributing payslips, applying for annual leave and internal communication can be more difficult. However, in the wake of COVID-19, many employers have had to adapt and implement working from home and are now looking for clever solutions to overcome the payroll and HR challenges presented by remote working.
If you are currently eligible for EWSS, you may be entitled to receive subsidies and PRSI credits in respect of employees paid by you during July and August. In order to make a claim, a CSV file must be uploaded on ROS before 14th October. Thesaurus Payroll Manager includes the ability to prepare the CSV file within the ‘EWSS’ menu. It will also calculate the estimated claim value for you. Claims could be quite substantial, so we urge you to run the report and, if applicable, submit your claim as soon as possible.
After the success of our previous booked-out webinar, we have decided to add another date. Join us on 8th October where we discuss TWSS reconciliation, EWSS sweepback and processing wage subsidy claims. Guest panelist: Sandra Clarke - President of the Irish Tax Institute.
Only 10 places left - Book your place now to avoid disappointment!
The company-wide employee calendar on Thesaurus Connect allows managers to see at a glance who is on leave and when, with different display options to suit your needs. The colour-coded calendar highlights the various types of leave, including annual leave, unpaid leave, sick leave and parenting leave, making staff scheduling and managing leave a walk-in-the-park.
The Construction Workers' Pension Scheme (CWPS) is an industry-wide, occupational pension scheme providing pension solutions for employees in the construction and related industries, providing economic pension and protection benefits to both employees and employers.
It is designed to allow construction workers and their families retirement and low-cost protection cover. CWPS has over 30,000 active members employed by over 2,000 employers and is amongst the biggest occupational pension schemes in Ireland.
An increase in the rates will take effect on 1st October 2020 as agreed in the Sectoral Employment Order. The employer contribution total increases by 2.7% from €29.79 to €30.60 and the employee’s contribution total increases by 2.7% from €20.03 to €20.57.
A breakdown of the new rates are below:
|With effect from 1/10/2020|
|Pension Contribution Employer||€28.09|
|Pension Contribution Employee||€18.73|
|Life Assurance Contribution Employer||€1.17|
|Life Assurance Contribution Employee||€1.17|
|Sick Pay Contribution Employer||€1.34|
|Sick Pay Contribution Employee||€0.67|
|Total Employer Rate||€30.60|
|Total Employee Rate||€20.57|
There are no changes for the additional voluntary extras of Construction Workers Health Trust member contribution of €1.00 and the Benevolent Funds of employer contribution of €0.19 and member contribution of €0.50.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) which ended on 31st August 2020. As some employees were excluded from the TWSS, eligible employers can backdate a claim for EWSS to 1st July 2020 in respect of certain employees.
If you are currently eligible for EWSS, you may be entitled to receive subsidies and PRSI credits in respect of employees paid by you during July and August.
In order to make a claim, a CSV file listing the PPSN numbers and Employment IDs for all eligible employees must be uploaded on ROS. Our latest software upgrade (available when you launch our software), includes the ability to prepare the CSV file. It will also calculate the estimated claim value for you. This is available in the 'EWSS' menu in Thesaurus Payroll Manager.
Because of the tight timelines in releasing our upgrade and because we may not have access to all payroll data since the start of the year, we cannot guarantee the calculated claim value and it should therefore be viewed as indicative.
The ROS upload facility is expected to be available from 15th September within the “Employer Services” Section on ROS. All applications must be submitted by the employer or agent through ROS before 14th October.
Following receipt of the sweepback CSV, Revenue will then process these files and validate them against the rules of the scheme. If an employee is deemed eligible, Revenue will calculate the total subsidy due to be paid and will arrange for the subsidy to be paid as soon as practicable after 16th September. Payment in respect of additional submissions received after 16th September in respect of July/August will be made weekly thereafter up until 14th October.
Claims could be quite substantial, so we urge you to run the report and, if applicable, submit your claim as soon as possible.
Revenue guidance on the rules surrounding the sweepback and the claim process can be viewed here.
Interested in finding out more about EWSS? Join us for our free webinar on 8th October where we discuss everything you need to know about EWSS eligibility, processing subsidy claims and the new guidance in relation to the July/August Sweepback.
Don’t miss out – Places are limited. Click here to book your place now.
2020 has been a transformative year for most businesses. Many employers have had to take a long hard look at how they manage their employees and make significant changes in the wake of COVID-19 in order to adapt to what is quickly becoming the new normal. For a large proportion of these businesses, allowing employees to work remotely is playing a central role in that change. And this throws up some challenges.
Remote working isn’t a new phenomenon. Cloud innovations have made it possible for people to work from home for many years. However, most businesses have been reluctant to embrace this practice up until now. This is because, when employees are spread out, even the most basic tasks such as distributing payslips, applying for annual leave and internal communication can be more difficult.
Today, however, employers are finding themselves in a position where they must allow employees to work remotely and find clever solutions to these challenges. And Thesaurus Connect is one such solution that makes remote working easier for everyone.
You might not think that remote working has any impact on processing payroll, especially if you’re a small business with just one payroll administrator. But there are a number of ways that remote working can indirectly impact payroll. It also has numerous knock-on effects on human resources management which need to be addressed in order for a business to thrive.
Here are some examples of the payroll and HR challenges presented by remote working:
Thesaurus Connect is a cloud portal add-on to our payroll software. While the payroll software gives you everything you need to process your payroll, Connect offers a range of additional features that streamline your human resource management.
The features of Thesaurus Connect include:
If your business is embracing remote working and trying to find ways to facilitate this new practice, then book your free Connect demo today and let our team of experts show you just how much easier remote working can be.
Although the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is a subsidy payable to employers only and will not impact employee payslips, several steps need to be performed within Thesaurus Payroll Manager in order to transition from TWSS to EWSS. Thesaurus Payroll Manager has now been upgraded to cater for this new scheme.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) from 1st September 2020. We have teamed up with Revenue to bring you a free webinar where we discuss everything you need to know about TWSS Reconciliation and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Eligible employers will be required to register for the EWSS via ROS. Employers must hold up-to-date tax clearance to register for the scheme and receive the subsidy payments. Where an employer files an EWSS payment submission without first registering for EWSS, it will be rejected in full. The date of registration cannot be backdated prior to the date of application, and so it is imperative that registration is undertaken prior to the first pay date in respect of which EWSS is being claimed.
Thesaurus Connect offers a whole host of additional features, from secure cloud backup to employee dashboards. However, the employee app is one of the most attractive of these additional features, and for good reason. It enables you to introduce more effective ways of communicating with employees and streamline everyday processes such as annual leave requests.
During the first few weeks of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (known as the transitional phase), Revenue refunded a flat rate of €410 per employee per pay period, which, in a lot of cases, exceeded the subsidy that the employee was entitled to receive. Revenue are hoping to commence the TWSS reconciliation in October to address any outstanding subsidy refunds or repayments necessary. TWSS CSV reconciliation files will be uploaded to Revenue to enable them to reconcile the amount of subsidy paid to the employee against the amount refunded by Revenue.
A new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme has been introduced, providing a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.
Both the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will run in parallel from 1 July 2020 until the TWSS ceases at the end of August 2020. The EWSS will replace the TWSS from 1st September 2020. It is expected to continue until 31 March 2021.
Non-TWSS employers, i.e. those who have not previously availed of TWSS, will only be eligible to apply for the EWSS. EWSS support will be backdated to 1 July for eligible employers who did not qualify for the TWSS.
Employers wishing to operate the scheme from July 1st (i.e. for employees not eligible for TWSS) should process the payroll for these employees in the normal manner and Revenue will review these cases at a later date and refund the subsidy due. Revenue plan to cater for this via myEnquiries, this will require employers to provide Revenue with the employee details etc. Payment should be made in September.
Employers who have availed of the TWSS will still be able to rehire eligible employees and continue to operate the TWSS until 31 August 2020. Employees already on TWSS must remain on TWSS until the end of August. From 31 July, TWSS employers can claim for non-TWSS employees under the new EWSS, for example, new hires.
While the concepts behind the two schemes are similar, there are a number of differences between them.
The EWSS will require employers to reassess their eligibility for wage support. To be eligible for the EWSS, employers must be able to demonstrate that their turnover or customer orders have suffered at least a 30% reduction as a result of Covid-19 between 1st July and 31st December 2020, compared to the same period last year.
There is one exception to this - Registered childcare providers can avail of the EWSS without the requirement to meet the 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders.
Under the EWSS a subsidy will be available for new and seasonal employees, in addition to existing employees.
The EWSS is also open to newly commenced businesses. Where a business commenced after 1st November 2019, the eligibility criteria will be assessed against projected turnover or customer orders had there been no COVID-19 disruption.
Revenue have confirmed that the EWSS can be claimed in respect of proprietary directors, subject to certain conditions - click here to find out more about EWSS & proprietary directors.
Under the EWSS, employers will no longer have to download CSV files.
Eligible employers will be required to register for the EWSS via ROS, using Manage Tax Registrations (under Other Services) in the main ROS screen. Employers must hold up to date tax clearance to register for the scheme and receive the subsidy payments.
The date of registration cannot be back dated prior to the date of application and does not need to be back dated if a claim will be submitted in respect of payments in July & August. Therefore, it is imperative that registration is undertaken prior to the first pay date in respect of which EWSS is being claimed.
The EWSS will be administered by Revenue on a ‘self-assessment’ basis. Employers must review their eligibility status on the last day of every month to ensure they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. If they no longer qualify, they should de-register for EWSS with effect from the following day (that being the 1st of the month).
Under the EWSS employers will receive a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 or €151.50 per employee, per week, depending on the employee’s gross weekly pay. A subsidy will not be available for employee’s whose gross weekly earnings are less than €151.50 or greater than €1,462. The gross pay includes notional pay and is before any deductions for pension, salary sacrifice etc.
There will be an indicator on the payroll submission to indicate that an employee is an eligible employee for EWSS. On receipt of an eligible payslip, Revenue will calculate the subsidy payable based on the gross pay, pay frequency and the insurable weeks.
EWSS is a subsidy paid to an employer, it will not show on a payslip or in myAccount. The subsidy will be paid to employers monthly after the return due date, which is the 14th of the following month. Any changes made to payroll submissions after the return due date will not be processed for subsidy payments.
Under the EWSS, employers will be required to pay employees in the normal manner i.e. calculating and deducting Income Tax, USC and employee PRSI through the payroll.
The normal requirement to operate PAYE on all payments will be re-established under the EWSS.
However, a 0.5% rate of employers PRSI will continue to apply for employments that are eligible for the subsidy. This will be achieved as follows:
For more information on the TWSS and EWSS register for our free webinar which takes place on 3rd September 2020. We will be joined by Revenue to discuss what you need to know about both schemes.
The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was introduced in March 2020 to provide financial support to workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The scheme enabled employees whose employers are affected by the pandemic to receive significant supports directly from their employer through the payroll system.
The TWSS scheme is ending on 31st August 2020. Therefore, J9 submissions with a pay date after 31st August will be rejected by Revenue.
During the transitional phase of the scheme, Revenue refunded a flat rate of €410 per employee per pay period. In a lot of cases, this amount exceeded the subsidy that the employee was entitled to receive for that week, and this will be rectified when Revenue perform a reconciliation of employer refunds.
The aim of the reconciliation is to:
Revenue are hoping to commence the TWSS reconciliation in October. TWSS CSV reconciliation files will be uploaded to Revenue to enable them to reconcile the amount of subsidy paid to the employee against the amount refunded by Revenue.
In the interim, to assist in their future reconciliation, employers should continue to retain records of subsidy payments made to employees, records of subsidy refunds and tax refunds received from Revenue and hold any excess of the subsidy payments received for offset against future subsidy payments or for future repayment to Revenue.
In some cases, an employer may decide to repay to Revenue some or all the subsidy refund payment received from Revenue. Employers can repay excess subsidy values to Revenue via a new facility within ROS, this can be done under Payments & Refunds by selecting ’Submit a Payment’ and then TWSS (Employer). Customers should no longer use the Revenue bank account details previously provided for repayments of TWSS.
A new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1st September 2020. It is expected to continue until 31 March 2021.
For more information on the TWSS and EWSS register for our free webinar which takes place on 3rd September. We will be joined by Revenue to discuss what you need to know about both schemes.