56% of employers who availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme were overpaid under the scheme, and owe a total of €224m to the Revenue Commissioners by the end of June.
This is according to the latest figures published by Revenue today.
66,500 employers availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme on behalf of 664,000 employees – at a cost of €2.9 billion – between March and August of last year, when it was replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.
The scheme was designed to assist employers and employees impacted by the Covid-19 virus, and to encourage companies to keep their workers on the payroll.
It offered a maximum weekly subsidy of €410 a week for eligible employees, but in the rush to put supports in place, Revenue said that “many employers received a payment that exceeded the subsidy correctly due”.
On signing up for the TWSS, employers had to issue a declaration that they would repay any excess subsidy payments arising – with a reconciliation of subsidy payments made taking place when the scheme ended.
Today Revenue advised that following extensive engagement with employers, most can now access their TWSS reconciliation balances in Revenue’s Online Service ROS based on the actual information provided by them to ascertain if any overpayments are due.
Of the €224m in reimbursements due from overpayments to employers, around €90m has already been repaid to the Revenue.
41% of accounts were correctly balanced, meaning neither a reimbursement nor an underpayment is due.
The remaining 3% of employers underclaimed and are due additional
payments worth around €1.4m. This money will be paid into their accounts
as soon as they accept their reconciliation calculation.
“Recognising the demands and challenges faced by employers and their tax agents in this current economic environment the reconciliation information is available to review and finalise until 30 June 2021,” the Head of Revenue’s Accountant General’s and Strategic Planning Division Brian Boyle said.
Provisional statistics reveal that 90% of all TWSS employers have now returned the required data in relation to TWSS subsidies paid out.
However, those who have not are estimated to owe repayments totalling around €77m.
Mr Boyle warned that the “relatively small” number of employers who had failed to engage adequately with Revenue regarding TWSS payments and data associated with them will be deemed liable to repay the entire subsidy received.
“If the information is not provided, then the total TWSS payment received by them over the course of the scheme, as reflected in the reconciliation balance, is fully repayable to Revenue,” he confirmed.
The Revenue recommend that employers should engage as soon as possible to address this, in order to reduce their liability for repayment of all subsidies.
Mr Boyle also advises that employers liable for an overpayment and who are eligible to avail of the Debt Warehousing Scheme can warehouse the TWSS reconciliation balance.
“Other employers, not currently availing of debt warehousing and managed by Revenue’s Medium Enterprise and Large Corporates Divisions, may apply to warehouse their TWSS reconciliation balance if they meet the general criteria of the Debt Warehousing Scheme,” he said.
“Employers not availing of the Debt Warehousing Scheme can pay their outstanding reconciliation balance on ROS or alternatively can apply for a Phased Payment Arrangement and pay the amount owed over an extended timeline,” he added.