The Irish Revenue has issued advice on the steps it is taking to help SMEs experiencing cashflow and trading difficulties arising from the impact of the coronavirus.

Revenue said that the application of interest on late payments has been suspended for January/February VAT and for both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities. All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.

Revenue advised that business experiencing temporary cash flow difficulties should continue to send in tax returns on time. Current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses over the coming months.

Revenue has suspended the Relevant Contract Tax (RCT) rate review that was scheduled to take place in March 2020. This process assesses the current compliance position of subcontractors in the eRCT system and determines their correct RCT deduction rate. As this process may result in a subcontractor’s RCT rate increasing, the review has been suspended. Subcontractors can however check if their rate should be lowered through the Revenue Online System (ROS), and then ‘self-review’ to get the lower deduction rate.

Critical pharmaceutical products and medicines will be given a Customs “green routing” to facilitate uninterrupted importation and supply.

Revenue advised that businesses other than SMEs who are experiencing temporary cashflow or trading difficulties should contact the Collector-General’s office, or Revenue’s Large corporates Division or Medium Enterprises Division, as appropriate.

Revenue will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation regarding the coronavirus. It will issue further updated guidance for businesses when required, and in good time before the March/April VAT returns are due.