Coronavirus: Revenue suspends interest on late payments for SMEs

Key pharma products get customs ‘green routing’; debt enforcement activity ceases

Revenue said no debt enforcement activity would take place until further notice.

The Revenue Commissioners has suspended the application of interest on businesses's late payments of VAT for the January-February return and late payments of employers' PAYE liabilities for February and March. It also said no debt enforcement activity would take place until further notice.

The Revenue said the measures would assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) experiencing cashflow problems and trading difficulties arising from the coronavirus crisis.

In updated advice to SMEs, it said it “appreciates that such difficulties can cause worries for businesses” about their tax compliance.

“It is important that businesses know that Revenue has a long history of working very successfully with taxpayers to resolve their tax payments difficulties,” it said in a statement.


But businesses experiencing temporary cashflow issues should continue to send in tax returns on time, the Revenue said.

Current tax clearance status would remain in place for all businesses over the coming months, it added.

Among its other moves, the Revenue indicated that a scheduled rate review of the relevant contract tax (RCT) paid by sub-contractors was suspended.

Importers of critical pharmaceutical products and medicines would be given customs “green routing” to facilitate uninterrupted supply, it said.

SMEs, for tax purposes, are businesses with a turnover of less than €3 million that are not dealt with by the Revenue’s large corporates or medium enterprises divisions.

Businesses other than SMEs that experience cashflow or trading difficulties should contact the Collector-General’s office, the Revenue said, or engage directly with its branch contacts.

Its guidance for businesses would be updated as the situation evolves, it added, and in good time before the March-April VAT returns and other payments were due.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics