Revenue to start removing inactive firms from EWSS

Revenue is automatically deregistering companies from the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) if they have not made any claims for pay dates after June 30.
Revenue is issuing notices to all affected employers today and Tuesday informing them of their change in status.
The action follows a review by tax officials that found many companies registered for the scheme had stopped using it without formally signing off.
The eligibility update means companies that get kicked off the rolls will have to reapply to the scheme if their financial circumstances worsen and they need to take wage subsidies again.
According to data published yesterday by Revenue, 36,300 employers are still registered for EWSS payments, while 19,100 companies were previously registered but have left the scheme.
However, not all of those registered continue to use the scheme to subsidise their payrolls, reflecting the economic recovery since the lifting of Covid restrictions in summer.
So far this month, 20,400 businesses have collected EWSS money in support of 231,400 jobs, although those numbers could rise in the final pay period of the month. The number of employers using the scheme has been declining steadily since June when 34,700 businesses availed of the supports.

To date, the EWSS has paid out €6bn in wage supports. The biggest month for payments was last July, when the scheme disbursed €453m on behalf of 343,000 workers.

EWSS replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) in September last year. The final bill for TWSS, which was based on a flat-rate payment for all subsidised workers, was €2.9bn.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced on Budget Day that the EWSS would be extended an extra four months until the end of April 2022.
However, the scheme will be closed to new entrants from January 1, meaning only businesses enrolled in the programme at the end of the year will be permitted to use it next year.
Any employers that are deregistered in the coming days will only have a two-month window to get back into the scheme if they wish to benefit from the supports in the new year.
Revenue officials said in August they believed certain employers no longer qualified for the scheme due to improved business performance and had simply stopped claiming.
But because businesses are required to deregister from the EWSS when they are no longer eligible, many of these were still being counted as part of the scheme.
Revenue conducted an EWSS eligibility review exercise after the scheme was extended beyond June as part of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Firms were required to submit eligibility review forms to continue receiving subsidies for pay dates after June 30. They also had to begin submitting monthly financial statements in arrears to keep getting the payments.
Thousands of registered employers failed to engage with Revenue, despite two deadline extensions and a telephone campaign to businesses and their tax agents to solicit the necessary paperwork. More than 4,000 businesses had their wage subsidy payments withheld in the first week of September as a result.