TaxAssist Accountants has broadly welcomed the initiatives announced in Budget 2021 for the hard-hit SME sector.
With the twin threats of COVID-19 and a No Deal Brexit looming large for SMEs the length and breadth of the country, Budget 2021 offered an opportunity for the Government provide a lifeline to businesses battered by the unprecedented events of 2020.
Several initiatives were announced for small business to help them weather the economic headwinds including:
- A €3.4 billion Recovery Fund to stimulate increased domestic demand and employment.
- A new COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) which will pay up to €5,000 a week to businesses forced to close temporarily because of Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions or higher from Budget Day.
- An extension of the tax warehousing scheme to include repayments of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme funds and 2020 Preliminary Income Tax bills.
- The reduction in VAT for the hospitality sector to 9 per cent from 01 November
- A commitment to put in place a Wage Subsidy Scheme to run to 31 December 2021 once the existing Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme expires on 31 March next.
Michael Scanlan, Technical Manager at TaxAssist Accountants stated “small businesses were crying out for help from the Government with cashflow being the most pressing issue facing many industries due to extended business closures, or reduced footfall for those businesses still able to trade.”
He continued “Budget 2021 outlined an ambitious plan to try and rescue those businesses worst hit by COVID-19 and Brexit”
Scanlan did sound a note of caution when he said “while the initiatives and figures look good on paper, these schemes must be easy to access and administered efficiently to be of any benefit to the SME community.”