Budget 2021: The CRSS scheme

2021 Budget introduced a new support scheme for businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The abbreviation for the scheme is CRSS and the full name is COVID Restrictions Support Scheme. The CRSS scheme provides support for businesses directly affected by the Level 3 or higher restrictions prohibiting or restricting customers’ access.

The sectors mainly impacted by the recent Level 3 restrictions are:

- Accommodation,

- Food

- Arts

- Recreation and

- Entertainment.

If the Government will decide to move the Level of restriction at 4 or 5 other sectors of the economy will qualify as well for the CRSS scheme.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said yesterday in his speech that he is “…very conscious that there are many sectors in our economy that have been particularly impacted by the Government public health restrictions. Indeed some specific sectors have been temporarily closed from the outset of the pandemic, such as entertainment and arts sectors as well as many pubs”.

Under the CRSS Scheme the Government undertakes to make a payment, based on the 2019 average weekly turnover to qualifying businesses. The qualifying businesses can apply to the Revenue Commissioners for a cash payment in respect of an advance credit for trading expenses for the period of the restrictions.

The scheme comes into effect on the 13th of October 2020 and will run until 31st March 2021. The first payments will be made to affected businesses by mid-November 2020.

Payments will be calculated based on 10 % of the first €1 million in turnover and 5 % thereafter of the average VAT exclusive turnover for 2019. The payments are subject to a maximum ceiling of €5,000 weekly.

As soon as the scheme becomes operational and a certain county or region is subject to Level 3 or higher restrictions, the businesses qualifying for the scheme in week 1 and can prove that they have a valid claim, will be repaid for the entire period of the restriction within two to three working days. The payment will cease automatically at the end of the COVID restriction period. If the restrictions are extended, qualifying businesses, may submit a new claim to Revenue.

The scheme will operate on a self-assessment basis and qualification is conditioned on the ability of the business to demonstrate that the turnover has been severely impacted; that is current turnover may not exceed 20 per cent of the turnover for the corresponding period in 2019.

The CRSS scheme operates on a self-assessment basis and it is the responsibility of the applicant to retain all relevant records to show that they comply with all conditions required by the CRSS scheme.


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