Further updates on Wages Subsidy AND a tax free payment for working from home €3.20

Good morning all. 

Unfortunately, there is still no confirmed instructions from Revenue as to what companies will qualify for the scheme (in relation to the particular vague wording of “Be experiencing significant negative economic disruption…” and “Be unable to pay normal wages”

In these circumstances, we suggest to clients who have been affected in any way to apply for the subsidy, and then let’s submit our case’s to why we did, and how it affected our business, on an individual basis, backing it up with the facts we have. 

Notwithstanding this, Revenue has not released guidance to the payroll software providers, thus currently we can’t process payroll UNLESS you do not want to wait and avail of the subsidy. I attach the note just issued from our software provider Thesaurus – one of the largest players in the Irish market. In summary, bear with us until the news is released, and we will process your March payroll if monthly or this weeks if weekly as quickly as we can – it may run into Monday, but it will be financially worth your while – you could advance employees some money today if you wished – classify it as a loan, not a wage payment as this would breach PAYE modernisation riles, although I honestly believe Revenue will be understanding in these extraordinary times

EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME – The E workers allowance

There is a tax-free payment/allowance of €3.20 per day that an employer may pay to an employee if the employee asks them to work from home. This was introduced many years ago primarily for people working in the tech sector who frequently worked from home. In the current circumstances where you may have employees working from home, you can, if you wish to pay the employee this amount – there is no obligation to pay it. If you decide to pay it, I suggest the employee merely lists on excel the dates they worked from home and multiply these number of days by €3.20 and you can then make a transfer from your bank without going through the payroll system. No receipts are required to support this payment. 

Secondly, an employee may ask the employer to contribute to light/heat broadband. In practice, this too is allowable and may be paid tax-free in addition to the €3.20. The general rules we in Guardian apply are that an employee may be paid 10 – 20% of light /heat/ESB etc and up to 50% of their broadband bill- the percentage will depend on their circumstances. 

If you do wish to pay these expenses, the employee should attach a copy of the bill they are claiming the % of. 

I hope the above helps, and thank you for your patience – we will process your payroll in time – do consider the loan option to employees if you normally pay people today. We will just deduct the loan from their net pay

Stay safe, get exercise, drink less, wash the car, cut the grass, clean the windows – if you can’t work (work is easier…). 

Download Subsidy Update (PDF)

Date Posted: 26 March 2020