Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)

Registration, operation and taxation of the TWSS

Note

The TWSS ended on 31 August 2020 and was replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme. The information on this page is for reference purposes.

Registration

Any employer, that had registered with Revenue for the Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme, were not required to take any action.

Other employers, or their agents, could register for the TWSS through myEnquiries in Revenue Online Service (ROS). They were required to make a self-declaration for eligibility.

Operation of TWSS

The TWSS operated in two phases.

Transitional phase (26 March to 3 May 2020)

When an employer ran their payroll for each employee they needed to:

  • set PRSI Class to J9
  • enter a non-taxable amount up to 70% of the employee’s net weekly pay to either a maximum of:
    • €410 per week where the average net weekly pay was less than or equal to €586
    • €350 per week where the average net weekly pay was greater than €586 and less than or equal to €960.
  • include in Gross Pay the amount of:
    • €0.01 if they were not making any additional gross payment
    • the additional payment
  • include pay frequency and period number.

Revenue credited employers with the TWSS paid to each employee based on:

  • the information provided in payroll submissions
  • adherence to the maximum limits.

Operational phase (4 May to 31 August 2020)

Revenue provided a Maximum Weekly Wage Subsidy (MWWS) for each qualifying employee. This was based on the employee’s Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP).

The information was downloaded from ROS as an Employer CSV file. The employer either:

  • imported the information into their payroll software
  • used the information outside of the payroll software to calculate the wage subsidy.

Where an individual had more than one employment, Revenue provided the MWWS to each employer.

Tax liability

The wage subsidy was not taxable in real-time through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.

The employee will be liable to Income Tax (IT) and Universal Social Charge (USC) on the subsidy amount paid to them in their End of Year review.

Week 1 basis

Revenue placed all employees that received payments under the TWSS on a Week 1 basis. This was to mitigate the possible impact on the employee's End of Year review.

Notifications to employers to operate the Week 1 basis were available in ROS from 21 June 2020.

Employee’s End of Year review

In an End of the Year Review an employee’s tax liability may be reduced or covered by:

  • any unused tax credits
  • additional tax credits they can claim, for example health expenses.

A refund of IT or USC might arise because of tax credits and rate bands. These refunds can be repaid by the employer and Revenue will refund this amount to the employer.

Note

There is information for employees about Tax liability in your End of Year Review in the Jobs and pensions section.

Penalties

There are penalties for:

  • self-declaring incorrectly
  • not providing funds to employees
  • non-adherence to Revenue and any other relevant guidelines.

Next: Rules for the rate of wage subsidy payable