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Government publishes Finance (COVID-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022

On 4 March 2022, the Minister for Finance published the Finance (COVID-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022. The Bill will give legislative effect to the changes to the Covid support schemes, announced by the Government, in response to the public health restrictions, introduced from 21 December 2021 into January 2022. These include changes to, and extension of:

  • The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS);
  • The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS);
  • The tax debt warehousing scheme;
  • The application of the waiver of excise duty for special exemption orders for late licences from 26 January until 30 April 2022; and
  • Provides that the Covid-19 recognition payment recognition payment for healthcare workers will be not be subject to tax.

These measures are being implemented by the Revenue Commissioners on an administrative basis, pending this Bill.

A small number of other changes in the taxation and financial areas are also included in the Bill.


The Bill provides for the reopening of EWSS for certain businesses who would otherwise not be eligible and that such businesses can continue to be supported until the expiry of the scheme. Subject to meeting certain conditions, employers who previously availed of EWSS but who were no longer eligible could re-enter the scheme and receive support from 1 January 2022 until the scheme ends.

It also provides that businesses availing of EWSS that were directly impacted by the public health regulations introduced last December, will receive additional support under the scheme for a further month to assist those businesses as they fully reopen and emerge from the restrictions.

The overall support provided to date (3 March) by EWSS is over €7.60 billion, comprising direct subsidy payments of €6.57 billion and PRSI forgone of €1.03 billion to 51,900 employers in respect of over 719,900 employees.


The Bill provides that the turnover reduction criteria will be increased from no more than 25% of 2019 turnover to no more than 40% of 2019 turnover.

The CRSS will also be available to newer businesses established during the period 13 October 2020 to 26 July 2021 where eligibility criteria are met. Turnover for these businesses will be based on their average weekly turnover from the date of commencement up to 1 August 2021.

In addition, certain charities and sporting bodies who carry on similar trading activities to businesses are eligible to apply for CRSS for the most recent period of restrictions, December 2021 to January 2022.

Eligible businesses who reopened in January are eligible to claim a single restart week payment to assist them with the costs of reopening.

The CRSS scheme ended on 31 January and €727 million has been paid in respect of 25,600 premises under the scheme, including over €22.6 million in payments to businesses directly impacted by the latest public health restrictions in place in the December/January period.

Excise Duty Waiver

The Bill will implement the Government Decision of 21 January to waive the excise duty, associated with court fees, in respect of applications for Special Exemption Orders until 30 April 2022. The Courts have been applying the waiver on an administrative basis pending the enactment of the Bill.

Tax Debt Warehousing

The Bill provides legislative underpinning for the Government decision of 21 January that the period where tax liabilities arising can be warehoused would be extended to 30 April 2022 for all taxpayers eligible for the Covid-19 support schemes.

This will allow businesses who have been most impacted some additional time to recover before their tax liabilities have to be paid. Their period of zero interest will therefore commence from 1 May 2022 until 30 April 2023, with interest at the reduced rate of 3% p.a. payable thereafter until the debt is paid down.

The Bill provides that the period where tax liabilities arising can be warehoused would be extended to 30 April 2022 for all taxpayers eligible for a number of listed Covid-19 support schemes.

If a taxpayer is in receipt of another Government support scheme which is not listed above, the taxpayer can apply to Revenue for the warehousing extension and give details of the scheme. If Revenue considers the scheme is along the same lines as the above schemes, involving a non-refundable Covid-19 related financial support, Revenue will grant the extension and add the scheme by order to the list of Covid-19 support schemes for the purposes of eligibility for extended tax debt warehousing.

Stamp Duty – Properties designated as cost rental dwellings

The Bill provides for a partial repayment of stamp duty charged at the higher 10% rate for residential properties that are designated by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage as “cost rental dwellings” subsequent to being acquired. This will support the delivery of social and affordable housing in the State.

Central Bank Registers

The Bill makes provision for the funding of the Central Bank Central Mechanism for Information on Safe-Deposit Boxes and Bank and Payment Account and in the operation of the Register of Beneficial Ownership of Certain Financial Vehicles which are required as part of the transposition of EU anti-money laundering Directives.

The Bill can be accessed here, with an accompanying Government press release here. If you have any questions on the Bill and its impact either for you or your business, please do not hesitate to reach out to your normal Deloitte contact.

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