Government supports overview

The summary below outlines some of the key supports that are relevant to tourism and hospitality businesses that have been put in place by government to assist businesses through the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As a member of the tourism industry, we know you have a lot of urgent questions about how COVID-19 is affecting your business, on everything from Government support to crisis management. This section is designed to help steer you through these uncharted waters and remind you that you’re not alone in this. 

A. Latest support scheme updates

1. Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)

CRSS has been extended to June 30 2021.

2. Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

The EWSS scheme has been extended to June 30 2021.

3. Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) & Enhanced Illness Benefit

The PUP scheme and the Enhanced Illness Benefit will both run until June 30 2021.

B. Tax considerations

1. VAT

The VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector has been cut from 13.5% to 9% with effect from November 1 2020 until 31 December 2021.

The 9% VAT rate will apply to the following:

  • Catering and restaurant supplies, including take-away food (excluding alcohol and soft drinks sold as part of the meal)
  • Hotel lettings, including guesthouses, caravan parks, camping sites etc.
  • Cinemas, certain musical and theatrical performances, museums, art gallery exhibitions, built and natural heritage, open farms
  • Admissions to fairgrounds or amusement park services
  • Facilities for taking part in sporting activities including green fees charged for golf and subscriptions charged by non-member-owned golf clubs
  • Printed matter e.g. newspapers, brochures, leaflets, programmes, maps, catalogues, printed music (excluding books)
  • Hairdressing services

2. Tax Warehousing

  • VAT and PAYE (employer) deductions
  • Liabilities incurred during restricted trading and the first bi-monthly VAT period after a business has resumed trading will be parked for a period of 12 months
  • Non-COVID related debts will be charged at a low interest of 3% p.a.
  • Business contacts Revenue
  • Helps with cashflow difficulties

Please contact Revenue to discuss warehousing debt and to find further details on the scheme.

C. Enterprise Support Grant

Enterprise Support Grant for Self-Employed Business Owners

The Enterprise Support Grant is available to assist eligible self-employed business owners with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to restart their business which was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Grant will be awarded to self-employed people who:

  • are tax and PRSI compliant
  • are not liable for commercial rates
  • have been in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and have closed their claim on or after 18 May 2020
  • have reopened their business which was closed due to the pandemic
  • employ less than 10 people
  • have an annual turnover of less than €1 million
  • are not eligible for the COVID-19 Business Restart Grant or similar COVID-19 business restart grants from other government departments
  • can produce VAT receipts/invoices in respect of business restart costs and expenses claimed, if requested to do so by the department.

Funding will be awarded for eligible costs up to a maximum of €1,000. Grants will be awarded on costs related to reopening your business, including safety measures, business advice or mentoring, repairs, fuel, and wages. Normal business costs are not generally included.

Find details of the scheme, including application forms, on the government website.

Application forms must be returned to your local Intreo office.

D. Commercial Rates Waiver

Commercial Rates Waiver

Commercial Rates Waiver

  • A 100% waiver, in the form of a credit in lieu of commercial rates will be applied to the rate accounts
    of all businesses, for a further three month period, up to the end of March 2020.
  • There is no application required for the waiver. Local authorities should automatically apply a 100% credit in lieu of commercial rates, for a six-month period, to classes and categories of occupied rateable property where the occupying business is not in an excluded category.
  • The waiver is applied automatically and no direct individual notice to ratepayers will be issued.
  • If you have already paid your rates bill for 2020, a refund or a credit towards the 2021 bill will be
    arranged by the relevant local authority

Businesses should contact their Local Authority directly with any queries relating to the scheme.