Businesses are rushing to apply for up-to-date tax clearances so they can receive government energy subsidies by the end of the year.
Applications for eTax clearance from Revenue nearly doubled in November compared to a year earlier, with nearly 20,000 companies applying for certification.
The rapid increase follows the Government’s establishment of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) in Budget 2023 to help businesses cope with the massive surge in electricity and natural gas prices this winter.
According to Revenue, which manages the system, companies wishing to register for TBESS must have a current tax certificate or they will not be eligible for the benefits, which can amount to up to €10,000 per month.
Registration for TBESS opened last Saturday through Revenue’s online service and claims will be accepted starting next Monday. Payments will flow to eligible companies once the finance bill is signed.
Companies that submit qualifying applications for September, October, and November in the next three weeks will be paid before the end of the year.
This means that companies that do not have their documents in order in time could lose 30,000 euros in government support for this financial year.
According to the tax office, about 9,000 companies apply for tax clearance certificates every month – a simple administrative task that can be completed online.
But from September, when Budget 2023 and TBESS were announced, that number started to increase, to 11,249, then to 12,785 in October, and finally to 19,311 in November to date.
The highest total in 2021 was 12,861 in January, while the November figure was 10,485.
A spokesman for the tax authority warned that the figure does not necessarily represent only new applications, but includes both initial applications and renewal applications, for example when a tax exemption has expired or been revoked.
The Treasury has earmarked €1.25 billion for TBESS to help businesses deal with rapidly rising energy costs.
The program allows companies to reclaim part of the increase if their bills went up by 50 percent or more between September and February.
The program is the largest single item of expenditure in the 2023 budget and had to be approved by the European Commission before it could go into effect last week.
The program applies to a range of businesses, from large data centers to GPs and other professionals.
TBESS originally excluded anyone earning an income from a profession, such as lawyers, accountants and dentists, but an intervention by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar led to a change in the system.
“My government colleagues and I have heard from companies across the country how badly they really need this money – and we want to get it to them as soon as possible – ideally before Christmas,” Mr Varadkar said last Friday, announcing EU release .
“Therefore, I urge business owners and managers — have your invoices ready, have your tax certificates ready, and make sure your claim can be processed by the tax authority without undue delay.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/businesses-are-in-a-rush-for-tax-clearance-certificates-as-energy-subsidy-scheme-opens-42180767.html Businesses are in a rush for tax clearances as the energy subsidy program opens