Professional companies can be included in government subsidy programs to help businesses pay winter fuel bills

Professionals such as doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants are set to be included in the government’s new business energy subsidy scheme after initially being excluded, the Irish Independent has learned.

Businesses that make money through the pursuit of a profession or vocation — known as case 2 earnings — now have access to the $1.25 billion.

The changes mean the program, originally announced last month as part of the 2023 budget, will now potentially bring thousands more employers into the program, potentially saving jobs but increasing costs to the state.

Leo Varadkar last week alerted Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe to the exclusion of professionals, noting that professional firms “pay interest, they have employees and they pay taxes”.

“The Tánaiste has raised this matter with Minister Donohoe and has received confirmation that it is possible to bring Case 2 (occupations and appointments) into scope,” the Enterprise Department said yesterday.

“Increasing the scope of the program will impact the overall cost of support. The details of TBESS will be confirmed in the Finance Act.”

The following is the reporting in the Irish Independent Highlighting exclusion and lobbying to change it.

Thousands of medical practices, dentists and optometrists – as well as accountants, lawyers, engineers, architects and financial advisors – are currently ineligible for TBESS, which promises to pay companies with skyrocketing energy costs a maximum of €10,000 a month.

However, the proposed system only covered so-called case 1 income – money a company earns through trading. Professional services are categorized by Revenue as a case 2 business, leaving them outside of its purview.

With energy bills doubling for many SMEs in the last year, the difference could mean thousands of euros for some businesses. Professional companies can be included in government subsidy programs to help businesses pay winter fuel bills

Fry Electronics Team

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