A woman who received more than €6,000 in Covid wage supports to pay her childminder in 2020 has been told she must return the money to the tax authorities.
The PAYE worker sought the caregiver’s support after the country went into lockdown in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
She received €6,094 in just three months to pay for her childminder at home.
One of the Covid supports introduced by the government was the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). It offered financial support to employers to pay workers’ wages during the crisis.
In April 2020, the woman contacted the Revenue Commissioners, with the tax authority advising her on how to make a payroll claim under the TWSS in relation to the childminder, who was unable to perform her work under the lockdown rules.
Between April 30 and the end of July 2020, the woman received maintenance payments of 6,095 euros for her childminder.
It stopped receiving support when the TWSS program was replaced.
In November of the same year, the tax office wrote to the woman, telling her that she was not eligible for assistance from the TWSS because “her status as an employer [was] not related to the operation of a business”.
The Revenue Commissioners also told her that she appears to have failed “the 25 percent revenue decline test” required by the TWSS.
The tax office later told the woman that “the performance of household chores by an employee in a private household where the owner is the occupant of the private household does not constitute a business activity”.
The woman told the tax office that hiring her childminder was essential for her to be able to perform her role with her own employer. Regarding the “revenue reduction test,” she noted that her own employer had reduced her salary and that she equated that salary to her personal revenue.
But Revenue was undeterred. She demanded the repayment of the support and lodged a complaint with the Tax Appeals Commission.
However, it found that while the woman acted in good faith, she was not entitled to the assistance and must pay back the money.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/woman-told-to-repay-6000-in-covid-childminder-wage-supports-42150461.html Woman told to pay back €6,000 in wage support for Covid childcare workers