The Revenue Commissioners have warned employers that they must have a Tax Clearance Certificate if they wish to continue to receive State payroll subsidies after September 1.

The Government's Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) which expires next week has cost the State almost €2.74 billion, according to the latest Revenue figures. 

They reveal that 365,000 employees are currently having their wages supported through the TWSS, down from 410,000 at the peak. 

However, from Tuesday, the TWSS will be replaced by the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), for which 12,100 employers have already registered - with 4,000 applications today alone. 

Employers qualifying for EWSS must have a Tax Clearance Certificate - and 14,800 employers have already applied for clearance. 

However, around 15,000 employers currently availing of the TWSS do not have tax clearance, as their businesses may not have required it up to now.

Those employers are urged to seek clearance urgently through the Revenue Online Service in order to remain eligible for the wage support. 

The head of Revenue's medium enterprises division Orla Fitzpatrick stressed that applying for tax clearance and registering for the EWSS are two separate processes. 

"Both processes need to be completed before an employer can access EWSS supports. Additionally, employers who are currently claiming the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) must separately register for the EWSS as different eligibility conditions apply to both schemes," she advised.

The EWSS will deliver a lower level of income support, though to a broader range of workers including new hires, seasonal workers and those on a higher level of pay.  

While the TWSS provided wage subsidies of up to €410 per week per worker subject to salary, the EWSS delivers a lower subsidy of either €151.50 or €203 per worker.

The TWSS applied to most employees earning under €960, but the EWSS will cover staff earning above €151.50, and below €1,462 per week - ruling out supports for some lower paid or part time workers. 

In addition, there will be a longer timeframe of up to six weeks before employers receive the wage subsidy in arrears, compared to around 48 hours turnaround at present.

Qualifying EWSS employers must also be able to demonstrate that their business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between July 1 and December 31, 2020 due to Covid-19. The required reduction under the TWSS was 25% or more. 

Where not all taxes can be paid, some may be "warehoused" and the employer can still avail of the EWSS if a phased payment plan has been put in place. 

Where such a plan is put in place before September 30, a lower interest rate of 3% will apply, compared with the usual rate of 8-10%. 

Today's TWSS figures confirm 69,500 employers have registered for the scheme since it was launched on March 26 as the coronavirus took hold and of those, over 66,200 have received at least one subsidy payment under the scheme. 

Howeverr, an estimated 20,900 employers employing around 169,100 people have left the scheme. 

240,700 employees received a subsidy during the last week, though that weekly figure can vary depending on whether workers are paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly. 

120,800 people who were claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment have moved to TWSS-subsidised employment, though 22,000 who were in TWSS employment have been laid off and are now receiving the PUP.