Revenue is reminding businesses that the Debt Warehousing Scheme remains available to support companies facing tax payment difficulties as a result of the current Covid-19 Level 5 public health restrictions. 

The Debt Warehousing Scheme allows businesses to "park" PAYE and VAT tax debts arising from the Covid-19 crisis, as well as self-assessed income tax amounts and Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme overpayments. 

These debts can be parked on an interest free basis for 12 months after resumption of trading. 

At the end of the 12-month interest free period, the warehoused debt may be paid in full without incurring an interest charge or paid through a phased payment arrangement at a significantly reduced interest rate of 3% a year.

This compares to the standard rate of 10% a year that would otherwise apply to such debts. 

Reveneu said that about 70,000 businesses are availing of the scheme covering €1.9 billion in tax debt. 

Collector-General Joe Howley, said that the move to Level 5 public health restrictions at the end of December is going to further impact in what continues to be a most challenging and uncertain time for businesses. 

He said the Debt Warehousing Scheme was designed to alleviate financial burden and to give businesses certainty regarding the payment of tax debts.

"Businesses that did previously avail of the scheme and subsequently resumed trading and paying their tax debts as they arose can recommence using the scheme if their trade has again been impacted by the latest restrictions," he said.

The terms of the scheme remain the same in that access is automatic for SMEs and on request for larger businesses, he added.