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Workers on Covid-19 benefit payments face tax bills

A large number of full-time workers in receipt of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme or Pandemic Unemployment Payment face tax bills of between €150 and €2,828 by the end of the year, Taxback.com has warned.

The latest Taxback.com Taxpayer Sentiment Survey revealed that 57% of respondents receiving either payment are not aware that a future tax liability is building.

Of the 43% who said they were aware of the tax implications, feedback suggests that there is big possibility that they will not know what they will, or can, do about it.

Since its introduction in March, over 551,800 employees have been paid by the TWSS, while 517,600 have received the PUP. 

Taxback.com said the implementation of these supports was absolutely necessary and helped thousands of employers and employees alike.

But it added that the processing of payments fell short in its execution which will leave those in receipt of the payments out of pocket by the end of the year.

Marian Ryan, Consumer Tax Manager with Taxback.com, said that when assessing the impact, we were mindful of the immediacy with which the Government had to roll out the scheme, so anomalies were to be expected. 

“The issue, however, is that thousands of employees appear to be completely unaware of what is coming down the tracks,” she said. 

“The scheme was rolled out in good faith to see employers through the instability of Covid-19 – and to ensure they emerge from the downturn – but a biproduct of its expediency could see less money in the pockets of employees in 2021 and possibly 2022 depending on how the tax burden is spread,” she added.

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