If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

Employers! Have your employees been in receipt of the pandemic payments? Here’s how you can help to reduce their tax bill

#TaxTipsIreland #Featured

  • TWSS and EWSS considered a taxable form of income
  • However, payments were not taxed at source
  • Most full-time workers in receipt of pandemic payments face tax bills from 2022
  • Taxback.com can help your staff to reduce their tax liability


Since their introduction in March, more than 65,000 employers and over 550,000 employees have availed of the COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) or Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).

Through these schemes, employers continued to pay qualifying employees using the usual payroll process and were then reimbursed by Revenue (to a maximum of €410 for each staff member).

However, unlike typical salary payments, income tax and USC were not deducted at source from TWSS or EWSS payments made to employees.

With this in mind, Revenue has announced that workers in receipt of these payments must repay the taxes owed over a four-year period, beginning January 2022.

Major shock

This development will have no doubt come as a major shock to many workers across Ireland.

A recent Taxback.com Taxpayer Sentiment Survey revealed that more than half of COVID support payment recipients were not aware that they would incur a future tax liability.

Employees will have the opportunity to pay the amount owed to Revenue directly. However, if an employee declines to pay their tax bill, Revenue will collect the liability, interest free, by reducing their tax credits over a period of four years.


'Squeezed middle' to be worst affected

The impact of the pandemic payments can vary considerably depending on personal circumstances and certain cohorts of workers will be affected more than others.

The good news is that those on low incomes (below the income tax threshold of €16,500) should be largely unaffected. However, those with incomes between €35,000 and €70,000 (previously labelled "the squeezed middle") are likely to suffer a major financial blow.

Pandemic payment tax liability case studies


 Salary  Estimated income tax underpayment

Hospitality Sector Worker

€21,008  -€309.22

Retail Shop Assistant

€23,000 -€435.92

Construction Worker

€35,000 -€1,334.25

Marketing Executive

€41,000 -€1,365.43

Office Administrator

€42,891 -€1,546.36

Sales Manager


Project Manager

€65,000 -€2,836.92

Structural Engineer

€68,111 -€2,855.32

Financial Controller 

€96,189  -€2,828.59

Chief Operating Officer

€115,000 -€2,822.59

How to reduce your employees' tax bill

Revenue has enabled employers to pay their employees' 2020 tax liabilities if they wish.

In order to pay your employees' tax bill you can:

1) Provide funds to each employee to cover their tax bill. Individual employees will then be responsible for paying their liability to Revenue

2) Amend your final payroll submission of 2020 and add additional 'IT paid' and 'USC paid' to match the liability shown.

In both cases listed above, each employee will be required to complete an Income Tax Return for 2020.

Claiming tax relief

After what has been a difficult year in almost every sector, many employers may find themselves in a position where they cannot cover tax liabilities for their employees.

Such employers can instead support their staff by taking measures to ensure they are aware of the various types of tax relief that can be claimed to reduce their tax bill.

A wide range of tax reliefs – such as medical and flat rate expenses, tuition fees, e-worker relief and more – are available to be claimed by eligible workers.

The average Irish tax refund is €1,880. As we have outlined above, this would substantially reduce, if not remove entirely, the tax owed by many employees.

However, countless workers are unsure of exactly what they can and can't claim. The result is thousands of euro in tax relief going unclaimed every year.

This is where Taxback.com can help your staff. We can help your employees to claim their tax back in Ireland.

How Taxback.com will support your employees

Tax filing services

Our team will conduct a full four year tax review for each employee, ensure they are claiming every tax relief they're entitled to, file their tax return and minimise their tax bill (your employees may even be entitled to claim a tax refund!).

Online tax clinics

We will host a 60-minute online tax clinic exclusively for your staff. In this webinar, we will cover everything your staff needs to know about claiming every relief they're due and minimised their COVID tax liability.

24/7 tax guidance

We will offer 'round the clock tax guidance to each employee through their personal account manager, email support and 24/7 tax help from our Live Chat team. Finally, we will also provide a series of helpful tax filing guides for you to share with your staff.

Learn more about our service

To find out more about how Taxback.com can help your employees to reduce their pandemic payment tax liability, contact our team today here.

About The Author

Mark Corcoran - Digital Content Executive @ Taxback.com

Mark is the Digital Content Executive at Taxback.com. Since graduating from Griffith College Dublin with a degree in Journalism and Visual Media, his work has been published both in print and online.

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