Cork Business Association Welcomes Amendments to Debt Warehousing Scheme, but urges Further Action is needed.

Cork Business Association Welcomes Amendments to Debt Warehousing Scheme, but urges Further Action is needed.

Cork Business Association (CBA) appreciates the recent adjustments made to the Debt Warehousing scheme by the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath. Dave O’Brien, CBA Spokesperson on Finance and Tax Partner at Quintas, emphasizes the significance of these alterations in supporting businesses, particularly those heavily reliant on the scheme.

“The reduction of the interest rate from 3% to 0% will undoubtedly provide a much-needed relief for businesses navigating financial challenges,” stated Dave O’Brien. “Furthermore, the commitment from Revenue to refund any interest payments already made by businesses is a welcomed gesture.”

CBA also acknowledges the flexibility introduced in payment terms, although we have expressed a preference for clearer guidelines. “While we appreciate Revenue’s pledge to be ‘pragmatic and flexible’ in payment plans, we would prefer a more definitive approach to ensure certainty for businesses. A straightforward 10-year payment plan would offer the predictability necessary for businesses to plan effectively.”

We are requesting and encouraging engagement from both members and non-members, and urge businesses to share their experiences with Revenue’s handling of payment plans with us. “It’s imperative that businesses communicate with CBA regarding their interactions with Revenue, as this insight will be invaluable in advocating for fair and feasible arrangements,” states Dave O’Brien. “We will relay any concerns or discrepancies directly to the Minister should we find that revenue are not as flexible as proposed.”

CBA also emphasises the importance of businesses proactively engaging with Revenue before the commencement of payments on May 1, 2024. CBA cautions that “Failure to engage may result in missed opportunities for favourable arrangements. Certainly we would expect longer payment terms than 5 years in a large number of cases. It is really important that businesses enter into arrangements that are affordable to them and not be forced into significant down payments at the beginning of the payment plan.”

While acknowledging these positive developments, CBA remains cognizant of the ongoing challenges faced by many businesses in Cork, particularly those in the hospitality sector. “While the adjustments to the Debt Warehousing scheme are a step in the right direction, there are broader issues such as energy prices, wage bills, and VAT rates that require urgent attention. We urge the Minister to address these concerns promptly to ensure the continued viability of businesses in our community.”

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