Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS): Revenue Webinar
Revenue hosted a live webinar event on the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) on Wednesday, providing information about the scheme, along with an explanation of the Registration and Claim process. Revenue also addressed questions submitted by event participants. A recording of the webinar and Revenue’s slides are available to view on Revenue’s website.
During the presentation, Revenue highlighted that where an applicant is selected for verification at Step 3 of the Claims process, it is mandatory for that applicant to upload all requested energy bills for the reference period and claim period. Where the requested energy bills are not uploaded, the claim may be delayed.
Revenue highlighted the various information resources available to taxpayers including,
Revenue can also be contacted via MyEnquiries or the TBESS helpline on 01-7383663 (from 9.30am to 1.30pm Monday to Friday).
During the Q&A, Revenue clarified a number of matters that participants had raised, which are outlined below.
Charities and Sporting Bodies: Revenue confirmed that all businesses must, at all times, hold an active income tax or corporation tax registration. This includes charities and sporting bodies, even where those charities have been granted an exemption by Revenue from income tax or corporation tax under sections 208(2)(b) and 235 TCA 1997, respectively. Revenue clarified that these trades should already be registered for income tax or corporation tax. Where this is not the case, these trades should now register for income tax or corporation tax. The tax registration will not trigger a requirement to file a tax return.
Deemed Reference Unit Price: Revenue confirmed deemed reference unit prices have been provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) (based on data provided by suppliers and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities) and are published in Appendix III of the TBESS Guidelines. The deemed reference unit price may only be used in specific circumstances, for example, where a business commenced to trade after the relevant reference period and therefore, does not have energy bills for the reference period. Where an energy bill for a reference period has been lost or misplaced, Revenue confirmed that it is not possible to use the deemed reference unit price. In such circumstances, the taxpayer should contact the relevant energy supplier to obtain a copy of the energy bill for the reference period.
Energy Bill Covers Part of Claim Period: In response to queries regarding energy bills that cover part of a month, Revenue confirmed where an energy bill covers only part of a claim period, then it will be compared with a proportionate amount of the electricity or natural gas costs for the reference period in determining the eligible cost amount. Taxpayers will need to enter the details from the energy bill for the current period and ROS will calculate the apportionment.
Single Undertaking: Revenue noted that some applicants had selected single undertaking in error when registering for the scheme and advised taxpayers to review the definition of a single undertaking, which is set out in paragraph 5.5.1 of the TBESS Guidelines, as the term has the same meaning as outlined in de minimis aid legislation under EU State aid rules. The Guidelines clarify that all entities which are controlled on a legal or on a de facto basis by the same entity, are considered a single undertaking. Where there is a group with several affiliated entities, the entire group (including the parent company and its subsidiaries and branches) may be considered as one single undertaking.
Multiple MPRNs/GPRNs: A query was asked in relation to the calculation of the average unit price for a business with multiple premises, each with their own MPRN. Revenue advised that each MPRN should be included in the Registration process to determine if there was a 50% increase in the average unit price for electricity or natural gas on the relevant bill as compared to the average unit price of electricity or natural gas in a reference period for each MPRN (or GPRN).
Estimates: Revenue confirmed where the energy bills in the claim period and/or reference period are estimates from the supplier, then the information from those bills can be used in the Claims process.
Interaction with Debt Warehousing and PPA: Revenue noted the scheme has been established to support businesses struggling with energy costs, and one of the features is that it supports tax compliant businesses. If there are any tax amounts awaiting collection on a business’ Revenue account, Revenue will use the opportunity to take the Temporary Business Energy Payment (TBEP) to offset and reduce those liabilities and repay the business the excess TBEP. Revenue confirmed that the TBEP will not be offset against any liabilities in the Debt Warehousing Scheme or in a Phased Payment Arrangement (PPA) where the taxpayer is continuing to satisfy the conditions of Debt Warehousing or the PPA. The TBEP will be repaid to the bank account provided as part of the Claims process.
Interaction with €600 Credit for Household Energy Bills: Revenue confirmed there is no interaction between the TBESS and the credit for household energy bills, as the credit relates to residential premises.
Where a business is operated from a residential premises, the business must apportion the energy bills between business use and household use for the purposes of the TBESS, as it would do for preparing its trading accounts.
Errors Identified at Registration Stage: Revenue noted some errors that have been identified during the Registration process include:
Taxpayers with one trade, but trading from multiple outlets should only register that one single trade and include the primary address for the single trade. Each outlet is not a separate trade.
Taxpayers with one trade or profession attempting to split the trade into multiple trades. Where a tax return has been previously filed by the business on the basis of one trade, the business cannot now split the trade into multiple trades for the purposes of claiming the TBESS.
Taxpayers inserting a percentage sign instead of the numerical value and the letter “o” instead of a zero on ROS.
Taxpayers selecting ‘single undertaking’ where the entity is not a member of a single undertaking for the purpose of the TBESS, as outlined above.
Claims Stage: Revenue advised taxpayers to review the Understanding Your Bill Guide to ensure the correct figures are entered into ROS and to avoid delayed claims. Revenue also advised taxpayers to review the information input before the Sign and Submit stage of the Claims process.
Payments can now be made as Finance Bill 2022 was signed into law this week. Revenue confirmed once the Registration process and Claims process have been completed correctly, payments are expected to happen in the third week of December.
Where taxpayers encounter technical difficulties registering for the scheme or making a claim, Revenue noted that enquiries in this regard can be sent via Revenue’s secure online MyEnquiries facility and selecting “TBESS”, or to contact the Collector-General’s Division helpline to resolve the matter.
We will continue to update members on developments on the TBESS in TaxFax and on our dedicated webpage over the weeks ahead.