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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2020-45/1421 Updated – measures in Ireland

Supports for self-employed individuals introduced in the budget

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 November 2020 – 31 March 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 11 November 2020 (updated 03 February 2022)

Background information

Budget 2021 introduced a number of measures to support self-employed individuals in the pandemic. This included the extension of the debt warehousing scheme - which allows self-employed taxpayers to defer payment with no interest applying - introduced as part of the July stimulus plan. Self-employed people will also be entitled to earn some income without impacting their claim for Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). Read more on the (PUP) on the COVID-19 data base website

Content of measure

As part of Budget 2021, there was an extension of the tax debt warehousing scheme to include repayments of Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme funds owed by employers and preliminary tax obligations for the adversely affected self-employed. Debts that are warehoused are subject to 0% interest for 12 months. After this 12-month period, a reduced interest rate of 3% per annum will apply. If income for 2021 is also at least 25% lower than income for 2019, the balance of 2020 IT and Preliminary Tax for 2021 can also be warehoused.

In addition, self-employed recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be able to earn up to €480 per month without losing their payment.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

20 December 2021

The Debt Warehousing Scheme was extended by three months until 31 March 2022 (instead of 31 December 2021).

Use of measure

No information.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


Not applicable.

Views and reactions

The Small Firms Association (SFA), part of Ibec said "Self-employed business owners will welcome the reliefs announced today, which show the Government’s commitment to indigenous entrepreneurs."


  • 16 October 2020: Revenue eBrief No. 190/20 (
  • 01 November 2020: Self-employed debt warehousing to the extended (
  • 21 December 2021: Revenue update on claiming support under CRSS and EWSS and availing of the Debt Warehousing Scheme (


Eurofound (2020), Supports for self-employed individuals introduced in the budget, measure IE-2020-45/1421 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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