By Pádraig Hoare
Business owners suffering from cashflow issues caused by last week’s weather have been urged to contact Revenue in a bid to mitigate the fallout.
Cork Business Association (CBA) and Isme urged owners to engage with Revenue, which said it was sympathetic to businesses struggling with working capital issues after Storm Emma.
Newly-appointed Revenue collector-general Joe Howley said he understood how severe weather can impact on the timely payment of tax.
He said: “When these cashflow-related challenges arise or are expected to arise for businesses, then early engagement with us is key to being able to minimise the stress and anxiety for those concerned. We are generally able to arrive at an accommodation that gets them successfully beyond the payment pressure point and able to focus on running their business.”
CBA president Philip Gillivan urged businesses in the region to contact Revenue as soon as possible.
“Revenue is your most important creditor, as in that they must be paid for you to stay in business. Nobody likes surprises, including Revenue, so if you are running into difficulties then it makes sense to inform them with as much notice as possible.
“Ensure you have a good accountant and can do forward cash-flow management so you can inform Revenue of a timeframe when you can pay them. Generally they are accommodating once you bring a solution with you as well as the problem,” he said.
Isme chief executive Neil McDonnell said he knew of some businesses who were “€40,000 in the hole” as working hours were lost.
Distribution and construction firms were particularly badly hit, he said.
“We are delighted to see this approach from Revenue. We have been having conversations with people facing a serious working capital shortage towards the end of the month.
“February was a short month and then they started off March by losing three to four working days. Many closed by lunchtime last Wednesday.
“There are some businesses in the hole for between €20,000 and €40,000. There will be pain,” he said.
Revenue said it was advising business owners who are facing cash flow difficulties and related tax payment difficulties to contact the collector-general’s office to agree mutually suitable payment arrangements.