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Sunday, 26 July 2020

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme Explained

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS for short) is a scheme put in place by Revenue to help employers keep their employees on the payroll during the Covid19 Pandemic. Employers who can avail of this scheme are those who have been negatively effected by the Covid19 Pandemic and may struggle to keep their staff employed (and paid) without assistance from the government.


The (very) basics of this scheme are that Revenue will pay your employer about 70% of your normal take home pay and your employer can choose to 'top up' your wages anywhere between 0% and 30% of the remainder. At the end of the day, you still get paid from your employer but in the background they have received some help in paying you this.

So you could still get 100% of your normal pay if your employer is topping up the remaining 30%? Yes...but also no.

Lets take Leo for example, Leo used to take home €500 a week pre-Covid, before tax he probably earned about €600 a week. If Leo's employer is availing of the TWSS his employer will receive a subsidy of 70% of his average take home wage, which is €350 and the employer can only pay Leo a maximum of €150 to bring him back up to €500.

But Leo is now only earning €500 a week. He still has to pay tax on the €150 his employer is paying him, this is taxed through the payroll every week like normal. But he is also liable for tax on €350 at a later stage (we'll come back to this).

As Leo has gone from being taxed on €600 a week to now being taxed on only €150 a week he probably doesn't get taxed much as his 'earnings' have gone way down, but he still takes home about €500 or perhaps a small bit less.


So how do you know if your employer has you on this TWSS?

Your employer doesn't have to directly tell you that they are availing of the scheme but they must clearly show on your payslip if you are on the scheme, (it's the law!). Your payslip will show what your employer is actually paying you (the €150 in Leo's case), which is usually called 'Basic Pay' or something similar and then another payment of the TWSS which will be called 'GovCov19 WageSub'.


How will Revenue tax the subsidy?

The tax on the subsidy will be calculated early next year in your P21 Balancing Statement. This balancing statement looks at your total earnings (normal pay & TWSS) and tax credits for the year. Revenue then calculates how much tax you owe on everything as a whole and reduces that tax liability by your tax credits and tax already paid through your normal wages. How much tax you pay is shown on your Tax Credit Certificate, which you can access online through 'MyAccount' on Revenue.ie.

Without getting too much into complicated tax lingo, most people who are on the TWSS will have unused tax credits which can offset some of the tax owed on the subsidy. Further ways to reduce a possible tax bill are by claiming tax back on medical expenses and the newly announced staycation rebate

Also it's worth noting that any tax that does arise from this subsidy will most likely not be sent to you in the form of a bill that has to be paid straight away. Revenue have not confirmed this but it's a likely scenario that if you do owe tax to Revenue, your future tax credits will be reduced by that much. This simply means that for the next few years you will have to pay a bit more tax than normal.

Lastly, as it's name suggests this scheme was meant to be 'temporary'. It was originally only scheduled to run until mid June 2020 and now it has been extended to December 2020. If you end up receiving a subsidy of  €350 a week for most of the year this could leave you facing a tax bill on approx €14,000! I'd like to think the government will put something in place to reduce this looming tax bill for us individuals, perhaps disregarding a certain amount of the subsidy or increasing tax credits.

There is constant changes and updates to the scheme, so all of the above is subject to change! Keep an eye on my Instagram @thelifeanstyleofjen for more info!

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Thursday, 9 April 2020

Quiz Questions




If you are looking to pass the time during this 'lockdown' a quiz is a great way to keep you and your friends and family entertained for an hour or so. I've done a few quizzes over the last few weeks and thought I'd help you out by sharing my questions.

Disclaimer: I found these questions from various different websites and previous quizzes.

A lot of these questions were done for my 'Decades Quiz' which I did at the end of 2019 to recap the events of the last 10 years, hence a lot of 'what year' questions!

We do the quiz using the HouseParty app. I just call out the questions and the other players write down their answers. At the end of each round I call out the answers and I trust no one has cheated and everyone marks their quiz correctly!

Reeling In The Years:

In what year was same sex marriage legalised in Ireland? 2015

In 2017, Robert Kelly an expert on South Korea politics went viral after what happened during a live interview with BBC? His kids burst into the room

In February 2018 we were hit by the 'Beast from the East' which covered Ireland in a thick layer of snow, what was the actual name given to the storm? Storm Emma

In 2010 how many miners were trapped underground after a cave collapsed in Chile? 33

A flight from which airline disappeared in 2014? Malaysian Airlines

In what country did a 2010 earthquake kill 250,000 people? Haiti

In what year was Osama Bin Laden killed? 2011

A huge fire engulfed which Parisian landmark in 2019? Notre Dame



Sport:

Coverage of the 2010 World Cup was blasted by viewers due to the sound of what long horned instrument? Vuvezula

Where were the last Olympics held? Rio de Janiero 2016

In January 2019 what footballer died in a plane crash? Emiliano Sala

What does 'deflategate' refer to? American Footballer Tom Brady ordered the deliberate deflation of footballs used to win a game

Who won the 2014 Fifa World Cup? Germany

If you bet €10 at odds of 5/2, how much would you get back including your stake if the bet was successful? €35

Sales of what item soared after football manager Gareth Southgate wore one during the 2018 World Cup? Waistcoats

Which Dublin football club faked a players death to get a match called off? Ballybrack

Who won the 2019 Superbowl? The New England Patriots



Pop Culture:

What year did Prince William & Kate Middleton get married? 2011

What name did Beyonce give to her first born child in 2012? Blue Ivy

Which actress fell up the steps on her way to accept an Oscar at the 2013 Academy Awards? Jennifer Lawerence

In what year was Kim Kardashian held at gunpoint in her Paris apartment? 2016

What Irish man won 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' in 2013? Kian Egan

What app's stock price took a nosedive after Kylie Jenner tweeted about not using the app anymore? Snapchat

In 2010 Lady Gaga accepted the 'Video Of The Year' award wearing a dress made out of what? Meat

How old was Amy Winehouse when she dies of alcohol poisoning in July 2011? 27

In 2019 Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) was jailed for what? College bribery

Who directed the 2019 Netflix film The Irishman? Martin Scorsese

What was Meghan Markle's royal title? Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex

Reginald Kenneth Dwight is the real name of what singer? Elton John

What UK celebrity died on Feb 15th 2020? Caroline Flack

In the Ice Age movies, what is the name of the woolly mammoth? Manny (short for 
Manfred)



Movies & TV:

'You is kind. You is smart. You is important' what movie is this quote from? The Help, 2011

What movie did Leonardo Di Caprio finally win an Oscar for? The Revenant

Which show premiered as the very first Netflix original? Orange is The New Black or House of Cards? House of Cards

Which actor starred as Batman's nemesis Bane in The Dark Knight Rises? Tom Hardy

In 2017 the film 'Moonlight' won Best Picture at the Oscars but which film was mistakenly announced? La La Land

Who replaced Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men in 2011? Ashton Kutcher

What is the highest grossing movie of the decade? Avengers Endgame



All Things Corona:

Name the lead singer of the popular Irish band The Coronas? Danny O'Reilly

What country does the beer Corona originate from? Mexico

A 'Mexican Bulldog' is a cocktail made up of an upside down bottle of Corona put into what other drink? Frozen Margarita

Corona is the name of a fictional kingdom in what Disney movie? Tangled

Apart from Germany what other country had to tell it's Big Brother contestants about coronavirus? Canada

Where did Tom Hanks and his wife contract coronavirus? Australia



General Knowledge:

What does a foley artist do? Movie/TV sound effects

Where is the Sea of Tranquility? The Moon

If you are celebrating your tin wedding anniversary, how many years have you been married? Ten

Where is Mecca? Saudi Arabia

What date is Fathers Day this year? June 21st

What does NASA stand for? National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Stay safe x
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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Lusso Tan Review

As it stands I have 15 bottles of fake tan in my possession. Different brands, different shades, liquids, mousses, lotions, you name it, I have it!
So when I got the chance to add another brand to my collection I was eager to see how Lusso Tan compared to some of my favourites.



Application
What excited me most about trying this tan is that I received a primer to use with the it, which initially seemed unnecessary, but thinking about it now, it kinda makes sense. You'd use a primer for makeup so why not one for your tan? This primer was just a clear liquid "to enrich the bronzing effect of any self tanning product or professional spray tan".



The brand has a few different types of tan to choose from and I was delighted to receive the mousse, which is always my preferred type of formula. Like with most other tanning mousses' the Lusso Tan applied smoothly and dried quick enough. I also give it top marks for not completely destroying my bed sheets, pyjamas and fiancée.

Result
No tan vs Initial application

While the tan wasn't initially too dark (above pic) it did develop nicely over night. It's not the darkest tan I've ever tried (not necessarily a bad thing), but it was extremely natural looking and I did notice my skin had a nice glow to it. It was completely streak and patch free, and my usually dry skin areas weren't showing patches like they would with some of the darker tans I've used.
No Tan vs After Showering
Chest after showering
Wear Off
I'd say I got a good solid three - four days of the tan before it gradually started to fade around my hands, chest and elbows.

No tan vs Day 3 tan
No tan vs Day 6

All in all I was highly impressed with the tan, it went on very well, developed nicely and lasted for the guts of a week. It wasn't too hard to come off either, it just took a light scrubbing with an exfoliating glove.

If you have been impressed by this review and would like to try the tan yourself you can receive 20% off with the code JEN20 when you order on https://lussotan.com/.

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*I did receive this product with the intention of reviewing, however this review is 100% my own opinion. I do not receive any commission from use of the above link.

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Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Monart Experience

Before visiting Monart I knew it was known to be one of the best spas in Ireland, so of course I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. Little did I know that Monart was more than a spa hotel, it was the spa hotel. Unlike most other hotels with a spa, if you are visiting Monart you are there for the spa, it's not just an added bonus. The whole place is almost a retreat, a detox or a slight break from reality.


Upon arriving at the five star Monart hotel, we pulled up outside the main door where two concierges were waiting, one to take our bags inside and one to park my car! For someone who is not used to five star service, I giddily handed over my car keys while trying to hide the numerous bottles of wine we were trying to sneak in with us. 
We took a few moments to take in the grandeur of our surroundings before we were welcomed by a staff member, who gave us our room information as well as a brief introduction to the hotel. 




As part of the hotel's aim to offer a completely relaxed experience, Monart doesn't have WiFi (except for in one common room). You are there to relax, the use of phones is not prohibited but not really encouraged. While it all sounds extremely strict and regimented, it's not like that at all. Having barely any signal and no WiFi was actually nice, but I was still whipping my phone out to take a few pictures. Another part of the Monart experience is the 'Monart uniform' which are luxurious white fluffy robes, to be worn all day, except for at dinner.



After we checked into our huge room we immediately put on our robes and headed to the spa for the afternoon. We spent our time going between the outdoor sauna, the infrared sauna, the steam room, salt room, foot bath and pool. We also popped in and out of the relaxation room where we could read (or snooze) with some fresh fruit and Voya tea.

 





Luckily for us the weather was on our side so we could sit out and enjoy our lunch while taking in the stunning garden views.



If you are wondering about the food, thinking all we ate was cucumbers, don't worry....it's not that kind of detox! Breakfast was included and was your usual buffet of cereal, fruit, yoghurt etc with hot food available to order from the menu. On our first night we dined in the main restaurant which offered unbelievable food (including dessert). But the best meal had to be our room service dinner which we enjoyed on our balcony, in our robes, drinking our prosecco.

 



The whole weekend was the most relaxing thing I've ever done. Every aspect of the hotel and spa was five star, including the attentive staff who were always on hand to bring us fresh robes or a bucket of ice for the multiple bottles of wine we brought with us. While I've been to a few other spa hotels, nothing compares to how chilled out and relaxed we were at Monart.


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