Businesses part way through applying for the Resurgence Support Payment have been told they must finish their application by 5pm tonight or it will be wiped from Inland Revenue's system forcing them to restart the process again.
The scheme allows businesses to apply for $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees (max payout $21,500) while sole traders can receive a payment of up to $1900.
To qualify businesses have to have had a 30 per cent drop in revenue over a seven-day period since the start of the level 4 lockdown on August 17.
Businesses apply through the Inland Revenue site but those who had begun applying and saved their application into drafts were told yesterday they needed to complete their application by 5pm on Wednesday.
"If you still want to proceed with your application please complete and submit your application before then.
"If you are not able to complete your application prior to this time and date and still want to apply you will need to start a new application via "I want to" in your myIR account from Thursday morning."
An Inland Revenue spokesman said it was simply doing what it needed to in order to implement changes to the scheme's criteria.
Last Friday Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said it was reducing the requirement for businesses to be in operation from six months down to one month to qualify for the payout.
The Inland Revenue spokesman said the change in criteria would become active from 8am on September 9, 2021, on Inland Revenue's website.
"Newly eligible businesses must wait until that date before applying under this new criteria. Inland Revenue will contact businesses whose applications under the current RSP activation were previously declined because they had been in business less than six months, to let them know they may now be eligible and can submit a new application."
The spokesman said it needed to remove the draft applications as any application approved after today would need to follow the revised application process, which asks applicants to confirm a different declaration (that is, the new time-in-operation criteria) about being in business.
"We're moving as quickly and effectively as possible to ensure every business gets what it needs and is entitled to, as soon as possible."