More than five in 10 people do not claim the tax reliefs and refunds they are owed on a yearly basis.
This is one of the headline findings from latest Taxback.com Taxpayer Sentiment Survey 2022. The tax refund specialist released the results of the survey ahead of the second Taxback.com Employee Wellbeing Summit, which took place on April 5.
The Taxback.com survey also found that almost eight in 10 people are unaware of Flat Rate Expenses (FREs ) – the tax relief that exist to help tens of thousands of workers across a broad range of professions to offset costs of uniforms and equipment required for the course of their work; 17 per cent of people said they have only ever claimed tax refunds once in their life, while 11 per cent said they only do it “very sporadically”, and one in five have either not set up a Revenue online account and/or do not know what this is.
"It’s surprising, and somewhat alarming, to find that almost half of us are still not claiming back our tax refund at the end of the year. This figure should be much, much higher. However, the data speaks for itself – it’s clear that people remain uncertain, reticent, and/or unwilling to approach the topic of their taxes, often for fear of the process complicating their lives more. This is a misnomer we very much want to quash as, for the vast majority of people, we find that there is money owed to, not by, the taxpayer.
"We have witnessed this reluctance on the part of the employee through the roll out of our Employee Financial Wellbeing initiative. This programme was launched last year, in order to equip employees with the knowledge and know-how to enable them to put their personal tax affairs in order, and to ensure they are in receipt of any and all refunds and reliefs available to them.
"Our discussions with employees showed that people are slow to act when it comes to tax. However, we have since submitted tax returns for thousands of workers who participated in the programme and the average refund amount received to date amounts to €1,250, with the highest individual refund being €7,400. This is a lot of money to be leaving in the hands of the taxman. Furthermore, the longer you leave it the less likely you are to apply at all, and you also run the risk of going past the four year deadline," Barry Cahill, director of Taxback.com’s Employee Financial Wellbeing Service, commented.