Experts at Taxback.com are urging PAYE workers to submit their tax refund applications since the Irish tax year ended on December 31. The tax professionals say that their current average tax refund is €880 for a PAYE worker but that as the Government has gnawed away at various tax reliefs over the last few years they expect that average to drop as the years go on.
According to Christine Keily of www.taxback.com, “With the austerity budgets over the last few years, it’s obvious that people are paying more tax than they were five years ago. This should really bring it home to people that they absolutely should claim back their entitlements.” Taxback.com say that although there have been a variety of cuts to tax reliefs in recent years many people are unaware of the fact that you can still reclaim tax as far back as 2010 when the tax reliefs were perhaps more generous.
Christine continued, “There is still a long list of tax reliefs available to people that could result in savings of hundreds of euro but many of these go unclaimed every year either due to a lack of awareness or apathy. A lot of people still find applying for a tax refund confusing or complicated, resulting in them paying more tax than is necessary and losing out on entitlements. Revenue has made attempts to educate taxpayers as to their entitlements regarding tax credits and reliefs. However, despite this we believe that there are still millions of euro going unclaimed each year.” Taxback.com say that three main reliefs that have been changed in the last few years - but can still be claimed for:
· While the rate at which tax relief can be claimed on medical expenses has been slashed from 41 per cent back in 2008 to 20 per cent, the relief is still available and can be claimed on most medical expenses incurred and on qualifying non-routine dental expenses.
· The tax credit for tuition fees is still available. For the years 2009 to 2010 the maximum tax credit available was €1,000. A change was introduced in the 2011 tax year where the relief does not apply to the first €2,000 of the qualifying fee or if less, the full amount. Similarly, for part-time courses the first €1,000 was disregarded in respect of each claim. These amounts were increased to €2,250 and €1,250 respectively for the 2012/2013 academic year. The maximum limit on qualifying fees remains capped at €7000 so the maximum credit available has been effectively reduced from €1000 to €950.
· The rent credit has been reduced to €200 for a single person in the year 2013 and the tax credit is set to be phased out by the end of 2017. Taxpayers still have an opportunity to claim the rent credit back to 2010 (for 2011 and subsequent years the relief will only apply if you were in rented accommodation on 07/12/2010 ) and should take advantage of this.
Other tax reliefs and incentives which have remained available are:
· Rent a room relief
· Exemption on income earned from caring for children in your own home
· Employment and Investment incentive (EII ) scheme
· Film relief is still available
· Capital losses are still allowable