Tax is one of these things that people always talk about but don’t know where to start claiming tax back. So for that reason, many don’t bother pursuing their tax back unless they are forced to do so by someone. By taking on this laid-back approach you could be losing out on money that could be used towards household improvements, a holiday, paying a loan off earlier etc. According to taxback.com, the average refund is €1076.17.
There are numerous types of tax relieves available, but the five most common ones are medical expenses, overpayment of PAYE and USC, home carer tax credit, tuition fees and special dietary requirements.
20% can be claimed back on the majority of medical expense that you haven’t already been reimbursed for. This includes non-routine dental expenses. Dental treatments such as filings, cleaning, tooth extraction and denture work are deemed routine dental treatments so will not be reimbursed.
However, you can claim for routine everyday medical expenses such as GP visits, prescriptions, cost of being in a nursing home and speech and language therapy for kids. Make sure that you keep all receipts as you may be asked to show proof in the future.
Overpayment of PAYE and USC
When paying PAYE and USC you may be unknowns to yourself be paying too much tax. Many people simply haven’t applied for refunds, don’t even realise they are on emergency tax. If you have changed jobs or work several jobs your tax credits might be incorrect or you could have paid emergency tax and not requested a refund.
To figure out if you are owed a tax refund you can do so by requesting a P21 at the end of the year for the previous year. This all can be done online on the Revenue Commissioners’ website or you can choose to work with independent companies such as taxback.com that get in touch with Revenue for you. However, independent companies may take a percentage of your returns.
Do note that there is a chance that you underpaid on your taxes. Revenue will come looking for that money. Many workers can get flat rate expenses for example electricians get €153 a year and nurses who supply and launder their own uniforms can claim a deduction of €733 in their tax liability each year. You can apply online for flat rate expenses for the current year and for the last four years.
Home Carer Tax
A tax many people are not aware of is the home carer tax credit. This allowance can be claimed by a stay at home parent who is looking after their children or a dependent person. The max annual tax relief you can get is €1,200 but if you earn more than €7,200 in a year that figure is less depending on how much you make.
If you are paying for tuition fees be it a part-time or full-time course for yourself or your child you might be able to get some tax relief. Anyone who is paying for third-level fees can claim tax relief on tuition fees that are paid for eligible education courses. The tax relief rate is 20% but only applies to amounts over €3,000 and is capped at €7,000 per third level course.
Whoever officially pays the fees are the ones whose tax it will go against. It doesn’t apply to exam, registration or admin fees.
Special dietary requirements
You can claim tax relief if you have any special dietary requirements that require you to buy certain foods such as being coeliac or having to buy diabetic products. This needs to be signed off by a doctor that you need these foods in your diet. So, you must give a letter from your doctor to Revenue and hold onto the relevant receipts which can be stored on RevApp’s receipt tracker.
How do I go about this?
There are a few options to go about this. Firstly, you can do it yourself for free on the Revenue’s section ‘myAccount’ service. Make sure to have your PPSN close by when registering. Register your bank account details with revenue. So if you are due a refund then it will go straight into your account. There is the option to get a company to do it on your behalf. However, they take a percentage fee of the refund amount.
Do remember that there is a four-year time limit for claiming tax refunds, so be sure to put your claim in straight away.