Would you like to receive an unexpected cheque in the post? And wouldn’t it be even better if it came from the Revenue Commissioners? At this time of year, coming after the expense of Christmas and with the new tax year upon us, wouldn’t it be lovely to receive a refund from the taxman, instead of the usual demand for payment?
Every year I am HEARTBROKEN to see the amount of tax people have overpaid, because reliefs have not been claimed, for whatever reason! Perhaps you are afraid to ‘rock the boat’, but I would really urge you to check it out. The legislation says you can go back and reclaim overpaid taxes for four years. So while the deadline for reclaiming for 2007 is now over, you still have the opportunity to re-assess the amount of taxes you paid during 2008 onwards, and obtain a refund if applicable, so here are a few of the most common reliefs which are regularly missed:
Medical & Dental Expenses: Relief for medical and non routine dental expenses (including Belfast & Budapest) can be claimed at 20% by submitting a Med 1 or Med 2 respectively.
Rent Allowance: If you are renting private accommodation you are entitled to a rent credit of €400/yr if single, €800 if married or widowed, and this doubles if you are aged over 55.
Third Level Fees: To a maximum credit of €1,000 subject to certain criteria.
Year of Marriage: If you have recently married, you may be entitled to a refund if the tax office were not aware of this, so make sure that you are re-assessed for the year in which you married, and any subsequent years.
Age Tax Credit: If you or your spouse turned 65 at any point during the tax year, you are entitled to the credit for the whole year, which amounts to €245, double this if you are married and either one of you turn 65.
Carers Allowance: If you care for an incapacitated child who lives with you, you can claim €3,300. If you are married and stay at home to look after a dependent (including a child) you can claim a tax credit of €810.
Refuse Charges: This relief was abolished in the recent budget, but is still allowed for the last four years, so if you have not claimed, you can claim a credit of €80 per year for bin charges you have incurred. There are other reliefs and credits available, depending on your circumstances, and the website www.revenue.ie is actually really helpful, and not too hard to navigate around. You can take a quick look around it, and find out quite easily if you feel you are due a refund. If so, the method of reclaiming your over paid tax is very straightforward. If you are in any doubt you can always contact your accountant.
Eilis having fun with George Hook