Workers affected by Covid-19 emergency urged to check if they are owed tax refunds 2 months ago

Workers affected by Covid-19 emergency urged to check if they are owed tax refunds

Brought to you by Irish Tax Rebates

Thousands of workers in Ireland have been affected by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but there could be a few quid available to help them through this difficult time.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on lives all around the globe and Ireland is no different.

While everyone is digging in and doing what they can to limit the spread of coronavirus, the economic realities of a new way of life have resulted in job losses, reduced hours or changes in circumstances for thousands of workers in a variety of sectors.

Income support measures introduced by the government will help, but workers have also been urged to check if they may be owed some money from the tax man, dating back as far as 2016.

Irish Tax Rebates are working to support people facing financial difficulties in the current climate and have already secured 6,000 rebates this week for customers who have had an abrupt change in their financial circumstances.

Tax refunds, for example, could be available to anyone to whom to categories below apply:

People made redundant or have had hours reduced

Due to the economic impact Covid-19 has had on thousands of businesses throughout Ireland, many people have had their hours reduced or have been made redundant.

For these people, now is the time to apply for a tax rebate. Your tax liability is calculated from 1 January to the date you last received your wages and is spread evenly throughout the year - meaning any tax credits that are not used during a pay period will carry forward to the next pay period within the tax year.

Therefore, if your income is reduced by sick leave or redundancy, you will have unused tax credits and are likely to be due a refund.

People who have unclaimed medical expenses

All PAYE workers are eligible to claim tax back on a host of medical expenses incurred over the last four years. Many people never get their money back on these expenses either because they are either unaware they can do so or they don’t know how.

You can claim up to 20% tax back on the costs of prescription refills, doctors’ appointments, maternity care and many more expenses. Moreover, if you are paying for nursing home care, either for yourself or a dependent, you can claim tax back at the higher rate of 40%.

As we're spending large amounts of time indoors in our homes at the moment, it is a great opportunity to gather old medical receipts and claim tax back from the Revenue Commissioners.

Workers with Flat Rate Expenses

Flat rate expenses, commonly referred to as ‘work expenses’, relate to costs incurred by employees on items that are necessary to complete their work such as uniforms, supplies, equipment and tools.

Many workers in industries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are eligible to claim money back for flat rate expenses including teachers, hairdressers, beauticians, retail workers and many more.

The most common flat rate expense is the costs of purchasing or laundering work uniforms. For example, cosmetologists (hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, nail technicians and stylists) could potentially claim up to €256 tax back for four years of costs incurred on purchasing their uniforms and any additional supplies they need to complete their work.

People who have paid education fees

Many people do not realise they can claim tax back on expenses and tuition fees for third-level education in Ireland. However, if you’re pursuing an undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree or even taking part in an IT or foreign language programme, you may qualify for tax back.

Likewise, if you are a parent or guardian who is financially supporting a dependent currently pursuing third-level education, you may be eligible to claim relief on these expenses.

You can claim up to 20% tax back on education fees for the last four years. With campus facilities closed down and many people are studying from home as a result, there has never been a better time to get this money back.

People who are married

Eight out of ten married couples are due a tax rebate depending on how they are registered with Revenue. In Ireland, married couples can choose whether they are jointly, separately or singly assessed for their taxation.

The benefit of joint assessment is the ability to transfer tax bands and credits between partners. This means you can reduce the amount of tax you have to pay at the higher rate, which could be a significant saving.

Additionally, some tax credits are worth double when you are married; however, this may vary from couple to couple, depending on their individual circumstances.

If you are unsure on how you’re being taxed as a married couple, now is a good time to review. It is important that both you and your partner apply for a tax rebate separately - this will help your accountant see the full picture of your taxes and identify how you can claim the highest refund possible.

People with unclaimed tax credits

Many people mistakenly believe that tax credits are automatically applied by the Revenue Commissioners. Unfortunately for them, this is not always the case, which means they might not receive tax back that they are owed.

Revenue will automatically apply the basic personal tax credit and PAYE tax credits; however, you are likely to be eligible for other tax credits that you may not have been made aware of.

One of the most common tax credits that goes unclaimed is the Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCCC). This applies to people caring for children on their own, and it is given to the person the child lives with for the whole or greater part of the year (over six months).

The Home Carer Tax Credit is another form of tax relief that is often overlooked. This credit is for married couples, where one person stays at home caring for a dependent person. The carer could then qualify for this tax credit, which will reduce the amount of tax they as a couple need to pay to the Revenue Commissioners. 

No time like the present to claim your tax back

While the safety of ourselves, our friends and our families is the priority during these uncertain times, the extra financial burden can make the uncertainty of the future even more stressful.

Claiming money owed to you in tax is a simple way to help ease any strain on your wallet during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are eligible to claim tax back for the last four years, you could be due a large rebate – and now is the time to claim it.

Irish Tax Rebates secure tax rebates for PAYE workers across Ireland who may have overpaid their tax and serves 250,000 customers in Ireland every year. More information is available on irishtaxrebates.ie.

Brought to you by Irish Tax Rebates