As there is a four year limit on claiming Income Tax refunds, 31 December 2018 is the deadline date for filing your 2014 return if you are entitled to a refund. If you file your claim after that date you will not receive any refund.
In 2017 Revenue stated that refunds on tax credits totalled €27.6m. The average refund is about €900/€1,100.
It is opportune that you check your position for 2014 and subsequent years to ensure you receive your correct tax credits and allowances for items such as medical expenses, nursing home fees, tuition fees or flat rate expenses.
The following are the main items generally not claimed by taxpayers.
Flat Rate Expenses
As you may be aware, Revenue are reviewing expense related tax reliefs with 1 January 2020 as the introduction date for the new regime which could adversely affect over 80,000 employees.
Allowable flat rate expenses are provided to cover the cost of expenses incurred when a taxpayer is carrying out his work e.g. orchestra workers have an annual allowance of €2,476 and medical doctors €695.
Only employees can claim flat rate expenses.
The standard advice given to a taxpayer regarding medical expenses is to keep all receipts for medical and related matters as a claim can be made for much more than doctor and dentist bills.
A claim can be made for the cost of special dietary food if you are medically required to be on a special diet; speech and language therapy; wheelchair lifts, wheelchairs, and exercise bikes if medically required; IVF; acupuncture; psychologist fees; psychotherapist fees; cost of overnight accommodation if necessary for a child’s medical treatment; transport costs to/from hospital and transport costs for child visitations.
If a taxpayer has health insurance and is reimbursed for most of his medical expenses, he may still claim tax relief on the unreimbursed expenses.
The range of health expenses you can claim for is extensive and it is advisable you let your accountant make the appropriate claim for you as he will know what conditions apply.
You should always check your tax credits and tax bands if there has been a change in your circumstances whether relating to maternity leave, unemployment, additional employment or changing employers. The correct tax credits might not be applied, and more tax/USC levied than is necessary.
If you are caring for a relative, you might be entitled to the Home Carer tax credit even if the person is not living with you.
If you require further information, please call Una Beecher on 021 431 0266.