Have you ever got caught in the crossfire between two relations in the throes of a verbal tête-à-tête about who pays more taxes? It can oftentimes be an entertaining exchange of raw emotion and sheer frustration.
But despite how good it feels to scream bloody murder about Form 12, and despite our complaints about how much tax we pay, it’s well known us Irish don’t avail of all the tax incentives and reliefs that are open to us. One of which is the simple tax refund!
And the good news is you still have time to apply for one, a move that could potentially save you thousands of euro and put more money in your pocket this side of Christmas. But do hurry, as the deadline for claiming for 2015 is closing in!
So what do you need to know?
With December 31st fast approaching, it’s important to note that this is the last two weeks to avail of a tax refund for the 2015 tax year. That's because tax refunds can only be claimed for up to four years so if you still want to avail of a potential lump sum from 2015 make sure to apply as soon as possible.
After the end-of-year deadline, you can still claim for the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The good news is that applying for a tax refund has never been easier. By far the easiest way to claim a refund is by going online to revenue.ie and using the PAYE services in myAccount, or through the RevApp.
If you’re not already registered for myAccount, registration can be completed easily on the Revenue’s website.
You can check if you are due a refund for the past four years by simply requesting an ‘End of Year Statement’, or form P21, which is a literal click of a button away. It’s that easy.
Speaking ahead of the deadline, Joanna Murphy, CEO of taxback.com said:
“Whether it’s down to apathy or a lack of awareness, each year Irish people leave huge sums with Revenue by not claiming the tax reliefs for which they are eligible and entitled.
"These refunds can be claimed for up to four years, so as we approach the end of the year we are calling on anyone who has had a medical expense, who has paid tuition fees, who cares for children or incapacitated relatives, and many others, to come forward and ascertain whether or not they could be entitled to a refund.
"Our average refund comes in at around €1076 – so it is definitely not small money we are talking about, and in my opinion, it’s very much worth the small amount of effort it takes to submit a refund application.”
Not only can you apply for a simple tax refund, but there are also a whole host of tax incentives available which could potentially save you copious amounts of cash.
One of the most substantial tax reliefs which people are widely unaware of is the Home Carer Credit. Currently standing at €1,600 per year, having been increased by €100 in the last budget, the Home Carer Credit can be claimed by any married couple or civil partnership where at least one of the spouses is a stay-at-home carer for either a dependant or their own children.
Other useful and under-utilised tax incentives available include claiming flat-rate expenses, availing of the rent-a-room scheme, as well as simply starting a pension, which is an invaluable way of not only beating the taxman but saving for your future.
If you’re wondering how to further save money by paying less tax just check out our blog on 10 ways to pay less tax.
Have you ever applied for a tax refund? Did you get much money? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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