Feeling like you paid too much tax last year? You’re not alone. Many Irish people haven’t claimed what they’re entitled to, leaving millions of euro with the taxman.
There are a number of credits and reliefs that Irish people are consistently leaving unclaimed, including medical expenses, the Home Carer’s Tax Credit, the Single Person’s Child Carer Tax Credit, and the Rent Tax Credit.
You can go back four years for a tax refund in Ireland and apply for a free estimate from Taxback.com, so it’s worth checking if you can claim anything back.
Here are some of the top unclaimed reliefs:
- Medical Expenses
One of the highest refunds that go unclaimed in Ireland is that of medical expenses. Relief is given for medical expenses at the rate of 20%, which means you can claim 20% of the cost of qualifying medical expenses you paid for yourself.
Qualifying expenses include:
- Doctor fees
- Ambulance transport
- Routine maternity care
- Prescription drugs or medicines
- Hearing aids
- Physiotherapy, chiropody
- Gluten-free food for coeliacs
- Kidney patient’s expense up to a certain amount
- Wheelchair or wheelchair lift
- Qualified nurse in the case of serious illness
- Educational psychological assessments by educational psychologist for qualifying child
You can also claim on the cost of specialised dental treatment:
- Orthodontic treatment
- Surgical extraction
- Wisdom teeth surgical extraction in hospital
- Periodontal treatment
- Root Canals
- Gold inlays
The general rule for claiming these expenses is that you paid for them yourself and were not reimbursed by the state or in any other way.
You may also be able to claim on the cost of medical expenses you paid for while abroad. The following expenses qualify:
- Cost of qualifying treatment by a medical or dental practitioner (qualified by the laws of that country)
- Cost of maintenance or treatment in a hospital nursing home or clinic carried out on the advice of a qualified practitioner
- The cost of reasonable travelling and accommodation expenses are also allowable.
You have up to four years to claim a refund and you should keep all records and receipts in case Revenue should require them.
Health Insurance Tax Credit
Tax relief for medical insurance is usually granted at source and this reduction is the same as giving tax relief at 20%. In this case, you don’t need to have any further contact with Revenue as your medical insurance provider will implement the necessary changes.
However, in some limited situations the tax relief at source system does not apply. For example, where an employer pays the medical insurance premiums on behalf of an employee or his or her dependants. In these circumstances, a Benefit in Kind charge will arise. PAYE, PRSI and Universal Social Charge (USC) will be deducted by the employer from any earnings in respect of the value of the benefit provided. As the employee has not benefited from the tax relief at source on medical insurance paid by the employer he or she is entitled to tax relief.
Nursing Home Payments
Tax relief is also available on fees paid for nursing homes and is awarded at the highest rate of income tax you pay. The general rule is that if you are paying for a nursing home for yourself or for someone else then you are entitled to claim.
You can also claim on the cost of employing a carer hired through an agency for yourself or someone else such as a family member or relative who is totally incapacitated by reason of physical or mental infirmity.
- Home Carer Tax Credit
Many people in Ireland don’t realise they’re entitled to the Home Carer’s Tax Credit so it often goes unclaimed. The relief was increased to €1100 in 2017 so it’s worth finding out if you qualify.
Who can claim?
- A spouse or civil partner working in the home, caring for one or more dependent
- The spouse or civil partner is jointly assessed for tax
- The spouse or civil partner who is claiming the credit must earn under €7,200.
A dependent is:
- A child for whom child benefit is payable – this includes all children under 16 and children in full-time education under 18, or
- Person aged 65 or over
- Person with disability that requires care
The dependent must not be a spouse or civil partner but can be related by marriage or someone for whom you are legal guardian.
The dependent should also be living with you but if they are a relative, they can live outside your home in a neighbouring residence (within 2 kilometres of claimant).
A reduced tax credit is due if your income income is between €7,200 – €9,400 (2016) or between €7,200 – €9,400 (2017).
Taxback.com’s senior tax manager Barry Flanagan talks about the Home Carer’s Tax credit and other reliefs you can claim in this video:
- Single Person Child Carer Credit
This is a credit you can claim if you are a single person and a parent of a child or have custody of a child who lives with you.
A qualifying child is:
- Born in the tax year or
- Under 18 at the start of the tax year or
- Over 18 at the start of the tax year and in full-time instruction or
- Over 18 at the start of the tax year but permanently incapacitated ( and was so before 21 or if after 21, it happened when they were in full-time instruction)
You must not be married or be in a civil partnership, jointly assessed as a married person or civil partner, cohabiting or widowed, or a surviving civil partner for the year which you’re making a claim.
- Rent Tax credit
While this credit will cease in 2017, it’s still worth finding out if you can claim for previous years. If you were renting a property on 7 December 2010 then you are entitled to claim this relief. This is for rent paid by individuals for private rented accommodation as a sole or main residence.
If you were not renting on 7 December 2010, then you will not qualify for the relief. Also, you cannot claim any tax relief for rent paid to a local authority or state agency.
You’ll need receipts for rent with details of:
- Landlords name, PPS number, and address
- Amount of rent you paid
- Time covered by the receipt
The max amounts you can claim relief on are below and this is calculate at the standard rate of 20%.
|Circumstances||Tax Year 2016||Tax Year 2017|
|Single under 55 yrs.||€400||€200|
|Single over 55 yrs.||€800||€400|
|Married/widowed/in civil partnership/surviving civil partner and under 55 yrs.||€800||€400|
|Married/widowed/in civil partnership/surviving civil partner and over 55 yrs.||€1,600||€800|
For example if you’re single and under 55, the max amount you can claim for 2016 is €80 (20% of €400) and €40 for 2017 (20% of €200).
Have you left money unclaimed?
Visit Taxback.com here to find out if you’re due any of these reliefs with a free no-obligation estimate.