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The-Facts-About-Tax-9-Ways-You-Could-Save-Money

The Facts About Tax | 9 Ways You Could Save Money

Each year, millions of euro go unclaimed in tax reliefs, there are some key areas for families in particular that are worth looking at to see if your family can claim any tax back or to decrease your tax spend. Here is a rundown of some areas that are commonly overlooked. 

1. Adjusting tax after getting married

The benefit to your household of changing how your tax is assessed will depend on your wage levels, but it is worth checking to see if changing your assessment to joint assessed might benefit your household overall. Also, if you have been married in the last four years and have not contacted revenue to let them know, it might be worth doing so as changes can be backdated. 

Mum of three Paula recently gave her experience on this issue, ‘We had no idea that we should call revenue to see if we should make changes to our tax, we switched to being jointly assessed, and it left us with more tax home pay at the end of the month. I would recommend looking into it. The bad news for me is that I now pay a higher rate of tax on what I earn, but overall our household income is up.’ 

2. Home carer tax credit

This tax credit can be claimed by a couple or civil partnership where one person is staying at home with one or more dependents. It only applies if you are being jointly assessed, and you are allowed to earn up to €7,200 per annum before it is affected. 

Mum of one Sinead explained, ‘My friend told me about this, it is nice to feel as though we are getting something back.’

3. Medical expenses

Where you are not covered by private insurance or an employee scheme, you are entitled to claim for tax back on medical expenses, the rate of relief is currently set at 20%. Doctors and consultants visits qualify, and also certain dental, optic and physiotherapy treatments.

In addition to this, if you are buying private health insurance, you can benefit from 20% off the cost of your premium.

4. Flat rate expenses

For a number of professions there is relief available for expenses incurred, a list of these is available on the revenue website www.revenue.ie The professions range from nursing to members of the National Symphony Orchestra so worth checking out to see if you qualify for any expenses due back to you.

5. Tuition fees

Up to a limit of €7,000, 20% of third level tuition fees are eligible for tax back. This can be applied for annually, and retrospectively for up to four years. Fees that qualify are tuition fees (including the Student Contribution, post 2011), but not examination fees, registration fees or administration fees, and are in respect of an approved course at an approved college. A list of these are available on the revenue website.

It also does not include any part of the fees that are covered by grants, scholarships, and an employer or otherwise.

6. Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) relief

If you have recently had work carried out on your house, you may be eligible for tax relief through a tax credit at the rate of 13.5% on the cost works carried out. The works must have been carried out between 23rd October 2013 and the 31st December 2016 for home owners and 15 October 2014 and up to 31 December 2016 for landlords. The scheme includes repair, renovation or improvement works carried out on a main home or rental property and must have been carried out by qualifying contractors.

The works must cost a minimum of €4,405 (before VAT) per property, which will attract a credit of €595 per property. A maximum credit of €4,050 will apply where the cost of the works exceeds €30,000 (before VAT)

Recently, Elaine carried out a major house renovation, ‘I found this tax relief very helpful, it was easy to apply for and really helped out with the costs of my renovation.’

Claims can be made online at the My Account section of the Revenue website at: https://www.ros.ie/myaccount-web/home.html

7. First Time Buyers Tax relief

Help to Buy IncentiveThe First Buyers Tax Relief was introduced for first time buyers of new properties. A first-time buyer of a house or apartment who purchases or self-builds a property between 14 October 2014 and 31 December 2017 may be entitled to claim a refund of DIRT.

The property must have been purchased or built as the first-time buyer’s home, and must be new property.

First time buyer Maria explains, ‘We’re interested in older more mature estates, we don’t qualify for it, but it has helped beat back some of the competition for what we are looking at. We found the prices went up after they announced it, if we did buy a new house it would be nice to have the guarantee of future cash coming back to us.’

8. Rent a room relief

If you let out a room and provide services in your house as residential accommodation, for example, if you provide ‘digs’ to a student for the duration of the academic year, you may be entitled to Rent-a-Room Relief. If the gross income for the accommodation and services provided does not exceed the limit for the year in question (eg 12,000e from January 1st 2015) the profits or losses on the relevant sums are treated as nil for income tax purposes.

The relief does not apply to short term lettings or occasional visitors. It also does not apply to accommodation provided to your child, or your civil partner’s child.

9. Pension reliefs

Amounts contributed to pensions are deducted from gross income before income tax rates are applied, thus making it exempt from income tax. If you are paying a pension through an employer, this will be managed through your payroll system. 

For other pension arrangements, please contact your local revenue office for advice.

For your own research purposes there is a tax calculator available here www.services.deloitte.ie/tc and further information on all of the above items is available on the revenue website www.revenue.ie

The revenue website also have a facility to manage your tax affairs online, it is available at https://www.ros.ie/myaccount-web/home.html and it a one stop shop to manage PAYE services, local property tax and other items such as the home renovation scheme and pensions.

Information was correct at time of publishing. Please always check for updates in criteria. 

About the Author

Jane is a writer, blogger and mammy based in South Dublin. She has spearheaded equality programmes and advocacy campaigns for large NGO’s and is now following a lifelong dream in establishing herself as a writer. Recently qualified in Journalism, Jane has won the June 2015 Original Writing Short Story competition, has been longlisted for the Blog Awards 2015 and runs The Postmodern Mammy. Never one to shy away from controversy, Jane enjoys writing about parenting, politics and social issues.

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