Personal Finance

Wednesday 20 August 2014

TAX RELIEFS

Charlie Weston

Published 23/01/2014 | 02:30

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NEED some money? Well, you could do worse than turning the tables on the Revenue Commissioners and demanding some cash from the taxmen and women.

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Consumers can claim for, among others, medical expenses, rent payments and college fees and work-related expenses.

And householders can claim for refunds for up to four years after the tax relief was due.

Although a number of tax credits and reliefs have been withdrawn, taxpayers could still be able to claim up to €800 a year, John O'Connor of Red Oak Tax Refunds in Carlow said.

If you think you are owed money by the Revenue, or want to claim a tax credit, then get some tax-return forms from your local tax office. Alternatively, you can ring 1890-306706.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN CLAIM FOR:

Medical expenses

If you pay for medical expenses, such as GP, consultant fees and for prescription drugs you may be entitled to a partial refund through a tax claim at the end of the calendar year.

Most medical expenses are covered except for treatments such as routine eye checks, dental cleaning and fillings.

Other exceptions include expenses covered by health insurance, or agencies such as the Health Service Executive.

A refund of 20pc of the expenditure is refunded. This means if you spent €100 on GP visits and prescription drugs, you can get €20 back.

Even if you have medical procedures carried out in another EU country you can make a claim using form Med 1.

Home carer's credit

To claim the full tax allowance, the home carer's income must not exceed €5,080 in the year.

A home carer is where one of a married couple cares for a dependent person. This usually refers to a child or an elderly or disabled adult.

The credit is worth €810 a year in saved tax. A tax credit is essentially an amount of tax that you do not have to pay.

If the carer's income is greater than €5,080, the credit is reduced by €1 for every €2 of income.

If the income goes above €6,700, there is no allowance left.

The social welfare carer's allowance does not count in the definition of income.

Rent allowance

This relief is being phased out, but it is still available to those who rent a home.

A taxpayer under the age of 55 who is living in private, rented accommodation can claim an allowance of up to €1,000 for the rent paid last year.

It is double this amount for a married couple, or a widowed person.

For the over 55s, the relief is €2,000 for a single person, and €4,000 for a couple.

The credit is set to go by 2018.

Work expenses

Many people miss out on this one, but you can claim a tax relief for expenses incurred doing your job. Travelling expenses, to and from work, are not allowed.

Revenue has set figures for a range of jobs. This relief can be claimed without any evidence of the expense being incurred. Revenue refers to these expenses as "Flat Rate (employment) expenses".

DIRT tax

The tax on savings – Deposit Interest Retention Tax – has gone to 41pc from the start of this year. This is double what it was when the financial collapse hit in 2008.

But those over the age of 65, or who are permanently incapacitated, may not have to pay it. If you are over the age of 65, but have an income of less than €18,000 a year, then you do not have to pay DIRT. The income limit is €36,000 for a couple.

You can have your interest or credit union dividend paid DIRT-free by informing your bank or credit union of your status.

Medical insurance

If you are in the lucky position where your employer pays your health insurance premium, then you may be able to claim tax relief on this.

Up to the Budget last October, the relief was 20pc of the gross cost of the premium. That relief has been restricted to 20pc of the first €1,000 of the premium since the Budget.

Irish Independent

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