Monday 29 May 2017

Taking charge of your tax affairs online will pay off

We can be reluctant to claim back tax but PAYE Anytime could change that, writes James Fitzsimons

EVERY year, taxpayers don't claim their refunds from the Revenue. It might be that they don't know how to claim, they didn't know there was anything to claim, or it just wasn't worth the effort or expense. Ireland may be one of the easiest places in the world to claim back tax, but it is something that few people feel comfortable about.

It would be simpler to eliminate the 'Mickey Mouse' credits such as bin charges. Relief could be given at source for health expenses and pension contributions as with health insurance and mortgage interest. This would help eliminate bogus claims and free up public resources that are needed elsewhere. If the system is too complicated to accommodate this, simplify it. The failure of people to make legitimate tax claims may be covering up the extent of tax fraud in this area.

Self-assessment shifted the workload and accountability to taxpayers and their advisers. It deals with a minority of taxpayers who make up the ranks of the self-employed and those with income that cannot be collected under PAYE. On the basis that they have financial advisers looking after their tax affairs, they can pay to get the most out of the tax system.

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