Monday 19 November 2018

Young workers and men more likely to go online for tax refunds

Younger workers and men are more likely to go online and claim back money from the taxman. (Stock photo)
Younger workers and men are more likely to go online and claim back money from the taxman. (Stock photo)
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Younger workers and men are more likely to go online and claim back money from the taxman, a new study reveals.

Taxback.com's Customer Index report found that the under-45s account for 74pc of all refunds.

But it also highlighted that although those in the younger age brackets are better at coming forth to claim refunds and entitlements, it is the older workers who usually get more.

Those aged 24 and under claim back €436 on average, which rises steadily to €1,221 for the 45 to 54-year-olds, and as high as €2,072 for the over-65s.

Barry Flanagan, senior tax manager at Taxback.com, said: "The average refund rises steadily and significantly the older people get. This stands to reason as higher earners pay more tax and so are entitled to greater refunds. It could also be the case that older people have more medical expenses - which is one of the most popular items people can claim for."

However, he acknowledged that most of the people who deal with their online service would be PAYE workers and therefore less likely to be over 65. Refunds and entitlements available from Revenue include medical expenses, flat rate expenses and personal pension contributions. Mr Flanagan said as people reach retirement age they would be more likely to make voluntary contributions to their pensions.

The 25-34 age group emerged overall as the most likely to apply for refunds and entitlements using the online service - accounting for 42pc.

Again Mr Flanagan said that the younger generation were more likely to be tech savvy and less likely to have their own accountant, so would turn to Taxback.com for a free assessment.

Taxback.com also noted a discrepancy between male and female claimants, with the former making up 57pc of all claims. The tax experts say this tallies with labour force statistics.

Mr Flanagan said: "In Ireland, as of Q1 2017, women made up 46pc of the workforce in employment - and they make up 43pc of our applicants.

"Interestingly, the average refund for men was 10pc greater than that of their female counterparts (€1,028 versus €932). There could be a variety of reasons for this - the gender pay gap is one that springs to mind.

"However, the ratio of females to males in part-time work could also come into play. There are currently 307,900 women working part-time in Ireland, while there are just 132,700 men in the same position."

Irish Independent

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