Tuesday 16 October 2018

Pay and file: step-by-step guide to filing tax returns

The Form 11 can be made easier and this guide may even save you money, write Colin Forbes and Daryl Hanberry

Our step-by-step guide to completing the Form 11 will make the task easier and may even help you to save some tax along the way. Stock photo
Our step-by-step guide to completing the Form 11 will make the task easier and may even help you to save some tax along the way. Stock photo

Colin Forbes and Daryl Hanberry

Preparing and filing your annual self-assessed tax return can be a daunting task for any taxpayer. Year after year, the Form 11 self-assessed tax return grows longer and more complex, with the 2016 version being 34 pages long with 15 panels and hundreds of data points for the anxious taxpayer to complete.

Fear not, our step-by-step guide to completing the Form 11 will make the task easier and may even help you to save some tax along the way.

Not every line of the Form 11 is covered in our guide but we have focused on the main areas that taxpayers have difficulty understanding or where you should be aware of various tax reliefs/exemptions that you may be entitled to. As always, if you have invested in complex instruments such as foreign life insurance policies or wish to claim property based incentives, you should engage with a professional tax adviser.

Paper or Online?

The 2016 self-assessment Pay and File deadline is October 31, 2017, just over a week away. The paper version of the Form 11 can be found on www.revenue.ie.

If you are running out of time to get your tax affairs in order before this date, you could "pay and file" through the Revenue Commissioners ROS (Revenue Online Service). The deadline is extended until November 14, 2017, if you choose this facility. The second leg of the Ireland v Denmark tie is being played that night so be sure to "pay and file" before kick-off!

As an added incentive, ROS calculates the taxes due for you, as opposed to you crunching the numbers on the paper version.

The following must be completed online on or before this deadline:

File the Form 11;

Pay any balance of income tax for 2016;

Pay your Preliminary Income Tax for 2017.

So if you need to avail of the extended deadline and have not previously registered for ROS services, then you need to act quickly in the next few days.

How do I register for ROS services?

In order to register for ROS, click on the Register for ROS link on the Revenue Commissioners home page, www.revenue.ie, and follow the below steps:

1 Apply for your ROS Access Number (RAN).

This is the first step in applying to become a ROS customer. Your RAN will be sent out by post to your chosen address. You should allow two or three working days for this to issue.

2 Apply for your Digital Certificate.

You can only complete this step when you have received your RAN by post. Enter the RAN number and complete all relevant sections. A ROS System password will be posted to your chosen address - again you should allow two or three working days for this to issue.

3 Retrieve your Digital Certificate and view your account.

Using your ROS System password you can retrieve and download your ROS Digital Certificate. You should name the certificate and allocate a password to the Digital Certificate.

Once you have retrieved your ROS Digital Certificate you can access ROS to file your return, pay your tax and view your account.

There are only 15 working days between today and the November 14 extended deadline, so swift action will be needed by you in the next few days in order to ensure that you can Pay and File on or before November 14, 2017.

If this is your first time filing a self-assessment Form 11 tax return, you will need to make sure you are registered for Income Taxes by following the e-Registration process on the ROS website or by completing the Form TR1, which can be found on www.revenue.ie.

How can I pay my tax liability using the ROS services?

The Revenue Commissioners accept the following methods of payment from you:

1 ROS Debit Instruction (RDI): You will only need to do this once and it will allow you to submit a payment immediately. The amount of the payment and when the payment is made will be determined solely by you.

2 Credit card: Payments using your credit card are limited to card providers Visa and Mastercard. If you choose this payment option, you must pay a transaction charge of 1.1pc of the value of the payment. This charge is purely related to third-party fees incurred by the Revenue Commissioners in the provision of the service.

3 Debit card: Currently the Revenue Commissioners absorb the charge for using your debit card, however, this may change in the future.

Always remember to have funds in the bank account you are using to pay your tax liabilities and ensure that it is a current account in the Single European Payments Area (SEPA), not a deposit account.

What is preliminary tax for 2017?

It is essentially a payment-on-account of your 2017 tax liability. If you are a self-assessed taxpayer, the amount of preliminary tax you must pay for 2017 must be equal to or exceed the lower of:

90pc of your final liability for 2017, or

100pc of your final liability for 2016, or

105pc of your final liability for 2015 (only available where preliminary tax is paid by direct debit and does not apply where the tax payable for 2015 year was nil).

What if I miss these deadlines?

If you do not meet the pay-and-file requirements, interest and penalties will be imposed by the Revenue Commissioners.

The good news is that the earlier you file the return after the deadline, the lesser the interest and penalties. If the 2016 return is filed by December 31, 2017, the surcharge penalty is 5pc of your income tax liability for the year, subject to a maximum amount of €12,695. If the return is filed after December 31, 2017, the surcharge penalty is 10pc of your tax liability, subject to a maximum amount of €63,485.

Remember though that the surcharge liability is calculated without credit for preliminary tax paid on account.

Also, in calculating the surcharge, credit is allowed for PAYE tax deducted at source, unless the chargeable person or their spouse/civil partner is a company director.

You can appeal for the late submission surcharge to be reversed, for example in a case where there was a major failure in a computer system or a serious illness.

The interest rate on overdue tax in respect of income tax and capital gains tax is currently 0.0219pc per day and this may be backdated to October 31 in the previous year.

Does non-payment of Local Property Tax have an impact on my tax return?

If you file your Form 11 on time, but at the date of filing, you have failed to:

submit your LPT return (for most LPT taxpayers this should have been submitted in May 2013), or

pay all outstanding LPT liabilities (including the 2017 liability which was due for payment earlier this year), or

enter into an agreed payment arrangement, a LPT surcharge of 10pc will be added to your final tax liability for 2016. Where the LPT is subsequently brought up to date, the amount of the surcharge will be capped at the amount of the LPT liability involved.

As you can see, it can prove quite costly if your LPT obligations have not been met, so ensure you get your LPT affairs up to date.

I made a mistake on my tax return, what can I do to fix it?

If you made a mistake on your tax return and the Revenue Commissioners discover the error during an audit, they can impose penalties even if you try to explain to the Revenue Commissioners that you were unaware of the relevant tax laws. The Revenue Commissioners will classify the mistake as careless behaviour and the level of penalty that would apply will depend on whether the mistake has significant tax consequences.

The penalties could be reduced if you "go on the front foot", notify the Revenue Commissioners of the errors and fully co-operate with them to work out the additional tax due.

Always consult a professional tax adviser to help you with any complex tax matters.

Could I be audited?

Self-assessment Returns are subject to Audit by the Revenue Commissioners. Tax law provides that the Revenue Commissioners may make any inquiries or take such actions as are considered necessary to verify the accuracy of a Return.

Tax law provides for both civil penalties eg (publication in a list of tax defaulters) and criminal sanctions for:

failure to make a return,


making of a false return,

facilitating the making of a false return, or,

claiming tax credits, allowances or reliefs which are not due.

In the event of a criminal prosecution, a person convicted on indictment of an offence may be liable to a fine not exceeding €126,970 and/or to a fine of up to double the difference between the declared tax due and the tax ultimately found to be due and/or to imprisonment.

You should retain all the paperwork and electronic records relating to your 2016 tax return for six years.

I'm a PAYE worker and have received for the first time some small amounts of non-PAYE income and I want to claim some tax reliefs - do I really need to complete the Form 11?

If you had a PAYE source of income and your net assessable non-PAYE income was less than €5,000 in 2016, and this income was coded against your PAYE tax credits or fully taxed at source, you are not regarded as a self-assessed taxpayer (known as a chargeable person) for 2016 (provided your gross non-PAYE income before expenses does not exceed €30,000).

This means that you would not need to complete the Form 11. You should instead file the shorter Form 12 (half the length of the Form 11) which allows you to report your income and claim tax credits, allowances and reliefs for 2016.

You can fill out a paper Form 12 which can be found at www.revenue.ie.

Alternatively, you can complete the eForm12 - this electronic form is available through the Revenue Commissioners myAccount service - as it is much easier to complete than the paper version.

The eForm 12 does not provide for returning Capital Gains Tax details. You must fill out a separate Capital Gains Tax return called the Form CG1 in this case which is also available on www.revenue.ie.

Panel A: Personal details - pages 2 and 3

This is one of the most important panels on the Form 11 as it is where you enter your personal details, such as civil status and residence status.

You should enter your civil status for 2016 at line 2.

If your status has changed during the year, you must report this at line 3.

If we got married or entered a civil partnership in 2016, do we get any extra tax relief?

Maybe. Individuals who were married or became civil partners during 2016 may be entitled to a year of marriage relief. However, it is important to note that in the year of marriage or civil partnership you are still taxed as single people and must file separate returns.

The good news is that if you paid more tax individually in that year than you would have if you were taxed as a couple, you can claim a refund of the difference on the Form 11. If you are due a refund, it will only be from the date of marriage or registration of civil partnership.

The amount that you will receive will be paid in proportion to the number of months that you were married or in a civil partnership.

Refunds are normally only due where a couple are taxed at different rates and one spouse/partner could benefit from the unused standard rate cut-off point or for some of the unused tax credits of the other spouse.

If you are claiming a year-of-marriage relief, you will also have to complete Line 533 at page 25 and your spouse or civil partner will also have to complete the same section on their own Form 11.

What's my basis of assessment if I'm married or in a civil partnership?

Page 2, line 4 - Married Couples & Civil Partnerships. For the years following your marriage, there are three options for taxation. These are listed at Line 4:

Joint assessment

Separate assessment

Single treatment

If you are a married couple or in a civil partnership and are filing jointly, the assessable spouse is obliged to submit only one Form 11, showing the income of both spouses/civil partners - unless you have already made a formal election to the Revenue Commissioners to have your tax affairs dealt with under 'Separate Assessment' or 'Single Treatment'.

The terminology here can be confusing, so let's explain the differences between the two.

Under Separate Assessment and Single Treatment, the spouse/civil partner must file separate tax returns. Under Single Treatment, each spouse/civil partner is treated as a single person with no right to transfer tax credits or standard rate cut-off points to the other spouse/civil partner. However, under separate assessment, most tax credits that are unused and the standard rate cut-off point up to €42,800 in 2016 can be transferred to the other spouse/civil partner - but only at the end of the tax year when the Form 11 is filed.

The increase in the standard rate tax band of up to €24,800 in 2016 is not transferable between spouses/civil partners.

Lines 16 to 21 - Residence status

This section of the Form 11 may be of interest to readers who have moved here from abroad.

In general, individuals who are resident in Ireland, have lived all their lives in the country and are from Ireland are taxable on their world-wide income and this is assumed to be the case unless you tick the boxes at lines 16, 17 or 18.

You will be regarded as resident in Ireland in the year 2016 if you spent:

183 days or more in Ireland, for any purpose, in 2016, or

280 days or more in Ireland combining the number of days spent in Ireland in 2016 and 2015. However, this test will not apply to make you resident if you spent 30 days or less in Ireland in 2016.

Caution - A day is one on which you are present in Ireland at any time during the day. So, for example, an early morning flight to London must still be counted as a day here.

Line 17 - The Remittance Basis of Taxation

I came to live in Ireland from abroad a few years ago. do I have any special tax status in Ireland if I have non-Irish income?

If you are not originally from Ireland (i.e. you are not domiciled* in Ireland) but are resident here you should ensure that you tick the box at line 17 as you are entitled to a potentially favourable tax regime called the remittance basis of taxation.

*Domicile is a complex legal concept. It may, broadly, be interpreted as meaning permanent home in a particular country with the intention of residing permanently in that country. An individual acquires a domicile of origin on their birth. Whilst each individual has a domicile, that domicile may or may not be the country in which he or she is a tax resident.

This means that certain types of foreign sourced income is liable to income tax here only if it is remitted to Ireland. For example, let's say you received dividends from a non-Irish company in 2016, then the dividends would only be taxable in Ireland to the extent they were remitted (e.g. a bank wire transfer) to Ireland in 2016.

However, it is important to note that this basis of taxation does not apply to foreign employment income to the extent it is attributable to your work duties performed in Ireland. Such income is taxable in full under the PAYE system whether or not remitted.

Panel B: Income from trades (including farming and partnerships), professions  or vocations - pages 4 to 9

If you are self-employed, you must report your self-employed income in Panel B. Generally, you are assessable on your tax-adjusted net profit for a 12-month accounting period ending in 2016 e.g. if your accounts are normally prepared for the year ending on September 30, then the assessable profits to be reported on the 2016 Form 11 will be those for the year ended September 30, 2016.

If you have three or more trades/professions, you should complete the first two main trades in the Primary Trade and Trade 2 columns and then aggregate the remaining trades into the Trade 3 column.

If you are a partner, you do not need to complete the Extracts from Accounts section in your Form 11 as the partnership files this information in the Partnership Tax Return, the Form 1 (Firms). You should enter the relevant partnership tax reference number at line 124.

There are complex rules regarding the calculation of profits and losses where you have commenced or ceased a trade during the tax year; you should seek professional tax advice in this regard.

Extracts from Accounts

The main part of Panel B is the Extracts from Accounts section (lines 121 to 157). You are not required to attach your financial statements or income and expenditure accounts to the Form 11. However, you should prepare them and retain them for six years as they may be requested by the Revenue Commissioners at a later date.

If the Revenue Commissioners are not satisfied with the Extract from Accounts section, they will return the Form 11 to you to correct the errors and you may be levied with a late filing surcharge, so it is vital that you give this section of the Form 11 due care and attention. As the Extract from Accounts section is quite detailed and complex, the Revenue Commissioners will allow innocent errors but this does increase your chance of a Revenue audit.

Losses & Capital Allowances

You can use unused trading losses from a prior year against profits of the same trade in the current (2016) accounting period.

You can also elect to use any trading loss incurred in the current (2016) accounting period against other income in 2016 and can enter this at line 116.

There are various different types of capital allowances that can be claimed for capital expenditure on certain types of business assets and premises.

The rate at which the capital allowances can be claimed depends on when the expenditure was incurred or when the building was constructed.

The capital allowances are deducted from your profit figure before you are taxed on it and any unused capital allowances can be carried forward against future profits of the same trade.

Panel C: Irish rental income - page 10

I have let out a rental property during 2016; how do I calculate my net rental income?

YOU must calculate how much tax you owe on the gross rents receivable after deductions for expenses and allowances. A profit or a loss is calculated for each rental source (residential or commercial). The rental income on which you pay tax is the total profits less the total losses.

Allowable expenses include:

local authority rates

ground rents

insurance premiums

maintenance and repairs

property fees before you first rent out your property such as management, advertising, legal or accountancy fees

75pc of the mortgage interest paid

expenses in between renting out the property in certain circumstances

capital allowances

In order to receive the mortgage interest relief deduction, you must have registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board for each tenancy during 2016.

Your mortgage provider should issue you with a mortgage interest certificate at the end of each tax year which confirms the total amount of interest charged.

You can deduct the full cost of repairs and maintenance in 2016, but you must claim back the cost of expenses of a capital nature, such as kitchen appliances, as capital allowances over eight years.

Remember that you can offset losses brought forward from prior years against your 2016 net rental income in most circumstances.

What if I have some income from Airbnb lettings, do I have to declare this income?

If you have occasionally let rooms or your entire home out under an Airbnb arrangement you should declare the gross rental income and expenses in this Panel. If the lettings under Airbnb are more akin to regular guesthouse/B&B services then this may be classified as a trade and should be reported in Panel B.

Panel D: Employment/pension income  subject to PAYE - pages 12 to 15

P60/P45 data - Lines 216-225

YOU should include your employment income and/or pension details in this section. You will need a copy of your P60 or P45 in order to complete this section as it will have all the information needed.

Your employer's registration number is required. You should include your gross pay for PAYE and USC, PAYE deducted and USC deducted in the relevant boxes. You should tick the box to indicate the source of your income, eg employment income, pension, etc.

If you received a refund of tax or USC for 2016, you should include the amount refunded.

Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) - Line 226

If you have been approved by the Revenue Commissioners for the Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) via Form SARP 1A application process, you must file a Form 11 and you should enter the details of the relief at box 226. This relief applies to employees with a base salary of €75,000 or more per annum, who had an employment relationship with their employer company or associated company for at least six months immediately before relocating to Ireland, and have been non-resident in Ireland for at least five tax years before relocating here. You must work in Ireland for the employer for at least 12 months. If you qualify for the relief, 30pc of your employment income in excess of €75,000 is exempted from the charge to income tax. USC and PRSI is payable on your full employment income.

Allowable deductions incurred in an employment - Line 236

Depending on the nature of your employment you may be entitled to claim expenses against your income. 'Flat rate' expenses are approved by the Revenue Commissioners in relation to certain employments / occupations. A full list can be found at www.revenue.ie. If you qualify for employment expenses, you should include the nature of your employment at line 236(a).

Social Welfare payments - Lines 238-239

Some social welfare payments are taxable and the details of any payments you received should be included here with the gross amount received.

Pension Lump sums - Line 240

Where you have received a pension lump sum during the year, it should be included in this section. The maximum lifetime tax-free limit on retirement lump sums is €200,000. The amount in excess of this is taxable.

Share Option Exercises - Line 242

A share option is a right that your employer grants you to acquire shares in your employer.

You must complete a Form 11 for every year that you exercise options. You should have already paid the income tax, USC and PRSI due on an exercise of share options by completing a Form RTSO1 (available on www.revenue.ie) and paid the taxes within 30 days of exercise. You may be charged interest by the Revenue Commissioners if you have not done this yet.

Foreign income: how to treat international earnings

In general, individuals who are resident in Ireland and are from Ireland are taxable on their worldwide income. Assuming you are such an individual, you should complete the various types of foreign income listed in Panel E.

Foreign dividend income is broken down into Great Britain and Northern Ireland dividends, US dividends, Canadian dividends and other dividends. Remember only the net Great Britain and Northern Ireland dividends should be reported and that any encashment taxes paid on US and Canadian dividends are listed.

Likewise, deposit interest income is sub-divided into UK, EU and non-EU interest and you should report any taxes deducted in the relevant jurisdiction as you may be entitled to double taxation relief.

You may have worked abroad previously and are now in receipt of foreign pension income and this should be reported at line 302.

Where you are resident but not domiciled in Ireland and have ticked this box at line 17 of the Form 11, you are assessable on your Irish source income including income attributable to the performance of the duties of a foreign employment in Ireland and remittances of other foreign income to Ireland, that is, a transfer of foreign income into Ireland e.g. by bank wire transfer.

If you are such a person, generally you should only report the amounts of foreign income remitted to Ireland in the relevant lines in Panel E (lines 301 to 319)

Foreign Rental Income - Line 315

The gross amount of foreign rental income received and expenses incurred on the rental property are to be included in this section. Capital allowances for the current year and any capital allowances and unused losses from a prior year should also be included here. Remember foreign rental losses may only be offset against foreign rental profits.

Foreign Bank accounts opened in 2016 - Line 320

Where you or your spouse or civil partner, opened foreign bank accounts during the year, you are required to provide information in relation to such accounts including the amount of the initial deposit and other details as outlined at line 320.

Foreign Life Policies/Offshore Funds/Other Offshore Products - Lines 321 to 324

If you have invested in any of these policies or products you should seek advice from a professional tax adviser as the reporting obligations on the Form 11 are both complex and onerous.

Panel G: Exempt income - Page 19, Lines 412-417

This part of Form 11 is only relevant where you have income which has an exemption from income tax. Even though this income is exempt, you still need to enter the profits, gains, distributions or losses where requested.

Artist's Exemption - Line 412 If you are an artist who has produced a work of artistic/cultural merit and the The Revenue Commissioners have approved this, your profits from this work will be exempt from income tax. The exemption is restricted to the first €50,000. Income in excess of this amount is taxable and should be entered in Panel B of the Form 11. The exemption only applies to income tax. The exempt portion of your income is liable to both PRSI and USC.

Profit or gains from Woodlands - Line 413

If you own woodlands in Ireland which are used commercially, the profits or gains are exempt from income tax and liable to both PRSI and USC.

Rent-a-Room Relief Scheme - Line 414)

This can be quite a popular relief as a relatively high number of taxpayers have chosen to let one or more of the rooms in their homes to tenants to help fund their mortgage costs, etc.

If you let a room (or rooms) in your home and the total of the gross rents and any sums for food and laundry services in respect of the letting (ignoring all expenses incurred) does not exceed the annual limit for 2016 (€12,000), the profits are treated as nil for income tax, PRSI and USC purposes.

The relief is not due where the relevant sums are received from your child.

The relief does not affect any entitlement you may have to mortgage interest relief or to the capital gains tax exemption on the disposal of your home.

According to a guidance note issued by the Revenue Commissioners, this relief applies to long term lettings so as the majority of Airbnb lettings are short term, you will not be able to use this exemption if you received income for such short term lettings.

Childcare Services - Line 415

If you are providing Childcare Services in your home, your gross annual income (before expenses) from the provision of these services may be exempt from tax if it does not exceed €15,000 in 2016.

This income is exempt from income tax and USC but a separate charge to PRSI arises.

Where your gross income exceeds €15,000 the net income after expenses is taxable and should be reported in Panel B.

No more than three children may be cared for at any one time and you must have notified the Health Service Executive (HSE) that you provided childcare services in 2016.

Claiming this exemption does not affect your entitlement to mortgage interest relief in respect of, nor capital gains tax relief on gains from the disposal of, your home.

Panel H: Pension reliefs, retirement annuity contracts (RACs) and  personal retirement savings accounts - page 20, lines 506-508

Q: I'm self-employed, can I claim tax relief for premiums I paid to a retirement annuity contract (RAC)?

A: Yes, if you are a self-employed individual, a proprietary director or an employee who is not in an occupational pension scheme, you can claim tax relief for RAC premiums.

Tax relief for RAC premiums is subject to two main controls.

1. An age-related percentage limit of an individual's net relevant earnings (see table).

2. An overall upper-earnings limit of €115,000 for 2016. This limit applies whether an individual is contributing to a single pension product or to more than one pension product.

Net relevant earnings consist essentially of relevant earnings less deductions, which would be made in computing total income for tax purposes. These deductions include losses and capital allowances.

Age% of Net Relevant Earnings

Under 30 years15%

30 - 39 years20%

40 - 49 years25%

50 - 54 years30%

55 - 59 years35%

60 and over40%

Example: If you are aged 46, have earned €45,000 in this period and make an RAC payment of €12,000, the relief due to you is restricted to €45,000 @ 25%, i.e. €11,250. The balance of the payment, €750, may be carried forward to the following year(s) and treated as a qualifying premium paid in that year(s).

Relief may be claimed at line 507 in respect of:

Premiums paid in the period January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016

Any premiums paid in an earlier tax year for which relief has not been obtained.

Can I make a top-up payment now and get additional tax relief for 2016?

Yes, tax relief can be claimed on your 2016 Form 11 at line 507 (c) for any premium paid between 1 January 2017 and 31 October 2017 (or the extended ROS deadline of 14 November 2017).

PRSAs, which are another type of pension product that can be availed of by self-employed individuals or by employees who do not participate in an occupational pension plan, also provide this facility to allocate a premium paid in 2017 before these deadlines to 2016 - see Line 508(e).

As both of these deadlines are fast approaching, you should contact a pension broker or financial adviser, who can advise you on your options.

Panel L: Capital Gains - Page 27

Gains and losses made on the sale of your chargeable assets during 2016 should also be reported on the Form 11 at Panel L.

Firstly, the sales proceeds you have received should be reported in the boxes describing the type of asset you have sold. Various reliefs, such as retirement relief, may be available.

You should report your losses from the sale of chargeable assets in 2016 even if you do not have any chargeable gains for the year. Remember, losses brought forward from prior years can be used to offset gains in 2016.

For 2016 the due date for paying Capital Gains Tax (CGT) has already passed:

Disposals between January 1, 2016 and November 30, 2016 inclusive - CGT was due by December 15, 2016.

Disposals between December 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 inclusive - CGT was due by January 31, 2017.

If you are only paying your CGT due when you file the Form 11 you are likely to be charged interest by the Revenue Commissioners.

Panel M - Chargeable Assets Acquired in 2016 - page 29

This should include any chargeable assets acquired during 2016 and the amount you paid for the assets.

Panel O: Self Assessment - Pages 32-3

Lastly, you must make a self-assessment for 2016 by completing the self-assessment section of the Form 11. If you do not make this self-assessment you may be needlessly liable to a penalty of €250.

The income tax, USC and PRSI liability is calculated in this panel and you can deduct the preliminary tax you paid for 2016 already.

The Capital Gains Tax liability is also included here.

Panel I: Claim for tax credits, reliefs, allowances and health expenses  - Pages 22-26, Lines 515-546

There are 21 tax credits, allowances and reliefs in this section and here are summaries of the most common reliefs that you may be able to claim.

Home Carer Tax Credit - Line 515

The Home Carer tax credit may be due to you if you are jointly assessed and you or your spouse or civil partner, as a Home Carer, provided care for:

n A child for whom you are entitled to Social Welfare child benefit,

n A person who is permanently incapacitated by reason of mental or physical infirmity and such person normally resides with you for the year, or:

n A person aged 65 or over.

It's important to note that a spouse or civil partner cannot be one of the persons cared for under this relief.

The Home Carer tax credit is €1,000 (for 2016) subject to the Home Carer's income, if any, remaining below an income threshold of €7,200. Where the income exceeds this threshold the tax credit is reduced by one half of the amount of Home Carer's income that exceeds €7,200. Accordingly no credit is due if income exceeds €9,200.

Employee Tax Credit - Line 516

If you are in receipt of income subject to PAYE (ie, wages, salary, and occupational pension) you may claim an employee tax credit of up to €1,650. You may also be entitled to claim it if you are a recipient of Social Welfare payments; Widow, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partners (Contributory) Pension, Guardian's Payment (Contributory), State Pension (Transition), State Pension (Contributory), Illness Benefit, Occupational Injury Benefit and Jobseekers Benefit.

If you are proprietary director (ie, you own 15pc or more of a company) you are not entitled to this credit.

Earned Income Tax Credit - Line 517

The Earned Income tax credit can be claimed by you if you are a self-employed individual or proprietary director who is ineligible for the Employee tax credit. The maximum relief is €550 for 2016. Where an individual has income that qualifies for the Earned Income tax credit and the Employee tax credit, the combined tax credits cannot exceed €1,650.

Tuition Fees - Line 524

If you are paying tuition fees for a student you may be entitled to tax relief at 20pc.

Here's what qualifies for the relief:

Tuition fees paid to approved colleges for the 2016 academic year commencing on or after August 1, 2016, in respect of approved undergraduate courses of at least two years duration. The maximum limit relief in respect of qualifying fees for the academic year 2016 is €7,000 in respect of each course.

Tuition fees paid for certain training courses in the areas of information technology and foreign languages. The relief applies to fees ranging from €315 to €1,270 per student.

Tuition fees paid in respect of certain postgraduate courses, subject to a maximum relief of €7,000 per course.

The first €3,000 of each claim is disregarded for relief for a full time student and the first €1,500 for a part-time student.

Lists of approved courses in approved colleges are available on www.revenue.ie

You should note that the relief is not available in respect of exam fees, administration fees, registration fees, etc.

Employer paid Medical Insurance - Line 527

If your employer paid Medical Insurance (including Dental Insurance) premiums on your behalf (or on behalf of your dependents) you will have been subject to payroll taxes on this benefit in kind. You are entitled to claim a relief for 20pc of the gross premium on your 2016 tax return.

There is a limit of €1,000 on the premium that can be claimed by individuals who are 21 years or over. The limit is €500 on the premium that can be claimed for child dependents.

Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) - Line 529

If you have undertaken renovations to your home during 2016 you may be entitled to a tax credit under the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme. The HRI enables homeowners or landlords to claim tax relief on repairs, renovations or improvement work that is carried out on their main home or rental property by tax-compliant contractors and that is subject to 13.5pc VAT.

You should complete the details of the tax credit due, which you will find on the HRI online claim you will have previously submitted to the Revenue Commissioners, at line 529.

The HRI is paid in the form of a tax credit at 13.5pc of qualifying expenditure, which can be set against your income tax over 2 years if you are a self-assessed taxpayer.

If you are a homeowner or a landlord, you must be up to date with your obligations under the Local Property Tax.

The qualifying work must cost at least €4,405 before VAT at 13.5pc, which comes to a total of €5,000 with VAT included. You will only get the tax credit in relation to a maximum of €30,000 (before VAT) during the period covered by the HRI.

The minimum credit is €595, based on the minimum qualifying expenditure of €4,405. The maximum is €4,050, based on the maximum qualifying expenditure of €30,000.

Health Expenses - Lines 535 to 546

If you have incurred medical expenses during the year you may be able to claim a tax credit of 20pc of the expenses. You do not need to submit a Form Med 1 with the return, just retain it if the Revenue Commissioners ask you for it at a later date.

Also, you do not need to send in the receipts to the Revenue Commissioners with your claim. However, you must keep the receipts for six years in case the Revenue Commissioners selects your return for examination.

Readers need to be careful not to claim medical expenses which have been fully reimbursed by your medical insurance provider. Also, routine dental expenses such as fillings and standard extractions expenses do not qualify for relief. Root canal treatment and crowns are considered non-routine.

The expenses relating to elective cosmetic surgery are also not allowed, whereas if you go a few rounds with Conor McGregor, the Revenue Commissioners may be willing to allow the cost of the surgery!

If you maintain an individual on a full-time basis in a nursing home, you can also claim relief for the health expenses for that individual.

Sunday Indo Business

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