Sunday 18 August 2019

The 60-second guide to... tying up 2016 financial loose ends

You can claim back a fifth of the cost of certain medical expenses in tax
You can claim back a fifth of the cost of certain medical expenses in tax

It is always worth making sure you tie up any financial loose ends before the end of the year. This New Year's Eve will be your last chance to claim any tax refunds you are due for 2012. There is a four-year time limit for claiming tax refunds - so if you leave it until January to claim tax relief that you were entitled to in 2012, you won't get it.

Check if you paid any medical bills, nursing home or tuition fees in 2012 -you can claim back a fifth of the cost of certain medical expenses in tax.

You can also claim back about two-fifths of the cost of nursing home fees - if you pay tax at the higher rate of income tax. (Should you pay tax at the standard rate, you can claim 20pc tax relief on nursing home fees.)

The tax relief on tuition fees allows you to claim back up to a fifth of the cost of the student contribution charge, but only for any second or subsequent children in third-level education.

Be sure you only claim for tax relief that you're entitled to.

For example, some of the dental expenses which qualify for relief include crowns, veneers and root canal treatment.

You can't, however, get tax relief for the cost of a filling.

Claim any flat-rate employment expenses which you were entitled to in 2012. These allowances, which you can claim for expenses incurred when carrying out work duties, vary depending on your job.

The quickest way to claim tax refunds is online (www.revenue.ie) through the Revenue's MyAccount service.

The end of the year can also be a good time to ask for a pay rise.

Before you do so, be sure you can show your boss how much you've already done over the last year - and express how much more you'd like to do in the New Year.

Finally, don't forget to buy travel insurance if you're about to head off for a winter break - even if it's just a short weekend trip.

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