Q: I have been offered two jobs. Both are in Dublin and I am currently living in Sligo, so I will have to move. They are both so similar which is making the decision difficult. It's coming down to small details like the fact that one offers gym membership but the other offers a one-off relocation package. Will I be taxed on either or both of these?
A: Employers will often offer reimbursement packages where the employee has to move to take up employment with them, according to the CEO of Taxback.com, Joanna Murphy. These relocation packages can be tax-free under the following circumstances: there are actual removal and relocation expenses; if they are for a reasonable amount; where the payment of the expenses is properly controlled; and, crucially, if moving house is necessary, Ms Murphy added.
Only those expenses which are a direct result of the change of residence can be repaid tax-free, such as legal or professional fees arising from moving house, removal, storage or insurance of furniture, and travelling expenses on removal.
An employer may pay a temporary subsistence allowance while the employee looks for accommodation in the new location, up to a maximum of 10 nights, at rates that do not exceed current civil service rates. Revenue advises that any records of expenses relating to removal and relocation be kept for six years, although subsistence expenses do not need to be vouched by receipts. Employer-provided gym memberships and similar bonuses are likely subject to tax as a benefit in kind.
Q: I am planning to rent out the small annex beside my house under Airbnb this summer. The annex is currently insured as an outbuilding under my house insurance, but I know I will have to let them know of the change of use before long. I am worried that it's going to have a bad impact on my premium but am hoping that the income will offset any price hike. Is there any specific package I need to get to ensure I'm covered?
A: As you seem to be aware, your home cover may not indemnify you if you have paying guests in your home via Airbnb, and you must inform your insurer of the change in use, says managing director of InsureMyHouse.ie, Jonathan Hehir. Non-disclosure is something to be avoided as it may lead to your insurer voiding your policy or denying a claim, and can be potentially devastating for a property owner in terms of securing affordable insurance in the future, if at all, he warned.
There are specialist 'host' insurance solutions to cover the additional risk associated with short-term rentals.
These will provide your standard buildings and contents cover, as well as financial protection for circumstances such as cancellations, emergency assistance cover, theft and unintentional damage - particularly where Airbnb's host protection/host guarantee is not applicable.
Q: I am moving back to Ireland after 10 years of living and working in the US. What are the tax implications on my savings here of a move back to Ireland and what would be my tax status on return? What is the best way to transfer savings to my Irish account?
A: From an Irish perspective, there are two main tax considerations. These are your income accumulated prior to your year of return, and your income accumulated in your year of return, according to Ms Murphy.
For the period when you were living in the US, prior to your year of return, you would be regarded as a non-resident, Irish-domiciled individual for tax purposes, and would be taxable on your Irish source of income only.
If you return to Ireland this year and spend more than 183 days here, you will be classed as resident and domiciled in Ireland for tax purposes, and would be taxable on your international income, Ms Murphy said.
Savings accumulated from income earned prior to the beginning of the tax year in which you are considered as a resident here will not be liable to income tax.
It may be possible to avail of a tax relief called split-year relief, meaning you will be treated as resident in Ireland from your arrival date, she explained.
That way, all your employment income from that date will be taxed in the normal way.
You can exclude any foreign employment income earned prior to your return, but still benefit from a full year's worth of Irish tax credits.
The relief applies to employment income only.
Relocation packages that come with a job offer can be tax-free under certain circumstances, according to tax experts.
Non-disclosure is something to be avoided when it comes to insurance as it may lead your insurer to void your policy or deny your claim.