Thursday 17 October 2019

Workers urged to claim four years of tax breaks


Embarrassing climbdown: Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Embarrassing climbdown: Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Anne Marie Walsh

Unions have urged members who have not claimed tax breaks to seek their entitlements, after it was revealed a Revenue review would end reliefs on work expenses for thousands of workers.

Mandate sent a message to its 40,000 members urging them to apply for the entitlements for the last four years, before Revenue removes them.

It said the accumulated benefit could be up to €640 for a pharmacist, €320 for an assistant pharmacist, €193 for a shop assistant and €148 for a bar worker.

The Government was forced into an embarrassing climbdown this week after being accused of "clobbering workers".

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced that the review would be parked for a year. It was originally set to affect an initial 80,000 workers from January 1.

The tax grab was revealed as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was promising tax cuts over the next five years if re-elected.

But the U-turn followed, with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions warning it will mount a campaign if there are future moves to axe the reliefs.

"The fact that they've decided not to proceed with this is to be welcomed as it would mean a significant reduction in earnings for some of the lowest paid people," said a spokesman.

:: In a graphic 'Cutting tax reliefs' published in the Irish Independent on Wednesday, November 21, several incorrect figures were listed.

This was due to a production error. We are happy to clarify that the correct figures should read: bricklayers (€175), electricians (€153), bus, rail and road operatives (€160), park rangers employed by OPW (€77), driving instructors (€125), fishermen (€318), pharmacists (€400), plumbers (€177) and guidance counsellors (€518).

Irish Independent

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