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Rent tax relief

HARD figures on the amount of tax relief that goes unclaimed every year are not easy to come by, though estimates from the Revenue Commissioners in 2007 suggested that the figure could be as high as €500m.

Relief on things such as service charges, tuition fees, medical expenses and union dues often tend to be overlooked by tax payers, as does rent relief.

A tenant in private rented accommodation aged under 55 can claim relief of 20pc on up to €2,000 of rent paid during the year. It’s 40pc if you’re over 55.

Most renters pay a lot more than this in a year, so if you haven’t claimed, there’s €400 sitting there waiting for you to come and get it.

That’s €800 if you’re a couple, or if you’re over 55. And the figure could be a lot higher: it’s possible to claim tax back retrospectively, though usually only for a maximum of four years.

This means that you can submit a claim for tax relief relating to expenditure which took place during the tax years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, as long as the claim is submitted before the end of this year.

To apply for rent relief, download a Rent 1 form from revenue.ie or drop into your local tax office to pick one up.