Sunday 21 April 2019

Just married? Good news - you could be due a nice 'wedding gift' from Revenue

Couples are treated as singles in the first year of marriage, which could mean a refund from the months directly after the big day

Any day you're due an unexpected tax refund is a good one, but when it comes after you've raided your bank account to feed a table of unplanned for plus ones, it's something of a relief.

Which is why newlyweds might be happy to discover that they may be entitled to a nice little 'wedding gift' from the Revenue after their first year of marriage.

“We’re not suggesting that anybody gets married for the tax breaks – but it’s good to set the record straight to avoid any post-nuptial disappointment!" Barry Flanagan, Director at explained.

"Any couples thinking of getting hitched can rest assured – bar the cost of the wedding – [marriage] is not going to hit you financially.”

Mr Flanagan advises that one tax break many couples are entitled to upon marriage is ‘year of marriage relief’.

“In the year you’re married, both you and your spouse will continue to be treated as single people for tax purposes. However, if the tax you pay as two single people is greater than the tax payable if you were taxed as a married couple, you can claim the difference as a tax refund. Only tax deducted in the months after marriage can qualify for a tax refund, and refunds are typically granted the following year.

“Surprisingly, not everyone notifies the Revenue of this change in personal circumstance and I can only guess that it’s because they are not aware that it could result in money in their pocket.

Mr Flanagan points out that as Irish people are generally older than ever before when they say ‘I do’, income in the first year of marriage i generally much higher now than it was for previous generations and so, the tax savings would potentially be greater.

"It’s definitely worth checking out!” he says.

Under what circumstances are you due a tax refund when you get married?

According to the tax specialists, newlyweds can make a saving under the following circumstances:

  • If both spouses are working but only one pays tax at the higher rate·               
  • If both spouses are working and one spouse has unused credits due to low income·               
  • If only one spouse is working·               
  • If one spouse cares for children in the home·               
  • If they are disposing of assets or making investments

You can choose be be assessed in one of three ways:

  1. Assessment as a single person;
  2. Separate assessment (where some tax credits can be divided equally between both partners);
  3. Joint assessment

Marriage and Tax FAQs - Find out how getting married in Ireland affects your personal finances with these most frequently asked questions

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