According to the most recent CSO Census figures there are approximately 4711 people working in construction, 7931 in education and 8290 in healthcare in Kildare. Leading tax refund experts Taxback.com say that a significant percentage of these, and other Kildare workers, are eligible for a little-known tax deduction called the Flat Rate Expense deduction.
According to Barry Flanagan, Tax Consultant with www.taxback.com, “In our experience, less than 10% of PAYE workers are aware of the Flat Rate Expense allowance – and so may be missing out on “free money” as a result. We have found that less than 10% of those eligible actually claim, and of those who do, most are members of a Union, which is how they came to know about the deduction in the first place. We’re not sure why these allowances have kept such a low profile, but we are trying to highlight the issue now so that people can claim what they are owed. Revenue doesn’t give it to you automatically.”
Taxback.com say these allowances, known as Flat Rate Expenses, can be claimed by PAYE employees as a deduction from taxable income. The amount claimable varies according to profession and job classification.
Barry explained, “Standard flat rate expense allowances are set for various classes of employee. For example, shop workers are granted flat rate expenses of €121 per year and bar trade employees get €97. Nurses who supply and launder their own uniforms can claim a deduction of €733.
In order to illustrate the number of people who might be eligible for the allowance we looked at just a sample of workers - the number of construction, education and healthcare workers in Kildare, – of which there are 4711, 7931, 8290 respectively. A substantial portion of these workers would be eligible for relief at the rates outlined below”.
Barry continued, “One of the good things about flat rate expenses is that there is no need to keep receipts to claim this relief – it is granted once you confirm that you are in a qualifying employment. Another benefit is that, –similar to medical expenses, you can claim this relief 4 years back.
While the claimable amount can initially appear small in some instances, the four year rule can make it a very worthwhile exercise. A supermarket worker earning €22,000 would be entitled to a deduction of €121, which translates as essentially a €30 tax refund. However, if you have never claimed, that’s €30 x 4 years which is €120 in your pocket. Throw in some qualifying medical expenses, some other credits and the tax refund, and what you are due could add up substantially”.
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