Don’t worry. There is still time to get sorted.
The 31st October deadline is for paper returns. If you are filing online you have until the 16th November to get your income tax return in to the Revenue. If you are intending on filing online but have not yet registered with ROS, you might find that you have left it a little late to arrange your own ROS registration as this registration process can take up to two weeks. However, you will still be able to file online if you use an accountant. An accountant will be able to file your tax return using their own ROS registration, although be aware that it still takes 3 days for the Revenue to set up a filing facility for you under an accountant’s registration.
If you prepared your tax return under pressure to meet the 31st October deadline and felt that you did not have enough time to research all the tax reliefs and credits that you may be entitled to, it is still possible to claim for these. In fact, you can claim for tax reliefs and credits up to four years after the relevant tax year in which they occurred.
The most common unclaimed tax reliefs and credits which we come across are:
1. Remunerating a spouse who works in your business. Many small business owners are assisted by their family members in various activities e.g. bookkeeping, admin, telephone answering, deliveries and many, many more. By remunerating your spouse you may have the opportunity to utilise otherwise unused tax bands and to pay tax on these earnings at 20% instead of 41%.
2. Tax credits for medical insurance premiums paid by your employer. Many employers offer to provide health insurance cover for employees as a job benefit. Tax relief for medical insurance premiums is usually granted at source when paid directly by the subscriber. However, where an employer is paying these premiums, the employee must make a claim for the tax credits with the Revenue.
3. Health expenses paid on behalf of another individual. It is not only your own medical expenses which you are entitled to tax relief on. If you pay medical expenses for any other individual, you can claim tax relief on these costs. Prior to 2007, tax relief was only available on health expenses you may have incurred for relatives. However from 2007 onwards, tax relief can be claimed for expenses paid on behalf of any other individual.
4. Qualifying dental expenses. Tax relief on dental expenses can only be claimed where you have obtained a Form Med2 from your dentist. When you are receiving dental treatment you should always ask your dentist whether the treatment qualifies for a Form Med2 and if so ask the dentist to complete one for you.
5. Additional tax credits are available for persons in certain occupations. These are known as Flat Rate Expenses. If you or your spouse work in one of these occupations, you may be entitled to claim the additional tax relief. Full information on the qualifying occupations are listed here:
6. Tax credits are available for married couples where one spouse works in the home caring for one or more dependent person (a child, a person over 65, a permanently incapacitated person) and where this spouse does not have income of more than €5,080.
7. Tax relief is available for unsecured loans taken out for the purpose of the repair or improvement of your main residence. This is subject to an upper limit which also includes any TRS you may be receiving on a mortgage.
8. Tax credits are available for amounts paid on bin and service charges.
9. If you are in rented accommodation you can claim additional tax credits based on your age and the amount of rent that you pay.
10. If you are a member of a trade union, there is a €70 tax credit available for trade union subscriptions paid in 2008 and 2009. The full allowance is available annually regardless of the actual amount of the subscription paid.
There are many more tax credits and reliefs which may be available depending on your personal circumstances. If you are interested in finding out if you may be entitled to more tax relief that you are currently receiving, it is worth checking out www.revenue.ie or contacting Fenero.