TAX RELIEF MUST-DO’S
You can get a full list of flat-rate employment expenses which various workers are entitled to on the website of the Revenue Commissioners. The best allowances are for miners and those who work in an orchestra. Orchestra workers can get an annual allowance of €2,476 — as long as they’re working for the RTE Concert Orchestra or the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. Miners can get an annual allowance of up to €1,312. Workers in the defence forces became entitled to flat-rate expenses last summer. The flat-rate expense, which is for €150 a year, is available for the specialist cleaning of ceremonial uniforms for all enlisted members of the defence forces who are not in receipt of a uniform replenishment allowance. As the defence forces flat-rate expense became effective from 2015, it can be claimed for the year 2015 and onwards. You must be an employee to get flat-rate expense allowances — you cannot claim them if you’re self-employed. Don’t throw away receipts for doctors’ visits, prescriptions and other medical bills as these may be needed to validate a claim for tax relief on such expenses. “Revenue do come looking for evidence to back up a claim from time to time, especially if you’re making a large claim, said Norah Collender of Chartered Accountants Ireland. You can keep a electronic record of your expenses on Revenue’s mobile app, Revapp (through its Receipts Trackers service). Be careful not to claim tax back on medical expenses which don’t qualify for relief. For example, you cannot usually get tax relief on cosmetic surgery — though you may qualify if the surgery was required to correct a health issue. You’re not entitled to tax relief on routine dental work, such as fillings — though you can get refunds on the cost of crowns, veneers and root canal treatment. One valuable tax relief which is not very wellknown is the favourite nephew or niece relief, according to Eileen Devereux, commercial director at Taxback.com. With this tax break, your niece or nephew could inherit up to €320,000 tax-free from you, rather than up to €32,500 (the normal tax-free limit for inheritances received by nieces or nephews). To be eligible for the relief, which allows you to treat your nephew or niece as your ‘child’ when giving them a gift or inheritance, he or she must have worked for you for a certain amount of time — and only be inheriting assets used in your business. You claim this relief after you have received the inheritance — and within a certain time frame. From next year, you will be able to check your tax credits and the amount of tax you have paid in an end-of-year statement which you will get from Revenue. This is because of a new PAYE system which is kicking in on January 1. “Under the new system, 2019 will be the last year that employees will see a P60 — and the P60 itself will be for 2018,” said Collender. “From then on, employees will get an end-of-year statement from Revenue.“Another change is that employees who move employment will no longer get a P45 from the employer they are leaving.