On the back of recent provisional figures from Revenue indicating that as much as €300 million was potentially overpaid by taxpayers in 2021, tax refund specialists Taxback.com have released their Customer Index 2021.
It details how much Irish people are claiming back, who is best at claiming and what are the top reliefs and refunds.
The Taxback.com Index reveals that between the end of 2020 and the end of 2021, the average refund claimed by taxpayers amounted to €1,880 – up from €1,076 in previous years.
Medical expense tax refunds were found to retain the top spot as the most common relief claimed in the year. The data, which looks at the refunds that Taxback.com’s clients applied for and received over the previous 12 months, highlights the fact that men in Ireland are more active than their female counterparts for claiming what’s owed and that they tend to receive higher refunds when they do.
Speaking of the findings, Joanna Murphy, CEO of Taxback.com commented: “Although we’re only halfway through the year, 2022 has already seen record levels of inflation jumping to a 40-year high and hitting the pockets of Irish households hard. Most of us are looking to tighten our belts in one way or another. And yet, in the last few weeks, we learn that 450,000 people overpaid a total of €300m in income tax in 2021. If we go back even further, to the last year in which people can still claim, Revenue records reveal that since 2019 €620m has been overpaid.
“So the question remains – how do we get people to claim what they are owed? You mention the word tax and people’s eye glaze over! But if you tell people how their colleagues, friends, family and neighbours are getting money from Revenue, they are understandably much more engaged. That’s where the Index comes in.”
Ms Murphy added: “The reality is that we’re really not great in this country for claiming the reliefs and refunds owed – which is a shame because many households throughout the country could really benefit from that added cash injection. Many people are still unwilling to apply for a tax refund possibly because they believe it’s a difficult process or a ‘hassle’, but the reality is it’s very straightforward, and only requires a little prep in terms of keeping receipts or following up with your health practice or dentist etc. to obtain the ones you don’t have.
“We would encourage everyone to take greater stock of their financial wellbeing and ensure they are not overpaying in tax. While we understand that tasks relating to tax refunds and reliefs may seem confusing at first – or even overwhelming – there is plenty of help available, either online through Revenue, or through a trusted tax agent.”