In the wake of recent coverage of Revenue’s review of the Flat Rate Expense (FRE) tax allowance and the cuts to reliefs available to many categories of workers, tax experts at Taxback.com are urging those who will be affected to move now to claim back reliefs for the previous 4 years. The tax refund specialists say we are fast approaching the deadline to claim refunds from the 2014 tax year – which is Dec 31st.

Eileen Devereux, Commercial Director at Taxback.com explained the current position,

“The cuts to FREs will come as an unwelcome shock to many workers. But the message we want to get out there is that there is still time to claim. You can actually go back 4 years with your claims – so at the moment you could submit a claim for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. And come Jan 1st you will be able to submit a claim for your 2018 FREs.

The money people are owed in refunds is not insignificant. For example, a shop assistant (for whom the relief will no longer apply after January 1) can claim refund of €484 for the 4 year period 2014 – 2017. Meanwhile, for a journalist, the refund would be even greater – as much as €1,524”.

Taxback.com emphasise that flat rate expense allowances are available for various classes of employee. Deductions are available to doctors, engineers, plumbers, journalists, teachers and hospitality sector workers, among other professions.

Eileen continued,

“This seems to be a tax relief that people may have heard of in passing, but most know very little about.

FREs are a type of tax relief for PAYE workers in specific trades and professions and if you have a job in one of these areas, you can reduce the amount of tax you pay each year by the designated amount.

Based on our experience dealing with taxpayers every day, we would guestimate that less than 10% of PAYE workers are aware of the FRE allowance – and so they may be missing out on this relief as a result.

The amount you can claim really depends on what job you have because the rates are set by Revenue each year for various classes of employee. You can find a full list of jobs & associated reliefs on the Revenue website.

But you don’t automatically get the FRE deduction, so you have to be proactive and claim it yourself.

One of the good things about FREs 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 – like medical expenses – you can claim this relief 4 years back”.

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