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Finance - Money Matters - P60: your ticket to a tax refund

Your questions answered by Ivan Ahern

By now you should have received your P60 for last year. It’s very important that you review your P60 as tax is most likely the largest bill you paid last year – even larger, on average, than a mortgage! Your P60 shows how much you earned in 2013 and, most importantly, how much tax you paid on those earnings. Effectively, it could be your ticket to a tax refund!

Potential tax refund
If you have had any changes in your personal circumstances, or have not reviewed your tax affairs in a few years, then you may discover you are entitled to some additional tax reliefs/credits/allowances and you could be due a tax refund. For example, if you recently got married, changed employer, changed work pattern, etc.

We find many nurses and midwives don’t claim for all their entitlements, and their unclaimed tax reliefs accumulate year on year. You can claim back tax refunds for a period of up to four years. That means many nurses and midwives may be due back a substantial amount of money if they haven’t been filing a return on an annual basis. To put this in context, the average tax refund we processed last year was €1,090 for public sector employees. 1 Many of these were nurses and midwives.

Flat rate expenses
As a nurse/midwife, you can also claim for ‘flat rate expenses’. This is a job-related tax relief and is given at your marginal rate of tax as follows:

  • Supply and launder your own uniforms – tax relief of €733
  • Supply your own uniforms but are laundered free – tax relief of €638
  • Launder uniforms that are supplied by employer – tax relief of €353
  • Uniforms supplied and laundered by your employer – tax relief of €258
  • N urses on short term contracts through an agency – additional tax relief of €80. Claiming this allowance alone could be worth €300 per annum in your pocket (based on a nurse earning €40,000 and claiming the relief at €733).

Check your payslip
When was the last time you checked your payslip? This is another area you should review regularly. From our experience, upon inspection, public sector employees often discover they have been on the incorrect point of the salary scale or their standard rate cut-off point and tax credits are incorrect.

Medical and dental expenses
This is another area where tax refunds can accumulate over the years. You can claim for tax relief at 20% on the following expenses:

  • Doctor, GP, consultant or hospital fees
  • O rthoptic or similar treatment prescribed by a practitioner
  • Drugs or medicines prescribed by a doctor, dentist, or consultant
  • Items or treatments prescribed by a Doctor, eg. physiotherapy
  • Transport by ambulance
  • N on-routine dental treatments, eg. crowns/veneers/root canal.
  • Certain dietary products, eg. coeliac/ diabetic
  • Y ou can also claim for tax relief on approved nursing home fees at a rate of 41%.

Tax credits
An example of some of the tax credits which you may be entitled to claim for 2013 are listed below:

  • Single person/lone parent credit: €1,650
  • Married person credit: €3,300
  • PAYE credit: €1,650
  • W idowed person credit: €2,190
  • W idowed parent (bereaved in 2013): €3,600
  • Incapacitated child credit: €3,300
  • Dependant relative credit: €70
  • Home care credit: €810
  • Age credit single: €245; married: €490.

Other tax reliefs
There is also tax relief available for college fees, single premium pension contributions, mortgages, renting, etc. A full list of the reliefs, credits and allowances available can be found on the Revenue website, www.revenue.ie

Get a free tax refund estimate
To find out if you could be due a tax refund, use our free tax refund calculator at www.midasonline.ie or Tel:01-4086261.

Ivan Ahern is director at Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd.

1.Source: Midas PAYE customer statistics, 2013. Midas is a tax based service and not a regulated financial product. Cornmarket Retail Trading Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. Telephone calls may be recorded for quality control and training purposes. This information is intended only as a general guide and has no legal standing. Members who have specific questions relating to their personal finances, superannuation entitlements, etc. are advised to seek professional advice and can contact Cornmarket at (01) 408 4000. Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of Irish Life Group Ltd. Telephone calls may be recorded for quality control and training purposes.

Finance - Money Matters - P60: your ticket to a tax refund
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie