With the year-end approaching we are all starting to think about Christmas and all that it entails. It is also the end of the current tax year and with that, brings the deadline for being able to claim any 2012 Tax Refunds that you may be due. For this Blog Post, we have decided to highlight some of the 2012 Tax Refunds available to claim and a little bit about the Tax Refund process itself.
The Tax Refund Process
At any point in time Revenue will only let you claim tax refunds for the last 4 years. So right now you can claim Tax Refunds for the years 2012 to 2015. Come the 1st of January, you will then only be able to claim for the years 2013 to 2016. So you have until the 31st of December to claim any tax refund you may be due for 2012. Once Revenue receive the claim before this date they will process it but anything received after this date relating to 2012 will not be processed by them.
So What Tax Refunds Can I Claim For 2012?
Most of us can’t remember last week, let alone 4 years ago. 2012 was the year of the London Olympics, Ireland disappointed in the Euros and the Local Property Tax was introduced in the budget. As with most years there are numerous Tax Credits that can be claimed for the year 2012. Below we have listed the most common ones that people can claim.
1. 2012 Tax Refunds for Medical Expenses
You may claim tax relief in respect of the cost of certain Medical Expenses paid by you as long as you have the receipts and these expenses have not been reimbursed by your medical insurance. You can claim back 20% of what you have paid against your PAYE tax. So for every €50 you have in receipts, you can claim back €10. Most Medical Expenses are covered, even those incurred outside the country. The main ones being, doctor or hospital receipts, prescriptions, consultants fees, dental (Med2 form required) etc.
2. 2012 Tax Refunds for Rent
If you have been renting continuously since December 7th 2010 you can claim the Rent Tax Credit for 2012. For each tenancy, you need the Landlord/Estate Agent Name, House Address, Rent start date and amount paid. The credit itself is worth a maximum of €240 for 2012 but if you are married, widowed or in a civil partnership then this is doubled to €480. If you are over 55 and single it is worth €480 or if you are over 55 and married or widowed then it is doubled again to €960 for the year.
3. 2012 Tax Refunds for Tuition Fees
The Tuition Fees Tax Credit can get you money back on Revenue approved third level courses. You can claim back 20% of the Tuition Fees that you paid, including the Student Contribution, but no other fees qualify for relief (administration, registration or examination fees). This is limited to maximum of €7,000 and for a full time course the first €2,250 is discarded, for a part time course the first €1,125 is discarded. As a student, if you were not working and if someone else paid for you, like a parent, they can claim the receipts back against their 2012 taxes. If you have paid for more than one individual you can claim per course that you have paid for per individual. Any amounts covered by a grant or scholarship cannot be claimed back against.
4. 2012 Tax Refunds for Employment Expenses
Did you know you might be able to claim Employment Expenses based on your job? There are extra tax credits available for PAYE workers based on the type of job you do – there are over 200 different types of jobs where these extra credits are due. The most common ones include retail staff, teachers, hotel and bar workers, mechanics, transport workers, nurses & doctors, engineers, pilots and so on. This is one of the most common tax credits missed out on.
5. 2012 Tax Refunds for Medical Card
Having a Full Medical Card in 2012 means paying Lower USC as this is capped at the maximum rate of 4%. You don’t need to have held the card for the full year either, as long as you held it at any stage in 2012 you qualify for the lower rate.
If you can’t remember if you held a full Medical Card in 2012, just let us know the Medical Card number and we can check this for you.
6. 2012 Tax Refunds for Married Tax Credit
If you were Married prior to 2012 you can get set up Married with Revenue for the full 2012 Tax Year. Depending on your income, this can have a major impact on the tax that you paid and the Tax Refund that you could be due. The main scenario is where one spouse is not working or is working part time. Once set up as Married then you can claim the other spouses Personal tax Credit of €1,650 and you can also earn more at the lower rate of tax (20%) compared to being singly assessed. For 2012, you can earn €41,800 before going in to the higher rate (41%), where as you can only earn €32,800 before going in to the higher tax rate. That’s an extra €9,000 that you would pay tax at 20% instead of 41%. This can still be back dated as well so would apply for the subsequent years too and you may also be entitled to the Home Carers Tax Credit as well, as detailed below.
If you were Married during 2012 you are still treated as a single person until the following year but you can have what’s called a Year of Marriage review carried out which can lead to a 2012 Tax Refund as well.
7. 2012 Tax Refunds for Home Carers Tax Credit
If you are married or in a civil partnership, one spouse cares for a dependent person and that spouse income is below €5,080 then you may be entitled to the Home Carer’s Tax Credit, which is worth a maximum of €810 for 2012. If the carer’s income is between €5,080 and €6,700 then you can claim a reduced amount depending on your income. Most commonly claimed for kids, this can also be claimed where you provide support to a dependent person (over 65 years old or permanently incapacitated, excluding your spouse), who resides close to you.
8. 2012 Tax Refunds for One Parent Family Tax Credit
If you were single, had a child (even if they were born at any stage in 2012), were not cohabiting with any partner and the child stayed with you at least one night in 2012, then you can claim the One Parent Family Tax Credit. This is worth €1,650 for 2012. Both parents can claim this Tax Refund for 2012 as well and claiming the Tax Credit does not impact on your or the other parents Welfare payments. Even, if your child is over 18 years of age, but still in full time education, you might be eligible to claim for this credit.
9. 2012 Tax Refunds for Widowed Tax Credit
If you were a widower or became widowed in 2012 then you could be due the Widowed Tax Credit, which is worth €1,650. This can depend on how you were taxed prior to the date of death. Having dependent children can also lead to a larger refund as well.
10. 2012 Tax Refunds for Age Tax Credit
The Age Credit is available when either you, your spouse or civil partner are aged 65 or over, or reach 65 years of age, at any time during the 2012 tax year. The credit itself is worth €245 if single or doubled to €490 if married in 2012.
11. 2012 Tax Refunds for Dependent Relative Tax Credit
If you financially support an elderly relative, you could be due an additional “Dependent Relative Tax Credit” of €70 per person you supported in 2012. The most important condition is that the Dependent Relative must earn less than €13,904 in 2012. It does not matter if the Dependent Relative lives in Ireland or abroad. Receiving this Tax Credit has no other impact on you or your relatives Pension, Social Welfare or Tax situation.
12. 2012 Tax Refunds for PAYE Tax Credit
Make sure you are receiving the correct PAYE Tax Credit. Most people assume that their basic Tax Credits are correct but this is not always the case. Have a look at another recent Blog Post we did in relation to this here. The PAYE Tax Credit is €1,650 in 2012.
13. 2012 Tax Refunds for Mortgage Interest
If you took out a Mortgage between 2004 and 2012 you can claim tax relief in respect of the interest paid on this loan or mortgage. You can also claim tax relief in respect of the interest on a mortgage paid by you for your separated/divorced spouse and a dependent relative for whom you are claiming a dependent relative tax credit. You need to provide a statement from your mortgage provider stating the amounts of interest you paid in 2012. If you are single or married, a first time buyer or a non-first time buyer, these will determine the ceilings and rate at which you can claim back against the Mortgage Interest paid.
Mortgage interest on a loan taken out for investment, rental, secondary or any properties other than your main residence does not qualify for interest relief. Also, Mortgages taken out after 31st of December 2012 will not qualify for Mortgage Interest Relief. Mortgage Interest Relief lasts for 7 years, so if you took out the mortgage in 2004 or 2005 then there would be nothing to claim in 2012 as the 7 years has passed.
14. 2012 Tax Refunds for Medical Insurance
If your employer paid a part of your Medical Insurance on your behalf then you could be eligible for this tax relief. The exception is where the employer arranges for your Insurance to be paid out of your salary, but they don’t pay part of it, you don’t get any extra tax relief. To claim you need a letter from your employer stating the gross amount paid for your Medical Insurance for 2012. You can claim back 20% of the total amount paid by your employer.
15. 2012 Tax Refunds for Incapacitated Child Tax Credit
This tax credit is a support for parents where a child has been diagnosed with an incapacity that will prevent him/her from working as an adult. This Tax Credit is worth €3,300 per child for the year 2012. Common eligible conditions include Downs Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis, while severe autism may be allowed in some cases – Revenue make the final decision on what’s eligible, normally they look for medical assessments.
16. 2012 Tax Refunds for Change in Employment
If your employment changed in 2012 this can also lead to a Tax Refund. If you were working part-time, lost your job, had more than one employment or were on emergency tax at any stage in 2012 you may have been taxed incorrectly. We can check this for you based on what you earned and the tax that you paid in 2012 as part of our full review.
17. 2012 Tax Refunds for PRSA/AVC
If you pay into a pension scheme directly from your bank account and not as an employer salary deduction, then you are missing out on extra tax relief. This typically happens where you sign up with a local broker to pay money, either as a lump sum or by monthly direct debit, into a pension plan. These may be known as AVC’s or PRSA’s. You just need a statement from the pension provider of the amounts that you paid in 2012. You can claim back, depending on the rate of tax that you pay, a certain percentage of this.
What To Do For 2012 Tax Refunds?
Time is ticking so remember, when it’s gone, it’s gone! So come the 1st of January, 2012 will be closed off completely to Refund claims.
As you can see from the above list there is a lot to check for when claiming Tax Refunds. To make sure you don’t miss out on any potential 2012 Tax Refunds make sure you get your taxes checked by the experts to maximise your 2012 Tax Refund.
We can check all of the above and more – all you need to do is fill in some of your details on our Simple Online Form. To make sure we can carry out a full review of your 2012 taxes make sure to sign up before the 20th of December.
Written by Ray Byrne