More than six-in-10 taxpayers missing out on refunds

More than six-in-10 taxpayers missing out on refunds

Almost half a million people overpaid a total of €300m in income tax in 2021.

THOUSANDS of households across the country are missing out on medical expense tax refunds as revealed by the latest’s Taxpayer Sentiment Survey of more than 1,200 people around the country.

As new figures show that almost half a million people overpaid a total of €300m in income tax in 2021 (See Appendix), the survey found that most (43%) respondents believe that the reason people don’t claim what they are owed is a simple lack of awareness around tax refunds and eligibility, while more than one in four people say they are just afraid of having anything to do with the Taxman.

Marian Ryan, Director of Business Development at commented: “January is undoubtedly the busiest month of the year for doctors and medical practitioners with flu, respiratory viruses, not to mention Covid-related illnesses at their peak.

“But our survey, and indeed Revenue statistics show that most of these people will not request the refund they are entitled to on these medical expenses.” report a positive take from the survey in that, the number of respondents who said they claim their medical expense tax relief had risen by 13% since 2021 in which, less than a quarter of people did not file a tax return.

Ms Ryan continued: “The increase in the number of people claiming, compared to when we asked the same question two years ago is encouraging.

“But it’s still not enough. Why leave money behind? If you pay your taxes, then you should reap whatever rewards are available – and this is a big one.

“Particularly if you have a family – the free GP Scheme ends when a child turns 6, so households with children are invariably going to incur medical costs over the years. These are all eligible for tax relief.”

Additional findings from the survey showed that:

12% of respondents say that the tax refund process is too lengthy or complex.

One in ten say they are too lazy and can’t be bothered to engage in the process entirely.

Ms Ryan added: “We ask this question every few years and one of the common themes we come across is that lack of awareness and knowledge continuously tops the list of reasons that people fail to claim their tax back. We need to educate taxpayers on claiming refunds to make it a priority for them and take the fear out of the dreaded words ‘tax return’.

“They say that knowledge is power but, in the case of tax refunds, knowledge is your money back where it belongs – in your pocket.

“While it is understandable that many people may be reluctant to deal with the Taxman out of fear of owing Revenue yet more money, it is always better to deal with an issue than to ignore it and hope it goes away.

“Also, in our experience, the number of people who wind up owing Revenue money is very low compared to the volume of unclaimed refunds each year so, the chances are strongly in peoples’ favour.”

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