Right now, people up and down the country are preparing to submit their tax returns for 2011. It can be a time of great stress and worry for those who do not have their paperwork in order but, even for highly organised people, there is a chance that money is being thrown away.


Few people are aware of the full set of tax reliefs available to them and, therefore, returns are filed in excess of what actually should be paid. The good news, however, is that it’s not too late to reclaim what’s still rightly yours from the taxman.


The first thing anyone preparing a tax return needs to do is to look at reliefs available to them. If you are paying rates towards the collection of household rubbish, for example, you’re entitled to a credit for your bin tax on your overall taxable income. Another credit may be available when there is a dependent family member or relative at home – claims can be made against the care of that relative too, based on the amount paid throughout the course of the year for their care. It must be documented, of course. Also, if you are a one-parent family, you will qualify for double the tax credit of the average person, which amounts to roughly €7,000 against total annual income. Rental income or expenditure, depending on whether you’re the landlord or the tenant, is also subject to relief.


The trouble that most people have is that, while they may be aware that they are entitled to reliefs, they simply don’t bother to claim them if they are already struggling with the paperwork requirements that go with filing a return. What’s more, it seems that a lot of individuals believe that, after filing a return to beat the October 31 deadline, they lose the right to make a claim. That is not the case. Claims can made retrospectively for up to four years, meaning that depending on your case, you could be entitled to a rebate covering that period from the Revenue Commissioners.


But how do you go about claiming? There are software packages out there but I would caution against using a programme that simply regurgitates what you feed it. The best thing to do is talk to a qualified tax advisor. At DCA Accountants and Business Advisors, our team are well versed and experienced in all tax reliefs available and depending on your personal circumstances, which ones apply to you. In many cases, having discussed a personal situation with a client, we often stumble upon avenues where they can lower their overall tax liability by claiming reliefs – many of which they were not aware of before.


Our consultation service is free of charge so all you have to lose by not talking to us is really what was rightfully yours all along.


Declan Dolan,




DCA Accountants and Business Advisors.


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