Most people think that self-assessment tax returns only apply to the business community. It’s an easy assumption to make given the advertising campaign that goes into reminding business owners of the October 31st deadline. But all workers, and even pensioners, must submit a return to Revenue every year.
In a lot of cases, the accounts department of the company you work for will take care of it for you – hence the high level of inertia and disinterest that most people show when it comes to their tax bill at this time of year. But by perking up a bit and taking control of the situation, you could save yourself a lot of cash in the year ahead.
When employees receive their tax credits from the revenue each year – or officially, the ‘Notice of determination of tax credits and standard rate cut-off point’ – they can calculate their tax liability for the coming 12 months. If you know what to look for here, you can start making plans to save money immediately.
Firstly, make a list of everything that you pay for over the year. Items like bin charges, water charges (if they apply in your area), medical bills, college or school bills, and anything else that puts money in state coffers directly from your pocket should be itemised. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve covered everything – don’t forget to include your rent or mortgage payments – you can start working out what the Government owes you!
If you want to file your own tax return you can do so in one of two ways. You can register with the Revenue Commissioners and use the ROS Direct Debit system or you can submit forms which can be picked up from your local tax office or printed from www.revenue.ie. The self-employed will need Form 11, as will company directors, while PAYE workers and pensioners should use Form 12. If you’re in business, a registered company should complete Form CT1 and for partnerships, Form 1 should be filled out.
Once you’ve calculated your overall tax liability you can post payment to the Collector General’s office or you can go there yourself and pay in person. They have offices in Apollo House on Tara Street in Dublin and Francis Street in Limerick.
Sometimes, especially when it comes to tax returns, a little professional advice can go a long way. At DCA Accountants and Business Advisors, our team have dealt with members of the public on many occasions to handle tax returns. Depending on an individual’s situation, the types of rebates differ. For example, a single parent will be entitled to a higher tax credit than a two-parent family receives. By having an introductory and largely informal chat with our clients, we can generally find credits that people didn’t know they were entitled too or simply didn’t know existed. What’s more, our consultation is free. From there, we can file the paperwork for you and make sure that you receive everything that you’re entitled to – not just this year but for the previous four years.
Whatever way you decide to go, it’s crucial that you are up to speed on your tax liability, how to file it and how to claim any overpayment – it’s your money, after all.
DCA Accountants & Business Advisors.