Available to those in a broad range of professions and trades, from teachers, to bricklayers, to hospital doctors, flat-rate expenses are one of the most common reliefs that are never claimed for.
Introduced to cover the cost of certain expenses employees incur in the course of their profession or trade, the relief cover expenses such as acquiring tools, equipment for a classroom, or buying or laundering uniforms, that PAYE employees would otherwise not be reimbursed for.
The relief can be sizeable: professional musicians for example are entitled to annual relief of €2,476, while hospital consultants are eligible to claim relief of €695 a year.
And the good news is that the scope of the reliefs hasn’t declined, even in the age of austerity.
For example, in 2009 a vet could avail of €337 in tax relief – this has since risen to €6, while the rate of €518 available to teachers has not changed since 2009.
The first thing to note is that the expenses work as a relief against your taxable income, which is not the same thing as a credit.
For example, if a teacher was to get a tax credit of €518 a year, they would pay €518 less in tax that year.
With a relief however, the benefit to you is dependent on the rate of tax you pay.Take a teacher on the higher rate of tax (40 per cent), earning more than €32,800 a year.Many people are entitled to claim tax relief on work related expenses, be they uniforms or tools, while others can claim a certain cash amount towards expenses when travelling for work – whether they actually spend the full amount or not If you work in the PAYE sector, it’s likely that the tax implications of expenses are not something you will have given much consideration to.Claiming tax relief on expenses is for the self-employed, right?However, you may be missing out by more than you realise by failing to claim certain tax reliefs which can help boost your after-tax income.After all, many people are entitled to claim tax relief on work related expenses, be they uniforms or tools, while others can claim a certain cash amount towards expenses when travelling for work – whether they actually spend the full amount or not. The first expense PAYE workers need to be aware of are “flat-rate” expenses.