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Tax tips for 2017

Wednesday, 11th January, 2017 1:00am

Some tax tips to consider regarding your finances as we start the New Year -

1. First time buyers: You may qualify for a tax refund under the Help-to-Buy scheme:

The Help to Buy incentive provides for a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four tax years to first-time buyers who purchase or self-build a new house or apartment to live in as their home. There is an online application process on www.revenue.ie which requests various information. In addition applicants will also need to complete a form 12 tax return for each of the years on which they are seeking a rebate of tax paid.

2. Review your Tax Credit Certificate

You and/or your employer should by now have received your certificates of tax credits and standard rate cut-off points for 2017. You should review this certificate to ensure you have been granted the correct rate of credits and standard rate band, and also ensure that all credits to which you are entitled have been included e.g. employee flat rate expenses, PAYE tax credit, personal tax credit, medical insurance credit (if paid by employer) etc. If your credits are incorrect it will result in an over or underpayment of PAYE at the end of the year. If you are married and jointly assessed you should also review the allocation of credits between each spouse to ensure it suits your circumstances, e.g. if one spouse is self-employed and the other is an employee, you can dictate whether most of the tax due is paid under PAYE or in a lump sum on assessment by the manner in which the credits are allocated.

3. Review your Life Assurance Cover

Life assurance rates have come down significantly over the last 12 months. If you have an old policy in place, you may be overpaying for your existing cover. In addition, if you were made redundant in 2016 you are most likely no longer covered under your previous employer’s group scheme. Life cover is relatively inexpensive to put in place and is essential for families with young children.

4. File your Capital Gains Tax return before 31 January 2017

If you sold or transferred an asset and made a gain between 1 December 2016 to 31 December 2016, payment of the CGT is due no later than 31 January 2017.

5. If you were made redundant or emigrated during 2016, you may be due a tax refund

If you were made redundant during 2016 you may be entitled to a refund of any tax overpaid. Similarly, if you were not working for the full year or emigrated during 2016, you may be due a refund of income tax, particularly if you are not in employment at the end of the year as you would not have received the benefit of your tax credits for any months out of work.

6. Carry out a financial healthcheck

Now is a good time to review your financial and tax situation and ensure that you have a plan for 2017. Coll&Co are independent fee-based financial and taxation advisors and specialise in this area. Hourly consultations are now also available.

The above information should be treated as a guide only. If you would like assistance with your tax affairs, please contact Coll & Co Chartered Accountants, Barna Galway. They can be contacted by phone: 091 592080 or by email: info@coll.ie.

If you want to subscribe to Coll& Co’s free quarterly newsletter, log on to www.coll.ie and fill in the details.

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