Tax Allowable Deductions

Are you claiming all of your allowable expenses when doing your taxes?

Most people know about the PAYE tax credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.  They also know about Pension allowances and Medical Expenses.

Not as many know about what the Revenue call Flat Rate Expense Allowances.

Flat Rate Expenses

Flat-rate expenses are those that cover the cost of equipment your employee needs for work. This equipment may include tools, uniforms and stationery.

These are costs that an employee incurs in performing the duties of their employment, and the costs must be directly related to the nature of their employment. Flat-rate expenses are available to a wide range of occupations.

The amount of the deduction is agreed between Revenue and representatives of groups or classes of employees (usually trade union officials). All employees of the class or group in question can then claim the agreed deduction in their own tax credits.

For example, shop assistants can claim an allowance of 121 for expenses.  I bet not too many of those are claimed.

Flat-rate expenses are one of the most common reliefs that are never claimed for. In 2013 for example, (the most recent year that I can find figures for) about 571,000 people successfully claimed these expenses, worth a total of €71 million.  But we don’t know how many people haven’t claimed.

As of todays date these are the expenses that are available.

What you should do

Scan the list of occupations below and see if your occupation is listed.  If it is, how much is the expense.  Then check are you claiming that.

If not consider, submitting and amended tax return.

FLAT RATE EXPENSES

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Agricultural Advisers (employed by Teagasc) 671 671 671 671 671
Archaeologists:  (Civil Service) 127 127 127  127  127
Architects employed by
     (a) Civil Service 127  127  127  127  127
     (b) Local Authorities 127  127  127  127  127
Airline Cabin Crews 64  64  64  64  64
Bar trade:  Employees 93  93  93  93  93
Building Industry
     Bricklayer 175  175  175  175  175
     Fitter mechanic, plasterer 103  103  103  103  103
     Electrician 153  153  153  153  153
     Mason, roofer slater, tiler, floor layer, stone cutter 120  120  120  120  120
     Driver, scaffolder, sheeter, steel erector 52  52  52  52  52
     Professionals:  engineers, surveyors, etc. 33  33  33  33  33
     General operatives (labourers etc. incl. Public Sector) 97  97  97  97  97
Bus, rail and road operatives in
Bus Atha Cliath, Bus Eireann and Iarnod Eireann 160  160  160  160  160
Cardiac Technicians
     Female 212  212  212  212  212
     Male 107  107  107  107  107
Carpentry and joinery trades
     Cabinet makers, Carpenters, Joiners 220  220  220  220  220
     Painters, Polishers, Upholsterers, Wood Cutting Machinists 140  140  140  140  140
Civil Service
     Architectural Technologists & Assistants 166  166  166  166  166
     Clerks of Works (incl. Senior  and District Inspectors) 142  142  142  142  142
     Engineering Technicians for Archaeologists, Architects, Engineers and Surveyors 166  166  166  166  166
Park Rangers and constables employed by the Office of Public Works 77 77 77 77 77
Clergymen (Church of Ireland) 127  127  127  127  127
Consultants (hospital) 695 695 695 695 695
Note:  Deduction includes subscription to the Irish Medical Council
Cosmetologists
 Obliged to supply and launder their own white uniforms 160  160  160  160  160
Defence Forces Personnel
(All enlisted personnel not in receipt of Uniform Replenishment Allowance) 150 150 150
Dentists in employment 376  376  376  376  376
Dockers 73   73   73   73   73
Doctors  (hospital, including consultants) 695  695  695  695  695
Note:  Deduction includes subscription to the Irish Medical Council.
Draughtsmen (Local Authority) 133  133  133  133  133
Driving Instructors 125 125 125 125 125
Note: This amount represents an annual allocation of half the biannual statutory ADI fee payable to the Road Safety Authority
Engineers employed by:
     (a)  Civil Service 166 166 166 166 166
     (b)  Local Authorities 127  127  127  127  127
     (c)  Eircom, Coillte, OPW 166  166  166  166  166
Engineering Industry [and Electrical Industry from 1997/98]
 Skilled workers who bear the full cost of own tools and overalls 331 331 331 331 331
 Semi-skilled workers who bear the full cost of own tools and overalls 254 254 254 254 254
All unskilled workers and skilled or semi-skilled workers who do not bear the full cost of own tools and overalls 219 219 219 219 219
Firefighters       Full-time 272  272  272  272  272
Firefighters       Part-time 407 407 407 407 407
Fishermen in Employment 318 318 318 318 318
Foresters employed by Coillte 166 166 166 166 166
Freelance actors chargeable to PAYE 750 750 750 750
750
Grooms (Racehorse Training) 294 294 294 294 294
Home Helps (Employed directly or indirectly by Health Boards) 256 256 256 256 256
Hospitals      Domestic Staff:
     To include general operatives, porters, drivers, drivers, attendants, domestics, laundry operatives, cooks, catering supervisors, waitresses, catering staff, kitchen porters
(a)  who are responsible for providing and laundering their own uniforms. 353 353 353 353 353
(b) who are obliged to launder       the uniforms supplied 185 185 185 185 185
(c)  whose uniforms are supplied and laundered free 93 93 93 93 93
Hotel industry
     Head hall porter 90  90  90  90  90
     Hall porter 64  64  64  64  64
     Head waiter 127  127  127  127  127
     Waiter 80  97  97  97  97
     Waitress 80 80  64  64  64
     Chef 97  97  97  97  97
     Manager 191  191  191  191  191
     Assistant Manager 127  127  127  127  127
     Trainee Manager 78  78  78  78  78
     Kitchen Porter 21  21  21  21  21
Journalists
Journalists, including those in public relations area of journalism 381  381  381  381  381
Journalists who receive expense allowances from their employers 153  153  153  153  153
Local Authorities
     Executive Chemists 115  115  115  115  115
     Parks Superintendents 40  40  40  40  40
     Town Planners 115  115  115  115  115
Mining Industry
     (a)miners/shift bosses underground, mill process workers/shift bosses and steam cleaners 1312 1312 1312 1312 1312
     (surface workers) 655 655 655 655 655
Motor repair and motor assembly trades
Assembly workers, greasers, storemen and general workers
     (a)  who bear the full cost of own tools and overalls 52  52  52  52  52
     (b)  who do not bear the full cost of own tools and overalls 42  42  42  42  42
Fitters and mechanics
     (a)  who bear the full cost of  own tools and overalls 85 85 85 85 85
(b) who do not bear the full cost of own tools and overalls 42  42  42  42  42
Panel Beaters (See Panel Beaters/Sheet Metal Workers
Nurses:
     (a)  where obliged to supply and launder their own uniforms 733 733 733 733 733
     (b)  where obliged to supply their own uniforms but laundered free 638  638  638  638  638
     (c)  where obliged to launder the uniforms supplied 353 353 353 353 353
     (d)  where uniforms are supplied and laundered by hospital 258  258  258  258  258
Nurses:  Short Term Contracts through an Agency.  Additional Amount Due 80 80 80 80 80
Nursing Assistants(including attendants, orderlies and nurses’ aides)
     (a)  where obliged to supply and launder their own uniforms 526  526  526  526  526
     (b)  where obliged to supply their own uniforms but laundered free 440  440  440  440  440
     (c)  where obliged to launder the uniforms supplied 234  234  234  234  234
      (d)  where uniforms are supplied and laundered by hospital 93  93  93  93  93
Occupational Therapists
     (a)  where obliged to supply and launder their own uniforms 217  217  217  217  217
     (b)  where obliged to supply their own uniforms but laundered free 153  153  153  153  153
     (c)  where uniforms are supplied and laundered by hospital 52  52  52  52  52
Optometrists/Dispensing Opticians in employment
Optometrists
Registration Fee – once off fee paid initially in year 1 250 250 250 250 250
Retention Fee – payable in 1st year and each subsequent year 285 285 285 285 285
Restoration Fee – payable to re-register with the Opticians Board 279 270 270 270 270
Dispensing Opticians
Registration Fee – once off fee paid initially in year 1 200 200 200 200 200
Retention Fee – payable in 1st year and each subsequent year 225 225 225 225 225
Restoration Fee – payable to re-register with the Opticians Board 215 215 215 215 215
Panel Beaters / Sheet metal Workers
     (a)  Who bear full cost of own tools and overalls 78  78  78  78  78
     (b)  Who do not bear full cost of own tools and overalls 40  40  40  40  40
Pharmacists 400 400 400 400 400
Pharmaceutical Assistants (formerly known as Assistant Pharmacists) 200 200 200 200 200
NOTE These amounts represent the Annual Retention Fee payable to the PSI
Physiotherapists
     (a)  where obliged to supply and launder their own uniforms 381  381  381  381  381
      (b)  where obliged to supply their own uniforms but laundered free 318  318  318  318  318
     (c)  where uniforms are supplied and laundered by hospital 64  64  64  64  64
Pilots (Airline Pilots Association) 275  275  275  275  275
Plumbing trades
Plumber (non-welder) 177  177  177  177  177
Plumber-welder 205  205  205  205  205
Pipe fitter-welder 205  205  205  205  205
Printing Bookbinding and allied trades
     Bookbinders (Hand) 109  109  109  109  109
     Bookbinders (Others) 97  97  97  97  97
     Compositors, linotype and monotype operators 121  121  121  121  121
     Copy Holders, photo lithographers, photo engravers and workers in T and E section of newspapers 114  114  114  114  114
     Monotype caster attendants, stereotypes and machine minders 135  135  135  135  135
Readers and revisers 100  100  100  100  100
Rotary machine minders and assistants 150  150  150  150  150
Others (e.g. cutters, dispatchers, rulers, warehousemen) 90  90  90  90  90
Professional Valuers in the Valuation Office 680 680 680 680 680
Radiographers
     (a)  where obliged to supply and launder their own white uniforms 242  242  242  242  242
      (b)  where obliged to supply their own white uniforms but laundered free 143  143  143  143  143
     (c)  where white uniforms are supplied and laundered by hospital 73  73  73  73  73
Respiratory & Pulmonary Function Technicians 191  191  191  191  191
RTE National Symphony Orchestra 2476 2,476 2,476 2,476 2,476
RTE Concert Orchestra 2476 2,476 2,476 2,476 2,476
Shipping
British Merchant Navy
Foreign-going trade:
(a)  First class passenger and cargo liners.
      Master 318  318  318  318  318
      Chief officer, chief engineer, other  officers, including pursers 318  318  318  318  318
      Chief steward 318  318  318  318  318
      Assistant steward 244  244  244  244  244
      Carpenter 194  194  194  194  194
      Other ranks 148  148  148  148  148
(b)  Cargo-vessels, tankers, ferries
      Master 318  318  318  318  318
      Chief officer, chief      engineer, other officers, including pursers 318  318  318  318  318
      Chief steward 318  318  318  318  318
      Assistant steward 244  244  244  244  244
      Carpenter 194  194  194  194  194
      Other ranks 148  148  148  148  148
British home or coasting trade:
      Master 318  318  318  318  318
      Chief officer, chief      engineer, other officers, including pursers 318  318  318  318  318
      Chief steward 318  318  318  318  318
      Assistant steward 244  244  244  244  244
      Carpenter 194  194  194  194  194
      Other ranks 148  148  148  148  148
Mercantile marine officers and crews of Irish ships
Foreign-going trade: cargo vessels
       Master 98  98  98  98  98
       Chief officer, chief engineer, radio officer 90  90  90  90  90
       Other officers including pursers 73  73  73  73  73
       Chief steward 73  73  73  73  73
       Assistant steward 55  55  55  55  55
       Carpenter (to include tools) 55  55  55  55  55
       Other ranks, including boys 37  37  37  37  37
Home trade:
(a)  Cross channel and continental
      Master 98  98  98  98  98
      Chief officer, chief engineer, radio officer 90  90  90  90  90
      Other officers, including pursers 73  73  73  73  73
      Chief steward 73  73  73  73  73
      Assistant steward 55  55  55  55  55
      Carpenter (to include tools) 55  55  55  55  55
      Other ranks including boys 37  37  37  37  37
(b)  Coasting vessels
      Master 98  98  98  98  98
      Chief officer, chief engineer, radio officer 90  90  90  90  90
      Other officers,
      including pursers 73  73  73  73  73
      Chief steward 73  73  73  73  73
      Assistant steward 55  55  55  55  55
      Carpenter (to include tools) 55  55  55  55  55
      Other ranks, including boys 37  37  37  37  37
Shop Assistants
(including supermarket staff, general shop workers, drapery and footwear assistants) 121  121  121  121  121
Surveyors  employed by:
     Local Authorities 127  127  127  127  127
     Civil Service 127 127 127 127 127
     Coillte 127  127  127  127  127
Teachers
     Teachers [excluding guidance counsellors, third-level academic staff and physical education teachers]
     School principals 608 608 608 608 608
     Other teachers 518 518 518 518 518
     Part-time teacher (on full hours) 518 518 518 518 518
     Part-time (not on full hours) 279 279 279 279 279
Guidance Counsellors
     (a)  employed full-time in second level schools 518 518 518 518 518
(b)  engaged mainly in teaching general subjects but also doing part-time guidance counselling (additional allowance) 126 126 126 126 126
Third level academic staff
     Professor, Heads of         Schools/Departments 608 608 608 608 608
     Senior lecturer 518 518 518 518 518
     College lecturer 518 518 518 518 518
     Assistant lecturer 518 518 518 518 518
     Part-time lecturer (on full hours) 518 518 518 518 518
     Part-time lecturer (not on full hours) 279 279 279 279 279
Physical education teachers (teacher must hold qualification in physical education)
     (a)  fully engaged in teaching P.E. 518 518 518 518 518
     (b)  engaged mainly in teaching general subjects but also doing part-time P.E. (additional allowance) 126 126 126 126 126
NOTE: Teachers who are employed by the Department of Education may also claim a deduction in respect of the subscription to the Teacher’s Council of Ireland
Veterinary Surgeons in Employment
Employed vets who incur, and are not reimbursed the cost of the Registration Fee to the Veterinary Council 621 621 621 621 621
Employed vets who do not incur, or are reimbursed the cost of the Registration Fee to the Veterinary Council 171 171 171 171 171
Veterinary Nurses
Where obliged to supply and launder their own uniforms 400 400 400 400 400
Where obliged to launder the uniforms supplied 150 150 150 150 150

Flat rate expenses can be claimed when completing your annual income tax return.

If you have any comments or questions on this post, feel free to contact me.

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