Written answers

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
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131. To ask the Minister for Finance the number of PAYE taxpayers issued with a tax refund in each of the past five years; the value of refunds in each year; the measures he is taking to ensure that taxpayers avail of tax reliefs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19460/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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Revenue has advised me that the number of PAYE taxpayers who received tax refunds in the last five years is set out in the table below. The figures for the most recent four years are subject to change as additional claims are still possible.

Tax Year Number of PAYE taxpayers Amount refunded - €m
2015 720,010 464.9
2016 739,500 498.5
2017 701,787 512.8
2018 673,197 538.5
2019 500,314 369.8

Revenue has further advised me that it implements a range of measures to ensure PAYE taxpayers apply for and receive any repayments due. This includes writing to approximately 130,000 taxpayers each year that have not made a claim in the previous four years and an automated process that automatically grants certain tax credits and exemptions at the start of each year so that people who do not claim still receive the benefit.

Revenue has also invested in very innovative and user-friendly online systems that allow PAYE taxpayers to self-manage their tax affairs. For example, taxpayers can access their tax records through Revenue’s myAccount system and reallocate tax credits and rate bands across different employments or between spouses and civil partners in joint assessment cases, thereby reducing the possibility of underpayments or overpayments of tax.

Since the introduction of real-time PAYE (PAYE Modernisation) on 1 January 2019, Revenue provides each PAYE taxpayer with a preliminary ‘end of year statement’ outlining their end of year tax position. Taxpayers can then finalise their end of year position by completing a return of income (eForm 12), which is pre-populated to the greatest extent possible.

Finally, I am aware that Revenue advertises PAYE taxpayer entitlements extensively each year through both the media and press and gives presentations to relevant bodies when the opportunity to do so arises.

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