Ahead of Budget Day, Team Taxback recently hosted a webinar to explore the tax changes that may soon be on the cards for workers in Ireland.
Budget 2024 will be announced on Tuesday 10 October. During the webinar, our panel of experts discussed what we can expect from the announcement next week.
Here are our top takeaways from the webinar.
Will workers receive a tax break in the budget?
Workers can expect to pay a little less tax in 2024 – but don’t expect any major windfall! So says Marian Ryan, Business Development Manager, Taxback.
Ryan expects the government to “widen the tax bands to put money back into the pockets of the squeezed middle-income earners next year.”
Meanwhile, there has been much speculation that the controversial Universal Social Charge could be adjusted in the Budget. Although, workers should not expect to enjoy major savings through substantial USC cuts.
“There may be some tweaks to the USC,” says Charlie Weston, Personal Finance Editor, Irish Independent. Weston predicts “the 4.5% rate of USC, which applies to incomes between €23,000 and €70,000 could be cut by half a percent.”
Weston says he does not foresee the government scrapping the USC anytime soon as the tax “raises about €5bn per year” – a lot of money for the public coffers.
With the cost of building materials on the rise, Gavin Mulcahy, Managing Director, Get Let Letting Agents, believes that the government have a significant challenge on their hands to make housing affordable for first-time buyers.
“We are still in crisis mode in the housing market, we are not building enough houses”, says Mulcahy.
“We are one of the few countries with a rising population. And we need to build approximately 55,000 new units per year, to meet demand. At present, we are not hitting our housing targets and this needs to be addressed in the budget.”
As every parent knows, managing the cost of childcare can be a real burden.
Speaking recently at a press event in Dublin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed that childcare is a key consideration for the government in this budget.
There has been much speculation that child benefit will be increased in the budget – as it was in Budget 2023.
Such a move would be welcomed by Karen Clince, Founder and CEO, Tiger’s Childcare.
Clince says she would like to see the government doing more to support families as “the cost of childcare is a prohibitory factor in parents returning to work.
“There has been incredible national policy on childcare developed over the last number of years, but the funding just is not at the level that it needs to be to back up that policy.”
When asked if there is a sufficient number of childcare providers Clince says, “there is certainly not enough childcare providers, or colleagues in the sector” and that “rate of pay still isn’t where it needs to be.”
It has been widely reported that the government may use Budget 2024 to introduce increases in social welfare and pension payments.
Weston expects that we will see “at least a €10 increase in the pension, and possibly more.”
Weston notes, “The state pension needs to keep up with the fact that the cost of living is going through the roof.”
“It increased by €12 last year, and there are calls for a €25 increase this year from Social Justice Ireland and the National Women’s Council.”
Over 400,000 workers almost every year are owed unclaimed tax benefits.
With that in mind, Marian Ryan is advising every worker to check what they’re owed.
Ryan outlined some of the more common expenses that people may be due tax back on, including medical expenses, flat rate expenses and working from home relief.
“We are all due some tax back,” she says. “And it is possible to go back four years to claim your tax entitlements. This can result in a substantial tax refund. So it’s always a good idea to check what you’re owed from the tax man.”
Rent Tax Credit
The Rent Tax Credit was introduced in Budget 2023, enabling eligible renters to receive a €500 tax credit (or €1,000 for a married couple).
Ryan states that 400,000 people were eligible for the rent tax credit and “there has been about a 50% uptake.”
The government have indicated that they are considering increasing the Rent Tax Credit and Ryan is encouraging all renters to claim this money as they are entitled to it.
How Taxback can help you claim back what you’re owed
Are you one of the 200,000 people who have yet to claim the Rent Tax Credit? Or perhaps you are owed other unclaimed tax benefits.
At Taxback we can help!
We will conduct a full tax review to ensure you get every tax relief you are entitled to.
Our average Irish tax refund is €1,880!
It’s not too late to watch the session and listen to the full discussion.
Be sure to check back on our website on Tuesday to use our FREE Budget 2024 calculator to see what you could be getting back into your pocket after the government announces Budget 2024.
This is the second session in our new Smart Money Sessions webinar series, check back for details of future events.