Less than a third of Irish taxpayers filed a tax return last year and forfeited potential refunds.
Ax reimbursement specialist Taxback.com said 790,000 PAYE taxpayers filed 2020 tax returns, out of a total of 2.9 million taxpayers, indicating a lack of “engagement” in tax matters.
Most people (40 percent) said a lack of awareness of potential tax breaks is the top reason for not filing taxes, according to Taxback’s latest Taxpayer Sentiment Survey.
Fear of contacting the IRS — and potentially owing money — motivated 19 percent of respondents to hold off, while the same number found the process too complex and/or time-consuming.
According to 12 percent of those surveyed, most people are not entitled to a refund, while 10 percent said they are too lazy or don’t feel like it.
Just 16 percent of people said they intend to contribute to the government’s Tax and Welfare Commission, which closed in January 2022, while 48 percent were unaware of the public consultation and 36 percent said they would not participate.
The survey of more than 1,200 taxpayers indicates “widespread disinterest” in tax issues, according to experts at Taxback.com.
“There aren’t many instances in life where people tend to turn down free money,” said Barry Cahill, director of Taxback.com.
“Now not everyone will have received a refund in the last year and others could still allow the relief to build up for the allowed four years before claiming. Notwithstanding these considerations, the fact remains that tens if not hundreds of thousands of people are defaulting on their debts.”
Mr Cahill said the survey indicated “either insufficient information and awareness regarding claims coupled with difficulties in interpreting the language relating to these things”.
Taxback.com is currently working with employers across the country to engage their employees and help them get their taxes in order in hopes of eventually receiving tax refunds, it said.
“As more employers assume the cost of providing tax advice to their employees, we hope more people will take advantage of the tax breaks to which they are entitled,” said Mr. Cahill.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/tax/just-27pc-of-irish-taxpayers-filed-2020-returns-survey-41473263.html Just 27 per cent of Irish taxpayers filed tax returns in 2020 – survey