According to Revenue, up to 366,000 households could be eligible for a rebate after overpaying in taxes over the past year.
The estimate relates to households that have not yet submitted their 2021 returns.
A leading expert believes they may be delaying the filing after being faced with an unexpected additional bill for 2020 due to receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
But squeezed households who unknowingly overpaid 2021 taxes through the PAYE scheme could be lining up for refunds in the coming months – but they’ll have to file their tax returns to find out.
Marian Ryan, Consumer Tax Manager at Taxback.com, said households overpay in taxes due to a variety of factors, which may include changes in their circumstances such as getting married, divorced or starting a new job. She said some people may also not claim tax breaks to which they are entitled, such as taxes. For example, for remote work, medical expenses, or non-routine dental expenses.
Because they are unaware that they are entitled to it, they pay too much tax and are entitled to a refund from the IRS.
Ms Ryan said the increase in the number of people who have overpaid in taxes this year is likely due to those who underpaid during the pandemic and are now ignoring their returns for 2021.
The 366,000 who could be in line for a refund this year is 100,000 more than last year.
“It’s a fun year 2020 and 2021 as the vast majority of people who would have received the wage subsidy or the PUP ended up underpaying for a long time,” Ms Ryan said, meaning they ended up owing the IRS more money than they did she thought.
These individuals may be “afraid” to submit their declarations through the PAYE system in the event of another underpayment, when in fact they may have overpaid.
“They may have their heads in the sand and don’t want to delve into 2021,” Ms Ryan said, adding that employers rarely make mistakes when it comes to taxing employees.
A Revenue spokesman denied there was pressure on staff to process refunds, saying the “vast majority” of returns are submitted online and do not require direct involvement from Revenue staff.
Of the households that filed their tax returns for the last year, 736,000 are eligible for a refund, 33,000 more than in 2020. But this is far fewer than in 2019, when 846,000 people overpaid.
The figures also show that an estimated 233,000 households underpaid their taxes last year, much fewer than the 402,000 in 2020.
Labor TD Ged Nash said any taxes due as a result of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) during the pandemic should be waived.
“Since January last year I have been advocating the cancellation of these tax assessments. Most TWSS workers had no choice and generally have low or modest incomes,” he said.
“They were the people in the crosshairs of the darkest days of the pandemic. The last thing they need right now in the context of a cost-of-living crisis is a tax bill.”
It found that nearly a quarter of calls to the IRS Jobs and Pensions Helpline were dropped by callers who faced long waits.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/tax/are-you-in-line-for-a-windfall-from-revenue-over-360000-households-overpaid-tax-in-2021-42156614.html Standing in line for a lucky break from Revenue? Over 360,000 households paid too much tax in 2021