Thousands of people failing to claim medical expense tax relief despite eligibility

People are being urged to claim tax relief on medical expenses.

In 2017, Revenue data shows 454,700 people claimed the relief, which amounts to 20% of those currently working in Ireland.

Taxback.com say that there are over two million people in this country who would be eligible to claim tax back on medical expenses.

They are drawing further attention to the issue, on the back of Revenue’s current communications campaign, whereby they are writing to over 125,000 taxpayers as a reminder to claim entitlements before the Dec 31 deadline for 2014 claims.

The average refund for medical expenses over four years is €494.

"Most people have to make at least one trip to the doctor over the year, but even if they manage to avoid it this year – surely, they have had to go at some stage in the previous four years?" said Eileen Devereux, Commercial Director at Taxback.com.

"That’s how far back you can go when claiming medical expense relief.

Analysis of our own customer records indicates the average refund for medical expenses over four years total €494.

"But Revenue figures show, in no uncertain terms, that the medical expense relief, which arguably has the most application to households throughout the country, is probably the most underutilised tax relief available.”

The tax experts say that a year-on-year comparison of Revenue figures reveals that the numbers claiming are growing – a trend which they say is “encouraging” and one they hope to see continue in the future.

Ms Devereux continued: "Anything to do with tax and form filling tends to make people’s eyes glaze over, but in reality, this is one of the most straightforward things you’ll ever do in terms of “personal admin” – easier than shopping online I would say.

"Most people incur medical expenses throughout the year – particularly parents with young children. Trips to the doctor’s surgery become commonplace for a lot of families over the years, with a trip costing anywhere from €40 to €70.

"So, if a couple with three children takes even just five trips to their GP in a year that bill hits approximately €250 – you could get €50 of this back from the Revenue. It makes so much sense to claim."


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