Mandate members urged to claim tax relief entitlements

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Mandate Trade Union is urging all members to avail of their flat rate expenses before Revenue removes them in the coming months and years.

This week Mandate launched a media campaign to highlight the inequity of Revenue removing the allowance for workers, particularly low paid workers, while at the same time allowing €231 billion in corporation tax losses and capital allowances to be carried forward for 2017.

It’s clear that businesses take priority when it comes to operational expenses in our economy.

The accumulated benefits for workers who claim these expenses for the last four years could be up to €640 for a Pharmacist, €320 for an Assistant Pharmacist, €193 for a Shop Assistant and €148 for a bar worker,

What are flat rate expenses?

Approximately 50 years ago trade unions negotiated for workers to be able to write off expenses accrued due to their employment for taxation purposes. This relief is for the purchase and maintenance of uniforms, tools and stationary, for instance. However, the flat rate means all workers in an employment category collect the same amount irrespective of how much expense they accrue.

How does it work?

The tax relief must be claimed by the worker because it is not automatically applied by Revenue. However, after you make your first claim, Revenue should have applied it every year thereafter.

The way it operates is quite simple. The relief allocated to your specific employment reduces your taxable income. For instance, if you are a retail worker and you earn €20,000 per year, your taxable income is reduced by €121 bringing it to €19,879.

What are the allowances?

The allowances vary based on the role you are employed in. A full list of the 53 employment categories with 134 individual flat rate expenses is available by clicking here. However, the industries appropriate to Mandate membership include:

  • Pharmacists – €400
  • Pharmaceutical Assistants (formerly known as Assistant Pharmacists) – €200
  • Shop Assistants (including supermarket staff, general shop workers, drapery and footwear assistants) – €121
  • Bar trade: employees – €93

How do I claim my allowance?

Under Revenue rules you are entitled to claim for the previous four years (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017). The quickest and easiest way to claim Flat Rate Expenses is through PAYEAnytime, which is available online via Revenue’s MyAccount facility.

Campaign for reinstatement

Mandate Trade Union has already met with Revenue to appeal this decision. Revenue have informed Mandate that they will be ending the allowance starting next year. It is our Union’s intention to campaign for its reinstatement and together with your support we believe we can win. Join Mandate today and together let’s fight this unnecessary and unfair decision.