The government in Ireland recently announced a number of new money-saving measures which aim to tackle the rising cost of living. Included in the new measures were a 20% reduction in the cost of Taxsaver public transport tickets.
As COVID restrictions ease and many workers begin to commute to their office or place of work once again, the news was no doubt welcome for many Irish workers who use the tax saver scheme
Read on to find out more on:
- What exactly will be implemented and when?>
- What is the Taxsaver commuter ticket scheme?
- How can workers participate?
- What other tax saving initiatives are available to Irish commuters?
- Three important tax reliefs every Irish worker should know
What exactly will be implemented and when?
- Start of April: Taxsaver ticket fares will be reduced by 20%
- Middle of April:Bus Éireann Public Service Obligations (PSO), Go-Ahead Ireland, online Irish Rail fares and Local Links services will be reduced by 20% (except for Dublin city)
- Start of May: all fares will be reduced by 20%, including Dublin services like the DART and Commuter, Luas, Iarnród Éireann, Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead Ireland
- Start of May: 50% reduced fare for young adults under 24
The 50% reduction in fares for young adults and the overall 20% reduction will take place simultaneously in May.
Young adults will be able to obtain a Young Adult Card and since there will be a reduction on all Ireland transport fares by 20%, young adults will have that reduction as well as the 50% reduction that is introduced specifically for them!
Note that you can avail of the Young Adult Card before turning 24 years.
The programme aims to:
- Reduce the cost of living in Ireland
- Decrease dependence on private transport
- Promote a more efficient method of transport - reducing pollution
The average Irish tax refund is €1,880
What is the Taxsaver commuter ticket scheme?
The government created the Taxsaver scheme in 1999 to encourage workers to travel to work using public transport.
Taxsaver.ie provides fares at a reduced rate for workers who use public transport.
This includes transport like:
- Bus Éireann
- Dublin Bus
- Irish Railway system
How can workers participate?
Any employee can avail of the scheme as long as your employer provides it!
Your company may already be registered with Taxsaver and if so your employer can provide travel tickets for you.
However, if your company is not registered with Taxsaver, you could raise your interest to take part in this scheme to your employer.
Your workplace can order a ticket for you online. This could be someone from HR for example.
When it comes to paying for the commuter ticket, there are several ways it can be done:
- Receiving it as part of your salary package, known as ‘salary sacrifice’ - your employer purchases the ticket for you and you pay them back monthly over 12 month
- Receiving a Taxsaver commuter ticket rather than a cash bonus - an alternative your employer could provide
- Receiving a Taxsaver commuter ticket as benefit-in-kind - you may get this from your employer rather than a company car or free parking spot
The average Irish tax refund is €1,880
What are the different types of Taxsaver commuter tickets?
There are three types of tickets:
- Monthly tickets
- Annual tickets
- Bus Éireann city tickets
The monthly and annual tickets are available in:
Whereas the Bus Éireann city tickets are available in:
Note that you may be able to use the Taxsaver commuter ticket for other counties too!
The three types of tickets are further tailored to your specific needs. For example you might only usually buy Luas and bus tickets in Dublin, so you can get a ticket specifically for that combination.
Prices differ depending on what ticket variation you need.
Is Taxsaver worth it?
Well, you could save between 28.5% to 52% compared to regular travel tickets. Exactly how much you save will depend on the type of ticket you need and your tax rate band.
You can check how much you will be saving on the Taxsaver calculator.
What other tax saving initiatives are available to Irish commuters?
Some more tax saving initiatives for Irish commuters include the bike-to-work scheme!
Many employers offer this scheme to their staff and if you are interested in availing of it you should contact your employer directly.
The way this works is that your employer buys the bicycle and cycling equipment for you and you pay them back in instalments from your gross salary.
To find out more you can read our article: How Can the Cycle to Work Scheme Save Me Money?
Can I use Taxsaver and bike to work scheme together?
Yes, you can! There is no relation between the two in this case, so you could certainly use them together.
Three important tax reliefs every Irish worker should know
Who doesn’t want to save money on tax? That’s why it’s important to be tax savvy!
There are many tax reliefs that are designed specifically to help Irish workers to save money. Let’s look at three of the most common below.
Flat rate expenses
Flat rate expenses are available in many industries in Ireland. And yet, thousands of euros go unclaimed every year as many workers are unaware they can claim these expenses.
The purpose of this tax relief is to cover a number of everyday expenses that workers incur - such as tools, uniforms or safety equipment.
There are different tax reliefs on flat rate expenses depending on your occupation, for example, bus operators may get a relief of €160, whereas dentists can get a relief of €376.
For more information on flat rate expenses, check out our guide here.
As many of us have experienced, paying for third level education in Ireland can get pricey.
The great news is that you may be able to get tax relief on your tuition fees!
Whether you are a student or someone who paid the third level fees on the student's behalf you may be able to claim a relief at the end of the tax year. You can get a tax relief on both a part-time or a full-time graduate course - regardless of whether it is a public or a private college.
However, you can only get tax relief on tuition fees under these conditions:
- The length of the course has to be at least two years
- The course has to be approved by the Department of Education and Skills
Is there a limit on the tuition fees I can get a tax relief on?
Yes, there is a limit. You can claim a tax relief on tuition fees of up to €7,000.
Also, note that you can’t get a tax relief on the first €3,000 as a full-time student and on the first €1,500 as a part-time student.
Can I claim tax relief on more than one course?
Yes, you can claim tax relief on tuition fees for as many courses as you’d like but you can only claim on courses that are no more than €7,000 each.
The average Irish tax refund is €1,880
Another thing to know as a worker in Ireland is that if you start a new job you may get emergency taxed.
You get emergency taxed if you don’t provide your PPSN to your employer when you started your new job or if your new job is not registered with Revenue.
Here is how it works:
- If you’ve provided your employer with your PPSN, you’ll be taxed the standard rate - 20% for the first four weeks and after that 40% if you’re still on emergency tax
- If you don't provide your PPSN you’ll be taxed 40% immediately
After your job is registered with Revenue, you’ll be taken off emergency tax and you can claim tax back!
Learn more about emergency tax here.
Think you may be due tax back?
We know that sometimes filing a tax return can be tricky, so that’s why Taxback.com is here!
We will take care of the paperwork and make sure that you get your maximum refund!
Why apply with Taxback.com?
- Your maximum tax refund guaranteed
- You’ll have your own personal account manager throughout the entire process
- You’ll have online chat support 24 hours a day