In general most people don’t bother with accountants unless they have questions about tax. We have been asked countless times for tips and tricks to keep the tax bills down or otherwise to avoid attention.
Here we have compiled a simple layman’s guide of 10 tax tips which are not exhaustive but useful nonetheless.
- It’s all about you! You should always seek advice that is specific to your situation. What works for one person will not necessarily suit you and there may be better options available.
- Pay and file on time – By far the best way to avoid unwanted attention as well as nasty penalties. Certainly don’t forget the 4 year time limit for submitting returns
- Set up DDs for VAT / PAYE – with a little planning this has 3 great benefits – cash management, avoiding unnecessary returns and reducing the risk of late returns (See 2 above)
- Claim everything – are you getting credit for what you’re entitled to? Most people are not sure of all the credits / reliefs / deductions available to them and are leaving money on the table
- Incorporate – there are many tax advantages to having a company which may be relevant to you – tax rates, seed capital, travel and subs, entertainment, liquidation etc. (See 1 above)
- Pensions – I know it’s boring but if you are earning more cash than you need to live on it makes no sense not to invest in a pension for your future.
- Vouchers – another no brainer if you want to reward yourself or employees by up to €500 totally tax free. Accepted now nearly as widely as cash.
- Home and Family – are you using your home as an office or are your spouse and kids working in your business, make sure you claim wisely but don’t take the mick!
- Gift Tax – reduce the taxable value of your estate by utilising the €3k annual exemption to gift tax and potentially save a fortune over time
- CGT– if you have assets to sell utilise the annual exemption. A married couple could save over €800 per annum.