Half of taxpayers unaware of personal tax obligations, survey finds

Study finds widespread confusion around tax filing requirements for both PAYE and non-PAYE income

More than one million Irish taxpayers – half the State's workers – do not know their personal tax obligations, a survey by tax advisory group Taxback. com has found.

Over half of Irish taxpayers (54 per cent) are either unsure or do not know their tax filing obligations, the study revealed.

Considering there are approximately 1.9 million people working in Ireland at most recent estimates, the group said this equates to just over one million workers who are not aware of their legal requirements when it comes to tax.

The survey of 1,500 taxpayers also revealed widespread confusion around tax filing requirements for both PAYE and non-PAYE income.



"Overall, this survey highlights a very real gap in workers' understanding of the tax system and their obligations within it," Joanna Murphy, chief executive of Taxback.com, said.

“ It comes as a surprise to learn that so few (22 per cent) are aware that those earning additional income outside the PAYE system – for example, through rent, investments, or self-employment – are obliged to file an annual tax return,” she said.

“ In most cases tax must be paid on this income and often, those earning over a certain amount will need to file a self-assessed tax return. People are clearly confused with it comes to tax filing obligations, and more needs to be done to give workers a base level of knowledge of income tax and how it works,” she said.


Taxback.com called on employers to better inform their staff about their tax obligations. The group is holding an event on the “future of employee wellbeing in Ireland” on Tuesday, which will discuss some of the findings in the survey as well as what working arrangements are likely to ensue post-Covid.

“Our panel will debate what post-Covid workplaces in Ireland might look like. And we’ll explore ways in which we can enhance the wellbeing of our employees, for those working remotely and those of us integrating back into working in an office space,” Ms Murphy said.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times