Revenue reports steep rise in number of income tax returns by PAYE workers

Expenses relating to healthcare costs and rents are most commonly claimed, while majority of early returns have led to refunds

About 370,000 income tax returns have been made by PAYE workers during the opening weeks of the year, up more than 30 per cent on the same period in 2022 according to Revenue, which says the majority have resulted in overpayments and refunds totalling €193 million to date.

In its provisional assessment of the new year returns, Revenue said about a fifth of returns made this month had availed of the new rent tax credit, while claims related to expenditure on healthcare and associated services were included in 86,900 returns.

Revenue’s national PAYE manager Aisling Ní Mhaoileoin said that, overall, 275,000 of the 370,000 returns made so far in 2023 had resulted in an overpayment of tax and that the €193 million had already been lodged back into the bank accounts of individuals.

The new rent tax credit was the most significant development since last year, she said.


“Unlike usual Budget tax credit changes which apply for the following year, this credit applies retrospectively for 2022 and can be claimed on an income tax return for the tax year 2022. The value of the credit is up to €500 per year for individual taxpayers and up to €1,000 per year for jointly assessed married persons or civil partners.

“Of the 2022 tax returns received to date, approximately 78,400 claims have been made in respect of rent tax credit. In addition, we expect that from mid-February, customers will be able to claim Rent Tax Credit for 2023 in real-time through the ‘Manage Your Tax’ option in myAccount [at].”

Ms Ní Mhaoileoin said Revenue “encourages taxpayers to submit their returns to ensure that they are paying the correct tax and to receive any refunds that they may be due. Detailed guidance is published on the Revenue website with regard to eligibility for tax credits and procedures for claiming. Where a taxpayer has already received a letter from Revenue requesting them to file a return for the years 2019 to 2021 and have yet to take action, they should do so now.”

Other expenses on which claims can be made by PAYE workers for tax refunds include those related to remote working, tuition fees and other flat rate expenses. Those who have earned additional income are also required to report it.

Overall, Revenue estimates that while more than 60 per cent of those yet to file a return, excluding taxpayers who are registered for self-assessment income tax and those who are non-resident, will be found to have paid the correct amount of tax in 2022, a quarter will be due refunds totalling €400 million and 13 per cent will have underpaid by a total of €118 million.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times