What are flat rate expenses?
As defined by Revenue, flat rate expenses are the cost of equipment that you need for work, if you are in employment. The amount of the deduction is agreed between Revenue and representatives of groups of employees (i.e. in the case of teachers and lecturers, the teacher unions). All employees of the class or group in question can then claim the agreed deduction in their own tax credits. The current rates are set out on p.73 of the 2018/19 TUI diary/handbook.
The expenses are called ‘flat rate’ because the same amount applies to all employees, so receipts are not required.
Make sure to claim your flat rate expenses through Revenue
If you have not already done so, you should contact Revenue to claim flat rate expenses. It is important to note that you can claim this relief for the previous four years.
Joint submission from the teacher unions
Following contact from Revenue in January 2018, a joint submission on flat rate expenses was made by TUI, ASTI, INTO and IFUT. The submission set out in detail the extensive range of costs in incurred by teachers and lecturers in the course of their work.
Recent media speculation suggested that the rate was due to be cut by Revenue in January 2019. TUI publicly stated that any such cynical move would be seen for what it was – a pay cut. The Union said it beggared belief that this would be considered at a time when Government still fails to ensure that large corporations pay anywhere near their fair share of taxes. It was also highlighted that a cut to flat rate expenses payable to teachers would have a significant effect on those already struggling on discriminatory salary scales and low hours.
No change until at least 2020
It has since been confirmed that Revenue will not make any change to flat rate expenses until January 2020 at the earliest.