Government U-turn on Flat-Rate Tax Expense Allowance

Members may have noted media coverage over recent days of the Revenue Commissioners’ review of flat-rate expenses for several categories of worker, including teachers. The flat-rate expenses claimable by full-time primary teachers have stood at €518 per annum (€608 for Principal Teachers) for a number of years. This amount is additional to the deduction claimable in respect of the yearly registration fee to the Teaching Council.

The INTO was contacted by Revenue early in 2018 about its review of the expense allowance system. A joint submission (with the other teacher unions) was made to Revenue in February of this year. Correspondence followed over subsequent months and INTO was represented at an ICTU (Irish Congress of Trade Unions) meeting with Revenue in September. Subsequently, a furthermore detailed submission was sent to Revenue by INTO
on 25 October. The CEC thanks those members who assisted with research into teachers’ out of pocket expenses related to their work, as part of preparation of the INTO submission.

Revenue Decisions Deferred

Prior to recent coverage, a meeting between INTO and Revenue was in the process of being arranged. The CEC was concerned about Revenue’s proposal to abolish flat-rate expenses and also their approach in this matter. The Minister for Finance has now confirmed that Revenue will not make any change as regards flat-rate expenses until, at earliest, January 2020.

Members should be aware that INTO has, since early this year, researched and drafted two submissions to Revenue about this, taken professional advice about the system, participated in one meeting with Revenue and sought a further one specifically on our concerns, and been active in the ICTU effort to protect flat-rate expenses allowances.

INTO understands that where a person has not claimed their teacher’s flat-rate tax expenses they are entitled to do so for the previous four years, so that the deadline to claim for 2014 is December 31 of this year.