Many of the tax rebates that we process tend to include a refund for at least one of the past four years for an overpaid universal social charge payment. The Universal Social Charge (USC) was introduced on January 1st 2011 and effectively replaced the income levy and health levy (health contribution).
Since its introduction, many people have been subject to overpayment of the USC due to clerical error, miscommunication and/or misunderstandings. There are 3 key reasons which have led to a number of people receiving tax refunds for USC.
Breaks in Employment/Working Reduced Hours
There was a lot of initial confusion surrounding the payment of USC as payroll and book-keeping staff struggled to comprehend the changeover from income levy and health levy charges to USC charges.
If your work hours have changed over the year, it is possible you paid the USC at the higher rate when in fact your income level had not actually exceeded the USC thresholds. This may be due to being out of work during the year or working reduced hours later in the year.
As a result, many people overpaid the Universal Social Charge. Remember you can still claim a tax refund for 2011 so it is worth consulting a tax refund expert as soon as possible.
Change of Income Bands
As salaries go up or down, the level of USC that we must pay can change. Not only this, but the government regularly changed the income bands in which the different rates of USC apply.
Where our level of income changes or the USC income band changes, mistakes with USC payments can and do often occur. In several cases, such instances can result in an overpayment of the USC.
Are You a Medical Card Holder?
If you hold a full medical card (not a GP visit card), you are entitled to pay a reduced rate of USC while in employment. If your employer or indeed Revenue is not aware that you hold a full medical card, you may not be granted your USC reduced rate.
If you have ever been in employment while holding a full medical card over the last 4 years, it is definitely worth checking out if you were charged the correct rate of USC and whether you are due a tax refund as a result.
Want to find out if you are eligible for a refund of the Universal Social Charge? Simply apply online today or get in touch directly with the Irish Tax Rebates team. Who knows? A sizeable tax refund could await you!