How to claim tax back from Revenue

If you have overpaid tax in the last four years, you might be able to apply for a tax refund.

Written by spunout


If you pay more tax than you owe, you are eligible for a tax refund. This means Revenue will pay back the tax that you overpaid. You can only claim a refund for the last four years, so it’s important to make sure you apply for your tax refund before this time runs out.

Can I get my tax back from Revenue?

The amount of tax that you pay depends on how many tax credits you have.  Tax credits are used to reduce the amount of tax you pay. The more tax credits you have, the less tax you will have to pay. 

Your tax credits are calculated by Revenue, and it is assumed that you will need to at least pay the minimum amount of tax per year. However, sometimes you will pay more tax than you needed to. If this is the case, you can get a tax refund.

Why would I overpay tax?

You might have overpaid tax if:

  • You became unemployed
  • You were out of work sick
  • Your tax credits were incorrect
  • You haven’t claimed tax relief for certain expenses
  • You didn’t earn enough in a given year to be taxed
  • You were emergency taxed because you didn’t register your new employment with Revenue on time

If you think you might have overpaid tax in the last four years, you could still be able to get it back. 

How do I find out how much tax I have to pay?

The easiest way to do anything tax-related is to set yourself up for Revenue Self Service. Revenue will send you a password in the post that allows you to sign up online.

To log in, you will need this password and your PPS number. Once you’re into the self-service part of the website, you can go to your profile and see how much you’ve earned, how much tax you’ve paid, and what your tax credits are. There is an option to request a Statement of Liability. This is a document that calculates all the above, and then will decide whether you’ve overpaid or underpaid tax.

You can also view an estimated calculation of your tax liability (how much tax you have to pay) earlier in the year by requesting your Preliminary End of Year Statement on the Revenue website. This will let you know how much you are currently expected to pay provided there are no changes in your circumstances.

How can I get my tax back?

If you’ve paid too much tax, Revenue will refund you, either directly into your bank account (if you’ve put your details online) or by cheque.

In order to find out if you are owed money from Revenue, you will need to request your Statement of Liability. Make sure all information is correct before submitting the request. If the Statement of Liability shows you have overpaid tax, you will be refunded.

However, if you have underpaid tax, Revenue will deduct it from your tax credits, so you might end up owing them money.

How long do I have to claim a tax refund?

You must claim a tax refund within four years of the end of the year in which the overpayment arose or you will not get a refund. 

How do I know if I have underpaid tax?

Your Statement of Liability will show whether you have underpaid tax. It will also inform you how the underpayment will be paid. Usually, you will not pay money directly to Revenue. The easiest way for Revenue to collect the underpayment is to reduce your tax credits in the following year.

I have a question about my tax liability. Who do I contact?

If you have a question about your tax situation or notice an error on your account, you can submit an enquiry on the “My Enquiries” section of your account on the Revenue website.

For more information go to the Revenue website.

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