28 April 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Almost 70% have not claimed rent tax credit despite being eligible
Issues linked to landlords are the reason almost half of Ireland’s tenants eligible to claim the newly introduced rent credit haven’t yet done so.
The findings of the latest Taxback Taxpayer Sentiment survey reveal of the 1,000+ people eligible for the rent credit, more than seven in ten have yet to submit a claim. There were a variety of reasons given for why people haven’t claimed, from not yet having the chance to do so (21pc), to having no way to support a claim because the tenant had not been given receipts by their landlord (16pc), to being too “uncomfortable” to ask their landlord for the landlord-specific information required to make a claim (13pc). For one in ten, the fact that their landlord isn’t registered with the RTB is preventing them from making a claim.
Taxback is reporting that most recent statistics point to widespread underutilisation of the credit. So far, just over 190,000 rent tax credit claims have been made by PAYE taxpayers. However, around 400,000 people are expected to be eligible for the rent credit.
Commenting on the survey findings, Marian Ryan, consumer tax manager with Taxback, said:
“The rent credit isn’t worth a fortune – but €500 or €1000 is a lot of money to leave on the table. It was a laudable move the Government made by introducing it but for it to work, it definitely needs some tweaking. The onus cannot be on the shoulders of the tenant to provide such detailed information and tenants should not be penalised if their landlords are not 100pc compliant with private residential regulations.
We’re aware of a number of tenants who have hit a wall when they tried to claim the rent credit – simply because their own landlord hasn’t registered the tenancy with the RTB. Tenants in such positions have their hands tied. A landlord who hasn’t registered a tenancy with the RTB could be receiving their rent in cash and so there may be no trace of that rent being paid, unless a receipt is being provided to the tenant, which may not always be the case. It can be very difficult, if not impossible, for a tenant to challenge such a landlord and request that the landlord registers the tenancy as in practice, the tenant could risk losing their rental accommodation if they do so. Given the huge shortage of rental accommodation in this country, this is a risk which many tenants simply cannot afford to take. It is unfair that the tenant is playing the fall guy for a situation that is entirely outside their control.”
Ms Ryan explained:
“The landlord-specific information needed for the purposes of a rent credit claim includes the residence status and tax reference number of the landlord or property agent acting on the landlord’s behalf; and the unique reference number assigned to the property for Local Property Tax purposes. Tenants could understandably be uncomfortable asking their landlord for such information, and our survey shows that quite a number of tenants feel this way. A landlord can provide this information to Revenue directly, rather than to the tenant, if the landlord chooses to do so. However, where a landlord refuses to provide either their tenant or Revenue with such information, the rent credit will be unable to be claimed.”
“Failure by the Government to address this conundrum – as well as to remove the rule which prevents tenants from claiming the rent credit if their landlord isn’t registered with the RTB – will see many people continue to unfairly miss out on the rent credit.”
Taxback Q2 2023 Survey
Of those who are tenants:
|If you are eligible to claim the rent credit but have not yet done so, why have you not yet claimed it?
|I have claimed the rent credit
|I have not had the time to claim it yet
|I pay my rent in cash and as I get no receipts from my landlord, I’ve no way to prove the amount of rent I am paying
|I’m uncomfortable about asking my landlord for the landlord-specific information required to make a claim
|My landlord has not registered my tenancy with the Residential Tenancies Board
|The process of claiming it is too cumbersome
 From Taxback’s Irish database
 As indicated by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe in a recent PQ: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/