The majority of taxpayers in Ireland are unsure as to how much tax they pay to Revenue every month, according to the first instalment of the Taxback.com taxpayer sentiment survey series.
In a recent study, the tax refund specialists asked over 3,000 taxpayers throughout the country how well they understood their own tax affairs.
While findings revealed a deficiency of knowledge on the subject, there was also an appetite to learn more.
The Taxback.com survey also revealed that nearly half of taxpayers (46%) do not understand their payslip and the workings of it.
Thirty-four percent said they had “no idea” what rate of tax they are paying, while just 12% know exactly how much they pay.
However, 35% of people surveyed would like to know more about their payslip and 89% said they would like to see an employer-driven financial education initiative for staff to learn more about their tax affairs.
“Just over one in 10 respondents said they were completely sure of what how much tax they pay,” said consumer tax manager at Taxback.com Marian Ryan.
“This leaves an awful lot of people who could be in the dark when it comes their taxes.
“In many ways, the findings are understandable,” she continues.
“Tax is just a given for most people - PAYE employees don’t even see it come out of their wages as it is deducted at source - so for them, it’s income they never had.
“What’s more, our experience would suggest that people just don’t know who to ask about general finances. But it’s very important to know about your personal tax affairs,” she adds.
An appetite to learn
Taxback.com has reported that, when compared with a similar 2016 survey, it appears the number of those who don’t have any idea about their tax rate is growing, increasing from 26% to 34%.
“This knowledge gap needs to be addressed. Perhaps by way of a public information campaign rolled out by Government or Revenue. Employers too could have a role to play,” said Marian.
Eighty-nine percent of taxpayers surveyed agreed that such a measure would be of benefit.
Seventy percent said that it would be of direct and personal benefit to them and 19% agreed it would help other colleagues.
“Our survey reveals a desire for employers to take an active role in educating their workforce on personal finance and tax matters,” said Marian.
“The more we know on the topic, the more empowered we can be to take greater control over our tax affairs and ensure we make the most of all reliefs and refunds we are entitled to,” she concluded.