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COMPLETING YOUR 2009 TAX RETURN

The annual Sunday Business Post supplement ahead of October 31 self-assessment tax deadline weighs in this year at 14 pages, covering every implication for both individuals and companies.

Emma Kennedy, the newspaper’s personal finance correspondent, warns that changes to the self-assessment system mean particular care must be taken when filing returns, particularly given the clamp-down on reliefs. She reminds readers of the changes wrought by finance minister Brian Lenihan in Budget 2010.

“For the tax year 2010, the effective rate of income tax for those benefitting from reliefs will increase from 20% to 30%, on top of which they will also pay PRSI and levies,” he said. “This represents a significant tightening of the restriction which will yield approximately €55m in a full year.”

For those completing their 2009 return, these and other changes to staples such as reliefs on medical expenses, mean care must be exercised.

Landlords are another group who should be aware of the reforms introduced. In October 2008, the amount of tax relief they could claim against their mortgage interest had been reduced to 75%, as opposed to 100% previously.

The supplement provides advice on everything from payment through ROS, what reliefs are still available, pensions, employee share incentive schemes and a line-by-line guide on how to fill out the income tax assessment forms.

Perhaps it is time to talk to an accountant!

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