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Tax Rebate for Foreign workers - Relisted

Do you know anything about foreigners being allowed to claim their tax back, as some friends of mine got all theirs back. Thanks. I am Lithuanian.

This question asked and answer given on LateNiteLive with Declan Carty on 21st May 2008 is given fresh priority on this website because of the news of the Department of Social and Family Affairs decision to closely monitor Live Register payments and require claimants to personally collect benefit.

This broadcast lead directly to a front page article in The Sunday Times on 13th July written by political affairs' correspondent Stephen O'Brien, a subsequent announcement by Minister Mary Hanafin and a further broadcast on "The Right Hook" programme on NewsTalk 106-108FM which included an interview with Brian O'Reilly.

ORIGINAL ANSWER TO LISTENER'S QUERY: This is a coincidence – we had two Lithuanian workers in with us in our office recently asking the same questions.  The law generally is that if you work less than 183 days in any tax year in a particular jurisdiction and you go back home or move to another jurisdiction, you are entitled to a full refund of your tax paid in that jurisdiction. 

Because the tax year in Ireland runs from 1st January to 31st December, if you leave at any time during the first six months of that period and become tax resident in another country (like Lithuania, in this particular case) the Irish Revenue will refund you your full money. 

Of course they won’t refund it until you have gone and can prove that you have gone but before you leave you can go to your local tax office and record the fact with them that this is what you intend to do, fill out an application form and then ask them what proof they need (registration details back in Lithuania, etc.). There may of course be some exceptions (there always are) but a talk with the tax official will point this Listener in the right direction.

Declan Carty Asks: If a worker is returning home wouldn't their wages be much less than in Ireland?

Brian: Probably - because higher wages would have brought them to Ireland in the first place.

Declan Carty: Or perhaps a week's dole here would exceed a week's wage there.

Brian: If migrant workers stay for the dole rather than go for a wage, that's going to be a great drain on Social Welfare resources here.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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