The cost of living crisis has been a cause for concern for households across the country as families try to make cuts where they can.
However, a recent survey has shown that half of Irish taxpayers do not know two state systems which can help with the cost of commuting Working every day and with increasing fuel costs, the systems can make you huge savings.
The survey was done by Taxback.com found that half of the taxpayers are unfamiliar with the Taxsaver Commuter Ticket and Cycle to Work Scheme.
Of the more than 1,200 taxpayers surveyed, only 5% said they use both systems.
The Bike to work schedule was introduced in 2009 to provide a tax incentive system to encourage employees to cycle to work.
According to the system, an employer can pay for a new bicycle (including bicycle accessories), where the employee then reimburses the cost in regular installments from his gross salary.
The taxsaver ticket goes even further back to 1999 and encourages people to use public transport to and from work.
The cost is deducted directly from your gross salary and can mean huge savings of between 31% – 52% of the regular price of a travel ticket – whether it is bus, train or Luas as a result of tax, PRSI and USC savings, and depending on your tax class.
Speaking about the findings, Barry Cahill, head of Taxback.com’s Employee Financial Wellbeing Service, said: “It’s a surprise to find that as many as 49% of taxpayers do not know what these benefits are and that only 5% of workers use both. A slightly higher proportion use the Cycle to Work system (10%) as opposed to the commuter ticket (3%), but these are very low figures.
“The pandemic and the emergence of teleworking can, understandably, have had an impact on the number of people using these systems – simply because there is less commuting to do. However, these are both well-established services and we would like to see more people get drunk. benefit from the significant savings they offer ”.
He added: “Employers have a role to play in ensuring that their employees are familiar with, and most importantly, have access to these important measures to save money.
“Essentially, all employees of companies are entitled to participate in the tax savings program, as long as the commuter tickets are applied for and provided by the employer, and with the Bike to Work – all employees who use their bike for qualifying trips, ie. all or part of a journey between your home and your regular workplace – can apply through their employer once every four years. However, a third of those surveyed in our survey did not think they would qualify for any of the systems – which may not be the case. “
The Taxback.com survey also questioned whether the government should introduce more tax breaks or incentives for commuting to reduce costs.
Mr Cahill commented: “The overwhelming majority (67%) called for reforms in the type and amount of state aid to help reduce commuting costs for all workers.
“This is particularly timely given the cost of fuel for transport and the efforts being made to reduce the number of cars on our roads for environmental reasons. Of those who called for change, 27% thought that more should be done, but only for low-income earners because they are disproportionately affected by commuting costs. Only 6% thought that the tax savers’ commuter ticket and bicycle to work are enough for themselves “.
Recent statistics from the Department of Transport show that 73.3% of trips in Ireland in 2019 were made by car, with work and education as the main causes. But only 6.5% of the journeys were made by public transport.
Mr Cahill said: “If people still rely so much on their cars, it is natural that they will not find any significant relief in a public transport-based incentive; perhaps intervention in fuel prices or the like would have a greater effect on motorists in this regard.
“But more emphasis is being placed on upgrading our national public transport network and infrastructure in line with our climate commitments, and therefore we can see tax incentives based on public transport and cycling becoming more popular and seeing workers use these systems to a greater extent.”
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