An estimated 200,000 people could expect to benefit from a new initiative to ensure that the millions of euro in dividend withholding tax that was automatically paid out on overseas investments is reclaimed.
Fidelma McGuirk, managing director of taxback.com, said that with the deadline for 2007 reclaims fast approaching in some key jurisdictions, this could have been a bumper year for may Irish employees, particularly those in multinationals and companies headquartered overseas.
“Up to now, the process has been particularly cumbersome and difficult, with few people succeeding in reclaiming their dividend withholding tax entitlement, but we have teamed up with a number of partners to ensure that thousands more people get their tax back,” she said.
Winner of a Deloitte Best Managed Company Award, taxback.com took on 58 new people in the past year, bringing its total workforce in Ireland to 112.
The tax experts say that while thousands of Irish people hold shares in companies headquartered overseas, the majority of claimants probably work for a foreign company, probably a multinational organisation and have received shares through an employee scheme.
According to taxback.com, an estimated €15bn is paid out to Irish entities in dividends each year from overseas companies, but the vast majority of this is believed to be accounted in the IFSC. A further element is controlled by pension funds, but taxback.com believes there are still up to 200,000 people that are entitled to reclaim an average of about €500, though the amounts will vary.
“Most people in Ireland are not aware of the entitlements in relation to this little known tax, but employees who are part of employee share and dividends schemes could have been missing out for years and may now be well positioned for a financial windfall,” McGuirk explained.
“Because it was such a cumbersome process, it has proved inefficient to ask an accountant to spend a couple of days reclaiming €500. We have built a specialist efficient platform to reclaim this tax for thousands of people at much lower cost, typically about €100 per person.”