Don't panic if you've received a letter from Revenue. It could be one of 130,000 letters sent to PAYE taxpayers as a reminder to claim refunds on tax credits or reliefs.

Revenue want to ensuring that taxpayers only pay the correct amount of tax. There is a four-year time limit for claiming a refund of tax, and the deadline for 2015 is December 31 this year.

"The number of people engaging with the online system has been increasing year on year," said Pat Murphy, National PAYE Manager in Revenue's Personal Division. "This is part of our programme to ensure as far as possible that PAYE taxpayers are aware of their entitlements."

Revenue sent out a letter in 2016 and within 6 months, more than €27 million was claimed in refunds by PAYE taxpayers.

The most common claim is for health expenses such as visits to the doctor, or dentist and prescription charges which are allowed at 20%. Mr Murphy told the business news on Morning Ireland, "For a typical family that might have four visits to the doctor and prescription charges, if it adds up to €500 in the year, they would be entitled to get €100 back."

You do need to have the receipt in case Revenue come back to do a compliance check, he added.

Taxpayers can also claim flat rate expenses. Revenue is conducting a review of flat rate expenses.

"Historically these were set up when people were incurring expenses for equipment for work. A lot of those might be out of date because the employer is covering them, which is why the review is being done," Mr Murphy explained. 

For taxpayers who want to make a claim, the quickest, easiest and most convenient way to do so is online using PAYE Services, which is available in Revenue's myAccount portal.

The services in myAccount are accessible on all mobile devices.

Mr Murphy said: "Even if you did not get a letter from Revenue, you can review and update your tax record online at any time, using PAYE Services in myAccount.

"When you submit a claim, it is processed and verified by Revenue and most online refund claims are paid within five working days. So, there is still plenty of time to submit your claim and have your refund paid into your bank account before Christmas."

In summary:

  • There is a four-year time limit for claiming tax refunds, so if you have a claim for 2015 you will need to submit it by December 31, 2019.
  • The quickest, easiest and most convenient way to submit your claim for tax back is online using PAYE Services in myAccount, which is accessible on all mobile devices.
  • If you are not already registered for myAccount, you can register quickly and easily on the Revenue website at revenue.ie.
  • If you add your bank account details to your myAccount profile, any refund due can be paid directly into your bank account, usually within five working days.

Below are just some of the areas in which you may be entitled to claim a tax refund.

Health expenses

You can claim relief on the cost of health expenses. 

These can be your own health expenses or those of any individual, as long as you paid for them.

You generally receive tax relief for health expenses at the standard 20% rate of tax.

Nursing home expenses are given at the highest rate of tax, which is up to 40%.

Dental expenses

You can claim relief for non-routine dental care. This includes crowns, veneers and tip replacing.

You cannot claim relief for routine dental care, such as fillings, tooth extraction and scaling or cleaning.

Tuition fees paid for third level education

You can claim tax relief on fees, including the student contribution, that you have paid for third level education courses.

This fee may be paid by a student, or on behalf of a student.

No relief is available for examination fees, registration fees or administration fees.

Flat rate expenses

PAYE customers can claim for flat-rate expenses.

These cover the cost of equipment an employee needs for work, including tools, uniforms and stationery.

The costs must be directly related to the nature of their employment and they must incur these costs in performing the duties of their employment.

Flat-rate expenses are available to a wide range of professions. 

You can find details on the flat-rate expenses list here.

The National PAYE Helpline 01 738 3636