Claiming Flat Rate Expenses for RDF members
Flat-rate expenses are those that cover the cost of equipment that you need for work. This equipment may include tools, uniforms and stationery. You must incur these costs in performing the duties of your employment, and the costs must be directly related to the nature of the employment. Flat-rate expenses are available to a wide range of professions.
A Flat-rate Expense Allowance of €150 per year is available for enlisted members of the Defence Forces (both PDF and RDF) who are not in receipt of Uniform Replenishment Allowance. This is all ranks from Recruit up to and including Company Sergeant or Chief Petty Officer. The net value of this allowance is €30 per year to those paying PAYE at 20% and €60 per year to those paying PAYE at the 40% rate.
The allowance has been introduced to compensate members for expenses such as those associated with the Dry Cleaning of their No. 1 Dress Uniforms.
How to claim your Flat-rate expenses for the current tax year and all future years:
Flat rate expenses can be claimed by completing a Form 12 if you are a PAYE worker. You can find this form in PAYE Services in myAccount (This article does not cover how to set up a myAccount account. Please go to this page to learn how to do so). If are registered with Revenue for myAccount you can proceed and follow these steps:
Sign into myAccount.
Click on “Manage your tax” link in PAYE Services.
On the Overview page click "Add New Credits".
On the Your Job Banner click "Show More".
Next, select "Flat rate expenses" and click "Next" when a pop up banner appears.
Next, scroll down the page and select "Public Sector" and then click "Next".
Now select "Defence Forces" and click "Next".
Now select "Enlisted - No Uniform Allowance" and then click "Next".
The next page just shows the value of your allowance. Click "Next" to continue.
When asked if you have claimed all of your credits select “Yes”. You can now save your changes and log out of myAccount. A new statement of tax-free allowances will be issued to the DoD.
1. If you (or your spouse) are Self-Employed then your fixed-rate expenses must be claimed on form F11 on the ROS System.
2. If you are already claiming flat-rate expenses for your civilian employment then it is still possible to additionally claim them for the RDF. The only caveat is that your civilian and military jobs must not be the same. For example a civilian nurse may claim both the nursing and DF expenses provided they are not employed as a nurse in the RDF. In addition, it may be necessary to seek assistance when claiming two sets of expenses as it does not appear possible to do this online by yourself. The screenshot below explains:
You should contact revenue directly through the MyEnquiries function of myAccount or by calling the national PAYE helpline at 01 738 3636.
3. It is possible to claim your Flat-rate Expenses for the four years prior to the current tax year. This involves filing a P21 balancing statement for the years in question. How to file a P21 is not covered in this article. Please click here for a separate article which covers tax refunds.
4. Disclaimer: The objective of this article is to provide a useful guide to RDF members. It provides a summary of the rules applying in the 2019 tax year as regards Flat-rate Expenses. Accordingly, it cannot be regarded as a definitive outline and no liability can be accepted by RDFRA in respect of decisions taken in reliance on the information herein contained .Consider consulting a qualified tax advisor to have your individual circumstances examined.