Ways to potentially reduce your tax bill

If you are one of the 706,000 individuals who are due a refund, as announced from the Revenue last week about your taxes, you probably went out and bought yourself a nice glass of wine. But if you’re in the other boat with the 633,000 other people who received the bad news, you’re probably hoping for a miracle to wipe away the tax liability that you now owe.

And to everyone who has been affected by the wage subsidies that the pandemic brought about, there are still ways you can look to in order to lessen the bill just a little. And as a reminder, if you have not claimed either of the two below since 2017, you can still be eligible for the past four years.

1: Flat Rate Expenses

This would be a huge win if you’re eligible and you have yet to claim it this year or in the last four years. These expenses were brought about into the market many years ago in order to be able to cover the many expenses that employees will incur …

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Europe economy may be the slowest to recover

It has been projected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the US and China governments will experience a faster economic recovery time than the other parts of the world. It is predicted that the US and Chinese economies will have fully recovered by 2022 and will have no more than a 1.5% gap from the economic standpoints that would have been projected before the pandemic. Other first-world countries and richer countries will still be short by around 2.5% compared to their pre-pandemic path. While other emerging world economies will be short by around 8%, which is substantially larger than previously anticipated.

The reasons that China and the US are experiencing such short losses during the pandemic is due to the fact that simply they are the largest economies in the world, allowing for a sharp spread in industries and allowing their economies to be highly divergent. China compared to the US, however, is expected to recover even quicker due to the aggressive containment measures taken by the government to limit the spread of the virus. The US, on the …

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Ireland Selling Fewer Homes during COVID

Insight of the COVID pandemic hitting global markets. The sharp effect on the Irish economy and society were evident in the housing industry, where the number of transactions sharply decreased, even though the house prices across the country remained relatively unchanged.

In the most recent GeoView Residential Buildings Report, it shows that in the last 12 months, a total number of 35,542 properties were sold and property transactions took place. This shows nearly a 22% decrease in the number compared to the number of transactions in 2019, the year before the shutdown. This trend was reflected in nearly every county, with Dublin having the largest number of decreases at nearly 4000. Within the number of transactions that were made in the past year, only 20% of the properties were newly built properties, which is slightly above the amount in the previous year. This reflects the trend seen across the country of current homeowners reluctant to keep their properties on the market as the pandemic hit due to the uncertainty of housing prices and whether the properties would be able to …

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Banks in Ireland Expecting to Slow in Recovery

According to a new study done by stockbroking firm Davy, Ireland’s banks can expect to see a slowing in recovery and business activity within the first quarter as the government extends the current lockdown that is Level 5 until foreseeable, March 5th. Even though recently, large banks such as AIB and the Bank of Ireland has reported that in the last quarter of 2020, the lending and other business activities have recovered more than projected from the slump at the start of the quarantine. Still, Davy’s analysts report that they do not expect lenders to book material additional to loan-loss provisions after last year as many of the consumers are looking at these on a case-by-case basis.

The extension of the lockdown and corresponding restrictions are likely to impact the recovery seen in Q3 and Q4 of 20-20, and will likely hit Q1 of 2021, which is seasonally the weakest quarter for new lending in Ireland. House buying will probably require a conservative approach from businesses to limit risk in the new market of loosening restrictions. Individual buyers and businesses …

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Vaccination Debates at the World Economic Forum

During day two of the World Economic Forum at Davos this past Tuesday, European Commission president Ursula con der Leyen announced the agenda and push towards social media and Tech Giants to publicly release their business models and their algorithms. She wishes for more visibility into these large corporations and their platforms due to the fact that certain decisions and trends on social media need explaining.

Leyen’s uses the incident of former President Trump’s account to be removed from Twitter as an example of how companies are free to act at; will and this incident was a serious violation of an individual’s freedom of expression. She wishes for companies to release their framework of laws for such decisions.

In the World Economic Forum, South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa also urges richer countries to prohibit hoarding vaccines, due to the risks of prolonging the pandemic in other poorer countries. Many African countries are being left behind in the international race of producing and purchasing COVID vaccines. There is deep concern in my third-world countries that richer countries will abuse their economic …

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Concern for Housing Supply in Ireland

COVID regulations have hit many markets hard, but possibly the worst be in the housing industry. Due to certain restrictions, the housing supply of homes built between 2020 and 2022 is predicted to be 23,000 fewer than normal. This, combined with the growing demand for housing as well as the built-up saving of household revenue during the pandemic could cause the demand for housing in Ireland to skyrocket, leading to higher pricing. Over the last year, it is predicted that over €13 billion have been saved up by families in Ireland, and with that many households are looking to improve their housing situation at the end of quarantine. The spending demand of these households far exceeds to the market supply of housing to be offered to said customers.

The Central Bank predicts that there will be 18,500 new housing completions in 2020, and in 2021 and 2022 that number will rise to around 22,000. This in total will be 23,000 fewer houses entering the market in these three years compared to the normal growth rate of housing supply prior to …

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Rapid Rebound of Economy after Covid-19

Goodbody Stockbrokers has predicted that the Irish economy is expected to see a “rapid rebound” after the COVID regulations and restrictions are lifted. In the latest report, the firms have predicted that the economy could grow by as much as 5% this year assuming that the vaccine rollout is as scheduled and efficient. The driving factors behind this predicted surge in economic growth can be attributed to two factors: the nearly €13 billion increase in household savings across Ireland during quarantine and the pent-up customer demand for services and goods.

This trend could be seen clearly in the partial reopening in December, with a huge influx in demand across the market. But with the economy reopening and people’s livelihoods returning to normal, there calls to be a careful movement towards returning to normal. It is currently estimated that around 36% of the Irish workforce are currently reliant on some form of government support. That equates to nearly 900,000 individuals that are vulnerable financially if removed from these programs too forcefully. Government implements for incentives to rehire and retaining the job …

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The Rich Becoming Richer

In the past year, the term “the rich get richer” has been remarkably accurate. We have seen the top 10 richest individual’s personal wealth increase tremendously and even witnessed Elon Musk become the richest person on earth, passing Warren Buffet on the way. This trend has not been exempted from Ireland’s billionaires. Of the 9 billionaires in Ireland, they have seen their collective wealth increase by €3.28 billion in 2020, despite going through the deepest global recession this decade. And to put that into perspective, 1/10 of that additional wealth would be able to pay for the COVID vaccine to be available to every citizen in Ireland.

Internationally, we are beginning to see a larger divide between the rich and everyone else. This move towards greater inequality has only been highlighted during the pandemic. It is said that the worlds’ one thousand richest people were able to recover from their financial losses due to COVID within nine months, while it will take more than a decade for the world’s poorest countries to do the same. And since the majority of …

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International Tariffs Affecting Ireland Marketplaces

With the switch of the presidency in the US, international trade laws are set to change. The most recent being the increased tariff on import of bread products in Brexit and increased costs. These taxes on flour imports are predicted to raise the price of bread in the area by as much as 9%.

The IBEC group has spoken out about concerns in the food and drink sector, speaking to the impact of these new regulations and the origin of said laws. Vital points they bring up include how the deal in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) that included this rising tariff for flour products will require a derogation for the Irish bakery sector in order to help with these tariffs. When tariffs like these occur, many buyers typically stockpile products to avoid the extra costs, but the shelf life of flour is generally low, lasting around 2 weeks. Meaning that any price fluctuations and their effects on the market will be seen in a very short amount of time.

The impact of the tariff is likely to …

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House Buying in Ireland

Buying a new home or property is possibly one of the most daunting tasks out there, especially for first-time buyers or international buyers. There are many regulations to keep in mind, and here is just a small list of actions to take that will make this process so much easier.

1: Builder: Contact a local builder and request them to look at the prospective property. They will be able to tell you how much additional work needs to be done for the property, and generally advise the state of the property.

2: Electrician Check: If you have the contact, call in a favor from an electrician to check the wires for issues and maintenance.

3: Structural survey: This will be an investment, and you’ll be surprised at the number of faults this check can find within a property, no matter how pretty the house may look from outside. The usual cost is around €1.5k, but worth it in the long run, if you are to meet large issues.

4: Deposit: Buying international means that you may have to put in …

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