This article is relevant to candidates sitting TX (CYP), and is based on the tax legislation applicable to the tax year 2020
Personal allowances appear regularly in the TX (CYP) exam. However, such questions are not answered as well as would be expected. The mostly frequently encountered problem is that candidates struggle to differentiate between allowable expenses and personal allowances. It is important that candidates ensure that they appreciate the difference between these as part of their preparation to sit the TX (CYP) exam.
While this article is not intended to cover every aspect of personal allowances, it does look at the most commonly examined aspects.
Personal allowances are the final deductions from an individual taxpayer’s net income in arriving at their taxable Income. Candidates should note that the old age allowance and spouse allowance were abolished effective from 1 July 2002 and thus are not examinable. Furthermore, the child allowance was abolished from 1 January 2003 and so is also not examinable.
Since the tax year 2003, the following personal allowances are deductible when calculating a taxpayer’s taxable income:
As stated above, the personal allowances are the final deductions from a taxpayer’s net income. Candidates should be aware that they are subject to certain restrictions and are not always fully deductible.
The following restrictions must be considered when calculating the personal allowances available to a taxpayer:
The following examples are designed to help test your understanding of the above rules.
Mr Panicos took out the following life insurance policies in 2020:
Calculate the life insurance premiums allowable as personal allowances for Mr Panicos in 2020.
Mr Panicos – Calculation of life insurance premiums allowed as personal allowances:
Mrs Penelopi cancelled a life insurance policy in 2020. The policy was taken out in 2018, and Mrs Penelopi has claimed personal allowances in respect of the policy premiums of €3,000 per annum. in the tax years 2018 and 2019.
Calculate the life insurance premiums to be recaptured as taxable income in 2020.
As the cancellation of the life insurance policy was made in the third year from the date of issue of the life insurance policy, an amount equal to 30% of the premiums claimed as personal allowances will be recaptured as taxable income in 2020.
The amount to be recaptured is therefore €1,800 ((2 x €3,000) x 30%).
Mrs Eleni received gross employment income of €25,000 in 2020. She also made a donation to an approved charity of €1,000 in the year.
Compute Mrs Eleni’s taxable income for 2020
Donation to an approved charity
Less: Personal allowances
Social insurance contributions (8.3% x €25,000)
|Restricted to 1/5th of net income|
(1/5 x €24,000 = €4,800)
The personal allowance is the last deduction, and is restricted to 1/5th of net income.
The taxable net income of Mr Papadopoulos Kostas in the tax year 2020 is €35,000.
Mr Papadopoulos Kostas paid social insurance contributions of €3,400 in 2020. In addition, he paid a premium of €5,000 in respect of an insurance policy on his life with an insured amount of €55,000, and a premium of €3,000 in respect of an insurance policy on his wife’s life, which was signed in 2018. Finally, he contributed €1,000 to an approved provident fund.
Calculate the taxable income of Mr Papadopoulos Kostas for the tax year 2020.
|Less: Personal allowances|
Social insurance contributions
Life insurance premiums on a policy on his life (€5,000 – restricted to 7% of €55,000)
Life insurance premium in respect of his wife’s life (not deductible)
Provident fund contributions
|Restricted to 1/5th of net income|
(1/5 x €35,000 = €7,000)
Written by a member of the TX (CYP) examining team