PAYE overpayments and underpayments of tax


You can check whether you paid the right amount of tax for previous years and whether the right details are being used to make your tax deductions this year.

If you have paid too much tax, you can get a tax refund. You must claim a tax refund within the 4 years after the year in which you made the overpayment. To claim tax back you must make a tax return.

If you have paid too little tax, you will owe Revenue the difference between what you actually paid and what you should have paid. There are different options to repay the tax depending on the amount you owe.

How to check your tax credits for this year

Your tax credit certificate shows the tax credits that your employer is deducting from your tax bill this year. You can view your tax certificate online using myAccount.

If you find out during the year that your tax credits are not correct, contact Revenue so that any refund due can be paid to you by your employer. It is also important to check you are not claiming tax credits you are not entitled to, as this will result in an underpayment of tax.

How to check if you are due a tax refund or owe tax for a previous year

You can use myAccount to check whether you have paid the correct amount of tax in the previous 4 years. You can see a statement that shows if you have paid too much tax or too little tax. This is called a Preliminary End of Year Statement. It is based on the information Revenue has.

There may be other information that could affect how much you owe. For example, you may have other income or you may be entitled to tax credits that you have not claimed. To get a final statement you must get a Statement of Liability.

For detailed information about how to get a preliminary and final statement, see How to review your tax for PAYE taxpayers.

If you have overpaid tax

You may have overpaid tax if you become unemployed or are out of work sick. Find out more about claiming a tax refund if you are unemployed or out of work sick.

You may also have overpaid tax if your tax credits are incorrect or you haven’t claimed tax relief for certain expenses. Find out more about the tax credits and reliefs you may be entitled to claim.

How to get a tax refund

If your Preliminary End of Year Statement shows that you have paid too much tax, you can claim a tax refund by making a tax return.

Refunds are paid by cheque or by bank transfer if you give Revenue your bank account details.

If you have underpaid tax

There are various reasons why you may have underpaid tax. For example, it may be due to the taxation of social protection payments or, in 2020, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

How to repay tax you owe

If your Statement of Liability shows that you owe tax of less than €6,000, you have the option to:

  • Pay all or part of it through myAccount
  • Pay all or the remaining part of it by having your tax credits reduced for up to 4 years

If the amount you owe is over €6,000, you can pay the amount through myAccount or contact Revenue to discuss repayment options.

An underpayment will remain on your tax record with Revenue until it is paid. You may have to pay interest and penalties if you owe tax to Revenue. If you refuse to repay tax that is due Revenue can take you to court.

More information

For more detailed information about how to check if you have overpaid or underpaid tax and what to do if you have, read about How to review your tax for PAYE taxpayers.

Page edited: 18 October 2022