Deal of the week
Mobile operator 3 has introduced a bit of innovation with its Best of Both 45 price plan. The plan gives customers the chance to cap their bill at €45 a month with unlimited texts and 300 free any-time, any-network minutes. Should you require additional minutes or texts, you can top up as you would with a pre-pay phone. And the contract is just six months long. A lower €25 price plan is also available though with just 100 any-time, any-network minutes available.
Tip of the week
Even golfers are finding it tough in the recession so the chance to reduce the cost of a good walk spoiled, as Mark Twain might have it, is always welcome. Golfers should check out website www.teetimes.ie which lets you book tee times for more than 60 courses throughout the country with discounts of up to 70% off standard rates. All you have to do is book online, turn up and try to channel Tiger Woods when practising your swing.
Bad value of the week
As taxpayers, we partly own Aer Lingus. We also wholly own Anglo Irish Bank, thanks to the ineptitude of its former head, Sean FitzPatrick. The news that, as an ex-director of Aer Lingus, FitzPatrick can avail of free flights, first-class, around the world and can continue to do so until 2012 is just plain infuriating, particularly for those of us who have to endure the airline's increasingly stingy attitude to customers, who must pay additional charges for checked-in luggage and on-board sustenance.
Self-assessed tax: Deadline 31 October (file and pay online and you have till 16 November)
Pensions: ROS deadline now also extends for pensions. Be sure to offset tax liability with a pension contribution where applicable, especially as rates of tax allowable in the near future may change. Currently, relief is available at the marginal rate (41%).
Medical receipts/dental expenses - Over excess of €125 – applied at marginal rate (2008) but will be at the standard rate from 2009.
Bin charges/ service charges - For apartment-dwellers this applies to management fees – applied at standard rate 20% to a maximum of €400 (so the maximum credit is €80, or 20% of €400).
College fees: Fees at standard rate.