In 2011, the Census showed that nearly 600,000 people in Ireland reported having a disability. Although this number is a huge percentage of the Irish population, Irish Tax Rebates have found that many people in Ireland are simply unaware of a number of tax credits and other forms of tax relief which may be available for anyone who is permanently incapacitated either physically or mentally and unable to maintain themselves.
What’s more, even fewer people are aware that parents, guardians and persons who care for dependent relatives, or who incur expenses on their behalf, may also be able to make a tax back claim under certain circumstances.
Here are 5 specific tax credits and forms of tax relief applicable to people with disabilities or who are caring for adults or children with disabilities.
Table of contents
- Incapacitated Child Tax Credit
- The Blind Person’s Tax Credit
- Dependent Relative Tax Credit
- Tax Relief On Employing A Home Carer
- Home Carer’s Tax Credit
- We’re Here To Help
1. The Incapacitated Child Tax Credit
Parents or guardians of a permanently incapacitated child – either physically or mentally – biological, step or adopted child or children, may be able to claim what is known as The Incapacitated Child Tax Credit.
Currently standing at €3,300 per child, you are only eligible to claim tax back once the child became incapacitated before reaching 21 years of age or became incapacitated after reaching the age of 21 but while still in full-time education or while training for a trade or profession for a minimum of 2 years.
There is a list of specific disabilities regarded as permanently incapacitating which includes:
• Cystic Fibrosis
• Spina Bifida
• Down Syndrome
• Spastic paralysis
2. The Blind Person’s Tax Credit
If you have certain visual impairments, you may be able to claim tax back. Standing at €1,650 for individuals and €3,300 for a married couple or civil partners (where both spouses or civil partners are blind), the Blind Person’s Tax Credit requires a certificate from an ophthalmic surgeon – a physician who performs eye surgery.
This certificate must confirm that your best vision does not exceed 6/60 visual acuity in the better eye with corrective lenses or that the widest diameter of your visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.
What’s more, the certificate will need to state whether your visual impairment is permanent or whether it is temporary, in which case you’ll need a certificate for each year for which the credit is claimed. Unfortunately, parents cannot claim this tax credit for any children who are blind.
Instead, they will need to claim the Incapacitated Child Tax Credit. However, an additional allowance is available if you or your spouse have a trained guide dog. Once you have a letter from Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind confirming that you are a registered owner, you can claim an allowance of €825.
3. Dependent Relative Tax Credit
The Dependent Relative Tax Credit is a way of claiming tax back if you maintain at your own expense; a relative who is unable to maintain themselves as a result of old age or ill-health; a widowed parent irrespective of the state of their health.
Recipients of the Dependent Relative Tax Credit can claim relief on expenses like doctors’ bills, prescription medicine or hospital treatment. If the person is living in a nursing home, hospital or other similar institution and you contribute to the fees for such, you may also be entitled to claim some of the expenses involved.
As of 2017, for the cost of maintaining your dependent relative, the tax credit is the cost of maintenance up to €70. However, if the income of your dependent relative (for example, social welfare payments, pensions and deposit interest) exceeds €14,504 in 2017, no tax credit is due.
4. Tax Relief On Employing A Home Carer
Once you or the spouse, civil partner, child or relative that you care for are not in receipt of The Incapacitated Child Tax Credit or The Dependent Relative Tax Credit outlined above, you may be entitled to claim tax relief on the cost of employing a carer.
We suggest you use an agency that employs carers, otherwise, you would have to register as an employer and be responsible for their PAYE, USC, PRSI, contract, payslips, holidays and hours of work.
While the recipient must be totally incapacitated (meaning they are disabled and require a carer as confirmed by a medical certificate) for the complete tax year (January to December) in which you are claiming the tax relief, the carer does not have to be employed for the full tax year.
If the illness is serious enough to warrant the employment of a qualified nurse, you must provide the Revenue Commissioners with; the name, address and qualifications of each nurse providing care; receipts for all payments made to these nurses; and the medical certificate from a doctor.
The maximum amount of relief for employing a carer is €75,000 and the relief is divided between you in proportion to the amount each paid, if two or more of you pay for the care.
5. Home Carer’s Tax Credit
Married couples or civil partners may be entitled to claim €1,100 (from 2017) from the Home Carer’s Tax Credit as long as: one spouse or civil partner works in the home caring for a dependent person; the married couple or civil partners are jointly assessed for tax and the home carer’s own income is under €7,200.
A dependent person cannot be a spouse or civil partner but can be a relative by marriage or someone for whom you act as a legal guardian. Normally, in order to quality for Home Carer’s Tax Credit, the dependent person has to live with their carers in the tax year.
In most circumstances, this is a child for whom you receive children’s allowance for. However, an elderly relative can be cared for outside your home, as long as they reside on the same property or within 2km of you.
We’re Here To Help
As with most tax issues, the above can be a little daunting and confusing at first. However, Irish Tax Rebates experts are standing by to help you claim your tax back. We unnderstand your tax credits and how to retrieve any overpaid tax. Find out if you’re due a tax rebate, apply in minutes online.