Tax Tips

5 surprising sources of tax relief for parents

Many families in Ireland qualify for a range of tax benefits, yet thousands of parents and guardians fail to claim tax back each year. This is mainly because they are unaware of the range of benefits available to them or are unsure how to claim tax back.

To help you understand more about sources of tax relief available to families we have listed the top five tax benefits for parents that often go unclaimed.

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1. Single Person Child Carer Credit

If you care for children on your own, you may be eligible for the Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCCC). In effect since January 2014, the SPCCC replaced the previous One-Parent Family Credit and is payable to the person with whom the qualifying child or children live for most of the year –  meaning at least six months or more.

Only children under the age of 18 qualify under the SPCCC unless they are in full-time educaton, provided you support and maintain them at your expense.

For 2018, the SPCCC payment is €1,650. The person receiving the credit is also entitled to a €4,000 extension of the standard rate tax band, which increases the band to €37,800.

The primary claimant may elect to surrender the SPCCC payment in favour of a secondary claimant, provided that the person meets the same requirements as the primary claimant, except for the condition that the child lives with them for the majority of the year.

However, the child or children must live with the secondary claimant for a minimum of 100 days in the year in order to qualify for SPCCC.

2. Medical Expenses for Dependants

Parents are also entitled to claim tax back on medical expenses paid for their dependents, paid at the standard tax relief rate of 20%.

Anything covered or reimbursed by an insurance policy or public authority doesn’t qualify for tax relief; however, you can get your money back on nearly everything else you pay, including

• Doctor and consultant fees

• Items prescribed by doctors and consultants

• Maintenance or treatment in a hospital

• Speech and language therapy

• Ambulance transport

• Educational psychological assessments and more.

Routine dental and ophthalmic care does not qualify for tax relief, but you can claim tax back on the costs of certain specialised dental treatments, including crowns, braces and surgical extraction of wisdom teeth when done in hospital.

3. Tuition Fees for Dependants

If you pay for your child to attend a third-level, foreign language or informational technology course, you may get your money back on tuition fees and student contribution costs.

Each year, the Department of Education and Skills supplies Revenue with an annual list of approved third-level colleges, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, which names the courses that qualify for tax relief. However, courses not appearing on the list may still qualify, so it’s important to check with your local Revenue office.

For third-level education, relief is granted per student, per course, per academic year and is paid at the standard income tax rate.

To qualify for tax relief on fees for a foreign language or IT course, the programme must not cost less than €315 and must be less than two years in duration, not a postgraduate course and completed with the awarding of a certificate of competence (not just a certificate of attendance).

The maximum relief allowed is €1,270 per course, and relief is paid at the standard rate of income tax.

4. Legally Enforceable Maintenance

If you have separated or divorced and are legally required to make maintenance payments to your spouse, you are entitled to a tax deduction for the payments.

Legally enforceable maintenance includes arrangements made under a court order, deed of separation, rule of court, trust, covenant or other enforceable act to make annual or periodic payments to your former spouse.

As payments are made without deduction of tax, the person making the payments is eligible to receive a tax deduction on the payment, while the person receiving the payments is liable to pay tax on them.

5. Home Carers Tax Credit

If you are married and your spouse stays at home to mind your children, you may be entitled to an additional tax credit under the Home Carers Tax Credit. In 2018, the Home Carers Tax Credit is worth €1,200 if the home carer has an income of €7,200 per annum.

Additionally, if your spouse has small earnings, you still may be entitled to this credit or even a portion! This will depend on your spouse’s income that is earned each year.

You can claim Home Carers Tax Credit if you, your spouse or civil partner work at home caring for a dependent person. Dependents classify as children for whom child benefit is payable, a person with a disability or people over the age of 65 who require full-time care.

Generally, it is required that the dependent lives with you; however, in some circumstances it is allowed if you live next door to or on the same property as the dependent.

Get your money back.

Many State programmes seek to help families through paid benefits and tax relief, but it’s important that parents know when their entitled to claim tax back. In order to ensure you get your money back, contact our team of tax experts at Irish Tax Rebates.

We have the highest average tax rebate in Ireland and the lowest fee; and if you aren’t owed any tax back, there is no fee applied. To get the ball rolling, you can apply for your tax back online today.