Married Tax Credit

In the Republic of Ireland, married couples and couples in a civil partnership can choose whether they are jointly, separately or singly assessed for their taxation. It’s up to you and your spouse to decide which form of assessment is the best fit for you, your family and your future. The most important thing to remember is that no matter which of the following assessment types you choose, it is your obligation to notify Revenue of your decision. Otherwise, you will continue to be assessed as two single people, just like you were before you married. For tax purposes, both partners continue to be treated as two single persons in the year of marriage or the year the civil partnership was registered. However, if the tax you pay as two single persons in that year is greater than the tax which would be payable if you had been taxed as a couple in a marriage or civil partnership, a refund of the difference can be claimed. Any refund due is only from the date of marriage or registration of civil partnership and will be calculated at the end of that tax year.

  • Joint Assessment is also known as ‘Aggregation’ and is usually the most favourable choice for couples due to its flexibility. With Joint Assessment, the tax credits and standard rate cut-off point can be allocated between both of you to suit your particular circumstances: To apply you have to send to Revenue assessable election form.
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  • Separate Assesment If you choose to be separately assessed, your tax affairs are dealt with independently of those of your spouse. While the Married Tax Credits, Age Tax Credits, Blind Person’s Tax Credits and Incapacitated Child Tax Credits will continue to be divided equally between you . Separate Assessment can be claimed either verbally or in writing and the claim can be made by either spouse. The PAYE tax credit and employment expenses, if any, are then allocated to this “assessable spouse”. Any other tax credits that remain unused by one spouse, may be claimed by the other spouse. Any unused tax bands and tax credits apart from the PAYE tax credit and employment expenses, can be transferred to the other spouse at the end of the tax year.

  • Separate Treatment is different to Separate Assessment. Essentially, each spouse is treated as a single person for tax purposes, taxed on their own income, allocated tax credits and cut-off points as a single person, and required to pay their own tax and complete their own ROI

Home Carers Tax Credit

A Home Carer’s Tax Credit is a tax credit given to married couples or civil partners (who are jointly assessed for tax) where one spouse or civil partner works in the home caring for a dependent person.

The tax you are liable to pay is calculated as a percentage of your income. A tax credit is deducted from this to give the actual amount of tax that you have to pay. A tax credit has the effect of reducing your payable tax by the amount of the credit.

A Home Carer’s Tax Credit can be claimed when:

  • The married couple or civil partners are jointly assessed for tax
  • One spouse or civil partner works in the home caring for one or more dependent people
  • The home carer’s own income is under €7,200. A reduced tax credit applies if the carer's income is between €7,200 and €9,400.
The Home Carer’s Tax Credit for 2017 is €1,100. If the home carer earns income of up to €7,200 in their own right for the tax year, the full tax credit may be claimed.

Reduced tax credit

However, if the income exceeds €7,200, the difference between the actual income and €7,200 is calculated and then halved. The Home Carer's Tax Credit is then reduced by that amount. The following table gives examples of how the tax credit is calculated for different levels of income. If the home carer's income is €9,400 or more during 2017 then you cannot claim the tax credit.

You cannot claim the Standard Rate Cut-Off Point for dual income couples and the Home Carer’s Tax Credit. Your local tax office will help you to determine which is better for you.

Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit

Single parent or the primary guardian of a child may be eligible to receive the Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCC). The Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCCC) is €1,650 in 2017.

You cannot claim the SPCC (as a primary or secondary claimant) if you are:

  • Jointly assessed as a married person or civil partner
  • Married or in a civil partnership (unless separated)
  • Cohabiting
The primary claimant is the person with whom a qualifying child (see below) or children lives for more than 6 months of the year. The primary claimant must be either the child’s parent or the person who takes care of the child and who maintains the child at his or her own expense for the whole or greater part of the year.

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A primary claimant can surrender (give up) the Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCCC) in favour of a secondary claimant. A secondary claimant must meet exactly the same conditions except for the condition that the child lives with him or her for the greater part of the year. The child must live with the secondary claimant for at least 100 days in the year. For the purpose of this limit a day can include the greater part of a day. So, for example, if a child stays with the secondary claimant from Saturday morning until Sunday evening, this can be counted as 2 days.


Rent Tax Credit

An individual, paying for private rented accommodation used as a sole or main residence. This includes rent paid for flats, apartments or houses. The tax credit for the years 2011 onwards applies to individuals who were renting a property on 7 December 2010.

Rent Tax Credit for each Tax Year.

Medical Expenses

You can claim tax relief on medical expenses you pay for yourself and on behalf of any other person.

You can get back 20% of your total medical expenses for each tax year. You can claim tax relief on:

  • Costs of doctors and consultants fees
  • Items or treatments prescribed by a doctor or consultant
  • Maintenance or treatment in a hospital or a nursing home
  • Costs of speech and language therapy carried out by a speech and language therapist for a qualifying child
  • Transport by ambulance
  • Costs of educational psychological assessments carried out by an educational psychologist for a qualifying child
  • Certain items of expenditure in respect of a child suffering from a serious life threatening illness
  • Kidney patients' expenses (up to a maximum amount depending on whether the patient uses hospital dialysis, home dialysis or CAPD)
  • Specialised dental treatment
  • Routine maternity care
  • In-vitro fertilisation

The following, where prescribed by a doctor, also qualify for medical expenses relief:

  • Drugs and medicines
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • Orthoptic or similar treatment
  • Hearing aids
  • Orthopaedic bed or chair
  • Wheelchair or wheelchair lift (no relief is due for alteration to the building to facilitate a lift)
  • Glucometer machine for a diabetic
  • Engaging a qualified nurse in the case of a serious illness
  • Physiotherapy, chiropody/podiatry services or similar treatment
  • Cost of a computer where there is medical evidence that it is necessary to help a person with a severe disability to communicate
  • Cost of gluten-free food. As this condition is generally ongoing, a letter (instead of prescriptions) from a doctor stating that the individual is a coeliac sufferer is acceptable. Receipts from supermarkets in addition to receipts from chemists are acceptable.

Dental and Optical Treatment

You cannot get tax relief for routine ophthalmic and dental care. Routine ophthalmic treatment covers sight testing, provision and maintenance of glasses and contact lenses. You can get tax relief for orthoptic or similar treatment where prescribed by a doctor. Routine dental treatment covers extractions, scaling and filling of teeth and provision and repairing of artificial teeth and dentures.

The following dental treatments do qualify for tax relief:

  • Crowns
  • Veneers/Rembrant type etched fillings
  • Tip replacing
  • Gold posts
  • Gold inlays
  • Endodontic (root canal treatment)
  • Periodontal treatment
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Surgical extraction of impacted wisdom teeth: this qualifies for tax relief when it is undertaken in hospital.
  • Bridgework

Flat Rate Expenses

These are expenses that are incurred in the performance of the duties of the employment and are directly related to the 'nature of the employee's employment'. A standard flat rate expenses allowance (deduction) is set for various classes of employee. For example, driving instructors are granted flat rate expenses of €125 per annum.

Tax relief for Third Level Education Fees

You may be able to claim tax relief on tuition fees paid for approved:

  • Undergraduate courses
  • Postgraduate courses
  • Information technology (IT) and foreign language courses.

Lists of courses and colleges approved for relief each year are published on the Revenue website.

You can claim tax relief as long as you have actually paid the fees, either on your own behalf or on behalf of another person.

You cannot claim tax relief on:

  • Examination or administration fees
  • Any part of the tuition fees that is met directly or indirectly by a grant, a scholarship or otherwise, e.g. where fees are reimbursed by an employer.

Tax relief is given at the standard rate of 20%. Discarded amounts - full time and part time students - 2012-2016

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Home Renovation Incentive

The Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) Scheme provides for tax relief for Homeowners and Landlords by way of an Income Tax credit at 13.5% of qualifying expenditure on repair, renovation or improvement works carried out on a main home or rental property by qualifying Contractors.

The amount of the HRI tax credit depends on the amount spent on qualifying works. Tax relief can be claimed on qualifying expenditure over €4,405 (before VAT at 13.5%) per property. This €4,405 (before VAT) can be the total from any number of jobs carried out and paid for from 25 October 2013 to 31 December 2018 for Homeowners claiming on their main home, on or after 15 October 2014 and up to 31 December 2018 for Landlords claiming on their rental property. While there is no upper limit on expenditure on qualifying works, the tax credit will only be given in relation to a maximum of €30,000 (before VAT at 13.5%) per property.

Examples of repair, renovation or improvement works that qualify under the Incentive include :

  • Painting and decorating
  • Rewiring
  • Tiling
  • Supply and fitting of kitchens
  • Extensions
  • Garages
  • Landscaping
  • Supply and fitting of solar panels
  • Conservatories
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing
  • Bathroom upgrades
  • Supply and fitting of windows and doors
  • Attic conversions
  • Driveways
  • Septic tank repair or replacement
  • Central heating system repair or upgrade
  • Supply and fitting of built in wardrobes
  • Conversion of a residential premises into multiple rental units
  • Supply and fit of alarm systems
  • Radon remediation works

Incapacitated Child Tax Credit

You can claim an Incapacitated Child Tax Credit if you are the parent or guardian of a child who is permanently incapacitated, either physically or mentally and Became so before reaching 21 years of age or becomes permanently 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.

You can also claim the credit for:

  • A stepchild
  • A formally or informally adopted child
  • Any child of whom you have custody, who is maintained at your own expense and who is permanently incapacitated

You can claim a credit for more than one child where more than one child is permanently incapacitated. Where the child is maintained by one parent only, that parent is entitled to claim the full amount of the tax credit. However, where the child is maintained by more than one person, the tax credit is divided between them in proportion to the amount paid by each towards the maintenance of the child.

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Back to work Enterprise Allowance

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The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.

A Back to Work Scheme called the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance started in May 2009. There is no qualifying period for the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance. You can get immediate access to the allowance if you meet the qualifying conditions. The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is payable to people aged under 66.

You can qualify for a Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) if you are:

Setting up as self-employed in a business that has been approved in advance in writing by a DSP case officer or Local Development Company (LDC) (see 'How to apply' below) and getting one of the qualifying payments listed below for at least 9 months (234 days)

  • Jobseeker's Allowance (JA)
  • Jobseeker's Benefit (with an underlying entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance)*
  • Jobseeker's Transitional payment (JST)
  • One-Parent Family Payment (OFP)
  • Blind Pension
  • Disability Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance (having stopped caring duties)
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit/Allowance
  • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Widow's/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
In addition to income support (your weekly payment), you can also get financial support with the costs of setting up your business. These supports are provided under a scheme called the Enterprise Support Grant (ESG). (The ESG replaced the Technical Assistance and Training Scheme (TATS) from 16 April 2014.) You can only get the ESG if you have been approved for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance. The business plan you submit as part of your application for the scheme must set out the rationale and requirement for financial support. The ESG can pay a total of €2,500 in any 24-month period (The ESG is paid to people getting the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance on a pro-rata basis). You must be able to make a matching contribution of at least 20% to access grant support. You need to provide documentary evidence of the costs (quotations from at least 2 suppliers or, if a single supplier, the reasons for choosing a single supplier).

State Pension (Contributory)

The State Pension (Contributory) is paid to people from the age of 66 who have enough Irish social insurance contributions. It is not means-tested. You can have other income and still get a State Pension (Contributory). This pension is taxable but you are unlikely to pay tax if it is your only income.

As the social insurance conditions are very complex you should apply for a State Pension (Contributory) if you have ever worked and have any contributions (stamps) paid at any time. There are a number of pro-rata pensions available to people who paid different types of social insurance contributions or who did not pay contributions because of various reasons (see below). Changes are proposed to the current system in 2020 (see 'Further information' below).

If you retire early, you should ensure that you continue to pay PRSI contributions or get credited contributions (if eligible) to maintain your entitlement to a pension. If you are getting Jobseeker's Benefit (JB) and are aged between 65 and 66 when your JB would normally end, you may continue to receive it until the age of 66, provided you meet the PRSI requirements.

To qualify for a State Pension (Contributory) you must be aged 66 or over and have enough Class A, E, F,G, H, N or S social insurance contributions.

You need to:

  • Have paid social insurance contributions before a certain age
  • Have a certain number of social insurance contributions paid and
  • Have a certain average number over the years since you first started to pay
Changes to the State Pension (Contributory)

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 made a number of changes to the qualifying age for State pensions. The qualifying age will rise to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028. So:

  • If you were born on or after 1 January 1955 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 67.
  • If you were born on or after 1 January 1961 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 68.