The Revenue Commissioners need to undertake a public awareness campaign to ensure that all those who qualify for the Home Carer Tax Credit are actually aware of it, according to the Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy.
“A recent survey from taxback.com indicated that almost two thirds of people in Ireland are unaware of the existence of this credit. I am concerned that many families are potentially missing out on a valuable tax credit because they are simply not aware of it. I think there is a strong case for the Revenue to take further steps to highlight the existence of this credit,” said Deputy Murphy.
“A Home Carer Tax Credit may be claimed by married couples and couples in a civil partnership who are jointly assessed for tax purposes and where one spouse or civil partner provides care for a dependent person. A dependent person for the purposes of the Home Carer Tax Credit includes a child in respect of whom the claimant is in receipt of child benefit, a person aged 65 or over, or a person who is permanently incapacitated by reason of physical or mental disability, but does not include the spouse or civil partner of the claimant.”
Eugene Murphy also added that “The home carer does not have to be in receipt of the Carer’s Allowance payable by the Department of Social Protection in order to qualify for the Home Carer Tax Credit.”
“The home carer may have income in his or her own right up to €7,200 and still qualify for the full Home Carer Tax Credit. If the income of the home carer is between €7,200 and €9,400 the claimant may still qualify for a portion of the tax credit. The Carer’s Allowance is not regarded as income for the purposes of qualifying for the Home Carer Tax Credit,” explained Deputy Murphy.
“While the Revenue Commissioners do make an effort to automatically give this tax credit to some taxpayers, only 81,000 taxpayers are currently benefiting from it. I suspect that many people are not claiming this tax credit as the Government and the Revenue Commissioners are doing very little to make people aware of it, and to expand the number of claimants. The tax credit puts up to €1,100 back into the pockets of a couple where one person works and the other is a carer, including caring for children.
“In my own experience dealing with constituents, it is not widely known that caring for children is covered by the credit. Taxpayers who could benefit from this tax credit can claim it using Revenue’s online PAYE Anytime service, a claim form or their annual tax return,” concluded Deputy Murphy.