It’s that expensive time of year again! Here are key entitlements (regarding children) to help you with the expense of the Back to School period
The back-to-school period is upon us and many families are feeling the pinch. Covering the cost of school books, uniforms, transport, stationary, etc. is leading many families to forgo paying household bills (according to recent research by Barnardos). To assist you with covering the back-to-school costs we have compiled tax entitlements, relating to children, and child benefits below. We’ve also included some findings from Barnardos’ research along with their infographic so you can see how your back-to-school costs compare.
Barnardos is a fantastic charity that works with vulnerable children and their families throughout Ireland. For more information about Barnardos, click here to visit their website. And to support the great work that they do, click here to make a donation.
Back to School costs
The below infographic, developed by Barnardos, provides and overview of various cost burdens associated with sending a child to school in Ireland in 2017.
Child Benefits and tax entitlements
To assist you with covering back-to-school costs we have compiled tax entitlements and benefits, relating to children, that you may be eligible for (depending on your personal circumstances).
Child Benefit (formerly “Children’s Allowance”) – this is a well-known benefit and one that you should be availing of if your child is under 16, or under 18 and in full-time education. Child Benefit is €140 per month per child (this rate changes for multiple births).
For further details on Child Benefit, click here.
Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance
This benefit provides assistance for uniform and footwear expenses specifically for children going to school. The value of the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is €140 for each eligible child between 4-11 years and €250 for each eligible child between 12-22 years. There are specific qualifying conditions that must be met, including income limits and social welfare conditions.
For further details on Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, click here.
Note: the deadline for applications is 30th September.
Family Income Supplement
Family Income Supplement is a support payment for low income families (including one-parent families) that is tax free. To qualify you must be an employee working a minimum of 19 hours per week (if applicable your hours can be added to your partner’s working hours) and you must have a qualifying child.
The Family Income Supplement payment is 60% of the difference between your average weekly family income minus your weekly assessable income limit for your family size.
For more information on Family Income Supplement, click here.
Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCCC)
Formerly the “One-Parent Family Tax Credit”, this tax credit is available to people caring for qualifying children on their own. This credit can be granted to a primary claimant (child must be living with this person for more than 6 months in the year) OR a secondary claimant (child must be living with this person for 100 or more days in the year). A qualifying primary claimant can surrender the SPCCC to a qualifying secondary claimant. The value of the SPCCC is currently €1,650 p/y.
For more information on Single Person Child Carer Credit, click here.
One Parent Family Payment
The One Parent Family Payment provides support to a person that is rearing at least one child without the support of a partner. There are specific rules and conditions that must be met to receive this payment, for example the person must be under 66 and satisfy a means test. The maximum weekly One Parent Family Payment rate (Personal Rate) is currently €193 per week.
For further details on One Parent Family Payment, click here.
Widowed Parent Tax Credit
A widowed person, that hasn’t remarried and isn’t cohabiting, with a qualifying child can claim Widowed Parent Tax Credit. The value of this tax credit reduces each year, for 5 years, after bereavement – commencing at €3,600 in year 1 reducing to €1,800 in year 5. Please note that Widowed Parent Tax Credit can be claimed for a maximum of 5 years and only 1 tax credit can be received regardless of the number of dependent children.
For further details on Widowed Parent Tax Credit, click here.
Medical Insurance Premiums
If you pay medical insurance for your dependants (including a dependent child) to an approved insurer you can claim tax relief. Your insurer calculates the tax relief and reduced the cost of your policy accordingly. The monetary value of this tax relief depends on when you renewed or commenced your policy.
For further details on tax relief for medical insurance premiums, click here.
Health Care for Children
If your child is under 18 or over 18 but in full-time education you can claim tax relief for “additional health expenses”. There are several “additional health expenses” listed on Revenue’s website, these include:
- Educational psychologist and speech and language therapy
- Life threatening illness or permanent disability
- Overnight accommodation
- Travelling abroad
- Hygiene products and special clothing
For more information on tax relief for Health Care for Children, click here.
Home Carer Tax Credit
You can potentially claim Home Carer Tax Credit for your child, for whom you must receive Child Benefit, if your child is deemed a “dependant person” and if you’re married or in a civil partnership. Please note that you can only claim this tax credit for one dependent child/person regardless of the number of dependants that you care for. The current maximum Home Carer Tax Credit rate that you can receive is €1,100.
For more information on Home Carer Tax Credit, click here.
Incapacitated Child Tax Credit
You can claim Incapacitated Child Tax Credit if you have custody and support a child / children who cannot support themselves due to permanent physical or mental incapacitation. Currently the value of this tax credit is €3,300 per incapacitated child.
For more information on Incapacitated Child Tax Credit, click here.
Tuition fees (3rd level education)
This one is a little out of the “children” scope, however, as many parents foot the bill for their child’s tuition fees we thought it best to include.
You can claim tax relief on tuition fees for approved 3rd level courses / colleges once certain conditions are met (for example, an undergrad course must be a minimum of 2 years). Currently in 2017, the value of this tax relief is: 20% of the qualifying course fee (up to €7,000) minus the disregard amount (€3,000 for full-time and €1,500 for part-time courses). For more details, click here.
Similarly there’s tax relief for qualifying “Foreign language and Information Technology (IT) courses”. If the fee is between €350 and €1,270 you can claim 20% tax relief. For more details, click here.
Marriage tax benefits
This benefit is a little out of the “children” scope of this article too but we’re including it as many couples overlook or postpone maximising this tax benefit which could greatly assist couples with covering the cost of back-to-school expenses.
To help married couples and registered civil partners maximise their entitlements we have summarised some of the key information relating to marriage and tax entitlements, read our Marriage Tax Benefits article here for an overview of your options, deadlines and what you need to do.
For more information (not just child benefits related) on personal tax credits, tax reliefs and tax exemptions visit revenue.ie and for Department of Social Protection support services visit welfare.ie. For further public service and entitlement details visit citizensinformation.ie.
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