MS can come with many costs. We have pulled together some information on tax credits, reliefs and exemptions that may be relevant to you or your loved ones, to help you to navigate this space. Supporting evidence – such as medical certificates are required. The information provided in this piece has come from www.revenue.ie as well as Inclusion Ireland and Citizens Information, and is correct at the time of writing (January 2017).
It is important to note: Claims for repayment of tax must be made within 4 years after the end of the year for which the claim is being made. For example claims relating to 2016 must be claimed by December 31st 2020.
Blind Person’s Tax Credit
This credit of €1,650 may be claimed by anyone who is regarded as blind. Revenue state the following conditions must be met in order to claim this credit;
‘To qualify for the tax credit you or your spouse or civil partner must have impaired vision to the extent that:
Supporting evidence is required to claim this credit – a medical certificate provided by an eye specialist must state the degree of vision loss, as well as stating whether the vision loss is permanent or temporary. In cases where the vision loss is temporary – a new medical certificate must be submitted for each year the tax credit is claimed.
For further information on how to apply, and for the relevant claim form, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/blind-credit.html
Deed of Covenant
This legal agreement is made between two individuals, where one agrees to pay the other an amount of money without any benefit in return. As long as a Deed of Covenant is properly drawn up in favour of a person who is permanently incapacitated, tax relief is available. Please note that parents cannot covenant to a permanently incapacitated child under the age of 18.
For further information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it7.html
Dependent Relative Tax Credit
This tax credit of €70 can be claimed by a taxpayer who maintains:
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/dependent-relative.html
Employed person taking care of an Incapacitated Individual
This relief can be claimed in respect of the cost of employing a person (including a person whose services are provided by or through an agency) to take care of either:
This allowance of up to €75,000 may be claimed by one family member or divided among a number of family members if they are contributing towards the cost.
For further information, visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it47.html
Home Carer’s Tax Credit
A Home Carer’s tax credit is available for married couples where one spouse works in the home caring for;
The tax credit has a value of €1,100 for carers with an income up to €7,200 (or €5,800 for years up to and including 2015).
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/home-carers.html
Health/Medical Expenses Tax relief
This tax relief can be claimed on the claimant’s own behalf or on behalf of another person whom the claimant has paid medical expenses.
Relief may be claimed on expenses including the following;
Costs incurred in provision of a wheelchair or wheelchair lift – excluding alterations to buildings (it may be useful to view information on the Housing Adaption Grant for People with Disabilities – from your local Council).
For a full list of expenses which are eligible for tax relief, and for further information on how to apply, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it6.html
Incapacitated Child Tax Credit
A parent or guardian of a child who became permanently incapacitated before the age of 21, or while she or he was in full-time education, may apply for this tax credit of €3,300.
For further information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/incapacitated-child-credit.html
Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT)
If you have savings in a financial institution such as a bank, building society, credit union or post office, tax at is deducted on the interest. This is called Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT). An individual, their spouse or civil partner, who is permanently incapacitated, may be entitled to exemption from DIRT or to a DIRT refund.
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/dirt/leaflets/de2.html
Lump Sum payments can be exempt where paid by an employer because of injury or disability. To qualify for relief, the payment must be made on account of injury or disability of the holder of the office or employment and the disability must be the cause of termination of employment.
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it21.html#section3
Special Trusts for Permanently Incapacitated Individuals
Special tax treatment applies on income arising following the creation of a trust whose funds have arisen as a result of public subscription raised on behalf of an individual or individuals who are permanently and totally incapacitated. Contact your Revenue office for further information.
For further information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/personal/circumstances/disability-information.html
Universal Social Charge (USC)
People who hold a full medical card and who’s total yearly income is below €60,000 may have a reduced rate of USC. Payments and income from the Department of Social Protection already subjected to DIRT are exempt from USC.
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/usc/
Medical Expenses of Incapacitated Persons
An exemption on inheritance tax is in place for gifts or inheritances taken by an individual who is permanently incapacitated - to meet their medical expenses (such as nursing home care).
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it6.html
VAT repayment can be claimed on the purchase of some special aids and appliances such as walk-in baths and hoists. Individuals who purchase an aid or appliance for a disabled person can claim a VAT refund.
For more information please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it12.html
Drivers and Passengers with Disabilities
A number of tax reliefs may be claimed by persons with disabilities on the purchase of motor vehicles including VAT and VRT refunds or for the adaption of a vehicle.
“Relief is available for the following applicant types, depending on the level of vehicle adaptation and is subject to a maximum amount of relief…
Drivers with a Disability
Passengers with a disability/family member of a passenger with a disability
More information on the range of tax reliefs which can be applied can be found in ‘DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES ORGANISATIONS TAX RELIEF SCHEME’, which may be found on the website http://www.revenue.ie/en/personal/circumstances/disability-information.html#section3
Further information on these tax reliefs, credits and exemptions and how to apply, can be found on www.revenue.ie or by calling Revenue’s LoCall numbers:
Border Midlands West Region: Call 1890 777 425
Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Westmeath
Dublin Region: Call 1890 333 425
Dublin (City and County)
East & South East Region: Call 1890 444 425
Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow
South West Region: Call 1890 222 425
Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick
This week Fergal Hughes wonders about what the future holds for him in terms of his MS ... and realises that he is more concerned with 'here and now' I was diagnosed in January 1996. The diagnosing doctor told me that he believed my type of MS to be remitting/relapsing (RRMS) and what that would more than likely entail for me. I remember in the days following my diagnosis I bought every book on the topic of MS that I could find in town. I then went home and promptly threw them all under the bed! Looking back, I think I was just trying to make sure that I at least physically ‘possessed’ as much knowledge as I could (I guess I was trying to get a sense of ownership over this unexpected addition to my life). But then I simultaneously created my own little ‘Pandora’s Box’ in my room, never to be opened for fear of what it might contain. Coincidentally, my MS went into remission at that exact time, allowing me to develop a healthy denial about it. [Aside: If I remember correctly, I think I never actually read those books. Ever. In 1998, two years after the start of my remission, MS returned with one hell of a relapse, going so far as to give me a permanent limp in my right leg. Now, in 2018, I can say that I believe I’ve learned that attitude can be at least just as important as knowledge. In my opinion, there really is a lot to be said for that old chestnut, Positive Mental Attitude. Over 20 years since my diagnosis, I’ve developed two new conditions, both neuralgias and both facial/cranial extreme nerve pains. One is called Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) and the other is Cluster Headaches (CH). Nobody told me beforehand that I was going to develop these. There was no medical prognosis, best guesses, psychics, witch doctors, NOTHING . I just suddenly acquired the conditions and I had to quickly learn how to deal with them. And I’m still learning how to deal with them. Again looking back, a doctor or neurosurgeon or whoever, might have hinted TN and CH might be on the cards but personally, I reckon that that would have been a potential disaster. I say this considering the proven effect that fear and stress can have on a newly diagnosed person with MS. At the end of the day, there’s only so much one can do about the future. Right now the most important thing for me is dealing with the here and now.
Nominations for this year’s annual awards are now open! It would be a great honour to be nominated for the national awards, so we would encourage Branches and individual members and staff members to nominate members who they feel deserve recognition. Our Annual Awards are the Society’s way of recognising the contribution many of our members make within their families, local communities and MS Ireland. The annual national awards will be presented at the Gala dinner in Athlone on Friday, 21st September 2018. Download form(s) and nominate someone special. MS Person of the Year MS Carer/Helper of the Year MS Volunteer of the Year Closing date for receipt of nominations: Friday, 17th August 2018 Nomination forms are also available from our National office, MS Care Centre and your local Regional offices. We would recommend you to return your nomination forms to MS Ireland, National Office, 80 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4. Get in touch For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01) 6781600 originally published April 2018
‘But you look so good’…. MS & Me blogger Niall McGahon shares his thoughts and reaction on hearing this compliment. “But you look so good….” For some, this expression can be one of the most frustrating things to hear when you have MS. For me, it is simply someone paying me a compliment and my immediate reply is “Thanks a million…” Personally, the most frustrating aspect of having MS - is having this progressive illness. No two days are the same nor do they have any predictability. This is where I have tried to take back control of my life and put a bit of manners on MS! Now this was by no means an instantaneous migration and did not happen overnight. It was and still is difficult to make such major lifestyle changes and I am continuously learning each and every day. Many times, of course it does get in the way, or rather my right leg gets in the way of my left leg. Suddenly the footpath and I are about to become very close friends! But like all things you learn to live with and give yourself the best possible chance of limiting the relapses through exercise, major dietary change, meditation and focusing on what I can do and not on what I may or may not be able to do in the future. I follow the OMS program for all of this. The great sports phycologist, Dr Bob Rotella has a simple concept used for golf of “staying in the present”. These golfers play their next shot until they run out of holes and then add up their score. I have taken this from my golf and tried to apply it to my illness, simply take each day as it comes and deal with that day. The rest of the days are, for the most part outside of my control. Since being diagnosed with MS in 2014 and having many experiences since, I have become acutely aware of how well I am in the grand scheme of human health. I have been in hospital for various treatments and have seen people who have much harder crosses to bear than me. So as a result, I am trying to make myself more aware of when someone is paying me a compliment. I have no idea what that person is going through, yet they have taken the time to think about me and what I am going through by paying me a compliment. The correct thing to do is simply say thank you. If you can add to peoples’ knowledge of MS along the way through conversation, then brilliant. The greater the understanding of what a person with MS goes through daily, the better. You may be in pain, you may be heavily fatigued, and you may not be in a very good emotional place. What I have learnt over the last 4 years is that the person saying that you look good could be in the very same place but for a totally different reason, so saying thank you is sometimes best for all.
New treatment option for relapsing remitting MS The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics in Ireland (NCPE) announces positive recommendation for reimbursement for MAVENCLAD (Cladribine tablets). MS Ireland believes people with MS should have access to all and any appropriate and licensed treatments that would improve or assist in the management of their condition. The MS community is very much looking forward to having access to this treatment option. Read MS Ireland’s briefing document on the process of licensing and reimbursement of new medications.
‘Don’t let MS stop you from finding your happily ever after’… This week Ciara O Meara reflects on dating and disclosing her MS when she finally found the one! Dating is a pure and utter minefield! Your preparation for the field is diligent and precise. You approach the field with care and caution, as you have no idea where potential disasters lie. The field itself is exciting; it’s unpredictable and it’s nerve wrecking. And your exit from the field can be a calamity or pure serendipity. MS just drops a few unexpected mines into the field of mayhem! MS never impacted on my dating life and it certainly didn’t do anything to lessen the amount of frogs that reared their heads along the way! When I was diagnosed I was in a relationship, but that ship was already sinking long before MS was mentioned. It was sinking at such a rapid rate that I never told him of my diagnosis- what was the point? It wasn’t going to make any difference to our relationship and I didn’t want anyone hanging around out of guilt or fear. Plus, I was excited at the thought of single Ciara returning to the minefield of dating! I didn’t have the Tinder experience when I was single. It was late bars, nightclubs or a friend of a friend. I didn’t have the ‘liathróidí’ to approach anyone without an alcoholic beverage in hand. Give me some Pinto Grigio and I had balls of steel. There were once off kisses, numbers swapped, a regretful one-night stand, a date, maybe two, even three but MS was never mentioned and it never entered my mind. I had no visible symptoms of my MS and there was no indication that anything was wrong. I was young, free and single and playing the field and MS had no reason to be involved. Like I said, MS never impacted on my dating life, not until I fell in love that is. Ladies night out in a dodgy nightclub at home at Christmas- it was only meant to be one of those random drunken kisses. Numbers were exchanged, dates arranged and by month four we were ‘Facebook Official’ and I was falling and falling hard. I had told Dave I loved him long before MS was mentioned. Maybe it was fear, maybe worry, pity or embarrassment that stopped me every time from telling him. I thought if I told him that he would feel morally obliged to stay in the situation rather than wanting to be in a relationship. There were only so many excuses I could make for the perfectly circular bruises on my tummy and thighs from the Rebif. I wanted this relationship to develop and to do that I had to be honest about the uncertainty and unpredictability that this disease brings with it. When I told him he stared blankly for a few minutes, my heart rate increasing by the second. He looked at me, held my hand and said ‘Ciara, I fell in love with you and now that I know you have MS, I will love you even more’. I had made MS out to be bigger than what we had when in fact our journey together with MS would make us stronger. Six years on and a house together is testament to that. He’s there on the bad days, he’s there on the good days and he’s there to support me in everything I do. Everyone’s someone is waiting for them. Don’t ever let MS stop you from finding your happily ever after. Brace the minefield with open arms and kiss all the frogs that hop in your way- you never know which one is the right one!
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