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
In the lead up to World MS Day 2017, MS & Me blogger, Trevis L Gleason gets behind this year’s theme Life with MS It could be said that I often quip about my multiple sclerosis as a coping mechanism. “Sure,” I’m oft heard saying when someone bemoans my disease more than I do, “We’ve all got something and there ain’t none of us getting out of here alive!” Is a favorite, as well as, “Better bad breath than no breath.” I’ve learned to take the things that MS (and life) hands me in the stride of existence. This isn’t always easy, particularly when my ‘stride’ is an MS gait which looks like I’m the monster from a bad Frankenstein remake or a hobbled gunslinger from the KO’d corral. Perhaps I can keep up this pithy attitude for the sake of appearances, or more likely, I must in defense of my own sanity. Forsooth, “If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry… and I’ve cried enough about MS” has got to be the truest of my ironies. My life with MS – as much as I can possibly make it – is about the living party. I get sad, have had bouts with MS-related depression and am sometimes even angry about what I can no longer do, just like anyone else who has heard the words, “You have multiple sclerosis”. But until they hang a tag on my toes, I’m going to drag them in the sand, dip them in the tide and dirty them in the garden. Which brings me to a raspberry seed that’s been stuck in my wisdom tooth since I first moved to Ireland nearly 5 years ago. I am not a ‘sufferer’! In press articles and reports, in biographical paragraphs and introductions, in speeches and interviews, I hear us being referred to as ‘MS sufferers’. I find that term archaic at best, arcane in all likelihood and offensive for certain. While I will not deny that I experience and am subject to symptoms of my disease and I am affected by, and become worse (all part of definition #1 of suffer from the Oxford English Dictionary), I am not a sufferer. I also struggle to surmount the definition of contend with MS but no one thinks to call me an MS contender. I deal effectively, cope, but the media doesn’t think to call me a coper. We remain, we are faced with and experience my symptoms but you won’t see enduror, undergoer or encounteror in print. Why then am I a sufferer?? Absurd, of course, are these awful monikers for someone who lives with a disease. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting to be called a liver either! I’d simply like to be a person, like you, like your family, like the rest of our community and the world. I am a person…. Yes, I’m a person who lives with MS, but I’m a person first, last and foremost. Why doesn’t the media stop using ‘sufferer’? Because we’ve let them get away with it. This year’s World MS Day is titled ‘Life with MS’. LIFE with MS. A successful Life with MS is all about the living part. I call on all of us living with MS to stop people when they call us sufferers. From here on, when I see it in a paper, hear it on a radio program or see it on television, I will call, write or e-mail the offending media outlet and correct them. It is time we are seen for more than our disease. We are contributors to society, we make the world a better place for ourselves and our community, we get up in the morning and do the best we can with what we have for as long as we can. We LIVE our lives with MS and we are people first. Happy World MS Day 2017. May we all LIVE our Life with MS. #LifewithMS Wishing you and your family the best of health. Cheers Trevis Trevis’ Award-Winning book, Chef Interrupted, is in the shops now. Follow him via Life With MS Facebook page, on Twitter and don’t forget to check out TrevisLGleason.com
Multiple sclerosis drug can now be recommended to women with relapsing forms of condition who are seeking to start a family Pregnancy contraindication removed from Copaxone 40mg/ml 3-times weekly, the first drug in this category to be cleared; Positive report agreed at European level, approval granted by Irish regulator Approximately 9,000 people in Ireland have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease of the nervous system that disproportionately affects women of childbearing age Irish doctors can now recommend a treatment option for women with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) who are seeking to start a family. Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland has announced that the pregnancy contraindication for the Glatiramer Acetate injection, Copaxone 40mg/ml 3-times weekly, has been removed from the European label. An equivalent change was approved for Copaxone 20mg/ml in December 2016. No other drug in this category has had the pregnancy contraindication removed. MS is an autoimmune disease of the nervous system which damages the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, affecting vision, muscle control and other bodily functions. Approximately 8,000 people in Ireland live with the disease, and roughly 250 new cases are diagnosed each year. MS disproportionately affects women of childbearing age (20-40 years old). The removal of the pregnancy contraindication follows a Positive Variation Assessment Report issued by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and agreed by all Concerned Member States (CMS) in Europe that were involved in the procedure. Ireland’s medicines regulator, the Health Products Regulatory Association (HPRA), has also granted approval. The approval was granted based on an analysis of prospective pregnancy cases with known outcome and confirmed exposure to Copaxone 20mg/ml, from Teva’s Glatiramer Acetate (GA) Pharmacovigilance Database. This further strengthens the conclusion of the robust analysis of Copaxone 20 mg/ml pregnancy data, based on more than 2,000 pregnancy cases1. To date, this is the largest analysed dataset of pregnant women with MS who were exposed to disease modifying therapies during pregnancy. Dr Greg Hays, Medical Director, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland, said the contraindication removal is significant for women with MS seeking to start a family. “MS is a debilitating disease that disproportionately affects young women at an age when they are most likely to be considering starting a family. “Teva is committed to helping women with relapsing forms of the disease lead the complete lives they desire. While it is still preferable to avoid using MS treatments during pregnancy, in appropriate situations, the removal of the contraindication from Copaxone is welcome for those who wish to remain on their medication or who were previously advised to stop taking their medication for the duration of the pregnancy.” Ms. Ava Battles- Chief Executive Officer at the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland-said: “As MS is more prevalent in women of childbearing age than in any other group, the removal of the contraindication from Copaxone allows for Irish doctors to recommend a treatment option (in appropriate situations) for women with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) who are seeking to start a family.”
This week Declan Groeger is not a ‘Muscle Mary‘ but believes exercise has helped him maintain a positive attitude and helped to preserve his mental health. I am passionate about exercise now but that wasn’t always the case. I am a convert and an advocate for the cause. I am not going to use this blog to tell you why you should exercise but believe me when I tell you that you should. I am going to tell you about ‘Exercise, Multiple Sclerosis & Me’. There was a time when exercise was contra-indicated for People with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) and that is my excuse for not exercising for so many years after my diagnosis; probably closer to the truth was the fact that I was a bit on the lazy side. The attitude to exercise has changed over the past number of years and these days exercise is actively encouraged in its many different forms. I was never sporty except as a spectator. I never carried any extra weight. I didn’t smoke at the time of diagnosis. I drank in moderation and ate relatively healthily. I was never motivated to exercise but in any event I never realised how important exercise, or the lack thereof, was going to be in later life. I had a young family; keeping up with two small children, household chores, gardening and a job were enough exercise, or so I thought. I exercise regularly now and have done so for more than 11 years. I go to the pool or the gym 2 or 3 times a week and I also have a list of daily home exercises. I don’t want to be a ‘Muscle Mary’ and I definitely won’t be blamed for overworking any of the gym machines! I go to the gym early in the morning when I am at my best; my energy levels start to wane in the afternoon. I love the social interactions in the gym and I feel that I am doing something positive to stem the MS tide. Even though I always feel tired after a gym session it is a good tired and the feel good factor is great. I believe that exercise has also helped me maintain my positive attitude and has helped to preserve my mental health. I’m sorry I didn’t start exercising earlier but because no one knows the course of the disease or the speed of progression, it is impossible to say whether my efforts would have been any more successful. I believe that exercise is helping me in my battle with MS and belief is a powerful motivator. I know that I should have started earlier but I also believe that it is never too late to start. Exercise is good for you whether you are living with MS or not, but don’t overdo it. A Chinese proverb says ‘the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now’ and the same can be said for exercise – it is never too late to start. Looking forward to your comments... Declan Don't forget to check out able2access.wordpress.com
Highlighting Life with Multiple Sclerosis World MS Day 2017 will take place on Wednesday, May 31st and the theme this year is 'Life with MS', raising awareness of Multiple Sclerosis for thousands of people in Ireland and their families. Aoife Kirwan from Kildare and Maggs O’Riordan Wall from Limerick, both living with MS, are highlighting the challenges of life with MS including MS attacks, mobility issues, cognitive difficulties and the crucial need for increased neuro rehabilitation services. Ava Battles, Chief Executive, MS Ireland comments: “Life with Multiple Sclerosis is greatly impacted by the availability of neurology and neurorehabilitation services and this World MS Day we are calling for an increase in resources for neurology services in Ireland that match the need, ensuring access to care and support on time. Early identification of MS, early treatment with an appropiate medication and timely neurorehabilitation can improve functioning, reduce symptoms, and delay or prevent disability accumulation or deterioration.” How to get involved Events are planned across Ireland to mark World MS Day 2017 including 9,000 Steps for MS which will see supporters running, walking or dancing 9,000 Steps (6.5k) with colleagues, friends or family. Funds raised will directly help in services provision locally, in particular, physiotherapy, counselling and respite at the national MS Care Centre. Share your tips and photos/videos with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for living well with MS. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #LifewithMS MS Ireland, the national organisation providing vital services, information and support to people with MS, will hold a World MS Day event at Leinster House on Wednesday, May 31st to raise awareness of essential neuro rehabilitation services for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Neurology services in Ireland: The number of specialist nurses is significantly below what is recommended for our population with less than half the recommended number of MS nurses Every hospital group exceeds the ratio for consultant neurologists for our population No centre has MRI access for routine referrals in under two months and seven of the eleven neurology centres cannot get access within one year of referral. Lack of access to neurorehabilitation services including therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. Ireland should have nine community neurorehabilition teams. There are currently only three in the entire counry and these are only partially staffed * The source of these statistics is the survey carried out by the Neurological Alliance of Alliance and the National Clinical Programme for Neurology, published in February 2016.
The Effect of Gender Identity on Help-Seeking and Social Support in Male Carers of People with MS Researcher Damien Appleton, Clinical Neuropsychologist from the University of Leicester is asking male carers of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to complete a series of online questionnaires investigating levels of social support, carer burden, willingness to seek help and attributes related to gender role. Who can take part? Any male over the age of 18 who is a carer of a loved one with multiple sclerosis. Should you wish to do so, you can choose to provide your contact details in the form of an email address to be entered into a draw to win one of four £50 Amazon vouchers. What will I have to do? If you decide to complete this survey, you will be required to complete it in one sitting, which means you cannot save your responses half way through and come back to it later to complete. It should take approximately 30 minutes to complete and your time is greatly appreciated. What will be done with my responses? Your responses will be anonymous and no identifiable information will be included in any reports that are produced with the results of this survey. The responses will be stored securely on a computer that only the research team has access to and all data will be destroyed after 7 years. Should you wish to withdraw at any time, you have every right to do so and you should contact the researchers to request this. Consent: By choosing to complete this survey and submit your results, you are agreeing to the terms above and consenting to your anonymous data to be used in a research report. You are also confirming that you are a male carer of a loved one with MS. Who has reviewed this study? The University of Leicester Research Ethics Committee. If completing this survey causes you any emotional distress, please contact your GP to talk through support options that may be available to you. We thank you again for your time taken to complete this survey. Should you wish to complete the questionnaires in written form, please contact the researchers and this can be arranged. Get in touch Contact Damien Appleton by email email@example.com
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