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
Next week, 11th to the 17th June, is Carer’s Week in Ireland. We’re delighted to have Guest Blogger Gemma Donnelly Cox writing about being a Carer and how she balances life in the ‘here and now’ while also planning for the future. Caring, for me, is about enabling and empowering my husband to live the life of his choosing to his highest potential. Simple, eh? I’m not so sure. Over and over again, I am torn between goals that, at times, conflict. And I’ll bet this happens to every carer; maybe not the same goals but tension nevertheless. Currently, the ones that preoccupy me have to do with timing and with attitude. When I say timing, I mean whether to focus on the present or the future. A whole lot of enabling and empowering is about making the most of every day; doing today’s work today. Right now, I’m typing this blog and Alexis, my husband, who is quadriplegic with progressive MS, is using voice control software to work on his computer. Our son has just left the house to go bouldering at the climbing gym up the road. We are all enjoying the here and now this afternoon. Much of the time, however, I feel as though my focus is planning for the future, leaving little room for the present. So much thought goes into what I know lies ahead and also to planning for the unknowns. What if Alexis’ voice starts to weaken further and he can’t use voice control software? Should he be using eye control now, just in case? But what if his eyesight starts to fail? Worries about the future can rob you of ‘the now’ as you flail around trying to prepare for what might emerge. But if you only stay in ‘the now’, you could very well end up not being ready when one of these MS issues suddenly rears its head. Right up there with timing is attitude. It seems to me that so much of what is joyous in life is about knowing when things are good, celebrating them and being grateful for them. Like right now blogging about how it feels to be a carer. A lot of the time, however, gratitude for the good things can be in tension with putting mental energy into staying vigilant and being ready to advocate. For example, Alexis was recently invited to a dinner with people who know a lot about MS. I was looking forward to going with him and slacked up on my usual advocacy of making his requirements clear to the hosts. I figured that people in the know would get it right. Wrong. The hosts invited a quadriplegic guest seated in a large wheelchair to a venue where the tables were way too low for his chair. The path to the (too small) space at a table- in the middle of a room, full of seated diners- was impossibly narrow. It does not have to be like that folks! It’s hard to be grateful for a nice night out when your husband can’t reach the table and your advocating would have made it different. When I feel I’m getting the balance right managing the tension between timing and attitude, I am far happier and more confident in my Carer role. But before I sign off, I’d like to add one more tension, the one that can arise between caring and self-care. During Carer’s Week, we’re reminded that Superwomen and Supermen stay sharper when they take care of themselves. I was reminded of this back in the autumn when I was away for the weekend by myself (a super duper self-care step) and I came across a young couple in their 20s. The carer in the partnership was a real Wonder Woman. But she was wrecked tired, more tired than I remember being at her age and stage. I had time on my hands and tried to help out. She knew I was up to the job but she simply couldn’t let herself stop. Carers, none of us last forever but if you want to be in for the long haul and really make a difference for your loved one, you’ve got to take care of yourself too. For many carers, I guess that’s the hardest thing. Gemma and Alexis Donnelly live in Dublin with their son Finn and Labrador Retriever, Elmo. In 2016, Alexis joined the Scientific Steering Committee of the Progressive MS Alliance. His carers have supported him to fulfil his role in the Alliance. For more on the Progressive MS Alliance and the exceptional work that it does in pursuit of its aim to understand and overcome some of the biggest barriers to treatment development for progressive MS, see www.progressivemsalliance.org
This week Niamh McCarron shares her experience of having MS and working. Read on for her story of working and striving to stay professionally active and financially secure. As I write this blog post I am on my way to a conference for my day job. This is a good example of how my work and MS life are intertwined. I am often “robbing Peter to pay Paul” timewise, energy-wise and pain-wise. The truth is, most people have to work, there are very few of us who have the resources to pack it all in and retire at 30 or 40. For people with MS, I think most of us plan (and hope) to work for as long as we can. Of course as illness progresses, this choice can be taken away from us. I am writing this post from the fortunate position of still being well enough to work,. I’ve blogged about my MS Fears before. One of the things I am afraid of is having to stop working. I’ve been working in the same company for more than a decade and have built a solid career for myself. I work hard, I enjoy what I do and I am part of a great team of people. Giving up work would have a massive impact on my household financially, but it would also take away my independence and part of my social life too. I’ve had to make some adjustments over the years and I’ve occasionally had to ask work to accommodate me where possible, and reasonable, to do so. Because I was diagnosed while working here, my colleagues have known about my MS as long as I have. I think that has helped. I didn’t have to tell them about it, it just became part of me and my life. I understand why others might feel that they can’t or don’t want to disclose their MS to their workplace. It’s a very personal choice to make. For me it would have been an extra layer of pressure to deal with, so I am glad they all know. Plus I am a blabber mouth and have blogs all over the place. It’s not exactly something I can hide at this stage! In 2016 MS Ireland launched a set of Employment Resources to support people with MS and their employers. I encourage people to have a read through them, particularly if you are considering disclosing your MS at work. There are some great tips from others with MS as well as practical advice on what you can reasonably expect from your employer (and what an employer can do in terms of reasonable accommodation for a member of staff with MS). I also think it’s great to highlight that so many of us are working away in our chosen jobs. MS doesn’t always mean the end of life as we know it. I plan to still be here in the next 10 years, hitting the snooze button for “just 2 more minutes” and dashing about the place trying to juggle work, home and other commitments. I’m determined to try, for as long as possible! Links to Employment resources: https://www.ms-society.ie/blog-articles/2015-launch-of-employment-resources Working With MS - Employment Resource for People With Multiple Sclerosis Working Out MS in the Workplace - A Practical Toolkit for Employers Multiple Sclerosis and Employment - Facts and Figures
‘Making Ireland the Best Place to do Multiple Sclerosis Research’ Report Sets Out Next Steps for the Improved Access to Treatments and Novel Therapeutics To mark World MS Day on 30 May 2018, MS Ireland, supported by Novartis, will launch a new report which is intended to help create an MS research landscape that will put Ireland at the forefront of MS research, innovation and therapeutic application.[i] The report aims to support researchers and provide people with MS and the public with a better understanding of the research process and ongoing research. Some of the recommendations include the establishment of an MS Research Community, improved data and information sharing, greater involvement of people living with MS, potential funding models, and improved dissemination of research findings. The community will help overcome obstacles to research such as gathering samples, establishing a biobank and a patient register. The report defines a number of key asks as follows: Creation of a Facebook Workplace platform where researchers can contact each other, share information and seek opportunities for collaboration; Establishment of a Public Patient Involvement (PPI) network of people with MS who researchers can contact for assistance with designing studies and grant applications; Raising awareness with researchers that MS Ireland is available to partner on funding applications; Seek opportunities with academia and industry to establish an MS registry; Increasing state investment in medical research, including increasing funding for the Medical Research Charities Group and the Health Research Board Joint Funding Scheme for medical research charities; Establishment of an MS patient registry and the development of a national policy framework and infrastructure for the development and maintenance of patient registries; Prioritising implementation of The Health Information & Patient Safety Bill and The Human Tissue Bill. “Given the prevalence of MS here, Ireland should be leading the way in MS research. The report launched today gives us a blueprint of what needs to be done,” says Ava Battles, CEO of MS Ireland. “As a first step, we want to establish an MS research community collective to bolster Ireland’s current research strengths to obtain more funding and improve research visibility. While the top priorities in MS research are currently being addressed, this could be done better if the MS community addressed them as a collective.” Dr Claire McCoy, RCSI, said, “Research offers people living with MS real hope for improvement both in their treatment but also in their quality of life. I am delighted to support MS Ireland in speaking at their public meeting that will help bring people up to date with progress that is being made. The report also lays out a clear pathway that will help to overcome some of the issues that have been faced and I would urge people working in the treatment of MS to get involved as the recommendations are rolled out.” Commenting on the launch of the report, Loretto Callaghan, General Manager & Country President, Novartis Ireland said, “We are committed to working with MS Ireland to help raise awareness on the importance of research. Research plays a major role in progress so understanding the barriers that exist is the first step in devising a plan that will help to overcome these issues in the future. We believe that Ireland can become a leader in MS research and look forward to collaborating further with MS Ireland to deliver the recommendations of the ‘Making Ireland the Best Place to do Multiple Sclerosis Research’ report.” This report was compiled following a meeting with a mix of stakeholders interested in MS research in Ireland, including patients, doctors, scientists and nurses and was facilitated by Novartis Ireland in November 2017.
MS Research Explored Please join us on World MS Day Wednesday, 30th May 2018 for a research information event in Tercentenary Hall, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Building (TBSI), Pearse Street, Dublin 2 @ 6.00pm - 8pm Agenda/Speakers - Launch of MS Research Report - How Clinical Research is Bringing Us Closer to Understanding MS: Professor Orla Hardiman, Trinity College Dublin - The Patient’s Voice – Bringing Us Closer to Research: Joan Jordan, EUPATI Graduate, European Patients’ Academy - Bringing Us Closer to Research in Ireland: Dr Claire McCoy, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland Can't make it to the lecture? Don't worry - the presentations will be streamed live on the day of the event, you can access the link below on Wednesday, 30th May at 6pm https://webcastireland.com/w/live-broadcasts/ originally published 1st May 2018
The East Wicklow branch of MS Ireland invite you to the launch of First Flight, an anthology of poems and short stories by Greystones Scribblers (Boland Press). Greystones Scribblers were established by East-Wicklow branch of MS Ireland over nine years ago and First Flight is their inaugural publication. The project, facilitated by Carol Boland, has resulted in an inspirational book of well-honed pieces which will amuse and entertain, and sometimes pull at the heart strings. First Flight will be launched by Minister Simon Harris TD on World MS Day, Wednesday 30 May 2018 in the Glenview Hotel, Wicklow, at 7 pm. Profits from the sale of the book will be donated to MS Ireland's National Care Centre We look forward to seeing you there.
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