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Tax relief on the costs of employing a home carer

Introduction

You can claim tax relief on the cost of employing a carer either if you employ one for yourself, or for another family member.

You can employ the carer directly or you can use an agency that employs carers. If you employ the carer yourself, you should register as an employer and you will be responsible for your employee's tax and social insurance (PAYE and PRSI). You will also have other duties and obligations as an employer, for example regarding hours of work, contracts of employment, payslips, holidays and the minimum wage.

If you pay an agency to provide the carer, the agency will employ the carer and be responsible for their tax and social insurance etc. You can still claim tax relief on the cost of paying the agency to provide a carer.

Rules

If you employ a carer for yourself or on behalf of a family member, you can claim the tax relief on the cost of that care. A family member is a spouse, civil partner, child or a relative, including a relation by marriage or civil partnership.

You must be totally incapacitated for the complete tax year (January to December) in which you are claiming the tax relief but the carer does not have to be employed for the full tax year. The term totally incapacitated means you are disabled and require a carer.

You cannot claim tax relief for employing a carer if the carer only carries out housekeeper duties or if a Dependent Relative Tax Credit or an Incapacitated Child Tax Credit has already been granted.

You may be asked by the Revenue Commissioners to get a medical certificate to confirm the nature of your disability but it isn't necessary to send one in with your application form unless you are getting home nursing for a serious illness.

Home nursing

If you, or a family member has a serious illness and you employ a qualified nurse, you must provide the Revenue Commissioners with the following:

  • Name, address and qualifications of each nurse providing care
  • Receipts for all payments made to the nurses
  • A medical certificate from doctor (either your GP or consultant)

The medical certificate must state the following:

  • Name and address of the person with the serious illness
  • The nature of that illness
  • Confirm that constant nursing care by a qualified nurse in the patient’s home is required
  • Cover the full period of time for which the tax relief is being claimed for home nursing.

Rates

Tax allowances and reliefs reduce the amount of tax that you have to pay. The amount by which a tax allowance/relief will reduce your tax depends on your rate of tax. You can find out more about how your income tax is calculated.

You can claim tax relief (at your highest rate) on the lower of the following two amounts:

  • The actual cost incurred or
  • The maximum deduction of €50,000

The maximum amount of relief for employing a carer is €50,000 in 2014. You must claim the relief each year. You can get tax relief on the cost of employing a carer, less any amount recovered from the Health Service Executive (HSE). If two or more of you pay for the care, the relief is divided between you in proportion to the amount each paid.

How to apply

You must claim tax relief on the cost of employing a carer each year.

PAYE taxpayer
If you are a PAYE taxpayer, you can apply for tax relief for employing a carer on form HK 1 (pdf) or telephone Revenue Lo-call Service.

Your certificate of tax credits will be increased to include the relief due. This means that you will pay less tax each week from your salary.

Alternatively, you can claim relief at the end of the tax year by submitting your form P60 and that of your spouse or civil partner, if applicable, to your local Revenue office.

Self-assessment taxpayer
If you pay tax by self-assessment the claim for tax relief for employing a carer should also be sent on form HK 1 and attached to your annual tax return.

Where to apply

Send your completed application form to your local tax office.

Page updated: 21 January 2014

Language

Gaeilge

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Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.