Tax reliefs for people with a visual impairment

Introduction

If you have certain visual impairments you may claim a reduction in the amount of tax that you pay.

Under the tax system, the amount of tax that you pay to the Revenue Commissioners may be reduced by a system of tax credits and reliefs. You can read about how your tax is calculated for an explanation of how they work.

If you have certain visual impairments you can claim the Blinds Person’s Tax Credit. If you have a guide dog, you can apply for the Guide Dog Allowance. In addition, refunds are available for Value Added Tax that is paid on certain aids and appliances.

Blind Person’s Tax Credit

The Blind Person’s Tax Credit is €1,650 for 2017. For a married couple or civil partners (where both spouses or civil partners are blind), the credit is €3,300.

Parents cannot claim a Blind Person’s Tax Credit in respect of any children who are blind, but you can claim the Incapacitated Child Tax Credit.

To apply for the Blind Person's Tax Credit, you must have a certificate from an opthalmic surgeon (a physician who performs eye surgery). The certificate must state:

  • That your best vision does not exceed 6/60 visual acuity in the better eye with corrective lenses or
  • That the widest diameter of your visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

The certificate issued by your ophthalmic surgeon should state whether the visual impairment is permanent, or temporary. If it is temporary, you will need a certificate for each year for which the credit is claimed. Otherwise the tax credit remains indefinitely.

Guide Dog Allowance

An additional allowance is available if you, or your spouse, have a trained guide dog. (Guide dogs are especially trained to lead blind or visually impaired people around obstacles). In 2017 the allowance is €825 and you claim it at the standard rate of 20%.

To claim the allowance you must have a letter from Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind confirming that you are a registered owner.

Value Added Tax (VAT) Refunds

Refunds can be claimed from Revenue for VAT paid on certain aids and appliances designed to help a blind person cope with daily functions, for example, specially adapted computer equipment, Braille books, Braille writing equipment, etc.

See VAT refunds on aids and appliances used by people with disabilities for more information.

How to apply

To apply fill in a claim form for the Blind Person’s Tax Credit and Guide Dog Allowance (pdf). You can also claim tax credits online through PAYE Anytime which is available through Revenue's myAccount service.

Where to apply

Completed application forms should be returned to your local tax office. Lo-call telephone numbers for your regional tax office is available here.

Page edited: 15 August 2017