Tax credits and reliefs for people over 65

Introduction

If you or your spouse or civil partner are aged over 65, you can get an additional tax credit called the Age Tax Credit.

If your income is below a certain limit, you are exempt from income tax and from Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT).

This page also gives an overview of other tax reliefs that are not limited to people over 65 but may be relevant, including tax relief on:

  • Medical expenses
  • Nursing home costs
  • The cost of a home carer or home nursing
  • Deeds of covenant

There is pension tax relief on pension contributions and retirement lump sums.

If you are getting a pension or social welfare payment, you can read about how pensions are taxed and how social welfare payments are taxed.

Tax exemption limits for people aged 65 and over

If you are over 65, you do not have to pay income tax if your income is below a certain amount called the exemption limit.

The exemption limit also applies if you are under 65 but your spouse or civil partner is over 65 and you are jointly assessed for tax.

Annual exemption limits
Personal circumstances Exemption limit €
Single, widowed or surviving civil partner 18,000
Married or in a civil partnership 36,000
First 2 children 575 each
Subsequent children 830 each

The exemption is for income tax but not Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) or Universal Social Charge (USC). However, you do not pay PRSI if you are over 70.

If your income is above the exemption limit, but is less than twice the exemption limit, marginal relief is available. Under marginal relief, you are only taxed on the amount over the exemption limit but that amount is taxed at 40% and you get no tax credits.

Marginal relief will only apply if it benefits you more than the usual method of calculating tax.

You can find more information about income tax exemptions and marginal relief on Revenue's website.

If your income is below the exemption limit, you are also exempt from Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT).

Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) exemption

Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) is deducted from interest paid on deposit or savings accounts.

If you or your spouse or civil partner are over 65, you are exempt from DIRT if your income is below the income exemption limit above.

You can apply to have your deposit interest paid to you without the deduction of DIRT by completing Form DE1 (pdf) and sending it to your bank or credit union.

If DIRT has already been deducted from your deposit interest, you can apply for a refund by completing Form 54 (pdf) and returning it to Revenue.

Tax credits

Tax credits reduce the amount of tax that you must pay. After calculating your tax, the amount of your tax credits is deducted from the amount of tax you owe.

Everyone is entitled to a personal tax credit. There are personal tax credits for:

  • Single people
  • People who are married or in a civil partnership
  • People who are widowed or are surviving civil partners

If you are still working, getting a pension, or getting a taxable social welfare payment, you are also entitled to the Employee Tax Credit.

If you are self-employed, you get the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The amount of each tax credit is listed in a table of the main tax credits.

Age Tax Credit

If you or your spouse or civil partner are over 65, you can get the Age Tax Credit.

Age Tax Credit
Personal circumstances Amount of credit €
Single or widowed or surviving civil partner 245
Married or in a civil partnership 490

Dependent Relative Tax Credit

If you maintain a dependent relative, you may qualify for the Dependent Relative Tax Credit. Maintaining a relative means meeting the costs of everyday living.

The relative you claim for must be related to you, or to your spouse or civil partner, and be a:

  • Parent who is widowed or is a surviving civil partner
  • Son or daughter who lives with you and who you depend on because of your ill health or old age
  • Relative who cannot maintain themselves due to age or illness

To qualify for the tax credit, the income of your relative must be below a limit.

Read more about the Dependent Relative Tax Credit and how to apply for it.

Medical expenses

You can claim income tax back on many medical expenses. Tax relief for most expenses is at the standard rate of tax.

You can claim tax relief on medical expenses you pay for yourself or for someone else.

Read about the medical expenses that qualify for tax relief and how to claim the tax relief.

Nursing home costs

You can claim tax relief on the cost of a nursing home with 24-hour on-site nursing care, which you pay for yourself or for someone else.

This relief applies at the highest rate of income tax you pay. The higher rate of income tax is 40% and applies to any income that is above the standard rate cut-off point. The the standard rate of 20% applies to income below the cut-off point.

The nursing home expenses you pay are deducted from your total income. This reduces the amount of your income that is taxable at the higher rate, if any, before reducing the amount taxed at the standard rate. Revenue provides examples of tax relief on nursing home expenses.

If you have a loan under the Fair Deal Nursing Home Loan, you or your estate can claim tax relief when the loan is repaid. This is usually when you sell the asset that was used as security or after your death.

Home nursing

You can claim tax relief on the cost of employing a qualified nurse at home. Tax relief for nursing at home is claimed as a medical expense and applies at the standard rate of tax.

Employing a home carer

You can claim income tax relief on the cost of employing a carer for yourself or for another family member who is disabled and needs a carer.

The tax relief applies at the highest rate of income tax you pay, up to a maximum amount.

Read more about tax relief on employing a home carer and how to claim it.

Deeds of covenant

A deed of covenant is a written legal agreement for one person to pay another person an amount without getting any benefit in return.

If you pay tax at the higher rate of income tax, you can benefit from tax relief if you make a deed of covenant to:

  • Someone who is over 65 (this relief is limited to 5% of your total income)
  • An adult who is permanently incapacitated
  • A minor who is permanently incapacitated but is not your child

Read more about the rules for tax relief on deeds of covenant.

Tax credits and reliefs for people with a disability

Tax credits and reliefs for people with a disability include:

  • VAT refunds on aids and appliances used by people with disabilities
  • Tax reliefs for people with a visual impairment
  • Tax relief for drivers and passengers with disabilities
  • Tax relief on assistance dogs
Page edited: 20 February 2024