Dependent Relative Tax Credit

Introduction

If you are caring for a dependent relative you may qualify for the Dependent Relative Tax Credit.

COVID-19 and re-opening of Revenue’s telephone helplines

Revenue’s public offices remain closed while public health measures are in place. You can contact Revenue on 01 738 3660 to make a virtual appointment (by video call). The appointment phone line is open Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 1.30pm. Video appointments are available Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

The national PAYE helpline has re-opened Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 1.30pm. Queries can also be sent through myEnquiries.

Rules

You can claim Dependent Relative Tax Credit if you care for at your own expense:

  • A relative, including a relative of your spouse or civil partner, who is unable to maintain themselves as a result of old age or ill-health
  • Your widowed parent, or your spouse or civil partner’s widowed parent, irrespective of the state of their health
  • Your son or daughter (or your spouse or civil partner’s son or daughter) who lives with you and on whose services you depend because of your old age or ill health

Health expenses and your dependent relative

You do not have to be in receipt of a Dependent Relative Tax Credit to claim tax back on medical expenses you may have paid on behalf of a family member.

If you pay qualifying health expenses on behalf of another person (whether they are dependent on you or not) you may be entitled to claim tax relief on the amount paid. You can claim relief on expenses like:

  • Doctors' bills
  • Maintenance or treatment in hospital
  • Prescribed drugs and medicines.

If your relative is living in a nursing home and you help to pay the nursing home fees, you may also be entitled to claim some of the expenses involved. The only requirement is that the hospital, nursing home or other similar institution must provide 24-hour nursing care on site.

Rates

The value of the Dependent Relative Tax Credit depends on the cost of caring for your dependent relative. The tax credit is €245 in 2021 (€70 for previous years).

If your dependent relative’s income is more than €15,740 in 2021, you will not receive a tax credit (the income limit was €15,060 in 2020, €14,753 in 2019 and 2018, €14,504 in 2017 and €14,060 in 2016). This figure is based on a total of:

  • The maximum of the State Pension (Contributory) for people over 80
  • The Living Alone Allowance
  • The Island Allowance
  • Plus €280

All of your dependent relative's income is included for income limit purposes. This includes social welfare payments, pensions and deposit interest.

How to apply

If you are a PAYE taxpayer and are claiming for a dependent relative, the easiest way to claim the Dependent Relative Tax Credit is to use PAYE Services which is available through Revenue's myAccount service.

Alternatively, you can claim the credit by completing the relevant claim form, either DR1 (pdf) for a relative or parent or DR2 (pdf) for a son or daughter or a child. The completed form should be sent to your Revenue office. It will take longer to update your tax credits and issue a Tax Credit Certificate if you submit a paper claim.

If you pay tax under the self-assessment system, you can claim the tax credit by completing the 'Dependent Relative' section on your annual tax return.

You can get more information on how to claim the credit on Revenue's website.

Page edited: 4 January 2021