Dáil Speech by Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath on Second Stage Debate on Finance Bill 2015
Nov 09, 2015
Tens of thousands may not be claiming Home Carer Tax Credit
I welcome the modest increase in the Home Carer Tax credit in the Budget, bringing it up to €1,000. A Home Carer Tax Credit may be claimed by a married couple where one spouse cares for a dependent person such as child, elderly person or a person with a disability.
While the Revenue does make efforts to automatically give this tax credit to some taxpayers, only 81,000 taxpayers benefited from it in 2015. I suspect that tens of thousands of people are not claiming this tax credit as the government does very little to make people aware of it. It is my firm belief that the government should do far more to promote this tax credit so that everyone who is entitled to it knows how to claim it.
For example, a married couple with one earner is likely to be entitled to the credit if either spouse is engaged in care of a family member. In particular, Revenue should be obliged to explicitly bring this €1,000 credit to the attention of each taxpayer who may be entitled to benefit from it.
There is another way in which the tax code can be amended to help married couples with one earner.
Currently a spouse can effectively transfer just €9,000 of their standard rate band income to their spouse out of a total of €33,800. This has not been amended in a number of years and an increase in this amount would be recognition that work undertaken in the home is value by the State.