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Tax Relief Impacts Uptake of Home Care Services for Older People

May 22, 2018

Tax Relief Impacts Uptake of Home Care Services for Older People

·         The lower the cost of home care, the higher the likelihood of paying for services

·         Awareness of tax relief on home care fees will enhance uptake of home care services

Caring for older loved ones at home is encouraged by the Irish Government with the provision of tax relief.

“From our experience, many families do not know that they are legally entitled to tax relief on home care fees. Many people seem to be unaware of allowances and entitlements and could avail of thousands in unreimbursed home care expenses every year”, says Ed Murphy, Director of Home Instead Senior Care.

Families who employ a home care provider to look after an older relative can avail of tax relief of up to 40% depending on their marginal rate of tax up to a maximum deduction of €75,000. The bill payer can then claim tax relief at the end of the year or a monthly basis based on the individual’s preference.

According to the most recent figures from the Revenue Commissioners, 1,910 people claimed the ‘Person Entitled to take care of an Incapacitated Individual’ tax relief in 2014. However, there are approximately 4,000 individuals receiving home care services from Home Instead Senior Care, one of a number of home care providers in Ireland.

“If more families were aware of this allowance, it would make home care a more affordable option and encourage older people to remain living independently at home”, said Ed Murphy.

A survey of 200 family carers carried out by the Research Centre on behalf of Home Instead Senior Care revealed the likelihood of paying for private home care rises as the cost declines.

Awareness of the 40% tax relief increases the likelihood of considering private home care for a relative amongst family carers.

19% of those surveyed said they would consider private home care at an hourly rate of €23.90. This figure increases to 31% when 20% tax relief is applied (net hourly rate of €19.12) and to 56% when 40% tax relief is applied (net hourly rate of €14.34).

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