MS can come with many costs. We have pulled together some information on tax credits, reliefs and exemptions that may be relevant to you or your loved ones, to help you to navigate this space. Supporting evidence – such as medical certificates are required. The information provided in this piece has come from www.revenue.ie as well as Inclusion Ireland and Citizens Information, and is correct at the time of writing (January 2017).
It is important to note: Claims for repayment of tax must be made within 4 years after the end of the year for which the claim is being made. For example claims relating to 2016 must be claimed by December 31st 2020.
Blind Person’s Tax Credit
This credit of €1,650 may be claimed by anyone who is regarded as blind. Revenue state the following conditions must be met in order to claim this credit;
‘To qualify for the tax credit you or your spouse or civil partner must have impaired vision to the extent that:
Supporting evidence is required to claim this credit – a medical certificate provided by an eye specialist must state the degree of vision loss, as well as stating whether the vision loss is permanent or temporary. In cases where the vision loss is temporary – a new medical certificate must be submitted for each year the tax credit is claimed.
For further information on how to apply, and for the relevant claim form, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/blind-credit.html
Deed of Covenant
This legal agreement is made between two individuals, where one agrees to pay the other an amount of money without any benefit in return. As long as a Deed of Covenant is properly drawn up in favour of a person who is permanently incapacitated, tax relief is available. Please note that parents cannot covenant to a permanently incapacitated child under the age of 18.
For further information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it7.html
Dependent Relative Tax Credit
This tax credit of €70 can be claimed by a taxpayer who maintains:
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/dependent-relative.html
Employed person taking care of an Incapacitated Individual
This relief can be claimed in respect of the cost of employing a person (including a person whose services are provided by or through an agency) to take care of either:
This allowance of up to €75,000 may be claimed by one family member or divided among a number of family members if they are contributing towards the cost.
For further information, visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it47.html
Home Carer’s Tax Credit
A Home Carer’s tax credit is available for married couples where one spouse works in the home caring for;
The tax credit has a value of €1,100 for carers with an income up to €7,200 (or €5,800 for years up to and including 2015).
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/home-carers.html
Health/Medical Expenses Tax relief
This tax relief can be claimed on the claimant’s own behalf or on behalf of another person whom the claimant has paid medical expenses.
Relief may be claimed on expenses including the following;
Costs incurred in provision of a wheelchair or wheelchair lift – excluding alterations to buildings (it may be useful to view information on the Housing Adaption Grant for People with Disabilities – from your local Council).
For a full list of expenses which are eligible for tax relief, and for further information on how to apply, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it6.html
Incapacitated Child Tax Credit
A parent or guardian of a child who became permanently incapacitated before the age of 21, or while she or he was in full-time education, may apply for this tax credit of €3,300.
For further information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/incapacitated-child-credit.html
Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT)
If you have savings in a financial institution such as a bank, building society, credit union or post office, tax at is deducted on the interest. This is called Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT). An individual, their spouse or civil partner, who is permanently incapacitated, may be entitled to exemption from DIRT or to a DIRT refund.
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/dirt/leaflets/de2.html
Lump Sum payments can be exempt where paid by an employer because of injury or disability. To qualify for relief, the payment must be made on account of injury or disability of the holder of the office or employment and the disability must be the cause of termination of employment.
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it21.html#section3
Special Trusts for Permanently Incapacitated Individuals
Special tax treatment applies on income arising following the creation of a trust whose funds have arisen as a result of public subscription raised on behalf of an individual or individuals who are permanently and totally incapacitated. Contact your Revenue office for further information.
For further information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/personal/circumstances/disability-information.html
Universal Social Charge (USC)
People who hold a full medical card and who’s total yearly income is below €60,000 may have a reduced rate of USC. Payments and income from the Department of Social Protection already subjected to DIRT are exempt from USC.
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/usc/
Medical Expenses of Incapacitated Persons
An exemption on inheritance tax is in place for gifts or inheritances taken by an individual who is permanently incapacitated - to meet their medical expenses (such as nursing home care).
For more information, please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it6.html
VAT repayment can be claimed on the purchase of some special aids and appliances such as walk-in baths and hoists. Individuals who purchase an aid or appliance for a disabled person can claim a VAT refund.
For more information please visit: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it12.html
Drivers and Passengers with Disabilities
A number of tax reliefs may be claimed by persons with disabilities on the purchase of motor vehicles including VAT and VRT refunds or for the adaption of a vehicle.
“Relief is available for the following applicant types, depending on the level of vehicle adaptation and is subject to a maximum amount of relief…
Drivers with a Disability
Passengers with a disability/family member of a passenger with a disability
More information on the range of tax reliefs which can be applied can be found in ‘DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES ORGANISATIONS TAX RELIEF SCHEME’, which may be found on the website http://www.revenue.ie/en/personal/circumstances/disability-information.html#section3
Further information on these tax reliefs, credits and exemptions and how to apply, can be found on www.revenue.ie or by calling Revenue’s LoCall numbers:
Border Midlands West Region: Call 1890 777 425
Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Westmeath
Dublin Region: Call 1890 333 425
Dublin (City and County)
East & South East Region: Call 1890 444 425
Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow
South West Region: Call 1890 222 425
Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick
This week Joan Jordan talks about foot-drop and the implications it has for her daily life. Talk about issues with your doctor, seek referrals or book an appointment if this is something that is affecting you. Like many of my M.S symptoms, foot-drop crept up on me over time. The best way I can describe it is that the process of lifting my foot sufficient height to walk effortlessly doesn’t happen. My foot catches on low obstacles (like carpet pile) and I need to make a conscious action to lift my weak foot when walking. Stairs are the hardest because I need to raise my foot the correct distance so I don’t miss and trip. Things get worse as the day goes on and flat, light shoes help. I have tried a device under the supervision of my physiotherapist and the electric signal really did make my foot move appropriately (albeit involuntarily!). I think I would get used to the sensation over time but for now- I am minimising the amount of walking I do and practising the exercises I have learned in yoga class to keep my foot mobile. I’m not a physio- so my best advice if you are experiencing foot-drop is to contact one and make an appointment. I would recommend you ask around people in your area with similar symptoms to see who they favour. Do tell your neurologist when you visit them to get their advice too. I occasionally get called out by people who don’t know I have Multiple Sclerosis for being lazy. Explaining my illness to them generally works. I don’t go into too much detail- I just tell them that I find walking long distances difficult because my right foot drops when I attempt to lift it. Generally people understand and are aware of my situation in the future. When walking is required- I always ask in advance if the “5-minute stroll” really is an accurate estimation. I know how far I can walk and trying to keep up with a gang of energetic power-walkers when I am past my limit is not good. I always calculate my route when travelling to avoid unnecessary steps and am realistic with friends when we plan events involving much walking. It’s tough sometimes when my kids want me to join in with activities requiring a lot of footsteps. We usually find a compromise and it doesn’t get to me so much anymore. Do you experience foot drop and how do you manage it? Looking forward to hearing from you!
We are live streaming talks from our 'Living Well with MS' Conference in Sligo this Saturday, September 23rd. You can join us on the day from anywhere around the world... We are delighted to welcome our guest speakers: Dr. Orla Gray, Neurologist, Queens Hospital, Belfast @ 10am Dr. Deirdre Corby, DCU School of Nursing @ 11am Dr. Sinead Hynes, OT, NUIG @ 12.15pm Dympna McNamee, Social Worker @ 2.30pm Tune in on Saturday, 23rd September from 9.45am. Click the link below and join the conversation. #MSLiving https://youtu.be/Bj8_Ug7ftMM
Exploring Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Social Asymmetry as predictors of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Multiple Sclerosis Gary Tracy, a PhD student from NUI Maynooth, is conducting a study looking at how people act in response to receiving a diagnosis of a chronic medical illness (i.e., Multiple Sclerosis). Aim of study This study is interested in evaluating if posttraumatic stress is common among individuals who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Additionally, this study will consider how factors such as loneliness and/or social factors such as social isolation can influence how likely a person is to experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress following a diagnosis of a chronic illness. What do I have to do? Participants would be required, on one occasion, to complete a questionnaire booklet containing numerous psychological measures. The duration of completing the questionnaire booklet is approximately 20 to 30 minutes. To participate, please follow the following link Further informaton Information is available in the Participant Information Leaflet. If you require further information regarding any aspect of the proposed study now or at any time in the future, please contact the researcher Gary Treacy on 087-6511659
This week Niamh McCarron describes what it is like when 'MS Fatigue' sneaks up and a different day might be lined up for her! I had great plans for today! Today could have been the day I changed the world. I was going to conquer my to-do list and have a good hair day. My MS had a different plan, however, and in the battle of good (me) versus evil (MS), MS won. I was hit by a wave of fatigue that meant instead of hopping out of bed to face my Saturday, I dragged myself through the motions of breakfast, showering and back to bed again. Fatigue is a common symptom of MS. Some of my friends with MS live with fatigue a lot, almost all the time. Others won’t have it at all for ages, and then get hit with it out of the blue. In my experience, it gradually builds up without me noticing. For me, it will often come on after a period of being very busy at work or not taking care of myself properly - those weeks when I rush around having spaghetti hoops for dinner while the vegetables in my fridge start to lose the will to live. I can get away with it for so long, before fatigue will remind me that I need to stop. Slow down. Take a breath. Fatigue is a hard symptom to describe to people. I mean, I can say that it is tiredness, but everyone gets tired. My friends with small kids, or who work long shifts at work, know all about being tired. Most days I feel tired myself. Fatigue is different. When it sneaks up on me, it’s like walking in wet sand, while wearing really soggy clothes that drag you down. My arms and legs get slow and stubborn, and moving quickly isn’t an option. My brain slows down, and concentration escapes me. The tiredness goes into my bones- every part of me needs to rest and to sleep. Fatigue robs me of my time. When I have made plans to do things, and I can’t physically get them done, it’s frustrating and upsetting. It robs me of my concentration; tasks that should come easily to me are foggy and harder to process. I push through as hard as I can while at work, to suffer the aftereffects when I get home that evening. Going to bed for a quick nap at 6pm can lead to sleeping through until the next morning. It robs me off my family; it’s not fun for my husband to have Sleeping Beauty snoring upstairs while he takes over all the household chores. Fatigue has also taught me to (try to) be patient and kind to myself. Fighting it too hard just makes it worse. It is better to give in sooner rather than later! So today, I had planned to go to Town. To have a nosey around the sales and see what was happening in the world. Instead I woke up tired, after a long night’s sleep and felt my entire body shout at me to stop. Slow down. Take a breath. Plans were quickly abandoned, and I spent the entire day in bed, sleeping and reading a bit and giving myself permission to just “be” rather than “do”. Tomorrow, I plan to get up, face the day and go for a stroll. MS might have a different day lined up for me. And that will be ok too!
Today, 13th September we celebrate one of our all-time favourite children’s authors and friend of the MS Readathon, the legendary man that is Roald Dahl. As we step into this magnificent world of childlike imagination and wonder we can’t help but notice that his books are still as fantastic today as they were when we were your age! Roald Dahl is a man that needs little introduction and if we were to tell you all of the reasons why we have chosen to celebrate his works over other authors we would be here a very long time! We are so looking forward to this week when we get to lose ourselves in this fantastical world where anything is possible. Isn’t that the point of reading? When you pick up any of Dahl’s books you know you’re about to be transported to a topsy-turvy world where the witty language is as inventive as the characters using it. One of our most treasured Dahl-isms is actually from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but originates in the timeless book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka is talking about some of the things the children can taste in his lickable wallpaper room. He then says matter-of-factly, “The snozzberries taste like snozzberries.” Veruca Salt responds, “Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?” Wonka puts an end to this by simply stating, “We are the music-makers, and we are the makers of dreams.” It doesn’t matter one bit that we don’t know what a snozzberry is, now does it? The point is that you should never stop using your imagination. It can be whatever you want it to be! Dahl has created so many stories within so many books and each is as varied as the last. One of the things that makes a Roald Dahl story different from any other is his unique ability to take the fantastical and make it seem completely normal. The BFG being the perfect example – shortly into the book there is no doubt left and you begin to believe that there are Big Friendly Giants out there delivering good dreams to children! But of course, Dahl was also a poet and what a scrumptious collection of poems he left behind! If you haven’t read Revolting Rhymes we insist that you go to your local library and find it today! Each poem is based on a traditional fairytale but naturally Dahl wanted to put even more magic into the tales so he created his own endings to wow all of his little readers. Children’s literature owes a lot to Roald Dahl and we are so thankful he shared his wonderful imagination with us. Now go pick up one of his books, open your imagination and enter the lickswishy world of Roald Dahl. Open a wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause and sign up to the MS Readathon
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