Hundreds of Offaly families with a stay at home parent are missing out on a tax credit worth €1,000 per year.
That's according to a new survey by the tax refund firm, Taxback.com, which revealed that almost two thirds of people in Ireland are unaware of the existence of the home carer’s tax credit.
Taxback.com sought to ascertain the views of taxpayers from throughout the country on this issue, as they believe that close to two thirds of qualifying families fail to claim this credit.
The credit of €1,000 can be claimed by any married couple, where one spouse is the home carer and cares for one/more dependent persons - which includes children under 18.
Taxback believe that is those who stay home to look after their children who are most likely to be unaware of their eligibility for the credit. The 2011 Census identified that 339,918 classed their economic status as ‘looking after home/family’ and of those, it is estimated that at least 230,000 have children.
Barry Flanagan, Senior Tax Manager with Taxback.com said: “Our most recent figures, which are for tax returns in 2014, indicate a total of 80,900 people claimed the credit at a cost to the exchequer of €60.9 million or an average of €752 each. Given that Revenue treats taxpayers as units this means a total of 80,900 families claimed the credit. If we contrast this with the estimated no. of 230,000 households where one parent looks after the child or children in the home, it appears that only about one third are claiming their entitlement. We are not altogether surprised at the low uptake given that our survey revealed that most people are simply unaware of the existence of the tax credit. This leaves a huge 65% of these families in Offaly and throughout Ireland who could potentially benefit from this credit – we are calling on families in the county where one parent stays at home to mind the children to check whether or not they can claim this relief as they could be missing out”.