New website: gettingbacktowork.ie

The Citizens Information Board has produced a new website, gettingbacktowork.ie, aimed at jobseekers and people who want to start a business.

Topics covered on gettingbacktowork.ie include:

  • Payments for jobseekers
  • Activation schemes: supports for getting back to work
  • Education and training options
  • Retaining benefits while you are working
  • Starting a job
  • Setting up a business
  • Money matters including tax and PRSI

Gettingbacktowork.ie is based on selected content from citizensinformation.ie. It replaces the websites losingyourjob.ie and selfemployedsupports.ie.

 

Know your rights: Non-Principal Private Residence charge arrears

Question

I bought a holiday home in October 2012. I paid the Local Property Tax for 2013 but I thought the NPPR had been abolished. Do I still have to pay it?

Answer

The Non-Principal Private Residence (NPPR) charge was payable for the 5 years 2009 to 2013 for residential property that was not the owner’s only or main residence, so you will owe this charge in respect of 2013. The NPPR is no longer charged from 2014 onwards, but outstanding liabilities and payments are still being collected by the local authorities and these can be substantial.

The NPPR charge was €200 for each relevant property that you owned on the liability date each year and was due to be paid within 3 months. In general, the liability date was 31 March and the payment was due by 30 June each year. A late fee of €20 was charged for each month, or part of a month, after each due date. These late fees increased each month. They are shown on a table of charges at nppr.ie. If you owned your holiday home on 31 March 2013 and have not paid the NPPR for 2013, you now owe €380.

If you do not pay your liabilities in full by 31 August 2014, or agree settlement terms by that deadline, you will incur additional penalties and you will then owe €750. There will not be any further increase.

To avoid these additional penalties, you should arrange as soon as possible to pay the 2013 charge plus the late fees that have accrued. You can pay online at nppr.ie or else use a paper form.

You should also check any other taxes and charges that may still be due on your holiday home – such as the Household Charge (payable for the year 2012 in addition to the NPPR), and the septic tank registration charge (if relevant).

You can find out more about the NPPR on the citizensinformation.ie website.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Know your rights: Jobseeker’s Allowance for younger jobseekers

Question

I am 22 years of age and I live with my partner who is 25. He is currently unemployed and has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for three months. I have just finished college but cannot find work. What amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance can I qualify for?

Answer

People aged under 26 get a lower rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance. If you claim Jobseeker’s Allowance in your own right the maximum amount you are eligible for is €100 a week. However, your partner could claim for you as a dependent adult on his Jobseeker’s Allowance claim and he would be paid €124.80 each week in addition to his personal payment.

Even though the rate paid is less, it might be more beneficial for you to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance in your own right because you are then eligible in your own right for a range of training and employment schemes to help you into employment. If you take up a place on a course of education, training or an employment support scheme you will get a higher rate of payment.

Maximum Jobseeker’s Allowance rates for people under 26

Age Personal rate Increase for a qualified adult
18 – 24 €100 €100
25 €144 €124.80

The reduced personal and qualified adult rates of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) for claimants under 26 do not apply to claimants with dependent children.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Know your rights: Appealing your Leaving Certificate results

Question

If I think my Leaving Certificate papers have not been marked correctly, can I have the marks rechecked?

Answer

Yes, if you are not satisfied with the marks in one or more of your Leaving Certificate exams, you can appeal them to the State Examinations Commission (SEC). Before you make the decision to appeal a result, you can view your exam paper. The SEC will send your school personalised application forms for you to view your exam papers and to appeal your results. (For external candidates, these forms are enclosed with your examination results.)

Viewing: If you decide you would like to view a particular paper, you mark the form accordingly. There is no charge for viewing your papers. You must return the completed form to the school where you sat the examination by 19 August 2014. The Organising Superintendent appointed by the SEC will assign you to one of the viewing sessions. These will take place on 29 and 30 August 2014 in your school or examination centre.

Appealing: If you decide to appeal your results, you indicate the subjects you wish to appeal on the appeal application form and you pay the appeal fee. Your application to appeal your 2014 results must be received by 3 September 2014.

Your paper will be re-marked by an appeal examiner, who will be different from the examiner who originally marked your work. The same marking scheme is used for re-marking. Your result may be upgraded, left the same or downgraded as a result of an appeal.

There is further information about the appeal process on the website of the State Examinations Commission, examinations.ie.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your appeal, you may request a review by the Independent Appeals Scrutineers. Application forms for an appeal review are provided with your appeal results.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Know your rights: Cycle to work scheme

Question

In 2009, I bought a bike under the Cycle to Work tax scheme but it was stolen last week. Can I use the scheme again when I buy a replacement bike?

Answer

The Cycle to Work Scheme is a tax incentive scheme which aims to encourage employees to cycle to and from work. Under the scheme employers can pay up to €1,000 for a bicycle and bicycle equipment for each of their employees. The repayment for the bicycle and equipment is then deducted from your gross salary (this means before income tax, PRSI, pension levies or Universal Social Charge are deducted) over a period of up to 12 months.

You can only avail of the scheme once in a five-year period. So if you got your bike in December 2009 and were granted the tax relief in 2009, you can claim it again if you want to buy another bike in 2014 or later.

You must use the bicycle and safety equipment mainly for qualifying journeys. This means the whole or part (for example between home and train station) of a journey between your home and your normal place of work.

If you buy a replacement bike in 2014 you cannot get another bike under the Cycle to Work Scheme until 2018. If you are concerned about another theft you could insure your new bike under your household insurance policy or you could use a special cycle insurance scheme.

There is a list of frequently asked questions about the scheme on revenue.ie.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Penalty point increases

Increases in certain penalty point offences took effect from 1 August 2014.  From 1 August penalty points for speeding, holding a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seat belt or not using child restraints increased from two points to three, if the fixed charge is paid within the stipulated period. If you do not pay the fixed charge and are subsequently convicted in Court, the points will increase from four to five.

Read more in our document on penalty points.