Renting out a room in your home

If you rent out a room (or rooms) in your home to private tenants, the rental income you earn will be exempt from income tax, PRSI and Universal Social Charge, provided this income is not more than €12,000 in the tax year. This is called the rent-a-room relief.

Your tenants must be using the room on a long-term basis. For example, renting a room to a student for the academic year is covered, but taking in guests for short breaks is not.

Read more about rent a room relief.

Good luck to all Leaving Certificate students

Leaving Certificate results are available in schools today – Wednesday, 17 August 2016. The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will also give all the results electronically to the CAO. This means that the CAO can process applications for entry to higher education as quickly as possible.

You can also access your examination result online using a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and your examination number from 12 noon today. Your PIN will be made available through your school or direct to you if you entered as an external candidate. The Internet Result Service is intended as an alternative service, if for some reason, you are unable to get your results from your school.

Find out more on the website of the State Examinations Commission.

The National Parent’s Council (Post-Primary) provides advice and guidance for candidates and parents, staffed by professional guidance counsellors via its helpline and an email service:

The helpline will open on 17 August from 10am – 7pm and will run for a further five days, when counsellors will deal with caller queries about the full range of issues that arise for students and parents at this time.

Maintenance to parts of this website on Saturday, 13 August 2016

We will be doing some essential maintenance to parts of this website on Saturday, 13 August 2016.

The affected sections are:

These parts of the website may be down for periods of time between 8am and 6pm.

We will do our best to make sure that any outages are as short as possible.

The core content on will continue to be available throughout the day.

Support following pregnancy loss

New National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death have been issued by the HSE.

The standards define the care parents and families can expect to receive following a pregnancy loss or perinatal death. The standards will be implemented and applied across the health service in all appropriate hospitals and settings.

The standards are built around four central themes:

  1. Bereavement Care which is central to the mission of the hospital and is offered in accordance with the religious, secular, ethnic, social and cultural values of the parents
  2. The Hospital to ensure a system is in place to provide bereavement care and end of life care for babies that is central to the mission of the hospital and is organised around the needs of babies and their families
  3. The Baby and Parents to ensure each baby/family receives high quality palliative and end of life care appropriate to his/her needs and to the wishes of his/her parents
  4. The Staff: so that all hospital staff have access to training education and training opportunities in the delivery of compassionate bereavement and end of life care in accordance with their roles and responsibilities

Read the National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death (pdf).

Find out about passport cards

Did you know that a new Irish passport card is now available. It can be used by Irish citizens for travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area. The passport card is a credit-card sized card with a photograph of the holder. It is valid for 5 years (or the time remaining on your passport).

All Irish citizens who are over 18 years and hold a valid Irish passport can apply for a passport card. You can apply online or through the free app from anywhere in the world. The fee for a Passport Card is €35. There will be an additional €5 postal fee if you live outside Ireland.

Apply online for a Passport Card at 

Find out about the new Paternity Benefit

The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 introduced a new Paternity Benefit together with statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks. The legislation allows new fathers to start the combined package of paternity leave and Paternity Benefit at any time within the first 6 months following birth or adoption of a child. Same sex couples can also avail of Paternity Benefit.

The provisions will apply to births or adoptions on or after 1 September 2016.

Find out more about Paternity Benefit.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about Paternity Benefit from the Department of Social Protection.

Watch a video explaining Paternity Benefit. 


It’s World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week takes place from 1 to 7 August  2016. The ongoing HSE campaign, ‘Every Breastfeed makes a Difference’ aims to help and support breastfeeding mothers.  The campaign hopes to encourage mothers to start breastfeeding, and to breastfeed for longer.

Vist for information and support on all aspects of breastfeeding including an ‘Ask Our Expert’ service for breastfeeding mothers.

There is a network of over 200 support groups across the country. You can find contact details and times on  Some groups are organised by public health nurses, while others are organised by trained breastfeeding support volunteers.