Paying tax under the self-assessment system

In 2017, if you file your tax return online using the Revenue Online Service (ROS), the due date is extended to 14 November 2017. To avail of this extended deadline, you must file the 2016 Form 11 return and make the appropriate payment through ROS for:

  1. Preliminary Tax for 2017, and
  2. Income Tax balance due for 2016

Where only one of these actions is completed through ROS, the extension does not apply and the required date to submit returns and payments is 31 October 2017.

You can find more information about completing your income tax return on the Revenue website.

Government spending in Ireland – see where your money goes

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, part of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, has produced a new website which makes it easy to examine government expenditure over the last ten years.

Information is broken down into sectors (for example, Health, Welfare, Education) so that users can see how and where money is being spent. The website uses interactive charts and graphs so that the data can be examined in different ways.

Find out more on the Department’s website, per.gov.ie.

Visit whereyourmoneygoes.gov.ie.

 

Know your rights: Preparing for retirement // Ag ullmhú chun scor ón obair

Question

I will be retiring from work in 2017 when I reach 65. What do I need to know about pensions and other benefits in retirement?

Answer (March 2017)

When you retire at age 65 you can claim Jobseeker’s Benefit, which is based on your Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions. If you do not qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit, you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, which is means-tested.

At age 66, you may be entitled to the State Pension (Contributory). If you do not have enough PRSI contributions, you can apply for a State Pension (Non-Contributory), which is means-tested. You should apply for a State Pension at least three months in advance.

You may have contributed to an occupational pension scheme during your working life or you may have a personal pension arrangement. You need to contact the pension provider to find out exactly what benefits your pension gives you.

If you move from employment to retirement in the course of the year, you should get a PAYE Balancing Statement (P21) from your local tax office at the end of the year. This will trigger a refund if you have paid too much tax.

Your Jobseeker’s Benefit or State Pension and any occupational pension are taxable. However, the tax exemption limits are higher for people aged 65 or over and there are some extra tax credits.

At age 66, you will be exempt from paying PRSI. At age 70, you will pay a reduced Universal Social Charge if your annual income is €60,000 or less.

At age 66, you will also be eligible for a Free Travel Pass and may be eligible for the Household Benefits Package, which consists of a free TV licence and an electricity or gas allowance.

For medical cards and GP visit cards, which are means tested, the income thresholds  are higher for people aged 66 and over. If you are over 70 there is a different means test for the medical card and you can get a GP visit card without an income test.

Ceist

Beidh mé ag scor ón obair i 2017 nuair a shroichim 65.  Céard a theastaím uaim fáil amach faoi phinsin agus sochair eile agus mé ag scor?

Freagra

Nuair a scoireann tú ag aois 65 is féidir leat Sochair Cuardaitheora Poist a éileamh, atá bunaithe ar do ranníocaíochtaí ÁSPC.  Mura gcáilíonn tú do Shochar Cuardaitheora Poist, is féidir leat Liúntas Cuardaitheora Poist a éileamh, agus tá tástáil mhaoine i gceist.

Ag aois 66 d’fhéadfá a bheith i dteideal an Pinsean Stáit (Ranníocach) a fháil.  Mura ndearna tú go leor ranníocaíochtaí ÁSPC, is féidir leat iarratas a dhéanamh arPhinsean Stáit (Neamh-ranníocach) agus déantar tástáil mhaoine air sin. Ba cheart cur isteach ar an bPinsean Stáit ar a laghad trí mhí roimhré.

Seans gur chuir tú le scéim pinsean ceirde le linn do shaoil oibre nó seans go bhfuil socrúchán pearsanta pinsin agat.  Is ceart dul i dteagmháil leis an soláthraí pinsin chun fáil amach cé na sochair bheachta a thabharfas do phinsean duit.

Má bhogann tú ó fhostaíocht go scor le linn na bliana, is féidir leat ráiteas comhardaithe (P21) a iarraidh ó d’oifig chánach áitiúil ag deireadh na bliana. As sin gheobhaidh tú aisíoc má d’íoc tú an iomarca cánach.

Tá do Shochar Cuardaitheora Poist nó Pinsean Stáit agus aon phinsean ceirde eile incháinithe.  Mar sin féin, tá na teorainneacha díolúine cánach níos airde do dhaoine ar 65 nó níos mó iad agus tá roinnt creidiúintí cánacha breise eile.

Ag aois 66, beidh tú díolúine ó ÁSPC a íoc.  Ag aois 70, íocfaidh tú Muirear Sóisialta Uilíoch laghdaithe más é d’ioncam bliantúil €60,000 nó níos lú.

Ag aois 66, beidh tú incháilithe do Phas Saorthaistil agus seans go mbeidh tú incháilithe do Phacáiste Sochar Teaghlaigh, ina n-áirítear ceadúnas teilifíse saor agus an liúntas leictreachais nó liúntas gáis.

Do chártaí leighs agus Cártaí Cuairte LG, a bhfuil tástáil mhaoine i gceist, tá an tairseach ioncaim  níos airde do dhaoine ar aois 66 nó níos mó iad.  Má tá tú níos mó ná 70, tá tástáil mhaoine dhifriúil don chárta leighis agus is féidir leat cárta cuairte LG a fháil gan tástáil ioncaim.

How to raise an issue using the public petitions process

If you want to raise an issue with the Houses of the Oireachtas on a matter of public policy or general public interest, you can submit a petition to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions. You can put forward a petition by completing a standard form (pdf) and submitting it by email or post. You can also submit your petition online.

The issue raised must be admissible for consideration by the committee.  If the petition is admissible, the Committee may respond in a number of ways.

Find out more in our document on public petitions.

Prescription charges for medical card holders over the age of 70

If you have a medical card, there is a charge for prescribed medicines and other items that you get on prescription from pharmacies. The prescription charge is €2.50 for each item that is dispensed to you under the medical card scheme, up to a maximum of €25 per month per person or family.

From 1 March 2017, the prescription charge for medical card holders over the age of 70 will be reduced to €2 per item and the monthly maximum will be reduced to €20.

Find out more on the Department of Health website.

Know Your Rights: Domestic violence // Foréigean baile

Question

My partner has been violent towards me and my children. What can I do to stop this and protect my family?

Answer (February 2017)

If you are concerned about violence in your home, you can contact the Gardaí, who are specially trained to deal with these situations and can offer advice and information. Under the Domestic Violence Act 1996, where there is an order in place, Gardaí have the power to arrest and prosecute a violent family member. There are two main kinds of protection available – a safety order and a barring order.

A safety order is an order of the court which prohibits the violent person with whom you are living from further violence or threats of violence. It does not oblige the person to leave the family home. You can also get a safety order against a person with whom you have had a child, even if you are no longer living with or have never lived with the person. It prohibits them from watching or being near your home.  A safety order can last up to 5 years.

A barring order is an order which requires the person to leave the family home. If you are not married or in a civil partnership, you can get a barring order against a violent partner if you have been living together in an intimate and committed relationship for 6 out of the previous 9 months and if your partner does not own most or all of the house you are living in. A barring order can last up to 3 years.

Both types of order can be renewed by applying for a further order before the previous one has expired.

Others living together can also apply for protection.  For example, a parent can apply for protection against domestic violence by their own child, if the child is over 18.

To get a barring order or a safety order, you must apply to the District Court. While you are waiting for the court to hear your application, the court can give you an immediate order, called a protection order. The protection order has the same effect as a safety order. In exceptional circumstances the court can grant an interim barring order. This is an immediate order, requiring the violent person to leave the family home.

Question
My partner has been violent towards me and my children. What can I do to stop this and protect my family?

Answer
If you are concerned about violence in your home, you can contact the Gardaí, who are specially trained to deal with these situations and can offer advice and information. Under the Domestic Violence Act 1996, where there is an order in place, Gardaí have the power to arrest and prosecute a violent family member. There are two main kinds of protection available – a safety order and a barring order.

A safety order is an order of the court which prohibits the violent person with whom you are living from further violence or threats of violence. It does not oblige the person to leave the family home. You can also get a safety order against a person with whom you have had a child, even if you are no longer living with or have never lived with the person. It prohibits them from watching or being near your home.  A safety order can last up to 5 years.

A barring order is an order which requires the person to leave the family home. If you are not married or in a civil partnership, you can get a barring order against a violent partner if you have been living together in an intimate and committed relationship for 6 out of the previous 9 months and if your partner does not own most or all of the house you are living in. A barring order can last up to 3 years.

Both types of order can be renewed by applying for a further order before the previous one has expired.

Others living together can also apply for protection.  For example, a parent can apply for protection against domestic violence by their own child, if the child is over 18.

To get a barring order or a safety order, you must apply to the District Court. While you are waiting for the court to hear your application, the court can give you an immediate order, called a protection order. The protection order has the same effect as a safety order. In exceptional circumstances the court can grant an interim barring order. This is an immediate order, requiring the violent person to leave the family home.