Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (177, 178, 179)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

177. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance with reference to the single person child carer credit, if a person who cares for a child for a cumulative total of 2,400 hours per year is eligible as a secondary carer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5409/14]

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Róisín Shortall

Question:

178. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance with reference to the single person child carer credit, if a person who intends to care for a child for 100 days this year is eligible as a secondary carer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5410/14]

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Róisín Shortall

Question:

179. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance with reference to the single person child carer credit, if days where responsibility is shared jointly between the primary and secondary carer are considered eligible for inclusion in the necessary 100 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5411/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 to 179, inclusive, together.

The position is that as a result of an amendment which I brought forward at Committee Stage of the Finance Bill, a primary carer who is entitled to the credit and who does not wish to avail of it can choose to surrender it.  A secondary carer may then make a claim for the credit, provided that the qualifying child resides with him or her for not less than 100 days in the tax year. The definition of a day includes the greater part of a day. For example, where a secondary carer takes a child on a Saturday morning and the child returns to the primary carer on Sunday afternoon or evening, then that period will be actually treated as a period of two full days for the purposes of this legislation. Two people cannot claim for the same day, nor can an entitlement to the credit be built up through an accumulation of hours over the year.

It should be noted that where a primary carer is married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting they would not be entitled to the new credit (or indeed the former one). In such circumstances the primary carer cannot relinquish the credit to a secondary carer. In addition, a secondary carer who is married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, would not be entitled to the new credit (or indeed the former one) regardless of the marital status of the primary carer.