Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (100)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

100. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if a parent who is not the primary carer can avail of the single parent tax credit if the primary carer is unemployed but does not agree to allowing the other parents avail of the credit. [22322/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Single Parent Child Carer Credit is designed to be an in-work benefit to support the primary carer to take up, or remain in, employment.

As a result of an amendment which I brought forward on 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 relinquish 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. However, the primary carer does not decide who would then be entitled to the credit and cannot confer it on any particular individual. The relinquishing of the credit does not, of itself, confer an entitlement to the credit on a secondary carer.

Furthermore, there may be many reasons why a primary carer may choose not to relinquish the credit, including a wish to avail of it in a future employment.

Any arrangement regarding the possible surrender of the credit is an issue which the parties must agree among themselves. It would not be appropriate or desirable for the State to become involved in what is essentially a private matter.