I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that relief in respect of health expenses is allowed in accordance with the provisions of section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA).
Any contribution made by an individual in defraying expenses in the nature of maintenance or treatment in a nursing home on behalf of an individual, where that individual has received State support under section 3 of the Nursing Home Support Scheme Act 2009, otherwise known as the "Fair Deal Scheme", is treated as health expenses qualifying for relief.
However, financial support (within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Nursing Home Support Scheme Act 2009) is not treated as health expenses for the purposes of section 469 of the TCA. Financial support includes both the payment made by the Health Service Executive (HSE) following an application for support to assist a person in meeting the cost of care services, and the money advanced by the HSE by way of loan. When a recipient of financial support dies, the loan is repayable out of their estate.
In the circumstances outlined by the Deputy, the discharge of the liability due under the Scheme by the beneficiaries of the estate, is simply a repayment of the loan and is not a payment of health expenses for the purposes of section 469 of the TCA. As such no tax relief is due.