In Dublin the average cost of nursing home care is roughly €76,000 while in Cork it is €67,000 so you really do need to find ways of saving money, writes Gerry Scully.
Dear Age Action,
My family have been told our mother can no longer look after herself. We’re looking at the cost of long-term care and wondered if there was any way to reduce the bills?
Lucy from Ballyfermot
For many people the Nursing Home Support Scheme, known as Fair Deal, may be the best option while others could be cared for while at home.
There are tax credits and reliefs available to people who are paying for care, whether for themselves or other people.
Tax relief can be claimed at the end of the tax year on any nursing home fees you pay. This is paid at your highest rate of tax so if you pay tax at 40 per cent this is the rate at which the relief is calculated.
Relief under Fair Deal
It’s important to remember that even if you are in a nursing home under the Nursing Home Support Scheme you can still claim this relief on the portion of the nursing home cost that is not paid by the HSE.
You can also claim tax relief if you are paying for a home carer, either employed by you or through an agency. The maximum relief for paying for a home carer is €75,000 in any tax year.
There is also a tax credit available to married or cohabiting (partnered, civil union) couples if one of the partners cares for a dependent person (not their spouse or partner).
This is available if the couple are jointly assessed and the income of the lower paid partner is less than €7,200 (you can get a reduced credit if their income is less than €9,600).
There is a difference here as this is a tax credit, not a tax relief. The main difference is you claim the tax relief at the end of the year while a credit reduces your tax liability on an ongoing basis.
For more information you can ring our Information Service on 01 475 6989 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.