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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10976
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Myself and my partner are not legally married. There is a tax

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Myself and my partner are not legally married. There is a tax relief scheme called Section 23 rural renewal relief which we availed of when we built our property in 2006. The tax credit was split between myself and my partner. In 2010, my partner was made redundant and I requested his tax relief be allocated to me. I was refused because we are not married. Move on to present day. My partner is in receipt of disability pension which is only €193 a week. He applied for medical card two years ago and was refused based on our income. This is means tested. The Department of Social Protection insists on calculating my earnings along with my partners for the purpose of granting medical card. In other words they treat us a one entity, yet the Revenue Commissioners treat us as seperate. Is this legal under European law or any law? Many thanks. Patricia
Buachaill :

1. Since 2010, the position in relation to tax treatment of cohabiting couples has changed and you will now be able to claim the benefit of your partner's share of the rural renewal relief exemption. This is because of the passing of the 2010 Civil Partnership and Rights of Cohabitants Act and associated tax changes in the Income TAx Act. You should go back and seek to have the benefit of the rural renewal relief applied to you. See if you can get it backdated for the last number of years. the interpretation of the Irish Income TAx code must accord with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which requires that the STate have respect for family life and treat all couples living together in a similar manner.


Thank you for that. I contacted somebody in Revenue regarding this.The problem here is we are not registered in a Civil Partnership. We are just a co-habitating couple so we are treated as two single people. However, the Departement of Social Protection insist on treating us as one entity when being assessed for a medical card/GP Card for my partner. Do you think this right under EU Human rights laws?

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