Single Person Child Carer Credit

Introduction

The Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCCC) replaces the One-Parent Family Credit (OPFC) from 1 January 2014. It operates differently from the One-Parent Family Credit by being available in the first instance to the Primary Claimant – the individual with whom the qualifying child resides for the whole or greater part of the year. It is possible for a qualifying Primary Claimant to surrender (relinquish) his or her entitlement to the credit, in favour of another qualifying individual – a Secondary Claimant.

Main Features

The main features of this new credit are:

  1. The Primary Claimant is the individual with whom the child resides for the whole or greater part of the year. The Primary Claimant must be either the child’s parent or the individual in whose care the child is and who maintains the child at his or her own expense for the whole or greater part of the year. This claimant is entitled to the credit in respect of a qualifying child.
  2. A qualifying child is a child:
    • Who is born in the tax year, or
    • Who is under 18 years of age at the start of the tax year, or
    • Who is over 18 years of age at the start of the tax year but in receipt of full-time instruction, or
    • Who is over 18 years of age at the start of the tax year but is permanently incapacitated and was incapacitated before the age of 21 years or, if the incapacity happened after age 21, it occurred while he or she was in receipt of full-time instruction.

The qualifying child must be either the individual’s own child or a child who is in the custody of the individual and who is maintained by that individual at his or her own expense for the whole or greater part of the year.

  1. Only one credit in respect of any qualifying child is available and an individual who is a Primary Claimant for more than one qualifying child can only get one credit in respect of those children.
  2. If the Primary Claimant gives up the credit in favour of a Secondary Claimant then that person may claim the credit, provided they satisfy the relevant qualifying criteria. The child must reside with the Secondary Claimant for at least 100 days on aggregate in the year. For the purpose of this limit a day can include the greater part of a day. So, for example, where a child stays with the Secondary Claimant from Saturday morning until Sunday evening, this may be counted as two days.
  3. Where a Primary Claimant surrenders his or her entitlement to the credit and he or she has more than one qualifying child, then two or more Secondary Claimants may be entitled to claim the credit.
  4. Where a Primary Claimant gives up his or her entitlement to the credit, this surrender (relinquishment) of the credit will remain in place until such time as the Primary Claimant withdraws it. The Primary Claimant will have the credit restored to him or her at the beginning of the tax year following receipt of the withdrawal; (i.e. Primary Claimant withdraws surrender on 15th May 2014; SPCCC will be restored for tax years 2015 onwards).
  5. Where the person who is the Primary Claimant retains the credit, no other individual can get a credit for any of the children in respect of whom that person acts as Primary Claimant.
  6. A claimant, whether a Primary or Secondary Claimant must not be:
    • jointly assessed to tax as a married person or civil partner
    • married (unless separated)
    • in a civil partnership (unless separated)
    • cohabiting, or
    • widowed or a surviving civil partner in the year for which he or she is making a claim.

What’s happening at the start of 2014?

The single person child carer credit (SPCCC) is being introduced from 1 January 2014. Revenue cannot be sure, in advance, who is entitled to the new credit. It does know that a significant number of the claimants of the OPFC will now be eligible for the SPCCC. To avoid, as far as possible, a situation in which such taxpayers do not get the benefit of the new credit from the start of 2014, Revenue will automatically allocate the new credit to individuals who are shown by the Department of Social Protection records to be in receipt of Child Benefit and who claimed OPFC for 2013. This approach is being taken on the assumption that, in line with Department of Social Protection’s guidelines in relation to parents who reside in separate households, Child Benefit is generally payable to the parent with whom the child resides for most of the time.

Anyone else entitled to the credit, will be required to make a claim for the credit.

What do I do if I do not receive the credit but believe that I am entitled to it or if Revenue allocates the credit to me automatically but I am not entitled to it?

  1. If you are not allocated the credit but wish to claim it you should complete Form SPCC1 (link shown below) and submit it to your local Revenue office.
  2. If you are allocated the credit but are not entitled to it because, for example, the child is not residing with you for most of the year, or is no longer in receipt of full-time instruction, then you must notify your Revenue office of your change in circumstances as soon as possible and request that the credit be withdrawn.
  3. If you are allocated the credit but wish to give it up to a secondary claimant then you should complete Form SPCC1, sign the appropriate declaration giving up the credit and submit it to your Revenue office.
  4. If you qualify as a secondary claimant and are aware that the primary claimant is willing to give up the credit in your favour, then the primary claimant should complete Form SPCC1, sign the appropriate declaration giving up the credit and submit it to his or her Revenue office. You should complete Form SPCC2 and submit it to your Revenue office.
  5. If you believe you qualify as the primary claimant in respect of a qualifying child but the credit has been granted automatically to another individual you should complete Form SPCC1 and submit it to your Revenue office together with any relevant evidence in support of your claim that the child resides with you for the whole or greater part of the year. The primary claimant will be decided on the basis of the facts in the case. In the event of a dispute an appeal against the determination by Revenue can be made to the Appeal Commissioners.

For more information see pdfFrequently Asked Questions (PDF, 290KB).

Primary Claimant – to claim for Single Person Child Carer Credit complete pdfForm SPCC1, (PDF, 274KB) sign the declaration and submit to your Revenue Office.

Primary Claimant – to relinquish a claim in favour of another claimant complete pdfForm SPCC1, (PDF, 274KB) including the relinquishment section, sign the declaration and submit to your Revenue Office.

Secondary Claimant – to claim for Single Person Child Carer Credit complete pdfForm SPCC2, (PDF, 273KB) sign the declaration and submit to your Revenue office. The Primary Claimant must have relinquished their entitlement to the credit in order for the Secondary Claimant to make a claim.

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