Know Your Rights June 2018

citizens information

Know Your Rights

A: Irish passport card

June 2018

Question

I am 18 and flying to Spain for a holiday this summer. Can I use a passport card when travelling to Spain, and how do I apply for one?

Answer

The Irish passport card is a credit-card sized Irish passport. You can use it for travel within the European Union, the European Economic Area (which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland. So, you will be able to use it when going to Spain this summer.

You must be aged 18 or over to apply for a passport card. You must also hold a valid Irish passport that is not due to expire in the next 3 months. The personal details you provide when applying must be exactly the same as those on your passport book.

The passport card is valid for a maximum of 5 years or until your passport book expires, whichever period is shorter.

If you plan to use your passport card when travelling, you must use the passport card number when checking in online.

The passport card costs €35. If you are applying from outside Ireland, there is an additional delivery cost of €5.

You can apply for a passport card online on dfa.ie. When making the application you need:

  • Your current passport book
  • Your digital photograph (see the detailed guidelines on dfa.ie)
  • A valid email address
  • A debit card or credit card

When you submit your application online, you are issued with an 11-digit application number. You can track your application’s progress on the Department’s website using the application number.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.


 

 

Know Your Rights

B: Young workers

June 2018

Question

I am 17 years old and I have just finished school. I would like to get a part-time job over the summer. Are there restrictions on the number of hours I can work and will I get the minimum wage?

Answer

The maximum working week for young people aged 16 and 17 is 40 hours, and you cannot work more than 8 hours a day. If you work for more than one employer, your combined daily or weekly hours of work cannot be more than this maximum. Usually, you are only permitted to work between 6am and 10pm, but in licenced premises (pubs and restaurants) you are legally allowed to work until 11pm at weekends and during school holidays.

 

The national minimum wage for an experienced adult is currently €9.55 per hour. People aged under 18 are only entitled to up to 70% of the experienced adult rate This is €6.69 per hour. Your employer is free to pay you more than the minimum wage if they wish, but they are not required to do so by law. You must get a payslip from your employer. A payslip is a statement in writing from the employer that shows your total pay before tax and details of deductions from your pay.

 

If you get tips from customers there is nothing in law to state you are automatically entitled to these tips. However, the law does not require you to hand these tips to your employer either. Instead, it depends on the custom and practice in your workplace.

 

These rules are set out in the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996. Your employer must give you the official summary of the Act, along with other details of your terms of employment, within one month of your start date. All employers with employees under 18 must display the official summary of the Act somewhere visible where it can be easily read. Your employer must also see a copy of your birth certificate, or other evidence of your age, before employing you.

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

 

 

Know Your Rights

C: Home Renovation Incentive Scheme

June 2018

Question

My partner and I own our home and want to extend it this year. Would we qualify for a tax credit for the work, and if so, how do we apply?

Answer

The Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme lets homeowners, landlords and local authority tenants claim tax relief on the cost of repairs, renovations or improvement works carried out on their main home or rental property.

To qualify for the HRI, you must be paying income tax and be up to date with your Local Property Tax (LPT). The work must be carried out by a contractor who is registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and is tax-compliant.

Any repair, renovation or improvement work subject to VAT at 13.5% qualifies for the scheme, so your proposed extension would be covered. Work that is subject to VAT at 23% (such as architect’s fees) is not covered. Neither are items such as furniture, white goods or carpets.

The HRI is paid as a tax credit at 13.5% of the cost, effectively reducing the rate of VAT on qualifying work to zero. The qualifying work must cost at least €4,405 before VAT at 13.5% (€5,000 including VAT). The credit can be claimed up to a maximum of €30,000 (before VAT) of the total cost of works.

The work must be carried out and paid for before 31 December 2018. However, this can be extended if you need planning permission. If this is the case, planning permission must be in place by 31 December 2018. You will then have until 31 March 2019 to complete the work.

To apply for the HRI, your contractor(s) must enter details of the work and payments on the HRI online system on revenue.ie. You should access the system to check that these details have been entered correctly. You claim the credit after the end of the tax year in which you have the work done. In general, the tax credit is applied over the two years following the year in which the work is carried out and paid for.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

 

 

Know Your Rights

D: Household Benefits Package

June 2018

Question

I’m in my 70s and live alone. Is it there any support available to help me with my household running costs?

Answer

The Household Benefits Package may help with the costs of running your household. The package is available to everyone aged over 70 and to some people under 70. It is paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).

The package includes an electricity or gas allowance and a Free Television Licence. The electricity or gas allowance pays €35 per month (€1.15 per day) towards the cost of either your electricity or gas supply (you cannot get an allowance for both). It is paid to your bank or post office account or as a credit on your bill. You can get the Free Television Licence from the next renewal date of your licence after you qualify for the package.

Only one person in a household can qualify for the package. You must be living in the State all year round, and you will need to show that you are the registered gas or electricity consumer, for example, by providing a utility bill.

People aged between 66 and70 may also qualify if they are getting a qualifying payment, such as the State Pension. If they are not getting a qualifying payment, they must satisfy a means test. You qualify if you are getting Carer’s Allowance and providing full-time care to a person you are living with. You may also qualify if you are getting certain social welfare payments and living alone or living with certain people, for example, a qualified adult or child or with someone who would qualify for the allowance in their own right.

To apply, use form HB1 (pdf) from welfare.ie. The form is also available from your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office or from your nearest Citizens Information Service.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See www.citizensinformation.ie for details of your local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 07 6780

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

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