Know Your Rights September 2019

Citizens Information

Know Your Rights:

Returning to Ireland

September 2019


My son has been living in Australia for the last fifteen years and is planning to return to Ireland next year for good. Where can he find practical information about returning home?


The more prepared your son is, the easier his move home will be so he should start his research as soon as he can. Citizens Information has developed a new online Returning to Ireland resource with a broad range of information specifically intended for Irish citizens who are living abroad and are planning to return home to live in Ireland.

This new online resource is filled with practical information to help Irish citizens plan their return and settle back in Ireland as smoothly as possible.  It covers everything from residency applications for non-EU family members, applying for passports for children and accessing the public health system on your return to Ireland.

If your son is planning to start work when he returns he may want to know about PPS numbers, registering for tax purposes and getting recognition for foreign qualifications in Ireland.  If he is returning with a family or children he may need to know about applying for Child Benefit, enrolling in school or college and exemptions from learning the Irish language in school. The site also has information about converting a foreign driving license to an Irish one, getting car insurance as a returning Irish emigrant and travelling to Ireland with your pet.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.



Know Your Rights:

Small Claims Procedure

September 2019


I am unhappy with the repair work a builder has done to my house, he hasn’t fixed the issue and he refuses to put it right. Do I have any rights in this situation?


If your builder is unwilling to compensate you, you may be able to make a claim against them using the small claims procedure. The aim of this procedure is to provide an inexpensive, fast and easy way for consumers to resolve disputes without a solicitor. The maximum amount you can claim for under the small claims procedure is €2,000. The small claims procedure is provided through local District Court offices.

If you have purchased goods or services for private use from someone selling them in the course of business, you can make a claim using the small claims procedure. You can make claims for bad workmanship, minor damage to property, faulty goods and for the non-return of rent deposits for certain kinds of rented properties, for example, a holiday home. Businesses can also use this procedure to make claims against other businesses about contracts for goods or services purchased.

To make a claim, you need to complete the application form and submit it and a fee of €25 to the Small Claims Registrar. You can do this online at the Courts Service Online website, Alternatively, you can download the application form from or get a copy from the Small Claims Registrar at the District Court office. Make sure you include the correct name and address of the company or person you are claiming against. You can double-check this information on the Companies Registration Office website at

The Registrar sends a copy of your application to the person you are making the claim against. If the other person does not reply within 15 days of receiving your application, your claim will be automatically treated as undisputed. Then the court will make an order in your favour for the amount claimed, and direct that it be paid within a specific period of time. If your claim is disputed, the Registrar will give you a copy of the reasons why the other person is disputing your claim. The Registrar will try to negotiate a settlement to the dispute. If no settlement can be reached, the matter is set for a court hearing in the District Court.




Know your Rights:

Shopping online after Brexit



If the UK leaves the EU, what changes can I expect when shopping online from a UK retailer?



EU consumer law will not apply to UK sales, including online sales, after it leaves  the EU. Therefore, your current consumer rights as provided for under EU consumer law will no longer be available.

For example, if you are in a dispute with a UK-based trader, you may not be able to avail of the European Consumer Centre network or the European Small Claims Procedure. However, consumers in Ireland can take individual action through the Irish courts if they have purchased online from UK traders who do business in the EU.

You should also be aware that following Brexit, you may have to pay certain taxes and duties when buying from the UK. You may have to pay customs duty, excise duty and VAT. These charges are calculated according to the value of the item and can include the transport costs. You can find detailed information about your consumer rights and Brexit on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website, and on your consumer rights in the event of a no-deal Brexit on the website.





Know Your Rights:

Inheritance tax


I have recently inherited some money following the death of a close relative. Will I have to pay tax on it?



If you get an inheritance following a death, you may have to pay inheritance tax on it. Inheritance tax is a type of Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) which includes gift tax. You do not have to pay tax on gifts or inheritances from your spouse or civil partner. If you get an inheritance from other relatives, you may get all or part of the inheritance tax-free – depending on the amount. The tax-free amount or threshold depends on the relationship between you and the person who left you the money.

  • Group A applies where you are the child, stepchild or adopted child of the person giving the gift or inheritance. In certain circumstances it can apply to a foster child or parent getting an inheritance.
  • Group B applies where you are the parent, grandparent, grandchild, great-grandchild, brother, sister, nephew or niece of the giver.
  • Group C applies to any relationship not included in Group A or B.

Since 10 October 2018, the CAT threshold for each group is as follows:

  • Group A – €320,000
  • Group B – €32,500
  • Group C – €16,250

You have to pay inheritance tax if the value of your inheritance (together with any other gifts and inheritances you have already received within the same group since 5 December 1991) is more than the tax-free amount or CAT threshold.


If you do have to pay inheritance tax, it is charged at 33%. The tax only applies to the amount over the group threshold.


As CAT is a self-assessment tax, you have to file a tax return. You can file Form IT38 (Inheritance Tax/Gift Tax Return) online through ROS, Revenue’s online service. You can also submit a paper form to Revenue.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by your local Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public.

ARKLOW Citizens Information Centre

73 Lower Main Street, Arklow

Tel: 0761 07 6750


Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 1.00pm; 2.00pm – 5.00pm


BRAY Citizens Information Centre

2 The Boulevard

Quinsboro Road, Bray

Tel:  0761 07 6780 Fax: 01 2116699


Monday to Friday 10.00am – 4.30pm

Tuesdays: 7.30pm—9.00pm



WICKLOW TOWN Citizens Information Centre

9/10 Lower Mall

Tel: 0761 07 6840


Mon 10.00am to 4.30pm

Tues, Wed & Thurs 9.30am – 1.00pm & 2.00pm—5.00pm

Fri 9.30am – 1.00pm


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



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