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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 18 April, 2014

Hundreds of separated dads concerned over “unjust” tax credit change

A support service has called the One Parent Family tax credit “unjust, unfair and underhanded”.

Image: Parent and child via Shutterstock

HUNDREDS OF FATHERS have expressed their concern about the money they could lose due to a change in tax credits.

The parents have also been contacting their local TDs and Senators, Karen Kiernan of One Family – which has been contacted by hundreds of parents, primarily fathers – told TheJournal.ie.

The organisation is calling on the government not to proceed with the replacement of the One Parent Family Tax Credit with a Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit, saying it would cause “a significant number of problems and possibly unintended outcomes”.

The change was announced in the Budget 2014 announcements last week.

The value of the credit at €1,650 per year will not change, but Kiernan said that the change to eligibility means there will be less money available for the care of children.

Now she has said that fathers have been contacting One Family in their droves to express their concern about the change.

One Family is advocating that the government instead introduces a system where the same amount of money would be available to both parents, after a parenting agreement is signed by both.

There can be an issue around how to transfer back the tax credit, if it has been moved to one parent, she pointed out.

According to One Family, the impact of the abolition of the One Parent Tax Credit for the non-resident parent would be:

  • Annual wage 13,500 (minimum wage x 30 hours) – no change
  • €20,000 – €13 difference in tax take per week
  • €30,000 – €10 difference
  • €40,000 – €48 difference
  • €60,000 – €47 difference

Kiernan said that they had received hundreds of contacts from dads who are sharing parenting and taking responsibility. She explained that the tax credit goes to the parent who receives the child benefits, which is usually the mother as mothers tend to be the primary carer.

This means the father in most cases will not receive the credit and could be out of pocket. The other parent may find themselves unable to pay the same amount of maintenance and struggle to care for their children as they have been previously.

One Family has written to all Ministers, TDs and Senators to voice their concerns and is urging everyone to write to their representatives on the issue.

Read: One-parent families hit by Budget tax changes>

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