So, way back in November of 2013 I promised you guys that I’d try to get some clarification on what exactly is going on with maternity benefit taxation because, in all honesty, it’s a clear as mud.
I sent the following letter to all of my local TDs:
“Dear DeputyI run a website for mothers in Ireland and since the introduction of a taxation on maternity benefit in July of this year I have been inundated with queries from women in relation to the implications for them of this tax once they return to work.It now appears that when women are returning to work after their maternity leave, the tax on their maternity benefit is being treated as “other income” and is being deducted from their weekly or monthly tax credits. It is then necessary for them to seek to reclaim overpaid tax at the end of the tax year. The result is that they are seriously out of pocket on their return to work in anticipation of this refund at the end of the year. Additionally, women who have transferred their tax credits to their husband while on maternity leave and are being taxed on their full income with no tax relief.This situation is impossible for the young families of your constituency and of Ireland.Could I ask you to:1. clarify how exactly the taxation on maternity benefit is being implemented in Plain English please because it is not clear anywhere even on the exceptionally helpful www.citizensinformation.ie2. Please do something to make the situation more equitable for young families. Surely the system can be changed to ensure that the tax is deducted either when the benefit is being paid or on a regular basis overtime, rather than penalising young families when they need the money most.Looking forward to your considered response.Warmest RegardsMind the Baby”
Just one TD came back to me. They forwarded me on the letter they in turn had been sent by the Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, which was pretty nice of her, in fairness. So here’s what she said:
(you’ll need to click on the image to read the text properly)
PS. If anyone would like the name and number of the person redacted at the bottom of the letter to contact them for more information, email me at hello at mindthebaby.ie and I’ll send it on to you. x