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This is an archived news story (Posted: Tuesday September 20, 2011). ×

Know Your Rights October 2011

Know Your Rights: Registering to vote

Question

I don't think I am registered to vote. How can I vote in the Presidential election and referendums on 27 October?

Answer

In order to vote in an election or referendum you must be registered to vote, that is, you must be listed on the Register of Electors held by the local authority where you live.

You must be an Irish citizen to be eligible to vote in a Presidential election or a referendum.

You can check if you are listed on the Register of Electors at checktheregister.ie. You can also inspect the Register which is available in local authority offices, post offices, Garda stations and public libraries. The updated Register is published in February each year.

If your name is not on the Register of Electors you can apply to be included in a supplement to the Register. To do this you should complete form RFA2 and send it to your local authority. You can download it from checktheregister.ie. The form is also available from your local authority.

In order to be included in the supplement used at an election, your application must be received by your local authority at least 15 days before polling day.(Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose). So if you want to vote on 27 October 2011 you should make sure your local authority has received your completed form RFA2 by Monday 10 October 2011.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

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

Tel: 09064 78851
Address: Athlone Citizens Information Centre St Marys Square Athlone Co Westmeath.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Lo-call 1890 777 121 or (021 4521600).

Know Your Rights: Taxation of civil partners

Question

Last May I entered into a civil partnership. We both work and pay tax as single people. How will we be taxed as civil partners?

Answer

The tax provisions that apply to married couples (in the year of marriage and in subsequent years) now apply to civil partners. The Finance (No. 3) Act 2011 made the necessary taxation changes. The changes apply for the 2011 year of assessment.

When you enter into a civil partnership, both you and your civil partner continue to be treated as single people for tax purposes in that year. However, if the tax you pay as two single people is greater than the tax that would be payable if you were taxed as civil partners, you can claim the difference. (In other words, you can claim a tax refund.) Refunds are only due from the date the civil partnership was registered and will be calculated after the following 31 December. In your case any refund due to you would be calculated after 31 December 2011.

As you entered a civil partnership in 2011, both of you will continue to be taxed as two single individuals for that tax year. In subsequent years the options that are available to married couples apply – joint assessment, separate assessment or separate treatment. You can choose which type of assessment suits you best – in general couples choose separate or joint assessment.  This allows the use of extra personal tax credits or any unused part of the standard tax rate band for one partner against the income of the other partner to reduce their combined tax liability.

You and your civil partner should contact your local Revenue office to tell them the date of registration of your civil partnership, your PPS numbers and to fill in the nominated civil partner's election form. This form is available at revenue.ie.

You can find out more about how people in a civil partnership are taxed on the Revenue website.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

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

Tel: 09064 78851
Address: Athlone Citizens Information Centre St Marys Square Athlone Co Westmeath.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Lo-call 1890 777 121 or (021 4521600).

Know Your Rights: Public holiday entitlement

Question

I work part-time and my working hours are irregular. If I do not work on a public holiday, how do I get my public holiday entitlement?
 

Answer

If you have worked at least 40 hours in total in the 5 weeks before the public holiday you are entitled to paid leave on the day or one of the following alternatives:

•    A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
•    An additional day of annual leave
•    An additional day's pay
•    The nearest church holiday to the public holiday as a paid day off

If you have worked for your employer at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks before the public holiday and you are due to work on a public holiday you are entitled to that day off as paid leave or one of the alternatives as listed above.

If you are not required to work on that particular day you should receive one-fifth of your weekly pay instead of the actual day's leave. Even if you are never rostered to work on a public holiday you are entitled to one-fifth of your weekly pay as compensation for the public holiday.

Under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 you may ask your employer, at least 21 days before a public holiday, which of the alternatives will apply to you.  Your employer should respond to you at least 14 days before the public holiday.  If your employer does not, you are entitled to take the actual public holiday as a paid day off.

Information about public holiday entitlements is available from the National Employment Rights Agency which operates an information helpline on Lo-call 1890 80 80 90.

Complaints in relation to holiday entitlements may be referred to a Rights Commissioner at the Labour Relations Commission, Tom Johnson House, Haddington Road, Dublin 4, Lo-call 1890 220 227, lrc.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

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

Tel: 09064 78851
Address: Athlone Citizens Information Centre St Marys Square Athlone Co Westmeath.

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Lo-call 1890 777 121 or (021 4521600).

 

Know Your Rights: Benefit and privilege

Question

I am 19. I left school this summer and I have just become eligible to apply for Jobseeker's Allowance. I am living at home with my parents – will this make any difference to how much I will get?
 

Answer

If you apply for Jobseeker's Allowance (JA), are aged under 25 and are living with a parent or a step-parent in the family home, your parents' income is taken into account in the means assessment. This is called benefit and privilege.

To work out how much, if any, will be deducted from your payment, add together your parents' net weekly income from all sources. (Net income is gross income less income tax, PRSI, Universal Social Charge, private health insurance contribution, superannuation and union dues.) Capital or savings that your parents have is not assessed.

You then deduct the following from your parents' net weekly income to get their assessable income:

•    Any rent or mortgage repayments
•    €600 for a two-parent family or €470 for a one-parent family
•    €30 for each child up to 18 years of age or over 18 years and in full-time education (unless they get a social welfare payment in their own right)

Then, 34% of your parents' assessable income is assessed as benefit and privilege against your payment. This means that you must subtract this amount from your weekly JA which, as you are aged 19, is €100 a week.

If, however, you have no means or income and your parents' assessable means are less than the personal rate of JA, you are entitled to a minimum payment of €40 a week. For example if 34% of your parents' means is €80 and the JA rate for your age is €100 you will get €40, not €20.

If you return to live with your parents after having lived independently either in Ireland or abroad for at least 3 years, benefit and privilege is assessed as €7.00 per week. If you are living with your parents and you are married, in a civil partnership, or cohabiting, you are not assessed for benefit and privilege.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
 

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

Tel: 09064 78851
Address: Athlone Citizens Information Centre St Marys Square Athlone Co Westmeath.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Lo-call 1890 777 121 or (021 4521600).

Archive of Citizens Information articles

posted: January 2014

Jan 7, 04:49 PM Know Your Rights January 2014

posted: November 2013

Nov 21, 03:44 PM Know Your Rights December 2013

posted: September 2013

Sep 25, 02:06 PM Know Your Rights October 2013

posted: August 2013

Aug 23, 10:28 AM Know Your Rights September 2013

posted: June 2013

Jun 19, 03:30 PM Know Your Rights July 2013

posted: May 2013

May 23, 11:52 AM Know Your Rights June 2013

posted: April 2013

Apr 24, 09:50 AM Know Your Rights May 2013

posted: March 2013

Mar 26, 10:03 AM Know Your Rights April 2013

posted: February 2013

Feb 21, 01:42 PM Know Your Rights March 2013

posted: January 2013

Jan 23, 03:53 PM Know Your Rights February 2013

Jan 7, 09:55 AM Know Your Rights January 2013

posted: November 2012

Nov 22, 12:01 PM Know Your Rights December 2012

posted: October 2012

Oct 24, 10:02 AM Know Your Rights November 2012

posted: September 2012

Sep 25, 01:25 PM Know Your Rights October 2012

posted: August 2012

Aug 22, 04:16 PM Know Your Rights September 2012

posted: July 2012

Jul 23, 03:13 PM Know Your Rights August 2012

posted: June 2012

Jun 22, 10:59 AM Know Your Rights July 2012

posted: May 2012

May 29, 11:07 AM Know Your Rights June 2012

posted: April 2012

Apr 25, 12:45 PM Know Your Rights May 2012

Apr 2, 02:44 PM Know Your Rights April 2012

posted: February 2012

Feb 21, 11:04 AM Know Your Rights March 2012

posted: January 2012

Jan 31, 02:33 PM Know Your Rights February 2012

Jan 4, 02:29 PM Know Your Rights January 2012

posted: November 2011

Nov 18, 11:29 AM Know Your Rights December 2011

posted: September 2011

Sep 20, 09:48 AM Know Your Rights October 2011

posted: August 2011

Aug 26, 02:59 PM Know Your Rights September 2011

Aug 2, 10:02 AM Know Your Rights August 2011

posted: June 2011

Jun 28, 03:54 PM Know Your Rights July 2011

posted: April 2011

Apr 27, 11:43 AM Know Your Rights May 2011

posted: March 2011

Mar 21, 12:30 PM Know Your Rights April 2011

posted: February 2011

Feb 22, 04:19 PM Know Your Rights February 2011

posted: January 2011

Jan 4, 11:02 AM Know Your Rights January 2011

posted: October 2010

Oct 29, 10:20 AM Know Your Rights November 2010

posted: September 2010

Sep 17, 04:15 PM Know Your Rights October 2010

posted: August 2010

Aug 31, 10:36 AM Know Your Rights September 2010

posted: July 2010

Jul 2, 10:15 AM Know Your Rights July 2010

posted: June 2010

Jun 4, 11:03 AM Know Your Rights June 2010

posted: April 2010

Apr 30, 11:47 AM Know Your Rights May 2010

Apr 6, 04:14 PM Know Your Rights April 2010

posted: March 2010

Mar 2, 02:16 PM Know Your Rights March 2010


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