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Can I claim the US and Ireland Child Benefit separately?

Yes, you can claim the US Child Tax Credit and the Irish Child Benefit, as they are separate benefits from different countries. However, eligibility requirements and the application process must be met independently for each country.

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What is the Child Benefit?

Child Benefit is a monetary allowance the Irish government provides to help parents and guardians raise children. It is paid monthly and is available to all families with children under the age of 16 or under 18 if the child is in full-time education or has a disability. 

This benefit is universally accessible regardless of income or employment status, ensuring that every family receives support.

How is Child Benefit different from a tax deduction?

Unlike tax deductions, which reduce taxable income, Child Benefit is direct financial aid. It is a non-taxable monthly payment designed to support the upbringing of children, provided directly to parents or guardians without regard to their income level or tax bracket.

Who is eligible for Child Benefit in Ireland?

To qualify for Child Benefit in Ireland:

  • The child must be under 16, or under 18 if in full-time education or disabled.
  • The child must live with the person claiming the benefit.
  • The claimant must be primarily responsible for the child.

There are no nationality or citizenship requirements; however, the claimant must be a habitual resident of Ireland.

Note: The term habitual resident is not defined in Irish law. In practice, it means that you have a proven close link to Ireland and intend to stay in Ireland for the foreseeable future.

Can self-employed individuals claim Child Benefit?

Yes, self-employment status does not impact eligibility for Child Benefit. This benefit is not means-tested and is provided to all qualifying families, regardless of how they contribute to social insurance.

What is the amount provided for Child Benefit?

As of the time of writing, families can claim €140 per month for each eligible child.

What if a child doesn’t qualify for Child Benefit?

Ireland offers various other supports for dependents who might not qualify for Child Benefit. These include:

  • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance: Helps cover the cost of uniforms and footwear for school-going children.
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance: A monthly payment for the parent or guardian of a child with a severe disability.
  • Carer’s Allowance: Available if a child requires full-time care due to a disability.
  • Guardian’s Payment (Non-contributory): Supports those raising a child who is not their own due to parental inability.
  • Foster Care Allowance: Provides a weekly allowance to foster parents to cater to the child’s needs, adjusted by the child’s age and any special needs.

When and how is Child Benefit paid?

Child Benefit is typically disbursed on the first Tuesday of each month. New applications may take up to twelve weeks to process, with payments retroactively applied from the date of eligibility. Payments can be directly deposited into a bank account in the Republic of Ireland or issued via a monthly cheque.

How do you calculate the Child Benefit amount?

Simply multiply the number of eligible children by the monthly benefit amount (€140). For example, your monthly benefit would be €420 if you have three eligible children.

What is the procedure for claiming Child Benefit?

Claiming Child Benefit involves a few steps:

  • Complete the Child Benefit application form available on the Department of Social Protection’s website.
  • Collect necessary supporting documents, such as your child’s birth certificate.
  • Submit the form and documents to the Child Benefit Section. For newborns, parents can fill out a simplified form provided in the ‘Babies and Children’ booklet at maternity hospitals.

Does the Tax Amnesty Program affect Child Benefit claims?

Participating in the tax amnesty program does not impact your eligibility for Child Benefit as long as you maintain habitual residence in Ireland. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional if you have concerns about how your tax status might influence your benefits.

Why partner with a specialist Expat accountant?

Living outside of the US can make your tax filing requirements complicated. To ensure you pay the minimum amount of taxes, it’s critical to work with an accountant who understands every aspect and avenue for reducing your tax liability. We have a dedicated team of tax accountants who work exclusively with US expats earning and investing in Germany. Partnering with a specialist expat accountant can help you navigate complex tax regulations and optimize your tax situation.


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