Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

478 Relief for payments made by certain persons in respect of alarm systems


This section provides a relief from income tax in respect of expenditure incurred on the purchase and/or installation of an alarm system in the home of a person who is aged 65 years of age or over and who lives alone. The relief, which may be claimed by either the person personally or a relative (including a relation by marriage), is at the standard rate of tax on expenditure of up to €1,015.79 and is available in respect of expenditure incurred in the period 23 January, 1996 to 5 April, 1998.



(1)appropriate percentage” is a percentage equal to the standard rate of income tax for a year of assessment.

installation” is the placing in position of a relevant alarm system, including any necessary ancillary work.

qualifying expenditure” is expenditure incurred in the qualifying period in connection with the provision and/or installation of a relevant alarm system in a premises which is the qualifying individual’s sole or main residence. It does not include any expenditure in so far as it is in respect of the repair, maintenance or monitoring of such an alarm system. This latter part of the definition is designed to exclude optional expenditure commonly available to alarm purchasers.

qualifying period” is the period beginning on 23 January, 1996 and ending on 5 April, 1988.

relative” includes, in addition to the usual persons covered by the term relative (namely, blood relations), a relation by marriage and a person in respect of whom the individual is or was the legal guardian.

relevant alarm system” is an electrical apparatus which is designed to give notice that there is an intruder present or attempting to enter the premises in which it is installed.


(2) The relief takes the form of a reduction in the income tax payable by the claimant (other than his/her liability in respect of tax withheld from annual payments under section 16(2)) who, depending on who incurs the expenditure, may be the qualifying individual himself/herself or a relative. The reduction in tax is the lesser of —

  • the cost of the installation at the standard rate of income tax, and
  • €1,015.79 at the standard rate of income tax, and
  • the amount which reduces the tax payable to nil.

The reference to section 16(2) ensures that tax deducted from annual payments is retained in charge against the person deducting it and that the tax deducted is not diluted by the reduction in tax provided by this section.


(3) A claim for relief must be made in a form prescribed for that purpose by the Revenue Commissioners and must be accompanied by a receipt or receipts in respect of qualifying expenditure. Where relief is claimed in respect of installation expenditure, the receipt for such expenditure must contain the installer’s name, address and tax reference number.

Bar on double relief

(4) An individual is not entitled to double relief for the same expenditure.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021