Tax relief on assistance dogs

What is an assistance dog?

Assistance dogs are specially trained dogs that help people with disabilities carry out practical tasks.

Assistance dogs are trained to meet the needs of their owner. For example, assistance dogs may:

  • Alert a deaf owner to sounds
  • Help with dressing and undressing
  • Help with standing and walking
  • Bring things to their owner or pick up dropped items
  • Warn an owner of danger or of certain symptoms so that the owner can take appropriate action
  • Bark to get help in an emergency

If you have a guide dog because you are blind or have impaired vision, there is a separate guide dog tax allowance you can claim.

Can I get tax relief if I have an assistance dog?

If you have a trained assistance dog, you can claim €825 as a tax relief on health expenses. This relief is given at the standard income tax rate of 20%, so it reduces your tax by €165 (20% of €825).

To qualify, your dog must have been supplied by an organisation that is accredited by Assistance Dogs Europe. Assistance Dogs Europe is the European branch of Assistance Dogs International (ADI), a group of non-profit programmes that train and place assistance dogs.

How to apply

To get the tax relief, you must have a letter from the supplier of your dog, confirming that you have a trained dog. You give the letter to Revenue the first time you claim the relief. You can then continue to get the tax relief in the following years while you have the dog. If you no longer have an assistance dog, let Revenue know.

You can upload the letter and claim the relief online through the Manage My Record section in myAccount.

You can also claim the relief by completing a paper Form 12 (pdf), or Form 12S (pdf) (a simplified version for routine tax returns) and returning the form to your Revenue office with the letter from your supplier.

You can request a paper Form 12 or a Form 12S by phoning the Revenue Forms Ordering Service at (01) 738 3675 or by email at Include the following details with your request:

  • The title of the form and year
  • Your name
  • Your Personal Public Service (PPS) number
  • Your telephone number
  • Your postal address with Eircode
Page edited: 20 September 2022