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Working across border?

Crossing the border to live, work, study or retire is a common occurrence. However it is important to have reliable information to hand otherwise issues can quickly become complicated. The Border People website is your one step guide to everything from taxation, social security and job seeking, to health, education, banking and motoring. The project is managed by the Centre for Cross Border Studies, in partnership with the North South Ministerial Council. It is part financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. “Frequently people do not realise the impact that cross border employment can have on taxation and social security. Therefore it is important that people know their rights, entitlements and obligations before they move or take up employment across the border,” said Annemarie O’Kane Border People Manager. The Border People website clarifies the key issues and points visitors to other websites and agencies that can provide further information. The most frequently visited web pages explain where to pay tax, claim illness benefits, family benefits and pensions. Common issues that citizens are completely unaware of: Cross border workers must declare their income in the jurisdiction where they live; Cross border workers may be liable for income tax in both jurisdictions; Cross border workers (living South, working North) can use the Northern healthcare system. Retired cross border workers can apply for their state pension in the jurisdiction where they live (the authorities will contact the other jurisdiction). Cross border employment can affect claims for Family Benefits eg Child Benefit, UK Child Tax Credits or Irish Family Income Supplement may temporarily stop while the authorities decide which jurisdiction is responsible. Taxation causes huge confusion and frequently workers do not realise that they must declare their cross border income where they live. Failing to declare the income can result in large back dated bills and fines,” she said. O’Kane also explained that claiming family benefits can often become complex for many cross border workers. The project has uncovered many cases where claims have been delayed for over 12 months resulting in severe financial hardship for many families with small children. The project continues to gather evidence of this and other obstacles to cross border mobility. ADVICE: The website contains lots of practical information but occasionally people may need further help to guide them through the issues and paperwork. For the past two years the project has provided training to the advice sector in each jurisdiction so citizens can now contact their local citizens information service or Citizens Advice Bureaux for further help. The project can also provide direct assistance to advisors and information providers as needed. Contact details are available on www.borderpeople.info


Newry Democrat

21st October 2014