Ireland

The national currency is the Euro (EUR). In 2020, EUR 0.88 was equal to USD 1. In that year, the average worker earned EUR 46 685 (Secretariat estimate).

Tax is levied on the combined income of both spouses. Either spouse may, however, opt for separate assessment, in which case the tax payable by both spouses must be the same as would be payable under joint taxation. A further option allows either spouse to opt for assessment as single persons in which case they are treated as separate units. The calculations presented in this Report are based on family taxation.

  • Basic reliefs: The single person's credit is EUR 1 650 per year.

  • Standard marital status reliefs: The married person's credit is EUR 3 300 per year (i.e. twice the basic credit of EUR 1 650).

  • Employee credit: With the exception of certain company directors and their spouses and the spouses of partners in partnership cases, all employees, including (subject to certain conditions) children who are full-time employees in the business of their parents, are entitled to an employee credit of EUR 1 650.

  • Earned Income credit: Individuals in receipt of earned income are entitled to an earned income credit of EUR 1500 for 2020et seq. Note: The combined employee credit and earned income credit is limited to EUR 1 650.

  • One-Parent Family credit: The single parent family credit is EUR 1 650.

  • Interest on qualifying loans: This relief can no longer be claimed by new applicants but those who had claimed prior to 2012 are still eligible for relief up to 2020 inclusive. The relief varies between 25% and 15% of the following limits.

  • Medical Insurance: Relief at the taxpayer’s standard rate of tax is available for taxpayers who make a payment to an authorised insurer under a contract which provides for the payment of medical expenses resulting from sickness of the person, his wife, child or other dependants. The maximum relief is EUR 1 000 in respect of an adult and EUR 500 in respect of a child. This relief is now granted at source and is paid to the insurance provider.

  • Work related Expenses: These are relieved to the extent that they are wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of an employment.

  • Home Carers Allowance: This is a tax credit of EUR 1600 for families where one spouse works at home to care for children, the aged or incapacitated persons, where the carer spouse’s income does not exceed EUR 7 199. A reduced measure of relief is granted for income between EUR  7  200 and EUR 10400: if the income exceeds EUR 7 200 the tax credit is reduced by one half of the income of the Home Carer that exceeds this limit. This credit and the increased standard rate tax band for two income couples (see tax schedule below) are mutually exclusive but the person may opt for whichever is the more beneficial. If the Home Carer earns income of up to EUR  7 200 in his/her own right for the tax year, the full tax credit may be claimed. For the purposes of this tax credit, income means any taxable income such as income from a part-time job, dividends, etc. but does not include the Carer’s Allowance payable by the Department of Social Protection.

Where total income of an individual aged 65 and over is less than or equal to the income exemption limit that income is exempt from tax.

Exemption limits:

  • Single / Widowed: EUR 18 000

  • Married: EUR 36 000

The exemption limits may be increased in respect of children, as follows:

  • One or two children (each): EUR 575

  • Subsequent children: EUR 830

The marginal relief rate of tax applies where liability to tax at the marginal relief rate is less than that which would be chargeable under the normal tax schedule and where total income is less than twice the relevant exemption limit, otherwise tax is charged under the normal tax schedule.

Marginal relief tax is charged, where applicable, at a rate of 40% on the difference between total income and the relevant exemption limit.

The USC is charged on an individualised basis on gross income at 0.5% on income up to and including EUR 12 012, at 2% for income in excess of EUR 12 012 but not greater than EUR 20 484, at 4.5% for income in excess of EUR 20 484 but not greater than EUR 70 044, and at 8% above that level. The lower exemption threshold is EUR 13 000.The USC does not apply to social welfare payments, including contributory and non-contributory social welfare State pensions.

USC rates for individuals whose total income does not exceed EUR 60 000 and who are (a) aged 70 years and over or (b) who hold full medical cards: The 2% rate applies to all income over EUR 12 012.

There is a surcharge of 3% on individuals who have income from self-employment that exceeds EUR 100 000 in a year.

No State or local income taxes exist in Ireland.

Contributions are payable at a rate of 4 percent of an employee's gross earnings less allowable superannuation contributions. No distinction is made by marital status or sex. Those earning less than EUR 352 per week are exempt. The following is a breakdown of the 2020 rate of contribution together with ceilings where applicable:

A PRSI credit was introduced in 2016 which reduces the amount of PRSI payable for people earning between EUR 352.01 and EUR 424 per week. The credit is tapered and the amount of the credit depends on your earnings. The maximum credit is EUR 12. If you earn between EUR 352.01 and EUR 424 per week, the maximum credit of EUR 12 is reduced by one-sixth of the amount of your weekly earnings over EUR 352.01.

Like employees' contributions, employers' contributions are payable as a percentage of gross employee earnings less allowable superannuation contributions. The following is a breakdown of the 2020 rate of contribution:

In 2020, the total employers’ contribution is 11.05% and is reduced to 8.8% in respect of employees earning less than EUR 395 per week.

None.

These are payable to all children under the age of 16 (or under 18 years, if the child is undergoing full time education by day or is incapacitated and likely to remain so for a prolonged period). These payments do not depend on any insurance or on the means of the claimant. Entitlements to higher rate for the third and subsequent child are being phased out over two years. The amounts payable in 2020 are as follows:

A non-taxable family income supplement is payable to low income families where either the principal earner and/or the spouse are in full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined as working nineteen hours per week or more. The hours worked by the principal and the spouse can be aggregated for the purposes of this definition. When calculating income for the purposes of the relief superannuation payments, social welfare payments, tax payments, health and employment and training levies are all subtracted to arrive at disposable income.

The level of payment is dependent on the amount of family income and the number of children. The supplement payable is 60% of the difference between the family income and the income limit applicable to the family. A minimum of EUR 20 per week is payable to eligible families. No supplement is payable to families with income in excess of the relevant income limit.

The income limit for a family with two children in 2020 is EUR 632 per week.

One Parent Family Payment: This payment is available for men and women who for a variety of reasons are bringing up a child or children without the support of a partner. The payment which is means tested is payable in full where the person’s earnings does not exceed EUR 165 per week). Where earnings are between EUR 165 per week) and EUR 425.00 per week a reduced payment is received. The amount of the full payment for 2020 is EUR 203 per week (plus EUR 36 per week for each child.

Individuals in receipt of earned income are entitled to an earned income credit of EUR 1500 for 2020 et seq. Note: The combined employee credit and earned income credit is limited to EUR 1 650.

There are a few measures operating in Ireland at present in response to the COVID-19 pandemic these are the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) operated by Revenue. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) by Social Welfare along with Enhanced Illness Benefit and short term changes to Rent Supplement as outlined below.

The following measures do not impact on the Taxing of Wages results.

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme This scheme run by Revenue, enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer through the payroll system. To qualify for the scheme, employers must

  • be experiencing significant negative economic disruption due to Covid-19

  • be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of Revenue, a minimum of a 25% decline in turnover *

  • be unable to pay normal wages and normal outgoings fully and

  • retain their employees on the payroll.

*TWSS turnover drop relates to the period Q2 2020 the employer is free to calculate drop with respect to Q1 2020 or Q2 2019).

The wage subsidy payments to employees are liable to income tax and USC; however, the subsidy is not taxable in real-time through our PAYE system during the period of the Subsidy scheme. Instead the employee will be liable for tax and USC on the subsidy amount paid to them by their employer by way of review at the end of the year.

The scheme was introduced in 26 March 2020 and has been extended until the 31 August 2020.

On 4 May 2020 Revenue informed all eligible employers of the maximum personal subsidy amount in respect of each individual employee on its payroll based on the employee’s Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay. See below table

Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) March 13 due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be in place until August 10.

You can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if you:

  • are aged between 18 and 66 years old and

  • currently living in the Republic of Ireland and

  • have lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or

  • have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and

  • worked in the Republic of Ireland or were a cross border frontier worker and

  • are not in receipt of any employment income

The payment also applies if you are:

  • self-employed and your trading income has ceased due to COVID-19

  • a non EU/EEA worker who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • a student (or a non-EU/EEA student) who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • part-time worker

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be paid at a flat rate of EUR 350 per week until the beginning of June 29 when the payment will be paid at two rates:

  • For those whose prior employment earnings were EUR 200 per week or higher (about 75% of recipients), the rate will remain at EUR 350 per week;

  • For those whose prior employment earnings were up to EUR 199.99 per week (about 25% of recipients), the rate will be EUR 203 per week - the primary rate of payment of the Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme.

If you were working and were also in receipt of any social welfare payment such as a Carer's Payment, Working Family Payment (WFP) or One-Parent Family Payment, you can, provided you have lost your job due to COVID-19, also claim the COVID-19 emergency payment, in addition to retaining your existing welfare payment. The COVID-19 Payment Unemployment Payment will replace your employment income and will be regarded by the department as equivalent to employment income.

This payment is subject to income tax but is not liable to either the universal social charge or PRSI (pay-related social insurance).

It is proposed that at the end of the year, Revenue will send a preliminary end-of-year statement, outlining what it understands to be the recipients income during the year – from the unemployment payment and also any work during the year and it will indicate how much tax is owing.

Enhanced Illness Benefit

This payment is for workers and the self-employed who cannot work in the short term because they have been medically certified to self-isolate or are ill due to COVID-19.

The personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from EUR 203 per week to EUR 350 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks where you are medically-required to self-isolate or longer following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Rent Supplement

Legislation was introduced to prevent both the termination of residential tenancies and any rent increases for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While tenants are expected to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rent Supplement is available to you if you are struggling to pay.

There are new Rent Supplement rules for applicants who apply on or after 13 March 2020. These rules will be in place until 31 August 2020:

  • You can qualify for Rent Supplement if you or your partner are working more than 30 hours per week and you have had a reduction in your income from work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • You must have been in your current tenancy for more than 4 weeks and could have continued to paid your rent from your own resources, but for the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 and are medically required to self-isolate, your Rent Supplement can be processed and paid immediately.

  • You will be assessed for Rent Supplement using a higher Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate.

The basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate is normally EUR 201 – you will get a higher rate if you have dependents. However, if you are a new Rent Supplement applicant and applied on or after 13 March 2020, you will be assessed for Rent Supplement using the following Supplementary Welfare Allowance rates:

  • EUR 350 for a single person

  • EUR 700 for a couple

  • EUR 40 for each child.

Information not available, although such schemes do exist.

2020 Parameter values

2020 Tax Equations

The equations for the Irish system in 2020 are mostly on a family basis using mainly a tax credit system for the first time. But social security contributions are calculated separately for each spouse. This is shown by the Range indicator in the table below.

The functions which are used in the equations (Taper, MIN, Tax etc) are described in the technical note about tax equations. Variable names are defined in the table of parameters above, within the equations table, or are the standard variables “married” and “children”. A reference to a variable with the affix “_total” indicates the sum of the relevant variable values for the principal and spouse. And the affixes “_princ” and “_spouse” indicate the value for the principal and spouse, respectively. Equations for a single person are as shown for the principal, with “_spouse” values taken as 0.

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