Working in Ireland: tax and social services

Dominika Rozycka 22.07.2015

Income tax

Before you start working in Ireland, it’s essential that you get a Personal Public Service (PPS) number, which will register and identify you on the tax system. To obtain your PPS number you will need to visit your local Social Welfare branch and take with you proof of your address. You will also need identification. Visit www.welfare.ie

Employees in Ireland pay tax through the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system. This means that your employer deducts the tax you owe directly from your wages, and pays this tax directly to the Revenue Commissioners. The amount of tax you pay depends on a variety of factors including your marital status, whether you have children, and whether you are in rented accommodation. For more information about taxation in Ireland visit www.revenue.ie 

Once you have a PPS number you will need to apply for a Certificate of Tax Credits. The best way to do this is either to download form 12A from the website or go to a local Revenue office and pick one up. A Certificate of Tax Credits will ensure that you are taxed at the correct rate and your employer can calculate your take-home pay.
The PPS system in Ireland consists of a series of tax brackets, which determine the rate of tax you pay on your annual salary. It is likely that until the paperwork is sorted out you will be placed in the Emergency Tax bracket.

If your earnings have been relatively low you may be entitled to a tax rebate before you leave Ireland. To claim this you will need a P60 (outlining your exact salary and tax details) and/or a P45 form (which you get when you leave a job).

Social services

The Department of Social Protection is responsible for the administration of social security and benefits (e.g. child benefit and state pensions) in Ireland. 

Employees pay a deduction called Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI); this is deducted by the employer and forwarded to the Department. The amount of PRSI you pay will depend on your earnings and the class you are insured under. 

If you are an EU citizen you will find information on your social security rights in Ireland, in your own language, here.

Your PRSI contribution also goes towards state healthcare, but provision is limited (see the section on healthcare).

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