Ireland

Individual - Income determination

Last reviewed - 28 February 2020

Employment income

Taxable income includes all amounts, whether in cash or non-cash benefits, arising from an office or employment (e.g. salary, wages, fees, overtime, bonuses, commissions, benefits in kind, assignment related allowances).

Non-cash benefits may include the use of a car, accommodation, other assets or loans at low interest rates, medical and life insurance plans and pension plans in certain circumstances.

Irish PAYE must also be applied to earnings (including non-cash benefits) from a non-Irish employment where the duties of that employment are performed in Ireland.

The portion of the income that relates to foreign duties that is not required to be subject to PAYE may qualify for the favourable basis of taxation known as the Remittance Basis where the recipient of the income is a qualifying individual.

Where the duties of the foreign employment are performed in Ireland for not more than 60 days in total in the tax year and the employee is resident in a country with which Ireland has a double taxation agreement (DTA), the Irish Revenue Authorities will not require an employer to operate PAYE, provided certain conditions are met.

Equity compensation

Employee PRSI applies to all share based remuneration.

Stock options while taxable are generally outside the scope of Irish PAYE. Special rules apply to the tax treatment of gains arising on the exercise of share options granted while resident outside Ireland.

Business income

Income from a self-employment (i.e. profits or gains of a trade, profession, or vocation) that is carried on within Ireland is subject to Irish income tax whether or not the individual is an Irish resident.

Capital gains

An Irish domiciled individual who is Irish resident or ordinarily resident is liable to Irish capital gains tax (CGT) on worldwide gains.

A non-domiciled but Irish resident or ordinarily resident individual is liable to Irish CGT on the full amount of gains arising on the disposal of assets situated in Ireland and on the portion of other foreign gains that are remitted to Ireland.

A non-Irish resident individual who is also non-ordinarily resident is liable to Irish CGT on gains arising in Ireland from the disposal of Irish ‘specified’ assets (e.g. land and buildings in Ireland).

The current rate of CGT is 33%. A rate of 40% applies in the case of certain interests in funds and life assurance policies.

Annual gains of up to EUR 1,270 for an individual are exempt from CGT. This exemption is not transferable between spouses.

For disposals made between 1 January and 30 November (the initial period), one must pay CGT by 15 December of the same year.

For disposals made between 1 December and 31 December (the later period), one must pay CGT by 31 January of the next year.

For disposals made under a written contract, the time of disposal is usually the date of the contract.

Dividend income

Dividend withholding tax (DWT) applies to dividends and other distributions made by Irish resident companies, at the rate of 25% for 2020. Exemptions from DWT may apply in the case of certain categories of individuals who are neither resident nor ordinarily resident in Ireland.

Individuals who are resident but not domiciled in Ireland are liable to Irish income tax on foreign investment income to the extent that it is remitted into Ireland.

The Irish Revenue are expected to introduce 'real-time reporting' (RTR) for dividends with effect from 1 January 2021, subject to consultations.  

Interest income

Interest on most Irish deposit accounts is paid after a deduction of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT), which is reduced by 2% to 33% as of 1 January 2020. Where interest is paid or credited on other deposit accounts (e.g. where interest is credited at maturity), income tax at the rate of 33% is deducted at source. DIRT effectively satisfies the full liability to tax.

Exemptions and repayments

The following can apply to have DIRT repaid or to have deposit interest paid to them without the deduction of DIRT:

  • Individuals or their spouses or civil partners aged 65 or over who are not liable to income tax.
  • Incapacitated individuals.
  • Non-residents.
  • Charities.
  • Companies that do not have a corporation tax liability.

Rental income

Net profit arising from a rental property is taxed at an individual's marginal rate of tax. Deductions in arriving at net profit include rates, management fees, maintenance, insurance, certain legal and accountancy fees, wear and tear on furniture and fittings, and repairs. A deduction is also allowed for interest on money borrowed for the purchase of, or repair to, the property. In the case of a rented residential property, interest relief is allowed at 100%, and the tenancy must be registered with the Private Residential Tenancy Board (PRTB).

In general, a net rental loss can be offset against profit from another property or carried forward against future rental profits. Foreign rental income losses can be offset against foreign rental income only.

If the landlord is not resident in Ireland, the tenant is obligated to withhold tax at the standard rate from the payment of the rent unless the landlord has appointed an Irish resident collection agent.

Rent a room scheme

Income from the letting, as residential accommodation, of a room in a person's principal private residence is exempt from tax where the gross annual rental income is not greater than EUR 14,000.

The relief does not apply where the letting is between connected parties.

Exempt income

Certain income tax exemptions exist depending on the personal circumstances of the taxpayer or the source of income. These include income from the following sources that may be exempt from income tax, subject to conditions:

  • Childcare income: Income tax is not payable on the earnings of an individual from taking care of up to three children in the individual’s own home, provided the gross amount received is less than EUR 15,000 a year. Certain conditions apply.
  • Artist exemption: The amount of profits and gains of certain writers, composers, and artists is treated as exempt from income tax subject to a limit of EUR 50,000. The exemption is also extended to non-resident artists who are resident or ordinarily resident in another member state or in another European Economic Area (EEA) state.
  • Profits from occupation of certain woodlands: The total profits and gains are treated as exempt from income tax if the woodlands are managed on a commercial basis with a view to realising a profit. Profits and gains from the occupation of woodlands are being removed from the High Earners Restriction.
  • Profits from lotteries: The total profits from lotteries (granted under certain licences) are exempt from income tax.