Tax and starting work
Most employees 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 Revenue.
If you are starting to work for yourself, there are different tax rules for self-employed people.
It is important to make sure that your taxes are handled right from the start and that your new employer deducts the correct amount of tax from your pay.
Tell Revenue as soon as possible after you accept a job offer, or you may have to pay emergency tax (see more below). You should do this even if it is a part-time or temporary job.
Revenue will send a Revenue payroll notification (RPN) to your new employer. The RPN tells your employer how much income tax and Universal Social Charge (USC) to deduct from your pay.
How to register your new job
Where your new employer does not notify Revenue that you have started, you can use myAccount to register your new job.
To register the details of your new job with Revenue you first register for myAccount.
Once you have received your password for myAccount, go to PAYE Services and select ‘Update Job or Pension Details’.
To add a new job you will need:
- Your new employer's tax registration number
- The date your job starts and how often you will be paid
- To provide an estimate of your overall income
If you have recently moved to Ireland, you will need to give some extra details, for example, your arrival date.
You only need to register your first job with the Jobs and Pensions section of Revenue’s myAccount.
If you change job, you no longer need to register your new job or pension.
What do I have to pay tax on?
You must pay tax is payable on all earnings and most benefits from employment. This includes, for example, bonuses, overtime, non-cash pay or benefit-in-kind (such as the use of company car).
Pay for working extra hours (overtime) or bonuses, is included as part of your taxable pay.
Some income may be exempt from tax.
Tax rate bands
The tax rate band is the amount of income that will be taxed at a particular percentage (tax rate).
Your income up to a certain limit is taxed at the ‘standard rate’ of tax, which is 20%. This is known as the standard rate band. Any income above the standard rate band is taxed at the higher rate of tax, which is 40%.
The amount of your tax rate band is dependent on your personal circumstances, for example single, married or widowed.
You can find your rate band for the current year on Revenue’s website.
Read more about how your tax is calculated.
Tax credits reduce the amount of tax you must pay. After your tax has been calculated, the amount of the tax credit is deducted from the tax you owe.
You may be entitled to various tax credits depending on your personal circumstances. You can get more information about the different types of tax credits and reliefs and the tax reliefs available for people with disabilities.
When you have registered the details of your new job, Revenue will send your employer a Tax Credit Certificate showing the tax credits that your employer deducts from your tax bill.
You can view your tax credit certificate and claim any extra tax credits you may be due through the PAYE Services section in your myAccount Service.
Details of all the main tax allowances and reliefs are available from Revenue.
Social insurance (PRSI)
Most employers and employees (between the ages of 16 and 66) pay social insurance (PRSI) contributions to the National Social Insurance Fund. PRSI helps pay for social welfare benefits and pensions.
You must give your new employer of your Personal Public Service number (PPS number). This will make sure your combined social welfare contributions are recorded and protect your entitlement to benefits and pensions in the future. You can find more information about social insurance (PRSI).
How to avoid emergency tax
You may be taxed temporarily called emergency tax if you are changing jobs or starting work for the first time and your new employer does not get your RPN.
You gave your employer your PPS number
You get a tax cut-off point for the first month, based on the single - person tax cut-off point for the year.
Your income is taxed at the standard rate (20%) until week 4 and at the higher rate (40%) from week 5 on.
You didn’t give your employer your PPS number
You are taxed at the higher rate (40%) with no tax credits until you give your employer your PPS number.
You can check Revenue’s current emergency tax and USC rates (pdf).
Avoid paying emergency tax
To avoid paying emergency tax you should:
Starting a second job
If you take on a second job, you can divide your tax credits and rate band between your employers.
Each employer will then receive a Revenue Payroll Notification which instructs them on the correct deductions to make for you. See Revenue's information on what to do if you get a second job.
For more information and support, see the Revenue myAccount help guides.
If you are unable to use online services, you can contact your tax office for help.
Find out about how to apply for a Personal Public Service Number (PPS number).
You can read more about tax and starting work on the Revenue website.