Managing your money when you return to Ireland


This page aims to help you organise your finances when you return to Ireland. It has information on opening a bank account, tax, insurance, social welfare, borrowing money, the cost of living in Ireland, social welfare and social insurance.

Opening a bank account in Ireland

To open a bank account in Ireland, you need to show evidence of your identity and verify your address. Read about the documents you can use to do this.

Once you have opened a bank account in Ireland, you can transfer money to other bank accounts. Another way to transfer money is with private financial services companies. Before using their services, check if they are registered with the Central Bank of Ireland.

If you already have a bank account, but your circumstances have changed, or you want a better deal, you may want to switch your account to another provider.

Tax residence and domicile

Your tax residence and domicile are taken into account for a number of taxes in Ireland.

Your tax residence depends on the amount of days you spend in Ireland in a tax year. Staying for 183 days or more in Ireland in the tax year automatically makes you a tax resident of Ireland. If you return to Ireland and plan on staying permanently, Ireland is your domicile (home) for tax purposes.

If you are resident and domiciled in Ireland for tax purposes, you must pay tax in Ireland on all of your income, including income from abroad. However, If your income is taxable in Ireland and in a country with which Ireland has a double taxation agreement, you do not pay tax in both countries on the same income. See ‘Double taxation agreement’ below.

Some taxes you may have to pay in Ireland include:

Revenue has a guide to tax residence.

Tax reliefs

You may also be eligible for income tax credits and tax reliefs.

Split-year treatment when you return to Ireland

If you are going to be resident in Ireland for the next calendar year, you can request split-year treatment the year you arrive.

Split-year treatment means that you are treated as resident in Ireland from the date you arrive. This means all your employment income from that date is taxed in Ireland in the normal way. Any employment income earned outside Ireland before this date is not taxable in Ireland.

If you apply for split-year relief, you can claim the full year’s tax allowances, credits and rate bands in the same way as an Irish resident, even though you are only liable for Irish tax from the date you become resident in Ireland.

Split-year treatment applies to employment income only.

You can apply for split-year treatment in writing:

You cannot get split-year treatment if you have lived abroad for less than a complete tax year before coming back to Ireland.

Double taxation agreement

Ireland has a number of double taxation agreements with other countries. If your income is taxable in Ireland and in a country with which Ireland has a double taxation agreement, you do not pay tax in both countries on the same income.

Do I have to pay tax if I transfer my savings to Ireland?

If you have savings from income you earned abroad when you were non-tax resident in Ireland, you can transfer these savings to Ireland without having to pay Irish tax. If you were tax resident in Ireland when you earned your foreign income, you may have to pay tax if you transfer these savings to Ireland.

Irish domicile levy

You may have to pay a domicile levy if:

  • You are Irish domiciled
  • Your worldwide income in the year exceeds €1m
  • You have Irish property with a value greater than €5m, and
  • Your Irish income tax for the year is less than €200,000

Transfer social insurance and benefits from abroad

Before you return to Ireland, check if there are any benefits in your current country of residence which you can transfer to Ireland when you move.

You may be able to combine your insurance records from Ireland and another country to qualify for a pension or social insurance payment in Ireland.

Can I transfer my pension to Ireland?

EU countries

If you have worked in Ireland and in one or more EU countries, your social insurance contributions from each EU country may be added to your Irish social insurance contributions to help you qualify for the Irish State pension.

Bilateral agreements

If you have returned from a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement, for example the USA, your pension rights from the other country are protected when you move to Ireland. It is possible to have a State pension from Ireland and another country.

Private pensions

If you return to Ireland and want to transfer your private pension to Ireland from abroad, you can transfer to an approved occupational pension scheme, Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) or Buy-out bond (BOB).

Your foreign pension must meet certain criteria to qualify. You should contact the pension administrator in the country where you have pension savings.


You can transfer your UK state pension to Ireland if you have paid enough UK National Insurance contributions. You can check your UK National Insurance record online.

UK pension deadline

If you have worked in the UK and have gaps in your National Insurance record, you can pay voluntary contributions to help you qualify for the UK state pension. You have until 5 April 2025 to pay voluntary contributions to make up for gaps since 2006. After 5 April 2025 , you will only be able to pay contributions to cover the previous 6 years.

Buying insurance in Ireland

Insurance can help protect your personal property and your health against unexpected costs. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) explain how different types of insurance work.

You should shop around before choosing an insurance provider. Use the Health Insurance Authority's online comparison tool to compare private health insurance in Ireland.

Read about buying private health insurance when you return to Ireland.

Car insurance

If you plan on driving in Ireland, you will need car insurance. If you have been abroad for less than 2 years, your no claims discount will still apply.

Depending on the country you are coming from, insurers may take your driving history in another country into consideration. For more information, see getting motor insurance when you return to Ireland.

Borrowing money

When you return home, you may need to borrow money. Before you do, make sure you are dealing with a lender that is authorised by the Central Bank.

If you plan on buying a home in Ireland, you should read about taking out a mortgage and all the steps involved.

Whether you’re applying for a loan or a mortgage, your credit history will be taken into consideration by the lender. If you’re returning to Ireland from abroad, make sure to bring all relevant financial documentation home with you.

The cost of living in Ireland

You may find that the cost of living in Ireland has gone up when you return. When making the decision to return to Ireland, it can be useful to compare the cost of living in Ireland with the country you are coming from to help organise your finances for when you return. Read about the supports available to help you with the cost of living in Ireland.

Social welfare

If you need financial support when you return to Ireland, you can apply for a social welfare payment. You need to be habitually resident to be eligible for some social welfare payments. You may also need to satisfy a means test.

If you have children, you may be able to get Child Benefit.

Page edited: 16 June 2023