COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)

Introduction

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was a social welfare payment for employees and self-employed people who lost all their employment due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The PUP scheme is closed.

Tax and PRSI

Tax

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is taxable. However, the amount of tax you are liable to pay depends on your overall income during the year. You will not pay tax, if your tax liability is less than your tax credits and allowances.

Taxation of PUP in 2020

In 2020, the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment was assessed for income tax and USC at the end of the year. You can get your Preliminary End of Year Statement for 2020 from Revenue. The statement shows your income tax and USC for 2020. It tells you whether you have underpaid or overpaid your tax for 2020. If you have underpaid your tax, you can:

  • Arrange to fully or partially repay the tax due using myAccount or
  • Revenue can collect the underpayment by reducing your tax credits over a period of 4 years, starting in January 2022

You will not have to pay interest on any underpayment.

Revenue has more information on the taxation of PUP paid in 2020.

Taxation of PUP in 2021 and 2022

In 2021 and 2022, PUP is treated like other taxable social welfare payments. It is taxed in real-time. This means it is taxed as it is paid. The tax due is collected by reducing your tax credits and rate band. This can limit any additional liabilities at the end of the year.

Revenue has more information about the taxation of PUP.

PRSI

You will be deemed to have paid PRSI contributions at the same class that you were paying immediately before you were laid off while you are getting the payment. This will help you to qualify for other social welfare payments such as Jobseeker’s Benefit, Maternity and Adoptive Benefit.

If you are self-employed, you will be awarded 52 annual contributions when you make your annual tax return (including any S Class payment due) in the normal way.

Page edited: 25 May 2022