Emergency tax

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If you have started a new job, or if you have a second job, you could end up paying more tax than you should. On this page, we’ll explain what emergency tax is, the emergency tax rate, and how to avoid emergency tax.

Key takeaways
  • Your employer applies higher rate tax to your earnings when it is not clear what tax band you should be in

  • You can avoid paying emergency tax by informing Revenue when you move to a new job, or have more than one job

  • Emergency tax refunds can be claimed by registering your employment with the Revenue

What is emergency tax?

If you start a new job and don’t register it with the Tax Revenue Commission (Revenue), you will pay emergency tax. When it is not clear what tax band you should be in, your employer will apply higher rate tax to your earnings.

If you don’t provide your employer with a personal public service (PPS) number, or if your employer hasn’t received a revenue payroll notification (RPN), you will be given a temporary tax credit for the first month and tax deductions will be increased from the second month onwards.

What rate is emergency tax?

Your income is taxed at the standard rate (20%) until week 4. After the first 4 weeks, if your job is still unregistered, your entire income will be taxed at the higher rate of 40%. If you have not provided your PPS number, all your income is taxed at the higher rate of 40% while you are being charged emergency tax.

The emergency rate of universal social charge (USC) will also be applied to your earnings at a rate of 8%. All of this means that you will get a lower wage than normal, but it is avoidable, and you can get emergency tax back.

How to avoid emergency tax

If you’re starting your first job in Ireland, you should tell Revenue. Once registered, the Revenue will send an RPN to your new employer so that the employer knows the right amount of income tax and USC to deduct from your pay. If you have moved to a new job, you just need to tell your employer your PPS number. If you work in more than one job, you should let the Revenue know as soon as you start another job, so they can send your tax credit certificate for that job.

How to claim an emergency tax refund

In order to claim an emergency tax refund, you will need to register your employment with the Revenue, and they will send an RPN to your employer.

Any extra tax and USC you’ve paid will be refunded in your next pay. If you leave your job before you receive the refund, you can claim it directly from the Revenue. If you leave and start a new role, your new employer will deal with the refund.