The Universal Social Charge (USC) is a tax that has replaced both the income levy and the health levy (also known as the health contribution) since 1 January 2011. You pay the USC if your gross income is more than €12,012 per year. It is calculated on a weekly or monthly basis.
It does not apply to social welfare or similar payments, and there are certain other exceptions: see “Income exempt from the USC” below.
The Universal Social Charge is payable on gross income, including notional pay (notional pay is the value of a non-cash benefit, such as benefit-in-kind), after any relief for certain capital allowances. You are liable to pay the USC on all of your Irish income and on your foreign income if such income is remitted into the State. The Universal Social Charge is also payable on pension contributions.
You pay the Universal Social Charge if your gross income is more than €12,012 per year. Once your income is over this limit, you pay the USC on all of your income. For married couples or civil partners, each spouse or civil partner is treated individually by their employer or pension provider throughout the year.
Liability for the USC depends on the date of the payment rather than on when the income was earned.
Although you may have no liability to income tax based on your entitlement to tax credits or by use of losses or capital allowances you may still have a liability to pay the Universal Social Charge on your income.
The standard rates of USC are:-
|On the first €12,012||1.5%||On the first €10,036||2%|
|On the next €5,564||3.5%||On the next €5,980||4%|
|On the next €52,468||7%||On the balance||7%|
|On the balance||8%|
There is a surcharge of 3% on persons who have non-paye income that is in excess of €100,000 in a year.
The reduced rates of USC are:-
|2015||2013 & 2014||2011 & 2012|
|Persons aged 70 or over whose agg income is €60,000 or less||Persons aged 70 or over whose agg income is €60,000 or less||Persons aged 70 or over|
|Persons aged under 70 holding a full medical card & whose agg income is €60,000 or less.||Persons aged under 70 holding a full medical card & whose agg income is €60,000 or less.||Persons who hold a full medical card regardless of age.|
|1.5% on the first €12,012||2% on the first €10,036||2% on the first 10,036|
|The 3.5% rate applies to all income over €12,012||The 4% rate applies to all income over €10,036||The 4% rate applies to all income over €10,036|
Exempt categories for USC:-
|2015||2012, 2013 & 2014||2011|
|Where total income less than €12,012||Where total income less than €10,036||Where total income less than €4,004|
|All DSP payments||All DSP payments||All DSP payments|
|Income subject to DIRT||Income subject to DIRT||Income subject to DIRT|
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