DIRT – Tax on Interest in Ireland

In Ireland the government charge a tax on the interest you receive on savings.
This tax is known as  Deposit Interest Retention Tax or DIRT for short.

Back in 2002 the rate of DIRT was 20%. It was then increased over the following years up to 41% in Jan 2014 in an attempt to try and encourage people to spend rather than save money.
Budget 2017 announced the first reduction in DIRT since it was introduced – and from Jan 1st 2017 it was 39%.
The plan is to drop it by 2% each year for 4 years until it is back down to  33% in 2020.

In 2019 DIRT was 35% and from January 2020 it will be 33%

DIRT is deducted automatically from the interest paid on all deposit accounts held by Irish-residents.
Most State Savings account are free from DIRT . See our page on the Best Interest Rates on Savings to find out more.

If you get interest from a savings account in another EU Member State, you are liable for DIRT on the interest. You will have to declare  this on your annual tax return.  If you are a higher rate taxpayer or you have not made a timely return, a DIRT rate of 40% will apply.

History of DIRT Rates in Ireland

  • 37% from Jan 2018 to Dec 2018
  • 39% from Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
  • 41% from 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2016
  • 33% from 1st January 2013 to the 31st December 2013
  •  30% from the period 1st January 2012 to the 31st December 2012
  •  27% from 1st January 2011 to the 31st December 2011
  •  25% from 8th April 2009 to the 31st December 2010
  •  23% from 1st January 2009 to the 7th April 2009
  •  20% from 1st Janury 2002 to the 31st December 2008.

Exemptions from DIRT

You can receive interest without paying DIRT if you, your spouse or civil partner are:

  • 65 years of age or over and your total income for the year, including the interest, must be below the annual exemption limit. (Currenty €18k per person) OR
  •  permanently incapacitated due to a physical or mental disability.