Universal Social Charge in Ireland

See Budget 2015 USC Changes Here

The 2011 Budget  in Ireland introduced a new tax on income called the Universal Social Charge (USC) which began in January  2011.  Initially  – all individuals were  liable to pay the USC if their gross annual income was more than €4004  (€77 a week).

In Budget 2012 -  the threshold for paying USC was increased  – so that only people on incomes over €10036 a year (€193 a week)  paid the charge from January 2012


Details of Changes to USC Rates  2013

See here for details of USC Deductions for 2012

The rates for  USC in 2012 were as follows

Zero if total income is  under  €10036 a year

For people with income of  €10,036 or more the rates will be :

2% on  all income from 0 up to  €10,036

4% on earnings between  €10,037 and  €16,016

7% on any income over  €16,016

People aged  70 or more will have a  maximum rate of of 4% USC  (Even on Income over €16,016 ) .

Medical card holders also will have a top rate of 4% USC .  See Medical Cards and USC here.

Changes to USC Rates  2013

Some incomes are not liable for  USC  – such as welfare benefits , state pensions.

See here for the  Income types that are not subject to the Universal Social Charge

See Here for  Examples of 2011 USC Calculations

For PAYE workers – the Universal Social Charge will be deducted from wages. Where the USC has been applied for particular pay period(s) throughout the year but at year end you are ultimately not liable or are liable for a lower rate you will be due a refund of some or all of any Universal Social Charge paid.

Refunds : Where you have been in continuous employment with an employer throughout the year in question (i.e., from 1 January to 31 December), your employer should refund any overpayment of Universal Social Charge deducted at the end of the year. (Check that they do). Where you have not been in continuous employment with a single employer throughout the year-  Revenue will deal with any refund .

USC replaced the Health Levy and the Income Levy :

The Health Levy was charged  at 4% on all earnings  above €26000  up to €75,036 and 5% on earnings over €75,036.

The Income Levy was set at 2% on income up to €75,036, 4% on income from €75,037 to €174,980 and 6% on income above €174,980. (Exempt if Medical Card holder or earning less than €15,028)


  1. jack quigley says:

    i have been working passed 3years in ireland and paying universal social charge as a none resident living in northern Ireland am i entitled to a rebate

  2. Eliza says:

    I am a bit confused, if someone for example earns 11,000 euro, do you not charge them USC on the first 10,000 and only charge them on the 1,000?