USC Rates in 2020

Summary of USC Rates in 2020

There were no adjustments announced to the Universal Social Charge (USC) in Budget 2020. But on January 10th 2020 it was announced by the Minister of Finance that there would be a small change to USC in 2020.

In 2020 the USC threshold was raised in line with the increase to the minimum wage. So the threshold of the 4.5% rate went up from €19,874 to €20,484.

The maximum benefit per person works out at just €15.25 per annum or 29c per week.

The USC amendment will be legislated for later in 2020 as part of the Finance Bill ,but in the meantime, Revenue has agreed that this will be implemented on an “administrative basis” for the 2020 tax year.

Summary of  2020  USC Rates

  • €0 – €12,012    0.5%
  • €12,012  – €20,484     2%
  • €20,484 – €70,044   4.5%
  • €70,044  plus    8%

Self -employed income over €100,000 : have a 3% surcharge (so they pay 11% USC)

(People with Income under €13000 are exempt from USC)

An example:  Someone  earning €50,000 per year will pay the following annual Universal Social Charge in 2020 (Total of €1558)

  • 0.5% on the first €12,012 (which comes to €60.06)
  • 2% on the next €8,471 (which comes to €169.44)
  • 4.5% on the balance of €29,516 (which comes to €1,328.22)
  • This person will pay a total USC of €1,558 in 2020.
  • This person would have paid a total USC of €1,573 in 2019.
  • A reduction of €15

Everyone earning over €20,484 will see a small reduction in USC in 2020. The maximum benefit per person is €15.25 per annum or 29c per week.

Reduced USC Rates 2020

Reduced rates of USC apply to some people who:

  • are aged 70 or older
  • or
  • hold a full Medical Card (not a GP Visit Card).

The lower rates are :

  • 0.5% on the first €12,012
  • 2% on the balance 

The reduced rates apply for the whole year when you:

  • reach the age of 70 and your total income is €60,000 or less.

If you hold a medical card you should tell Revenue to ensure you are on the reduced rate.

If your income is more than €60,000, the standard rates of USC apply to your full income.

Universal Social Charge (USC)  began in January  2011.  It was introduced in the 2011 Budget  – this was the last Budget of the Fianna Fail/ Green coalition.

More here about the History of the USC in Ireland