USC Rates 2021

Summary of USC Rates in 2021

There was a very small adjustment announced to the Universal Social Charge (USC) in Budget 2021.

In 2021 the USC threshold was raised in line with the increase to the minimum wage. The threshold of the 4.5% USC rate went up from €20,484 to €20,687.

The maximum benefit per person works out at just under €6 per annum.


Summary of  USC Rates in 2021

  • €0 – €12,012    0.5%
  • €12,012  – €20,687     2%
  • €20,687 – €70,044   4.5%
  • €70,044  plus    8%

Self -employed workers with an 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 2021. (Total of €1553)

  • 0.5% on the first €12,012 (which comes to €60.06)
  • 2% on the next €8,674 (which comes to €173.48)
  • 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 €20,687 will see a small reduction in USC in 2021. The maximum benefit per person is just €5 per annum.


Reduced USC Rates 2021

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