What is Emergency Tax, when is it applied and how can you get a refund?

    What is Emergency Tax?

    Emergency tax is the higher rate tax basis that your employer must apply to your earnings when it is not clear what tax band you should be in.

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    When is Emergency Tax applied?

    You will be placed on Emergency Tax when:

    1. You haven’t given your employer your P45 (for the current or previous year) or your Tax Credit Certificate (for the current year)
    2. You have given your employer your P45 (for the current or previous year) but it shows that Emergency Tax has been applied
    3. You have given your employer your P45 (for the current or previous year) but your PPSN is not on the document

    Emergency Tax will be applied if any of the above 3 situations are true, however, different Emergency Tax rules apply depending if you have provided a PPSN or not. If you provide a PPSN “normal Emergency Tax rules” apply.

    If you’re interested in the details of the different tax credits, rate bands and tax rates for the various weeks of employment under normal Emergency Tax rules continue reading below. However you might prefer to skip ahead, click here to jump to claiming Emergency Tax back.

    Normal emergency tax rules

    Under the normal emergency tax rules (if you have given your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) to your employer), you get a tax credit and a rate band for your first weeks of employment. These are based on the Single Person Tax Credit and rate band for the tax year (whether you are single, married or in a civil partnership).

    Your income is taxed at the standard rate until Week 8 (inclusive), and then it is taxed at the higher rate.

    Emergency tax: tax credits, rate bands and rates
    Weeks of employment Tax credit Rate band Tax rate
    Week 1 to 4 1/52 of Single Person Tax Credit 1/52 of single personal rate band Standard rate
    Week 5 to 8 No tax credit 1/52 of single personal rate band Standard rate
    Week 9 onward No tax credit No rate band Higher rate

    What happens if you do not give your employer your PPS Number?

    Your employer will tax you as if it were week 9 under normal emergency tax rules. You will be taxed this way until you provide your PPS number.
    (Source: revenue.ie)

    It’s also worth noting that the emergency rate of USC (Universal Social Charge) will also be applied to your earnings at a rate of 8%.

    How to claim an Emergency Tax refund?

    To claim emergency tax back, you can simply send your employer your P45. They will then process it with Revenue and once processed your employer with refund any tax and USC (Universal Social Charge) that you’ve overpaid on your next pay day.

    If you don’t have and cannot get your P45 you should inform Revenue of your job through your myAccount on Revenue’s website: click here. If you don’t have a myAccount, click here to register. Alternatively inform your employer that you do not have a P45, they will then need to complete a P46 form and send it to your Revenue office. Revenue will then issue them a tax credit certificate (P2C) for processing, and again, once processed, overpayments will be refunded to you on your next pay day.

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