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Banks & Taxes in Ireland

A Comprehensive Guide about Opening a Bank Account and Managing Your Taxes

Managing your finances in Ireland is straight forward and expats will find that they may even be allowed to open a bank account on their first day arriving in the country.

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Whether you need to open an Irish bank account or want to learn about the tax system, this section will help you understand how to manage your finances in Ireland. In general, being a foreigner will not put you at a disadvantage when dealing with money matters in the Emerald Isle. For the majority of banks in Ireland, all you should have to do in order to open an account is verify your identity and prove your intent to stay in the country as more than just a tourist.

Read on to learn more about opening a bank account and understanding taxes in Ireland.

How to Open a Bank Account in Ireland

Learning how to open a bank account in Ireland is quite simple, even for non-residents. Unlike other countries where you need to have a tax number, having a Personal Public Service (PPS) number is not a legal requirement for opening a bank account. If the bank you choose demands that you provide one, consider an alternative.

Can I Open a Bank Account in Ireland?

Yes, you can. The easiest ways to set up a bank account in Ireland is by going to the bank in person. It is possible to open an account online, but this is dependent on the bank that you choose as not all offer this service. Read on for more details.

Requirements to Open a Bank Account as Non-Resident

To open an Irish bank account as a non-resident, you will primarily need to provide two documents: proof of identification and proof of address.

Required Documents
  • Proof of identity
    • This can be in the form of a valid passport from your home country, an Irish/European driver’s license, or a copy of your Irish visa.
  • Proof of address
    • If you have already established residence in Ireland, this can be in the form of a utility bill or your housing lease.
    • If you have not established residency yet, or have not lived there long enough to get a utility bill, you can use a utility bill or bank statement from your previous place of residence. If you do, keep in mind that you may be asked for two documents verifying your previous address.
    • Many banks will not accept a mobile phone bill as a proof of address. Make sure you bring other utility bills such as water, electric, or gas.

A third document that may be asked for, but is not standard, is a character reference. This can be presented as a form letter and financial history from your previous bank. Basically, all this letter needs to attest to is that you have been in good financial standing and are not a financial risk or liability.

Bank Fees and Minimum Deposit

Whether or not your bank will require a fee or minimum deposit depends on the specific bank that you use. In general, most banks in Ireland do not require a fee in order to set up an account. And, although many will not demand a minimum deposit either, you may incur a fee if your account drops below 1,500 EUR (1,650 USD). Some banks even set this balance at 2,500 EUR (2,760 USD).

You should also be prepared to pay a fee for your Irish debit card. Banks in Ireland are required to include a “government stamp duty,” which is a small fee that must be paid on debit cards annually. This fee is typically 2.50 EUR (2.80 USD) per year, but you should check with your specific bank on the exact cost. Some banks may also charge a fee to withdraw money from an ATM, even if you use your own bank’s cash machine. Be mindful to read your contract thoroughly before signing.

Opening an Irish Bank Account Online as a Non-Resident

As stated before, whether or not a bank will let you open an account online depends on the specific bank. Some of the bigger ones, such as the Bank of Ireland, allow the process, but smaller ones may still require you to come in person. Another option is filling out all of the documents remotely and mailing them to your chosen bank. This way, when you arrive in Ireland and can visit the bank in person, many of the time-consuming steps will already be taken care of.

Just like with applying for an account in-person, when applying for a bank account online you will be asked for proof of identity and proof of address. Depending on the bank, there are several ways to certify the validity of these documents without having to physically be at the bank.

  • Option 1: You can submit notarized copies of your documents.
  • Option 2: You can submit an official letter from your embassy.
  • Option 3: For your proof of identity, you can submit a selfie with you holding your passport.

Best Banks in Ireland

Some of the top banks in Ireland include national and international institutions. The most popular national ones include:

  • Bank of Ireland;
  • Allied Irish Banks (AIB);
  • Ulster Bank;
  • DePfa Bank Ireland;
  • Permanent TSB.

Top International Banks in Ireland

  • CitiBank Europe;
  • KBC Bank;
  • Danske Bank;
  • Bank of Montreal Ireland PLC.

Best Online Banks in Ireland

Because expats are constantly on the go, many consider online banking essential. While it is rare nowadays to find banks that do not provide an online banking option, there are some that offer better mobile services than others. Some of the top banks in Ireland for online banking are:

  • Allied Irish Banks (AIB);
  • N26;
  • KBC Bank;
  • Permanent TSB;
  • Bank of Ireland.

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What is the Tax System in Ireland?

In this section we explain what the tax system is like in Ireland. The tax year in Ireland runs from January 1st to December 31st. Overall, the Irish tax system is designed so that corporations and wealthy individuals pay the highest amount of taxes. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that 10% of the highest earners in Ireland attribute to well over 50% of the country’s total taxes.

In general, Ireland is known in Europe as the country that gives the most tax breaks. There are many tax credits that residents can qualify for, even expats. Read on to learn more.

Tax System in Ireland

As an expat, you will be considered a taxable Irish resident if you meet one of the two residency criteria:

  • you have lived in Ireland for at least 183 days in one tax year, or
  • you have lived in Ireland for at least 280 days over the period of two years.

Foreigners will also be considered residents of Ireland, or “ordinarily resident,” if they can prove their intent to live in the country for at least one year. If you have accepted a job in Ireland, you will be considered a resident immediately upon agreeing to the position and immigrating to the country. In order to pay into the Irish tax system, you will need to apply for a Personal Public Service (PPS) number. You will need to do this as soon as you get the job offer as your Irish company will need to register it in order to take taxes out of your paycheck. You can read more about this number and how to apply in the Working section of this guide.

Residents of Ireland are taxed both on income they make in Ireland and worldwide. Before you start to panic about double taxation, refer to the Irish Tax and Customs website about its Double Taxation Treaties. Ireland is one of nearly 75 countries that has entered into an international agreement that protects expats of certain countries from paying the same tax twice.

Tax Credits in Ireland

When paying taxes in Ireland, it is important to keep in mind the tax credits you may be liable for. Ireland is one of the top countries in Europe for tax relief. Examples of tax credits include:

  • Age Tax Credit;
  • Blind Person’s Tax Credit;
  • Dependent Relative Tax Credit;
  • Employee Tax Credit;
  • Guide Dog Allowance;
  • Home Carer Tax Credit;
  • Incapacitated Child Tax Credit;
  • Personal Tax Credits;
  • Rent Tax Credit;
  • Seafarers’ Tax Allowance and Fisher Tax Credit;
  • Single Person Child Carer Credit;
  • Widowed Parent Tax Credit.

Within each of these examples are other tax credits and relief that Irish residents may apply for. For a more detailed look, please see the Irish Tax and Customs website.

If you arrive in Ireland in the middle of the tax year, and you know you will stay in the country for more than 12 months, you can apply for a split-year treatment during your first year. This is a way you can be sure you are considered an Irish resident the moment upon your arrival, and therefore you can take advantage of all the tax credits available to you.

Types of Taxes in Ireland

Ireland has many different types of taxes that expats will need to pay dependent on their individual circumstances. This includes property tax, tax on gifts, gains, and inheritance, and even tax on extra income such as money from rentals, social welfare, and more.

Income Tax in Ireland

If you want to know what the income tax is Ireland, you will need to learn about the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, which all Irish employers use to directly deduct taxes out of your paycheck, and give them to the Revenue Commissioners.

PAYE deducts three different amounts:

  • income tax;
  • Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI);
  • Universal Social Charge (USC).

Income Tax Rate in Ireland

The rate of your income tax will be calculated based on your income after the PRSI and USC rates have been deducted. The PRSI pays into social welfare and pensions. USC goes towards health services. The rates for these two deductions are as follows:

PRSI

Residents who make less than 350 EUR (385 USD) per week do not pay a PRSI. All those who make above this amount are deducted 4% per paycheck.

USC 

Annual Income EUR Annual Income USD Rate Deducted
0 to 13,000 0 to 14,300 1%
13,000 to 18,700 14,300 to 20,570 3%
18,700 to 70,000 20,570 to 77,000 5.5%
70,000 to 100,000+ 77,000 to 110,000 8%

After these amounts have been accounted for, Irish residents fall into two different tax brackets depending on their salary as well as their individual situation:

  • Bracket 1: Residents who are individuals without dependents, widowed, or married and make around 44,000 EUR (48,400 USD) annually are taxed 20% on their income.
  • Bracket 2: All other earners (meaning they earn more than the above mentioned amount) are taxed 40%.

If you are confused about the tax rate you should be paying in Ireland, or the tax credits you are entitled to, contact the experts at InterNations GO! We will find local professionals who will help ensure your needs are being met and that you are making the most of your tax relief benefits.

Taxes for Self-Employed People in Ireland

Self-employed people in Ireland are placed into a self-assessment system, where they must calculate and pay their own tax. To do this, you must first register yourself on the Revenue Online Service (ROS) website. Once there, you will fill out Form 11 in order to claim your income and pay into the same tax scheme that traditional employees pay into (tax income, PRSI, and USC).

For step-by-step instructions, see the Irish Tax and Customs page on filing for self-assessment.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: August 17, 2020
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