Universal Social Charge

Tax Info / Tax Summary / Universal Social Charge

Universal Social Charge (USC)

The Universal Social Charge is a tax payable on gross income, including notional pay, after any relief for certain capital allowances, but before pension contributions.


  • 'Aggregate' income for USC purposes does not include payments from the Dept of Social Protection.
  • A 'GP only' card is not considered a full medical card for USC purposes.
  • There is a surcharge of 3% on individuals who have non-PAYE income that exceeds €100,000 in a year

Universal Social Charge

Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) and Seed Capital Scheme
A number of extensions have been announced to the EII scheme. They include
increasing the required holding period for shares from 3 to 4 years
the amount of finance that can be raised by a company under the EII will be increased to €5m, annually subject to a lifetime maximum of €15m
the scheme will include Medium sized enterprises in non-assisted areas and internationally traded financial services subject to Enterprise Ireland certification.

The inclusion of hotels, guest houses and self-catering accommodation in the scheme will be extended by a further three years and the management and operation of Nursing Homes for three years will also be included.These extensions are subject to EU state-aid approval and a commencement order.There is no change to the tax provisions in the Seed Capital Scheme which will be relaunched in the coming months.

Foreign Earnings Deduction (FED)

FED was introduced in 2012 for the tax years 2012 to 2014 in respect of income earned whilst working in Brazil, Russia, India, China or South Africa.With effect from 1 January 2013, the number of states was extended to include Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania.FED has now been extended up to the tax year 2017 and, with effect from 1 January 2015, the number of states will be extended to include Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Chile, Oman, Kuwait, Mexico, and Malaysia.

The qualifying conditions will be eased by deeming time spent travelling to a relevant state, or from a relevant state to Ireland or to another relevant state, to be time spent in a relevant state. Also, from 1 January 2015, the number of whole days of continuous presence requirement in a relevant state will be reduced from 4 to 3 and the number of qualifying days requirement in a continuous period of 12 months will be reduced from 60 to 40.