John M Shanahan & Co.

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Phone: 057 93 22100


Universal Social Charge


The Universal Social Charge (USC) is a tax that has replaced both the income levy and the health levy (also known as the health contribution) since 1 January 2011.
You pay the USC if your gross income is more than €13,000 per year. Once your income is over this limit, you pay the relevant rate of USC on all of your income. It is calculated on a weekly or monthly basis.

It does not apply to social welfare or similar payments, and there are certain other exceptions: see 'Income exempt from the USC' below

USC is a tax payable on your total income, but there are some types of income that are exempt. Depending on your circumstances, you pay USC at the standard rate or the reduced rate.

Income Liable to USC

The Universal Social Charge is payable on gross income, including notional pay (notional pay is the value of a non-cash benefit, such as benefit-in-kind), after any relief for certain capital allowances. You are liable to pay the USC on all of your Irish income and on your foreign income if such income is remitted into the State. The Universal Social Charge is also payable on pension contributions.

Income exempt from USC

The following income types are exempt from Universal social charge (USC) calculations:

  • If the employee’s yearly gross income is less than €13,000.00, they don’t have to pay the USC;
  • Social welfare payments, including those received from abroad;
  • Community employment scheme, job initiative scheme or FAS non-apprentice payments;
  • Statutory redundancy payments;
  • Any ex gratia or termination payments made by your company which are exempt from USC.



Universal Social Charge is deducted on a cumulative basis - similar to the way in which PAYE is deducted. Employers and pension providers are responsible for deducting the Universal Social Charge from their employees’ salaries. They deduct and pay it to Revenue on behalf of employees.


Current USC Rates

The standard rates of USC are:-

2022 Rate 2021 Rate
Income up to €12,012 0.5% Income up to €12,012 0.5%
From €12,012 to €21,295 2% From €12,012 to €20,687 2%
From €21,295 to €70,044 4.5% From €20,687 to €70,044 4.5%
Above €70,044 8% Above €70,044 8%

Self-employed income over €100,000 the rate is 11%

Reduced Rates of USC
The current reduced rate of USC for eligible medical card holders will continue to apply for 2022

USC Thresholds

Individuals aged 70 years or over whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less.
Individuals (aged under 70) who hold a full medical card whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less.

2022 Rate 2021 Rate
Income up to €12,012 0.5% Income up to €12,012 0.5%
Above €12,012 2% Above €12,012 2%

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