QUESTION: I live in Offaly but have just found work in Co Fermanagh. What do I do about making an income tax return and will I be liable for PRSI?
ANSWER: YOU must pay income tax in the country where you earn your income but your ultimate tax responsibility is with the country where you live. This means that you must submit an annual self-assessment in your country of residence each year.
As a Republic of Ireland resident working in the North, you will: (i) Pay tax directly to HM Revenue and Customs, (ii) Be required to submit an annual Self-Assessment return to the Irish Revenue Commissioners, (iii) Be eligible for Trans-border Workers Relief.
Trans-border Workers Relief can be claimed by someone who is resident in the Republic of Ireland, commutes daily/weekly to his/her place of work in the other jurisdiction and who pays tax in Northern Ireland (NI) on the income from that employment. In effect this gives a frontier worker a credit or relief in respect for the income tax that is paid in the country of employment. This means that the Revenue Commissioners take into account the tax you have paid in Northern Ireland.
You must apply for a National Insurance number before starting work in Northern Ireland, otherwise your tax and National Insurance contributions will not be recorded. National Insurance Numbers are issued by the Social Security Agency. You can apply for a National Insurance Number at any local Jobs and Benefits Office.
If you are employed in Northern Ireland, you do not have to pay PRSI. You make National Insurance contributions to the UK authorities. If you wish to claim social welfare benefits now or in the future, the authorities will take into consideration all social insurance contributions you have paid. That means National Insurance contributions paid in Northern Ireland will be considered alongside any PRSI contributions paid in the South.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Offaly Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public at the Bridge Centre, Tullamore. Tel: 057 93 52204.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Lo-call 1890 777 121 or (021) 4521600.