Top 10 tips to save Irish taxes for expats
We speak with expats every day so we encounter many different scenarios and we enjoy working withour clients to quantify (and minimise!) their Irish tax liabilties.
Our clients come from far-flung places like Kirabati (google it, it's in the middle of the Pacific!). They fly planes for a living, work on oil rigs, emigrate to Ireland to work for tech giants, retire to the West coast of Ireland to enjoy their later years, jet to Portugal to become 'habitual non-residents', work for NGOs in Sudan or commute weekly between Gatwick and Dublin. Basically, we come across many different types of expats. No two are the same. So the tips below may or may not apply in your case.
Having said that - if, like us, you enjoy knowing you have only paid the tax you were required to (and no more!) then read on:
Claim all available reliefs
Helpful right? Tell me more I hear you say. Welcome there are a variety of reliefs that expats should be familiar with. Special Assignee Relief program is the one expatriates moving to Ireland with their current employer need to be aware of.
If you are commuting overseas to work for an overseas employer then trans-border worker relief is another one to read up on. Foreign Earnings Deduction is another common relief our clients benefit from.
If you are foreign domiciled you may be able to benefit from the remittance basis of tax on income and gains.
If you qualify for any of the above - you will pay less Irish taxes.
Tip no. 2
Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Common tax myths busted include:
- you can pay tax in two locations;
- it is possible to be tax resident in two locations at the same time; and
- yes, you can be 'non-tax resident' anywhere (Happy to live out of a suitcase? You may well be a tax nomad)
Working in Ireland and your employer pays your health insurance?
Claim your medical insurance tax credit via your mygov account (and just like that you are €200 richer for reading this post!)
If you have paid foreign tax on your restricted stock units then claim credit for this in your Irish tax return.
Check your social security entitlements - you may be entitled to an Irish state pension if your overseas social security payments are aggregated with your Irish payments under Ireland's Bi-lateral Social security network.
Tip no. 6
If you are working in Ireland and you are not yet contributing to an Irish pension - start one. There are very few ways to save as tax-efficiently as this.
Tip no. 7
If you are non-resident in Ireland but still employed under an Irish employment contract you should speak with your payroll team to determine if you they can apply for a PAYE Exclusion Order so that you no longer are subject to Irish taxes on your pay.
Get advice before you trigger tax residency - this is key. Triggering tax residency brings you into the Irish tax net on worldwide income and gains. Get advice before you fly.
Read the treaty carefully! This can also be phrased as 'get advice specific to your circumstances and resist the urge to ask non-experts in Facebook groups for complex tax advice!'
Tip. no 10
Book a consult
with us! We keep the complicated simple and we aim to provide you with a clear step plan for your arrival in or departure from Ireland.
Drop us a line if any of the above resonates - we would be happy to provide advice specific to your circumstances.
Stephanie is an award-winning international and expatriate tax specialist with over a decade’s experience. She is a KPMG trained Chartered Tax Adviser and Chartered Accountant.