Emergency Tax

Find out why you might have been emergency taxed, and what to do if you have

Written by spunout


There are a few reasons why the Revenue might tax you on an emergency basis. This is most common when you suddenly switch jobs, or if you are just entering the workforce.

What is emergency tax?

Emergency tax is the taxation of all your earnings at a higher rate of tax for a temporary period. If you are emergency taxed, you will get a lower wage than normal.

How can I avoid paying emergency tax?

To avoid paying emergency tax, you need to:

You need to take these steps as soon as possible, so that your employer receives a Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN) before your first pay day.  This will show your total tax credits, tax rate band and Univeral Social Charge (USC) rate band. Your employer can then make the correct tax deductions from your pay and take you off Emergency Tax.

I have been put on emergency tax. Can I get a refund?

If you have been emergency taxed, it’s very easy to get a refund. When your employer has received an RPN they will take you off Emergency Tax and refund any tax and Universal Social Charge (USC) that you have overpaid on your next pay day.

If you move to a new job before your last employer makes a refund to you, your new employer will make the refund to you when they receive a RPN.

If you leave your job before getting the refund and are unemployed, you can claim a tax and USC refund directly from Revenue. 

You can also claim emergency tax refunds for previous years through the Revenue website. The quickest and easiest way to claim a refund is by using their online service myAccount to complete an Income Tax Return.For more information visit the Revenue website. You can also contact your tax office for help.

Read more about income tax in Ireland.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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