Returning to Ireland in 2019? Foreign social insurance contributions

Tax questions on returning to Ireland - foreign social insurance contributions - Crowe Ireland

Returning to Ireland in 2019? – Here’s what you need to know.

Tax is always a major concern for ex-pats thinking of returning to Ireland. In a special holiday season series, our tax department are sharing some of the common questions that we are frequently asked from people who are looking to return home.

Question #6: I paid social insurance contributions while living and working abroad. Will these contributions count towards qualifying for my Irish state pension?

In order to qualify for the full Irish State pension, a minimum number of PRSI contributions must have been paid in Ireland. While you were abroad, you would more than likely have stopped making PRSI contributions unless you opted to make voluntary contributions, subject to meeting the required conditions.

Depending on where you worked, it may be possible to include social insurance contributions paid abroad with your Irish contributions to help you qualify for the full State pension in Ireland. Each country in the EU has its own social security laws, however EU rules coordinate national systems to ensure that people moving to other EU countries do not lose security cover. They can also amalgamate their contributions from member states when applying for a pension.

Ireland also has bi-lateral agreements with a number of countries including the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to name but a few, such that contributions paid in these countries can be added to your Irish social insurance contributions.

With Brexit looming, even if the UK exits the EU, it’s likely that measures will be put in place to ensure continuity in this area.

Read the answers to the rest of our tax series on returning home:

Question #1: I’m planning on returning to Ireland midway through 2019. Will my foreign employment income be taxable in Ireland?

Question #2: I’m planning on returning to Ireland and taking up employment. I have been away for a number of years. How do I apply for tax credits?

Question #3: I have been living abroad for a number of years and am planning on returning to Ireland. I bought a property abroad and will sell the property before returning to Ireland. Will the proceeds be taxable when brought into Ireland? What about any money I have saved in my foreign bank account?

Question #4: I am planning on buying a home when I return to Ireland. What are the taxes and reliefs available to me?

Question #5: I have made contributions to a foreign pension fund. Can I transfer these benefits back to Ireland?

Question #7: I am returning with a spouse / children who are not Irish citizens. What practical steps do I need to take in accessing benefits etc., for my family?

Question #8: I am moving to Ireland to work for an Irish subsidiary of my foreign employer. Am I entitled to any Irish tax reliefs or exemptions?

If you have any questions about returning to Ireland or any other personal tax issues, please contact a member of our tax team.