Ireland Weighs Phase-Out of Universal Social Charge

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By Molly Ward

Aug. 4—Ireland may phase out its Universal Social Charge over the next three annual budgets, the Irish Department of Finance said July 19 in tax strategy group papers.

The social charge is a tax on income that replaced former income and health levies in 2011.

The papers outlined options for reducing and phasing out the social charge, including reducing rates, increasing income-band ceilings and increasing the exemption threshold.

Reductions would be largely funded through the removal of the Pay as You Earn tax credit for high earners, higher excise duties on cigarettes and extra revenue from not indexing personal tax credits and bands, the tax strategy group said.

The group, made up of senior officials and political advisers from civil service departments, is not a decision-making body. The papers published by the Department of Finance are a list of options and issues to be considered in the budgetary process.

The Irish parliament is expected to vote on the measure in October.

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For More Information

The papers can be found on the Department of Finance website at

More information on payroll issues in Ireland can be found in the Ireland country primer.

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