Know your rights: Starting work // Cáin agus tosú ag oibriú

Question

I’m hoping to get a job over the summer. What do I need to know about tax when I start a job?

Answer (May 2015)

As an employee you are liable to pay tax on your earnings under the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system. This means that your employer deducts the income tax, PRSI and the Universal Social Charge you owe directly from your wages. To ensure that your new employer deducts the right amount of tax from your pay you will need to do two things:

To ensure that your employer and the tax office have time to sort everything out before your first payday, it is advisable to do this as soon as you accept a job offer (even for part-time or holiday employment).

The amount of income tax you actually pay depends on your earnings, your tax rate band and the amount of your tax credits. Tax is charged as a percentage of your income. The percentage that you pay depends on the amount of your income. The first part of your income, up to a certain amount, is taxed at 20%. This is known as the standard rate of tax and the amount that it applies to is known as the standard rate tax band. Earnings above this amount are taxed at the higher rate (40%).

Tax credits reduce the amount of tax that you are likely to pay. If your tax liability is less than your tax credits, you do not pay tax. If your tax liability is more than your tax credits, the tax due is the difference between the two.

Your employer must give you a payslip, showing a breakdown of your weekly, fortnightly or monthly salary and all the deductions made.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Tá súil agam post a fháil i gcaitheamh an tsamhraidh. Cad is gá dom bheith ar eolas agam nuair a thosaím post?

Freagra

Mar fhostaí, tá tú faoi dhliteanas cáin a íoc ar do thuillimh faoin gcóras ÍMAT (Íoc Mar a Thuillir). Ciallaíonn seo go n-asbhaineann d’fhostóir an cháin ioncaim, ÁSPC agus an Muirear Sóisialta Uilíoch atá le híoc agat go díreach ó do phá. Lena chinntiú go n-asbhaineann d’fhostóir nua an méid ceart cánach ó do phá, beidh ort dhá rud a dhéanamh:

Lena chinntiú go bhfuil an t-am ag d’fhostóir agus ag an oifig cánach chun gach rud a shocrú roimh do chéad lá pá, moltar duit seo a dhéanamh a luaithe a ghlacann tú le tairiscint poist (fiú d’fhostaíocht pháirtaimseartha nó saoire).

Braitheann an méid cáin ioncaim a íocann tú ar deireadh ar do thuillimh, do bhanda ráta cánach agus an méid creidmheasanna cánach atá agat. Gearrtar cáin mar chéatadán de d’ioncam. Braitheann an céatadán a íocann tú ar mhéid d’ioncaim. Gearrtar cáin ar an gcéad chuid de d’ioncam, a mhéid le méid áirithe, ar 20%. Tugtar an ráta caighdeánach cánach air seo agus tugtar an banda cánach ráta chaighdeánaigh ar an méid ar a gcuirtear é seo i bhfeidhm. Gearrtar an ráta níos airde (40%) ar thuillimh os cionn na suime seo.

Laghdaíonn creidmheasanna cánach an méid cánach is dóchúil go n-íocfaidh tú. Más lú do dhliteanas cánach ná do chreidmheasanna cánach, ní íocann tú cáin. Más mó do dhliteanas cánach ná do chreidmheasanna cánach, is ionann an cháin atá le híoc agus an difríocht idir an dá rud.

Ní mór do d’fhostóir duillín pá a thabhairt duit, ar a dtaispeántar miondealú ar do thuarastal seachtainiúil, coicísiúil nó míosúil agus ar gach asbhaint a dhéantar.

Skills to Work

Skills To Work brings together key initiatives that support jobseekers to access training and work experience and encourage businesses to employ people currently on the Live Register. It aims to make it easier for jobseekers and employers to access information on all their training options. The five programmes under the Skills to Work programme are: Springboard, Momentum, Skillnets, JobBridge and JobsPlus.

Back to Work Family Dividend is now fully operational

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives financial support to people with qualified children who are in or take up employment or self-employment and as a result stop claiming a jobseeker’s payment or a one-parent family payment on or after 5 January 2015.

The scheme become fully operational from 6 May 2015.

Read more about the payment in our document on Back to Work Family Dividend. 

Know your rights: Parental leave // Saoire thuismitheoireachta

Question

What is parental leave? Can both parents take it?

Answer (May 2015)

Each parent of an eligible child may take up to 18 weeks parental leave. In most cases an eligible child is under eight. However if your child has a disability or a long-term illness, you can take parental leave up to the child’s 16th birthday. If you adopt a child between the ages of six and eight, you can take leave on behalf of that child up to two years after the date of the adoption order. (Your contract of employment may also provide for an extended age limit.)

The 18 weeks per child may be taken in one continuous period or in two separate blocks of a minimum of six weeks. There must be a gap of at least 10 weeks between the two periods of parental leave per child. However, if your employer agrees you can separate your leave into periods of days or even hours.

Taking parental leave does not affect your other employment rights. Apart from the loss of pay and pension contributions, your position remains as if no parental leave had been taken. This means, for example that time spent on parental leave can be used to accumulate your annual leave entitlement. A public holiday that falls while you are on parental leave and on a day when you would normally be working is added to your period of leave.

When you return to work after taking parental leave, you are entitled to ask for a change in your work pattern or working hours for a set period. Your employer must consider your request but is not obliged to grant it.

Both parents have an equal separate entitlement to parental leave. Unless you and your partner work for the same employer, you can only claim your own parental leave entitlement (up to 18 weeks per child). If you both work for the same employer, and your employer agrees, you may transfer 14 weeks of your parental leave entitlement to each other.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Cad é saoire thuismitheoireachta? An féidir leis an mbeirt tuismitheoirí í a ghlacadh?

Freagra

Féadfaidh gach tuismitheoir de leanbh incháilithe a mhéid le 18 seachtaine de shaoire thuismitheoireachta a ghlacadh. I dtromlach na gcásanna, bíonn leanbh faoi ocht mbliana d’aois incháilithe. Má tá do leanbh faoi mhíchumas nó má tá galar fadtéarmach orthu, féadfaidh tú saoire thuismitheoireachta a ghlacadh a fhad le breithlá 16 bliana an linbh. Má uchtaíonn tú leanbh idir aois sé agus ocht mbliana, féadfaidh tú saoire a ghlacadh thar ceann an linbh sin a mhéid le dhá bhliain i ndiaidh dháta an ordaithe uchtála. (Anuas air sin, d’fhéadfadh do chonradh fostaíochta soláthar a dhéanamh do theorainn shínte aoise.)

Is féidir na 18 seachtaine in aghaidh a linbh a ghlacadh i dtréimhse amháin leanúnach nó in dhá bhloc ar leith de shé seachtaine an ceann, ar a laghad. Ní mór go bhfuil bearna ar a laghad 10 seachtaine idir an dá thréimhse de shaoire thuismitheoireachta in aghaidh an linbh. Má chomhaontaíonn d’fhostóir air, áfach, féadfaidh tú do shaoire a dheighilt ina dtréimhsí laethanta nó fiú uaireanta.

Ní dhéanann sé aon difear do do chuid cearta eile fostaíochta má ghlacann tú saoire thuismitheoireachta. Seachas caillteanas pá agus ranníocaíochtaí pinsin, is ionann a bhíonn do shuíomh agus é sin sa chás nár glacadh aon saoire thuismitheoireachta. Ciallaíonn seo, mar shampla, gur féidir an t-am a caitheadh ar shaoire thuismitheoireachta a úsáid chun do theidlíocht bhliantúil saoire a bhailiú. Cuirtear saoire phoiblí a thagann aníos fad atá tú ar shaoire thuismitheoireachta agus ar lá ba ghnách duit bheith ag oibriú, le do thréimhse shaoire.

Nuair a fhilleann tú ar an obair tar éis saoire thuismitheoireachta a ghlacadh, tá tú i dteideal iarraidh ar athrú ar do phatrún oibre nó ar d’uaireanta oibre ar feadh tréimhse shocraithe. Ní mór do d’fhostóir breithniú a dhéanamh ar d’iarratas ach níl aon dualgas air/uirthi é a dheonú.

Tá ag an mbeirt tuismitheoirí teidlíocht chothrom agus ar leith i leith saoire thuismitheoireachta. Mura n-oibríonn tú féin agus do pháirtí don fhostóir céanna, ní féidir leat ach do theidlíocht féin i leith saoire thuismitheoireachta a ghlacadh (a fhad le 18 seachtaine in aghaidh an linbh). Má oibríonn tú féin agus do pháirtí don fhostóir céanna, agus má chomhaontaíonn bhur bhfostóir, féadfaidh tú 14 seachtaine de bhur dteidlíocht i leith saoire thuismitheoireachta a aistriú dá chéile.

Know your rights: Better Energy Homes Scheme // An Scéim Tithe Fuinnimh Níos Fearr

Question

Our house is quite chilly, so we’d like to make it more comfortable and save on our heating bills. Are there any grants for this type of work?

Answer (May 2015)

You can apply for the Better Energy Homes Scheme, which provides grants to homeowners to improve energy efficiency in their homes. (It is also available to landlords and owners of more than one property.) The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers the scheme.

You can use the Home Energy Self Survey to identify areas in your home that could be improved to increase  energy efficiency. You can also get a Building Energy Rating (BER) done if you are uncertain about your energy-saving options or what work to get done first.

Grants are available for the following types of work: roof insulation; wall insulation; upgrade of heating controls; installing a high-efficiency boiler; solar heating; and a BER after the energy-saving work is carried out.

To qualify for a grant, you must own a dwelling built before 2006; use a contractor from SEAI’s registered list; use newly fitted materials and products; have work done that complies with the required standards; have a BER carried out after the works are done and use a BER assessor from SEAI’s National Register. You must have grant approval before you buy materials or start work.

Grants for qualifying measures range from a maximum of €300 for attic or cavity wall insulation to a maximum of €4,500 for external wall insulation on a detached house. Grants are paid after the work is completed and you have paid your contractor.

If you get three qualifying measures done, a bonus of €300 is payable on top of the grants. (A BER doesn’t count as a measure for this bonus.) A further €100 is payable on completion of a fourth measure. Full details of grants and bonuses are available on seai.ie.

If you are also claiming a tax credit under the Home Renovation Incentive, the amount of expenditure that qualifies for the credit will be reduced.You can contact SEAI at 1850 927 000 or info@betterenergyhomes.ie.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Tá ár dteach sách fuair, mar sin, ba mhian liom é a dhéanamh níos compordaí agus airgead a choigilt ar ár mbillí téimh. An bhfuil aon deontais ann don saghas seo oibre?

Freagra

Féadfaidh tú iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Scéim Tithe Fuinnimh Níos Fearr, a sholáthraíonn deontais d’úinéirí tí chun éifeachtúlacht fuinnimh ina dtithe a fheabhsú. (Tá fáil ag tiarnaí talún agus úinéirí breis agus réadmhaoin amháin ar an scéim, chomh maith). Riarann Údarás Fuinnimh Inmharthana na hÉireann (SEAI) an scéim.

Féadfaidh tú an Féinsuirbhé ar Fhuinneamh Baile a úsáid chun áiteanna i do theach a bhféadfaí feabhas a chur orthu chun éifeachtúlacht fuinnimh a mhéadú. Anuas air sin, féadfaidh tú Rátáil Fuinnimh Foirgnimh (BER) a dhéanamh mura bhfuil tú cinnte faoi do chuid roghanna coigilte fuinnimh nó ar an obair atá le déanamh ar dtús.

Tá deontais ar fáil do na saghsanna a leanas oibre: insliú dín; insliú balla; uasghrádú rialuithe téimh; coire ardéifeachtúlachta a shuiteáil; griantéamh; agus BER i ndiaidh go dtugtar faoin obair choigilte fuinnimh.

Chun cáiliú do dheontas, ní mór go bhfuil úinéireacht agat ar áit chónaithe roimh 2006; conraitheoir a úsáid ó liosta cláraithe an SEAI; na hábhair agus na táirgí nuafheistithe a úsáid; go ndéanfar obair a chomhlíonann na caighdeáin riachtanacha; go dtugtar faoi BER i ndiaidh go ndéantar na hoibreacha agus measúnóir BER ó Chlár Náisiúnta an SEAI a úsáid. Ní mór go dtugtar faomhadh deontais duit sula gceannaíonn tú ábhair nó sula gcuireann tú tús le hobair.

Idir €300 ar a mhéid d’insliú áiléir nó cuasbhalla agus €4,500 ar a mhéid d’insliú balla sheachtraigh ar theach scoite iad na deontais le haghaidh bearta cáilitheacha. Íoctar deontais i ndiaidh go ndéantar an obair agus gur íoc tú do chonraitheoir.

Má dhéantar trí bheart cháilitheacha, tá bónas €300 le híoc anuas ar na deontais. (Ní hionann BER agus beart don bhónas seo.) Tá €100 sa bhreis iníoctha ar chríochnú an cheathrú beart. Tá fáil ar shonraí iomlána ar dheontais agus ar bhónais ar seai.ie.

Má tá creidmheas cánach á éileamh agat, chomh maith, faoin Dreasacht Athchóirithe Tí, laghdófar an méid caiteachais a cháilíonn don chreidmheas. Féadfaidh tú teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an SEAI ar 1850 927 000 nó trí ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig info@betterenergyhomes.ie.

New SURE tax refund scheme

A new tax refund scheme for start ups called Start Up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) has been announced.

If you are interested in starting your own company, you may be entitled to an income tax refund of up to 41% of the capital funding that you invest in the company. Depending on the size of your investment you may be entitled to a refund of PAYE income tax that you paid over the six years before the year in which you invest.

The general conditions for SURE are that you must:

  • Establish a new company and engage in a qualifying trading activity
  • Invest money in the new company by way of purchasing new shares
  • Have had mainly PAYE income in the previous four years (This would include a person currently in PAYE type employment, an unemployed person, a person recently made redundant or a retired person)
  • Take up full-time employment in the new company either as a director or an employee.

Read more at sure.gov.ie.

Measures announced to support people in mortgage arrears

A number of measures have been announced to support people in mortgage arrears.

The new measures will include giving Courts the power to review insolvency arrangements, the expansion of the mortgage-to-rent scheme and a greater role for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) in offering information, advice and assistance to borrowers in arrears.

Find out more on merrionstreet.ie.

It’s National Walk to School Week

The Green Schools National Walk to School Week encourages pupils, their parents and teachers to walk to and from school.

National Walk to School Week makes walking all or part of the way to school a fun experience and teaches about children the health and environmental benefits. National Walk to School Week will be promoted in over 1500 participating schools.

Read more on An Taisce’s Green Schools website. 

Springboard places for jobseekers

The 2015 Springboard courses are now open for applications. 

Springboard+ 2015 which incorporates part-time Springboard courses and full-time ICT skills conversion programmes will provide for 285 courses at 42 higher education institutions across Ireland.

Springboard offers free courses at certificate, degree and masters level and aims in particular to offer qualifications in areas where there are job opportunities – such as ICT and financial services.

In general, to qualify for Springboard you must be unemployed, with a previous history of employment, and you must be actively seeking work and available to take up work. Courses are one year or less and are generally part-time except for ICT skills conversion programmes.

Read about Springboard and eligibility criteria. 

Childcare and early childhood education – extension of consultation period for parents

The Inter-Departmental Group on Future Investment in Early Years and School-Age Care and Education Services is exploring ways of ensuring that current and future investment delivers more affordable, accessible and high quality early years and school-age care and education.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has extended the time for parents and guardians to contribute to the Group. The new closing date for submissions from parents and guardians is midnight on Sunday 10 May 2015. 

Find out more from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.