Relocating to Ireland for Employment

By Anne Reilly, founder and CEO of PaycheckPlus

Every individual living, or relocating to Ireland, and in employment needs to have a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number, a unique reference number used to access social welfare benefits, public services, and information in Ireland. State agencies such as the DEASP, Revenue Commissioners and Health Service Executive use PPS Numbers to identify individuals.

How to get a PPS Number

Applicants must contact DEASP to apply for a PPS number. Individuals cannot apply for a PPS number before they arrive in Ireland, they must be living in the country to apply. Applicants are required to produce documentary evidence of identity and residence in Ireland. Different documentary evidence will be required, depending on your nationality but may include:

  • Birth or Adoption Certificate
  • Passport or other photographic identification
  • Evidence of address in Ireland such as household utility bill, official letter/document, financial statement, property lease or tenancy agreement or a verified employer letter.

All documents must show the applicant’s name and address.

Once successfully registered, applicants are issued with a letter of acceptance within 3 to 6 working days. This letter is acceptable as proof of a valid PPS number for transactions with specified bodies for public services e.g., health, education, Revenue, etc.

How to get a Tax Credit Certification

To apply for a certification of your Tax Credits and Standard Rate Cut Off Point, an individual should apply to their local Revenue Commissioners Office.

If this is your first employment in Ireland you will need to register for My Account and enter your new employment details. If you have worked in Ireland previously, log in to MyAccount to register the new employment so that the relevant details can be passed onto Revenue as quickly as possible.

Removal and Relocation Expenses

Payment of removal and relocation expenses to an employee can be made free of income tax, but only if certain circumstances and conditions are met. The two sets of circumstances in which such payment may be made free of income tax are:

  • Where an employee incurs costs in moving to a new employment location for an existing employer, and
  • Where an employee incurs similar expenses in taking up employment with a new employer.


Certain conditions also have to be met for the payments to be made tax free, as follows:

  • The reimbursement to the employee, or payments made directly by the employer, must be in respect of removal/relocation expenses actually incurred.
  • The expenses must be reasonable in amount.
  • The payment of the expenses must be properly controlled.
  • Moving house must be necessary for the circumstance.

Expenses Covered

Only expenses incurred directly as a result of the change of residence can be reimbursed Tax-Free.

These could include:

  • Auctioneer’s fees, solicitor’s fees and stamp duty arising from moving house.
  • Cost of removal of furniture and effects.
  • Storage charges
  • Insurance of furniture and effects in transit or storage.
  • Cleaning of stored furniture.
  • Traveling expenses on removal.
  • Temporary subsistence allowance while looking got accommodation at the new address, subject to a maximum of 10 nights, at a rate no higher than Civil Service subsistence rates.
  • The vouched rent of temporary accommodation, for no more than 3 months (this may not be paid for which subsistence rates are being paid).

All expenses (other than subsistence rates) must be vouched for by receipts.

Payments not included

  • Any part of the capital cost of building or acquiring a house.
  • Payment for the removal or relocation expenses, where the employee is not obliged to move or relocate.
  • Expenses not directly related to the cost of moving.
  • Any payment, which is not reimbursement of actual expenditure incurred, i.e. disturbance money.

Employers are obliged to maintain full records relating to the payment of such expenses as part of their normal records for 6 years.