Revenue Note for Guidance

The content shown on this page is a Note for Guidance produced by the Irish Revenue Commissioners. To view the section of legislation to which the Note for Guidance applies, click the link below:

Revenue Note for Guidance

531AS Universal social charge payable by chargeable persons (within the meaning of Part 41)


This section relates to the assessment and payment of USC by individuals under the self-assessment system.


(1) Where an individual is a chargeable person within the meaning of Part 41A (i.e. in relation to the self-assessment system), USC is due and payable in the same way as income tax is due and payable for that individual. All the relevant income tax provisions therefore apply to USC. However, because there is a specific exception for section 1017 and section 1031C, i.e. joint-assessment treatment, each individual must be separately assessed to USC and unused rate bands cannot be shared.

(1A)(a) to (c) The provisions of section 128B in relation to the payment of income tax – called “relevant tax on share options” (RTSO) – on gains made by exercising share options are modified and applied to the payment of USC on such gains. USC is brought within the definition of “relevant tax” in section 128B. The formula used in section 128B(2) to make RTSO chargeable at the higher rate of income tax in force in a particular tax year is adapted to charge USC at its highest rate, unless the individual satisfies Revenue that he or she will actually be chargeable at a lower rate of USC.

(2) Certain individuals in receipt of income from particular sources are not treated as chargeable persons within the meaning of Part 41A. Where this treatment is applied by sections 140, 141, 142, 143, 195, 232, 234 or 664 (i.e. those sections specified in the description of ‘relevant income’ in section 531AM(1)(b)(I)), such individuals are to be treated as chargeable persons in relation to USC. They, therefore, have to make a return of income in respect of their USC chargeable income.

(3) & (4) USC may be included with any income tax as an aggregated sum for self-assessment purposes (e.g. in a single assessment), even where there is no income tax due.

(5) An individual who is a chargeable person within the meaning of Part 41A is to calculate and pay preliminary tax for the year of assessment 2011 as if USC had been payable instead of income levy for the year of assessment 2010.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021