Budget 2015 Summary

The 2015 Budget was delivered by the Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan, on 14 October 2014. Following is a summary of some of the main changes announced.

Income Tax

Standard Rate Band & Tax Rates

  • The 20% standard rate band is to increase from €32,800 to €33,800 for single individuals and from €41,800 to €42,800 for married couples with one income .
  • The higher rate of 41% to reduce to 40%

Universal Social Charge (USC)

Incomes of €12,012 or less will be exempt from USC. Once your income is over this limit, you pay the relevant rate of USC on all of your income.

Standard rate of USC (2015)
Rate Income band
1.5% Up to €12,012.00
3.5% From €12,012.01 to €17,576.00
7% From €17,576.01 to €70,044.00
8% From €70,044.01 to €100,000.00
8% Any PAYE income over €100,000
11% Self-employed income over €100,000


Reduced rate of USC (2015)
Rate Income band
1.5% Income up to €12,012.00
3.5% All income over €12,012.00

Reduced rates of USC apply to:

  • People aged 70 or over whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less
  • Medical card holders under 70 whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less

‘Aggregate’ income for USC purposes does not include payments from the Department of Social Protection.

Rent A Room Relief

The threshold for exempt income earned under the Rent A Room Relief scheme is to increase from €10,000 to €12,000. This allows individuals to earn up to €12,000 by renting out a room in their home without being subjected to income tax.

Home Renovation Incentive

The Home Renovation Incentive is being extended to include rental properties owned by landlords who are subject to income tax.

Deposit Income Retention Tax (DIRT)

A relief from DIRT on savings used by first time house buyers towards the deposit on a home is being introduced. This will be available up to the end of 2017.

Water Charges Tax Relief

Tax relief at 20% will be provided on water charges, up to a maximum charge of €500 per year, payable in arrears. Therefore the maximum tax relief available is €100. 

Artists’ Exemption

The threshold for the Artists’ Exemption will be increased by €10,000 to €50,000 and will also be extended to non-resident artists.


Corporation Tax

The 25% R&D tax credit applies to the amount of qualifying R&D expenditure incurred by a company in a given year that is in excess of the amount spent in 2003. This 2003 base year restriction is now being removed from 1 January 2015.

The current restrictions on capital allowances for the provision of specified intangible assets will be removed.

The accelerated capital allowances for energy efficient equipment were due to expire at the end of 2014. Following a review by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, this measure is being extended to the end of 2017.

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