Tax Number In Ireland

Tax Number In Ireland: An Expats Guide 

Navigating the emerald financial landscapes of Ireland requires a crucial key: your tax number. Need more information about tax number in Hong Kong? Don’t Worry! We’ve got you covered!

This alphanumeric code is not just a formality; it’s the gateway to Ireland’s tax system, employment, and beyond. Whether you’re setting up a new business venture or starting a new job, understanding how to obtain and utilize your tax number is essential. This guide sheds light on the process, ensuring you’re equipped to embark on your Irish financial journey with confidence.

Let’s dive in!

What Is The Tax Number?

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The tax number in Ireland is the Personal Public Service Number. This number acts as an identifier for an individual to the state. Using this number, the state must identify your financial standing, tax records, and other details. 

This number is issued to you by the Department of Social Protection

It is usually given to an individual upon arrival in the country and after giving some proof of their identity and residence. 

This number is vital for availing social benefits, fulfilling your taxation duties, and other things. 

The tax number is complicated to ensure security and may include many digits and alphabets. 

As an individual, you will use this PPS number to file your income tax returns for every year, while your employer can use this number for your payroll and tax purposes. 

This tax number acts as a getaway for you to access the many different public services provided by the government, like education and healthcare. You will need your PPS number to integrate into the system to avail of the benefits. 

Your PPS number is for yourself only and is not to be used by anyone else. Ireland has strict laws and regulations in case of identity theft and tax theft through fraudulent means using the PPS number. 

Moreover, your PPS will stay the same during your life. However, you must ensure that the Department of Social Protection is updated with any changes in your details.

Where Do You Find Your Tax Number?

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The first step in getting your Personal Public Service Number is to apply to the relevant Authority as soon as you arrive in Ireland. With this number, you will have more employment or business opportunities in Ireland. We recommend you get your documents in order and apply for your PPS number as soon as possible. 

Issuing Authority 

The issuing Authority that will look into your case and determine your PPS number is the Social Protection Department. 

As an expat, you will need to do a little digging online to find their application forms for PPS numbers on their website or visit your nearest office of the Social Protection Department. 

Required Documents

You must show some documents and proofs of things before you can be granted a PPS number. The documentation you will need is proof of identity, like your ID card or your passport, and proof of residence. 

For proof of residence, make sure that you take your electricity or gas bills with you. 


You can submit your applications with all the essential documents online on the portals made for citizens, or you can visit a dedicated Social Protection department help center and submit your application. 

Processing Times

There is no fixed timeline that the officials will give you or the website. Since the paperwork and background checks take time, this could be time-consuming, especially if the burden is high on the department. 

However, if there is any pressing issue for which you need a PPS, that can be arranged and worked out with the department

Key Role

As you know, in Ireland, the revenue commissioners play an integral role in tax collection and regulating income tax fillings. Hence, this PPS number is significant to these officials, who will judge your income statements. 

The Department of Social Protection will use this PPS number to enlist and sort you out for the various public service benefits and employment schemes. 

Moreover, as we talked earlier, in case of any changes in your details, like your phone number or address, it is your responsibility to promptly inform the Department of Social Protection. 

What Is A Tax ID? 

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We have already discussed a tax ID in Ireland for individuals, called the Personal Public Service number. This number is essentially a tax ID for individuals, for the state to keep track of the individual’s tax filings and income statement. 

However, there is a separate kind of TAX ID for Businesses, the Corporate Tax Number, which is there for businesses. The revenue commissioners assign these tax numbers, and they will need to check the businesses’ tax returns concerning that number. 

This number ensures timely and efficient tax administration for businesses of the state. Like the PPS number, this tax number is protected by strict laws to ensure data privacy and integrity. 

Who Needs A Tax ID? 

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Many individuals would need to obtain a PPS number. First, individuals who earn money and are employed need to acquire a PPS number, even if they are expats and aren’t residents yet. You will need to be taxed on any income you make. 

Moreover, if you are a freelancer or self-employed, you will be taxed on any money you make and will be taxed under the regular laws. 

The PPS number helps with tax collections, organizing the tax system, and making it easy for the revenue commissioners to collect the money owed to the state. 

Apart from that, students studying in Ireland will also need to get a PPS number, even if they work part-time and study along with it. They will need to get a PPS number so that they can be taxed on any revenue they make. 

Moreover, the PPS numbers are fundamental for anyone seeking access to public services, like healthcare, education grants, and social welfare benefits. 

What Is A Freelance Tax ID? 

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Freelancers or self-employed people may need to obtain a separate tax ID as well. They will need a Tax Registration Number or TRN since the PPS number only shows the taxation on their traditional income. 

Hence, the best way to go about it for freelancers is to obtain the TR number from the revenue commissioners since this number is designed for such individuals to address the revenue generation and taxation laws on it. 

The PPS number and TR number are efficient tools used by the state of Ireland to govern its individuals in all financial dealings. 

It is to ensure that all the taxes are paid efficiently and timely so that the state can use the funds to benefit the public. 

What Is The VAT Number?

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VAT number is also known as the value-added tax. This is known as a consumption tax added on goods and services. This VAT tax makes up a good portion of the tax that the government receives. 

In Ireland,  a business might need to register for a VAT number if its taxable turnover exceeds a specified threshold. However, the vital thing to remember is that this threshold-based requirement varies.

 A few businesses opt for voluntary registration to reclaim VAT on expenses. 

The VAT number acts as a distinctive identifier, mainly featured on transactional documents, especially in business-to-business transactions where buyers often require the seller’s VAT number for reporting and record-keeping purposes. 

A VAT number ensures proper claiming and reimbursement of the value-added tax on the goods and services. Businesses should claim back their VAT on business expenses and add VAT on their services; this creates a balance.

 It does not burden businesses with vast taxes and gives some relief. 

Many things help the tax collecting authorities in Ireland run a smooth operation; among them are regular VAT returns detailing sales, purchases, and VAT liabilities, which are mandatory for compliance

However, failing to meet the VAT regulations may result in hefty fines and penalties for businesses and entities, which emphasizes the importance of timely reporting and adherence to VAT requirements. 

Moreover, for businesses engaged in international transactions, the VAT number is vital for compliance with EU VAT regulations and comes in handy for facilitating cross-border trade.

The VAT number is an essential identifier for businesses in Ireland, just like the PPS is for individuals and TRN is for freelancers. 


With the final digits of your tax number in hand, you’re now ready to fully engage with Ireland’s economic environment. This guide aims to have demystified the process, making what might seem like a bureaucratic hurdle into a simple step towards financial integration.

Remember, your tax number is more than just a sequence of characters; it’s your identity in the eyes of the Irish tax system, opening up a world of opportunities and responsibilities.

Tax Empowered!

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