Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. With a highly creative and talented workforce, an open economy and a competitive corporate tax environment, Ireland has successfully attracted eight of the top 10 global information technology companies to establish a significant presence here.
The sector’s traditional players with long-established operations – such as Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Apple – have now been joined by newer firms at the vanguard of the internet and social media revolution, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and most recently Twitter. Their arrival has firmly positioned Ireland as the internet capital of Europe.
Ireland is the also the European data center location of choice for world leaders including IBM, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, MSN and Adobe and is now poised to become a global cloud center of excellence.
The technology sector in Ireland directly employs over 105,000 people, with 75% used in multinational companies.
In the last three years over 17,500 jobs have been announced by technology companies. The sector is responsible for 40% of our national exports and is home to all of the top ten global technology companies. Ireland is emerging as a global technology hub.
Most non-EEA nationals must have an employment permit to work in Ireland.
Critical Skills Employment Permits are issued by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation. Either the employer or the employee can apply for the permit which must be based on an offer of employment. The license is granted to the employee and includes a statement of the employee’s rights and entitlements. An employee working on an employment permit is protected by employment legislation in exactly the same way as other employees.
There are two categories of eligible occupations for a Critical Skills Employment Permit as follows:
(1) Jobs with annual salaries of €60,000 or more – all professions (other than certain ineligible job categories and those which are contrary to the public interest)
(2) Jobs with annual salaries of €30,000 or more – the occupation must be on the Highly Skilled Occupations List.
You must have a job offer from a company or employer who is registered with Revenue, trading in Ireland and registered with the Companies Registration Office. You must be directly employed and paid by your employer in Ireland. Job offers from recruitment agencies and other intermediaries are not acceptable under the scheme. The job offer must be for two years or more.
A labor market needs test is not required, that is the employer does not need to advertise the position with the Department of Social Protection employment services/EURES or in newspapers. However, a work permit will not be granted to companies if the granting of the permit would mean that more than 50% of the employees would be non-EEA nationals. This requirement may be waived in the case of start-up companies which are supported by Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland.
An individual is regarded as resident in Ireland for a particular tax year:
- If he/she is present in the State for 183 days or more in that tax year (the current tax year).
- If he/she is present in the State for 280 days or more in that tax year and the preceding tax year took together (periods of a presence of fewer than 30 days in a tax year are disregarded).
Irish income tax is calculated at the appropriate rates of gross pay earned in a tax year.
Most employees are subject to the following taxes:
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE) applies to all Irish-sourced employment income and is calculated at progressive rates. The current rates for an individual are 20% on the first €33,800 of the annual salary, and 40% on the balance.
- Universal Social Charge (USC) is a tax payable on gross income from all sources after tax relief for capital allowances but before tax relief for pension contributions. Current USC rates on annual income are as follows:
- 5% on income up to €12,012
- 5% on the next €5,564
- 7% on the next €52,468 and 8% on the balance
- Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI) is a payroll tax, which funds various benefits for employees, including unemployment assistance and certain medical benefits. There is a progressive scale of rates, which depends on the category of employment. The employee’s rate of PRSI is generally 4%.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Ireland is high, but near average for Western European countries. Obviously, expats in the main cities will have higher living costs than they would in more rural areas.
You can expect to pay about €917 for monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in the common area of Dublin, Ireland. With €116 for utilities for one month (heating, electricity, gas) for one person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio.
Monthly ticket public transport will cost you €120, or €1.28 for 1 liter of gas if you drive.
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub will cost you around €39; 2 tickets to the movies about €20; 1 beer in neighborhood pub (500ml or 1pt. – €5.94);
Primary lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district – €13.
Ireland scored 218 points of cost of living index, comparing to 272 points in San Francisco, USA and 67 points in Kiev, Ukraine. (According to Internet research expatistan.com).