Self-Employed Ireland : Guide to being self-employed in Ireland

Introduction

Being self-employed is a very common legal structure used in Ireland to operate a business. In 2020, self-employed people accounted for 14.75% of all of those employed in Ireland. 

The registration process for being self-employed is very simple and can be done through ROS.ie. There are a number of benefits of being self-employed, particularly if you are already an employee through the PAYE system. One of the biggest is being able to offset your self-employed losses against your employee income. It’s also very easy to stop being self employed. This can be done through ROS.ie. 

How to register as being self employed in Ireland

You do not need to register as being self-employed if your non PAYE income is less than €5,000 and your PAYE income is less than €30,000. 

To register as being self-employed in Ireland you simply register on ROS.ie. For this you will need a PPS number. Go to ROS.ie and click on “Register for ROS” and then “Apply for your RAN”. 

On the next screen select “An individual or company” and from the drop select “Income Tax”. Enter your PPS number in the “Registration Number” field. Complete the rest of the steps as indicated.

Self-Employed Ireland: Benefits

There are a number of benefits of being self-employed in Ireland:

  • Fast to set up
  • Cheaper to setup than a limited company
  • No financial risk due missing submission of returns with the CRO
  • You can expense apportion of your rent, electricity, internet and heating if working from home
  • You can expenses a portion of your motor expenses
  • You can offset your losses against your PAYE income
  • You can expense your home office
Register for tax sole trader Ireland

Allowable Expenses : Self-Employed Ireland

Here is a list (which is not exhaustive) of the expenses you can claim in Ireland if you are self-employed. We’ve tried to focus on some of the more obscure items. In general, any cost which arises as a result of engaging in business can be expensed.

  1. €500 voucher for employees. The voucher must not be redeemable for cash.
  2. Portion of rent, electricity, heat and internet from your private home if working from home
  3. Portion of motor expenses if using your personal car for business use
  4. Allowance for wear & tear of private motor vehicles use in a business. 12.5% apportioned based on the percentage of millage associated with business use.  
  5. Pre Trade expenses. 
  6. Travel, food & accommodation if this travel is outside your normal place of work.
  7. Employee entertainment which is reasonable and available to all employees

There are a few exceptions which are not so obvious.

  1. Client entertainment
  2. Clothing
  3. Your own pay

How to stop being self-employed Ireland

To stop being self-employed is relatively straight forward if you don’t have a complex business. You simply log onto ROS.ie, go to “Other services” and click “Manage Tax Registrations”. From here you can click on “Cease Registration” for Income Tax. 

If you have registered for VAT you’ll also need to cancel this. You will also need to complete any outstanding returns. 

If you don’t have access to ROS.ie you’ll need to complete a TRCN1

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