What is a PPS number?
A Personal Public Service (PPS) number is a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland. A PPS number is always seven numbers followed by one or two letters.
You do not need a PPS number to look for a job, and you can only get one after you have been offered your first job here in Ireland. When you get that first written offer of employment, you will need to create an account and make an appointment at www.mywelfare.ie. For our Atlas students in Dublin the Social Welfare office that you will need to visit for your appointment is: Intreo Centre, 197/199 Parnell Street, Dublin 1.
You will need to provide some documents for proof of identity when you go there. You must show your passport or national identity card, and evidence of your address in Ireland. Atlas Language School can give you a letter to prove your address here. You will also need a letter from your new employer saying that you are going to start work. The documents must be originals, not photocopies. Following the meeting at the Social Welfare office, your PPS number will be sent to your address within 3 to 5 working days.
How much can I work?
If you are a student with a European Union passport, you may work full-time year-round. If you are a non-EU student you can work 40 hours per week during the months of May, June, July and August, and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive. At all other times you can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. When in employment, you are also entitled to paid public holidays if you have worked 40 hours in the 5 weeks before the holiday. Remember, though, if you work a lot, especially if you are in a job that doesn’t require you to use much English, your studies may suffer.
What should I do when I get a job?
When you get a job and get a PPS number, you need to give that PPS number to your employers. You also need to ask for the company’s registration number and then contact The Revenue to let them know where you have started work. The Revenue will tie your tax credits to your employer, which can reduce the amount of tax you pay. Some people are taxed at the emergency tax rate until they have told the government about their new job. This is a very high rate of tax so you must make sure you are not paying it. To check this, the telephone number for the Revenue is 1890 333 425. You can also call this telephone number for any other questions relating to the amount of tax you are paying.
If you leave your job, your employer should give you a form called a P45 which you can give to your next employer.
What am I entitled to?
Every legal worker in Ireland is entitled to a payslip, either a paper one or an electronic one. Workers paying tax are also entitled to 8% of what they earn as holiday pay. Depending on the company you work for, this may be paid at the end of the year, or as paid holidays.
What can I expect to be deducted from my pay?
In Ireland, there are some things that every worker must pay. There are usually three separate taxes, and they appear on your payslip with the following acronyms:
- PAYE – Pay as you earn (income tax)
- PRSI – Pay related social insurance
- USC – Universal Social Charge
Can I claim tax back when I finish working?
If you finish or lose your job and are unemployed, you may be entitled to a tax refund if tax has been deducted from your pay. Generally, you should wait for four weeks from the date you became unemployed before you apply for a tax refund.
One final piece of advice in this Job Shop blogpost on PPS numbers and taxes is you should complete a P50 form, which you can find on the www.revenue.ie website. Then send this P50 form to your local revenue office together with the P45 form that your employer will have given to you.
Good luck with the job hunting. Keep organised and get on top of the system of PPS numbers and taxes.
If you are looking for a job and need help with writing your CV and Cover Letter or advice when preparing for job interviews, why not come along to the Job Shop on Monday afternoon from 1.30pm to 3.00pm.