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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

Returning workers face being overtaxed unless they cancel their Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Thousands of hospitality workers are expected to return to work over the coming weeks.

THOUSANDS OF WORKERS returning their jobs in hospitality and other sectors over the coming weeks could be overtaxed unless they cancel their Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Some 50,754 hospitality workers received the PUP at the start of this week, down from 54,518 last week, according to figures released by the Department of Social Protection yesterday.

That figure is expected to decline further with the return of indoor hospitality for the fully vaccinated later this month. The Government is currently aiming for a 23 July reopening date.

But the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is urging PUP recipients to contact the Department of Social Protection and cancel their payment before they return to the workplace.

If they’re not proactive, they could be taxed on both their salary and their PUP in their first week back on the job, the professional accountancy body warned.

Like most social welfare payments, the PUP is taxable.

When a person registers for the income support with the Department of Social Protection, Revenue is automatically informed of the person’s new income.

The same is true when a PUP recipient returns to work — they inform the department, which then informs the Revenue.

This can be done by logging on to

However, this adjustment takes time and if it’s not completed before the payroll process commences then some employees may be overtaxed.

“As one of the sectors that have been most exposed throughout the pandemic, the long-awaited re-opening of indoor hospitality is a crucially important step for our economic recovery,” said Catriona Allis, head of ACCA Ireland, “not least with the sector employing 180,000 people throughout Ireland.”

“Many of these people will be returning to work for the first time in 15 months, having received the PUP and we are urging them to inform the department of this change to ensure they are not overtaxed.

“While any over-paid tax will eventually be refunded, the net paycheque, for some, could be less than the PUP, putting further pressure on household cash flow.”

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