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What is country money?

Country money is a tax free travel and subsistence payment that can be made to workers in the construction industry or the Electrical contractor sector.

Whats it for?

Country money or (Employees subsistence expenses) is intended for employees within the construction industry or electrical contractors who do not have a permanent fixed place of work and require to travel to different building sites.

Tax free payment

Country money can be paid without deduction of Tax / PRSI to an employee working from a site up to the allowable rates shown below. Once an employee is working at a site at least 32KM from the base of operations.

Rates for Construction Industry

According to the agreement made with the Construction Industry Federation. Employees can receive up to €181.68 per week for more than four days or €36.34 per day for four days or less.

Rates for Electrical Contractors.

Electrical contractors can look to receive up to €168.26 per week for more than four days or €33.65 per day for four days or less.

Conditions on tax free status

Exclusions on the allowance for Country money must be observed carefully, If an employer pays country money in error they will be liable for the tax on the payment.

Room and board provided

Expenses must not be claimed when the employee is provided with board and lodgings by the employer. If the employee is being accommodated during the job then they cannot claim this travel and subsistence allowance.

Transport provided

If an employee is provided with transport by the employer they are not entitled to claim the allowance as they do not incur any expense in getting to the job site.

Hired for one site only

No matter the distance to the job site, If an employee is hired for one site only, they do not qualify for any travel and subsistence allowance.

Records are required

The employer is required to keep records of payments of country money to employees and where they were jobbed for six years. This is so any questions on the legitimacy of a payment can be shown to Revenue on request.

Eating on site allowance

If an employee is not eligible for country money then they may still be allowed to claim an eating on site allowance. Eating on site allowance is a tax free €5 per day and comes with its own set of conditions.

If the employer does not provide on site tea making facilities and the employee works for at least one and a half hours before and after their lunch break

The eating on site allowance can only be claimed if the employee does not claim any other tax free subsistence payment.

For more information on how you can apply these tax saving allowances to your business and payroll for your staff please feel free to get in touch by calling 059-9145992 or emailing us on info@taxpro.ie

Were here to help and even if you don’t currently employ Taxpro to complete your Income tax return, we would be happy to talk to you and point you in the right direction for this tax free travel and subsistence payment.

Sources

https://www.revenue.ie/en/self-assessment-and-self-employment/construction-industry/travel-and-subsistence-payments-country-money.aspx