Income Tax Rules for Estates – Foreign Elements

06 July 2022


When looking at the income tax position of a deceased one must look not only at historic Irish income tax but also all worldwide income tax. If a deceased is Irish tax resident and Irish domiciled, then, their worldwide tax income is subject to Irish tax. But is it the same in all cases? What if there was an Irish person living abroad? What of an English person living in Ireland?

Well thankfully there are some rules which deal with all of this. Essentially all Irish source income will always be subject to income tax in Ireland regardless of the residence or domicile status of the deceased.

If however the individual is not resident or ordinarily resident in Ireland but of Irish domicile, then the only element that is subject to income tax, (other than Irish source income) is the following:-

  • Foreign employment income to the extent duties of the employment are performed in Ireland;
  • Other foreign income to the extent that it is remitted into Ireland.

Also just as a reminder. To be tax resident in Ireland you must spend 183 days in Ireland in a tax year or 280 days in aggregate in that tax year and the preceding tax year. Spending any part of the day in Ireland is enough to bring one into the rules. However, if a person is present in Ireland for 30 days or less in a tax year the individual will not be regarded as tax resident in Ireland for that particular year.

A person is ordinarily resident if they have been resident in Ireland from the commencement of the fourth tax year if that person has been resident for each of the three preceding tax years.

Example one

Garrath from Bristol has been living in Ireland for two years prior to his death. He always intended to return to England to live, but he passed away suddenly in Ireland. He had a rental property in London and did consultancy work in Ireland. Garrath is not domiciled in Ireland but is resident. He is not ordinarily resident. Both his Irish and UK income is subject to Irish income tax.

Example two

Margaret from Navan, has lived in Bath all her life. She has lived in England since the 1960s but always had a hankering to come back home and kept her burial plot in Ireland. She has a rental property in Fulham and has shares in HSBC plc. Her rental income is paid into her UK account as with the dividends from the HSBC shares. She died recently in England but was buried in Ireland. As Margaret was of Irish domicile but not resident in Ireland and has no Irish source income, then she has no income tax liability in Ireland.

Hope this helps and if you have any probate, estate tax, will drafting or capacity queries, please do not hesitate to drop me an email at