When it comes to employment documentation in Ireland, one of the most important forms you’ll encounter is the P45. Whether you’re leaving a job or starting a new one, understanding what a P45 is and how to obtain it is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the meaning of the P45, its significance, and the steps to request and obtain it.

What is a P45?

A P45 is an essential document in Ireland that an employer provides to an employee upon the termination of their employment. The form outlines the details of the employee’s earnings and the taxes deducted during their employment period. Essentially, the P45 serves as a record of your income and tax contributions up until the point you leave a job.

P45 Meaning

The P45 contains several parts:

  • Part 1: Sent to Revenue (the Irish tax authority) by the employer.
  • Part 2 and Part 3: Given to the employee. Part 3 is used when the employee starts a new job to ensure that the correct tax details are transferred.
  • Part 4: Retained by the employer for their records.

The P45 is crucial for both tax and social welfare purposes. It ensures that you are taxed correctly when you start a new job and helps in claiming any social welfare benefits you may be entitled to.

How Can I Get a P45?

How to Obtain a P45

The process of obtaining a P45 is straightforward:

  1. Upon Leaving Employment: When you leave your job, your employer is required to provide you with your P45. This is typically done on your last working day or shortly thereafter.
  2. Requesting from Employer: If you do not receive your P45, you should request it directly from your employer. Employers are legally obliged to provide this document.
  3. Contacting Revenue: If your employer fails to provide your P45, you can contact Revenue for assistance. They may be able to intervene on your behalf.

How to Request a P45

If you need to request a P45, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Write a Formal Request: Draft a formal request to your employer’s HR department or payroll services officer, specifying your need for the P45.
  2. Email or Mail the Request: Send your request via email or mail. Ensure you keep a copy of the communication for your records.
  3. Follow Up: If you do not receive a response within a reasonable time frame, follow up with a phone call or a second written request.

Why is the P45 Important?

The P45 serves several critical functions:

  • Taxation: It ensures that your tax information is up-to-date, preventing overpayment or underpayment of taxes.
  • Social Welfare: Required when claiming social welfare benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Employment: Needed when starting a new job to provide your new employer with accurate tax details.

Starting a New Job

When you start a new job, you will give Part 3 of your P45 to your new employer. This ensures that your tax deductions continue correctly and that you avoid emergency tax rates, which can be significantly higher.

Claiming Social Welfare Benefits

If you are claiming social welfare benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, you need to present your P45 to the Department of Social Protection. This document provides evidence of your previous employment and earnings, which is necessary for calculating your benefit entitlements.

What If You Lose Your P45?

If you lose your P45, you cannot get a duplicate from your former employer as they are not allowed to issue copies. However, you can still manage your tax affairs:

  1. Contact Revenue: Inform them about the lost P45. Revenue can provide the necessary information to your new employer or for social welfare claims.
  2. Use Online Services: You can access your employment and tax details through Revenue’s online services, myAccount, where you can view your pay and tax records.

Changes to the P45 System

As of January 1, 2019, Ireland introduced the PAYE Modernisation system, which means that real-time reporting of pay and deductions has been implemented. This change means that while the concept of the P45 remains, the actual process has evolved with more emphasis on digital records.

PAYE Modernisation

Under the PAYE Modernisation system:

  • Employers report employee pay and deductions to Revenue in real-time.
  • When you leave a job, this information is immediately available to Revenue, streamlining the transition between jobs and simplifying the tax process.

Despite these changes, understanding the traditional P45 form and its functions remains important, especially for historical records and clarity on tax matters.


The P45 form is a critical piece of documentation for anyone employed in Ireland. It ensures that your tax records are accurate and up-to-date, whether you are transitioning to a new job or claiming social welfare benefits. Knowing how to obtain a P45, request it if necessary, and understanding its role can help you navigate your employment and tax obligations with ease. Always keep your P45 safe and ensure you understand its importance in your financial and employment records.

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