CPUP, Tax Credits and Joint Assessment – a hot topic this month for Citizens Information Service

The Citizens Information Service is currently receiving lots of call and email queries regarding the CPUP (Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment) and Tax Credits and in particular Joint Assessment. The biggest concern people are having is how CPUP received in 2021 is taxed. In contrast to last year, PUP is now taxable in real-time during 2021 meaning you are taxed as you are paid. 

This new process ensures tax is collected on the payment at the right time and limits any additional liabilities at the end of the year. The Department of Social Protection informs Revenue on a weekly basis the amount of taxable PUP paid to each person and the tax due is collected by reducing the person’s tax credit and rate band.

In some cases, this may affect your spouse’s tax credits. The adjusted tax credits and rate band are applied on a week one basis and any revisions are shown on the employee’s Tax Credit Certificate. In most cases, there will be no additional tax liability at the end of 2021.


Some may be taxed under Joint Assessment which can be of benefit to most couples. Under Joint Assessment, you are chargeable for tax on your combined total income. This option is applied when someone notifies the Revenue that they are married or in a civil partnership.

It’s important to note that the Joint Assessment option does not prevent anyone from choosing the options of separate assessment or separate treatment. All updates to civil status’ and requesting joint assessment can be recorded through the ‘Manage My Record’ in ‘MyAccount’ on the Revenue’s website. 

Ciara O’Gorman, North and East Cork’s Citizens Information Manager, stated: “This month has been very busy with queries about the new process of taxation on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. If anyone requires information or advice around this issue, they can contact us in complete confidence, we provide free, independent and non-judgmental assistance and advice.

“Even though due to Covid-19, our drop-in services are not currently available, the offices are still staffed and we are busy assisting callers and giving them the tools to make informed decisions and help them to explore options and solutions to any issues they may have.”

For anyone needing information, advice or who has an advocacy issue you can call a local centre in North Cork: phone Fermoy (Monday and Tuesday from 9am-5pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm) on 0761 07 7970; phone Mallow (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9am-5pm and Tuesday from 9am-12.30pm) on 0761 07 8000. Email: fermoy@citinfo.ie and mallow@citinfo.ie.