If you earn less than €5,000 from self-employment in a year you are exempt from PRSI, but you may pay €500 as a voluntary prsi contributions in order to protect your benefits in the future. You can choose to make voluntary contributions if you are no longer self-employed or if you continue to be self-employed but your income is below the limit for class c contributions (currently €5,000). To become a voluntary contributor you must have at least 468 contributions paid at Class S. (The contribution requirement will increase to 520 contributions in 2015). Voluntary contributions can help maintain your social insurance record and help you to qualify for social insurance payments in the future. Failure to meet the required criteria can result in an individual being ineligible for the full state pension in the future. Don’t risk putting your  pension entitlements in jeopardy.