Guide To Vat In Ireland

VAT or Value Added Tax is a tax on the value that is added to goods and services in Ireland.

It is an indirect tax, which means it’s collected by businesses on behalf of the government.

The standard rate of VAT in Ireland is 23%, with reduced rates of 13.5% and 9% for certain goods and services.

If you’re running a business in Ireland or planning to start one, understanding how VAT works is crucial.

Not only will it help you stay compliant with Irish tax law, but it can also impact your cash flow and profitability.

In this guide to VAT in Ireland, we’ll cover everything from registration to filing returns so you can navigate this complex area with confidence.

So whether you’re new to VAT or looking to refresh your knowledge, let’s get started!

What Is Value Added Tax (Vat)?

VAT basics are an essential component of any business in Ireland. VAT is a tax added to goods and services at every stage of their production or distribution, from raw materials through to the finished product. It is calculated as a percentage of the value added to each product or service, hence its name.

VAT implications can be significant for businesses operating in Ireland. If your company is registered for VAT, it must add this tax onto all sales made within Ireland and submit regular returns to Revenue outlining the amount owed.

Additionally, if you purchase goods or services that are subject to VAT, you will likely not be able to reclaim this cost unless you too are registered for VAT. So who has to register for vat? Let’s take a closer look.

Who Has To Register For Vat?

If you are conducting business in Ireland, it is important to know whether or not you need to register for VAT.

The general rule is that if your business sells goods or services and the turnover exceeds certain thresholds, then you must register for VAT.

The current threshold for mandatory vat registration is €37,500 in annual revenue from taxable supplies of goods and/or services.

If a business meets this requirement, they are obligated to register with Revenue within 30 days after the end of month in which the threshold was exceeded.

However, there may be other circumstances where a business may voluntarily choose to register for VAT even if they do not exceed these thresholds.

For example, some businesses find that registering for VAT helps them establish credibility with their customers and suppliers by appearing more professional because they have been officially registered.

What Is The Standard Rate Of Vat In Ireland?

Now that you know who needs to register for VAT in Ireland, it’s important to understand the importance of VAT compliance. As a registered business owner, you are responsible for ensuring that all your transactions comply with VAT regulations. This includes charging and collecting the correct amount of VAT on sales, submitting accurate VAT returns on time, and making timely VAT payments.

Failure to comply with these rules can lead to severe penalties from Revenue. Therefore, it’s essential to keep track of your business transactions meticulously and maintain proper records of all invoices, receipts, and other relevant documents.

In addition, seeking professional advice or investing in an automated system can help streamline your VAT compliance process and avoid costly mistakes when submitting returns or making payments.

Now that we have covered the standard rate of VAT let us take a look at reduced rates of VAT applicable in certain cases such as food products, children’s clothing & footwear items, medicines sold by pharmacists under prescription among others.

Understanding what qualifies for reduced rates is crucial as it can affect how much tax you need to pay or collect on behalf of revenue. Let’s dive into this topic further in the subsequent section.

What Are The Reduced Rates Of Vat In Ireland?

Did you know that there are certain goods and services that qualify for reduced rates of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Ireland? As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of these rates so you can accurately charge your customers.

According to, the VAT reductions are intended to reduce costs for consumers on specific goods and services while also supporting economic activity in those sectors.

The current reduced rate of VAT is 9%, which applies mainly to tourism-related activities such as hotel accommodation, restaurant meals, and admissions to tourist attractions. However, there are some exceptions to this rule such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and petrol which still attract higher VAT rates.

It’s worth noting that not all businesses will qualify for the reduced rate – they must meet certain requirements including annual turnover thresholds and compliance with anti-VAT fraud measures. Understanding these rules is crucial when determining your tax obligations as a business owner.

As mentioned earlier, meeting certain criteria is necessary for businesses to benefit from reduced VAT rates in Ireland. The revenue threshold depends on the nature of the product or service being sold – for example, hotels have a different threshold compared to catering services.

Additionally, businesses need to ensure they comply with strict anti-fraud measures put into place by the government aimed at reducing fraudulent claims for VAT refunds. By understanding how these factors work together, business owners can make informed decisions about whether their enterprise qualifies for lower VAT rates whilst avoiding any potential pitfalls related to non-compliance with regulations.

Now that you understand more about what the reduced rates of VAT are, let’s take a closer look at what different types of schemes exist!

What Are The Different Vat Schemes?

As a business owner in Ireland, it is important to understand the different VAT schemes available to you. It can be challenging to navigate through all of them, but knowing which one suits your needs best will help with VAT eligibility and tax planning.

The main VAT schemes are: Standard Rate Scheme, Flat Rate Scheme, Cash Accounting Scheme, Annual Accounting Scheme and Second-Hand Goods Margin Scheme. Each scheme has its own set of rules that determine how much VAT you pay or reclaim. To make an informed decision on which scheme to choose, research each one thoroughly and consult with a VAT specialist if necessary.

The complexity of the different VAT Schemes may seem overwhelming at first glance. But with careful consideration of your business’s specific needs and goals, you can unlock significant savings by choosing the right scheme.

Finding the right scheme for your business requires patience and attention to detail. However, once you have done so, your confidence in navigating Ireland’s complex tax landscape will skyrocket.

In summary, understanding the various VAT schemes available is crucial when considering your company’s financial planning. By selecting the appropriate option based on your requirements, you’ll not only ensure compliance with Irish tax laws but also achieve potential cost-savings.

Next up we’ll discuss what goods and services require vat?

What Goods And Services Require Vat?

When it comes to VAT, there are certain goods and services that require it. Understanding these rules is crucial for any business owner or individual who wants to avoid penalties or fines.

The purchasing rules for products subject to VAT can vary depending on the type of product and its intended use. For example, if you purchase a product for personal use, such as clothing or food, then VAT will be included in the price at the time of purchase. However, if you purchase an item for professional use, such as office equipment or machinery, you may be able to claim back the VAT paid when filing your taxes. It’s important to keep accurate records of all purchases made for business purposes so that you can take advantage of this pricing strategy.

What Goods And Services Are Exempt From Vat?

Certain goods and services are exempt from VAT in Ireland. Exempt qualifications can be broadly categorized into three categories: education, medical care, and financial services.

Education-related exemptions include tuition fees charged by institutions that meet certain criteria as well as related supplies such as books and equipment.

Medical care-related exemptions cover everything from hospital charges to ambulance transport – this includes both private and public healthcare providers.

In the case of financial services, there may still be vat implications depending on the type of service provided. For example, while most insurance policies are exempt from VAT, some types of insurance (such as travel) are not. Similarly, when it comes to banking services, many everyday transactions (like ATM withdrawals or bank transfers) do not attract VAT. However, more complex services like investment advice may be subject to tax. It is important for businesses dealing with any kind of financial service to fully understand their obligations under Irish VAT law so they can ensure compliance.

Moving forward onto what are the rules for distance selling?

What Are The Rules For Distance Selling?

If you are a business that sells goods to customers in other EU countries, you need to be aware of the distance selling rules. These rules govern when and where you must register for VAT in each country you sell to.

The main factor in determining whether or not you need to register for VAT is the distance threshold. Each EU country has its own distance threshold which determines at what point your sales trigger a requirement to register for VAT in that country.

The thresholds vary from €35,000 per year (for example, in Germany) up to €100,000 per year (in Cyprus).

It’s important to note that these thresholds only apply if the seller does not have an establishment or fixed place of business in the destination country. If they do have such an establishment there, then registration will generally be required regardless of turnover levels under local ecommerce rules.

How Is Vat Calculated?

Now that we understand the rules for distance selling, it’s time to dive into how VAT is calculated in Ireland. Did you know that as of 2021, the standard rate of VAT in Ireland is 23%? That’s a significant amount and can greatly impact calculating costs for businesses.

To give you a better idea of how VAT works, here are three things to keep in mind when calculating your tax deductions:

  1. Only VAT registered businesses can claim back VAT.
  2. The input VAT (VAT paid on purchases) can be deducted from output VAT (VAT charged on sales).
  3. It’s important to keep accurate records of all transactions as proof for claiming back VAT.

When it comes to registering for VAT in Ireland, there are various factors to consider such as turnover threshold and types of goods or services provided.

In order to register, businesses will need to fill out an online application form through Revenue Online Service (ROS). But before jumping into registration, make sure to have a clear understanding of the implications and responsibilities that come with being registered for VAT.

How To Register For Vat In Ireland?

If you are a business owner in Ireland, registering for VAT is an essential step to ensure compliance with the country’s tax laws. Not only will it keep your business within legal boundaries, but it also comes with several benefits such as claiming back on VAT payments and providing credibility to customers.

To register for VAT, you must complete form TR1 which can be obtained from the Revenue website or by contacting their local office. Once completed, submit the form along with any relevant documentation (such as proof of address) to your local revenue office. After reviewing your application, if approved, they will issue you with a VAT number which must be displayed on all invoices issued by your business. Remember that registering for VAT may result in savings when purchasing goods and services from other registered businesses – so don’t delay!

Now that you have successfully registered for VAT, the next step is submitting regular returns to the Revenue Commissioners. But how do you go about doing this? Keep reading to find out!

How To Submit Vat Returns?

Now that you have successfully registered for VAT in Ireland, it’s time to learn how to submit your VAT returns.

It is important to note that the frequency of submitting VAT returns depends on your business activity and turnover. For businesses with a turnover below €2 million, they are required to submit their VAT returns every six months while those with a turnover above this threshold must submit their returns every three months.

In these returns, businesses report the amount of VAT charged by them and the amount of VAT paid on purchases made. This will determine whether or not there is any VAT payable or if there are any VAT credits available for refund. It is essential to keep accurate records of all transactions as this information will be used when preparing the return.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in penalties from Revenue so it’s best practice to adhere strictly to deadlines and ensure compliance at all times. So what happens if you don’t comply? In the next section, we’ll discuss what are the penalties for non-compliance and why it’s crucial for your business to avoid them.

What Are The Penalties For Non-Compliance?

Non-compliance with VAT regulations could result in hefty penalties for businesses operating in Ireland. The Irish Revenue Commissioners are known to take a strict approach towards non-compliant businesses and have the authority to impose cash fines, which can be as high as 10% of the unpaid tax.

One of the most common reasons for non-compliance is conflicting definitions of taxable goods or services. Businesses must ensure that they understand what constitutes a taxable item and what doesn’t; otherwise, they risk unintentionally underpaying their taxes.

It’s important to keep up-to-date with any changes made by the Irish Revenue Commissioners regarding VAT regulations to avoid confusion and potential fines. Non-compliance can cause significant financial strain on businesses, so it’s crucial to stay informed about your obligations when it comes to paying VAT.

Moving forward, if you’re looking to claim a refund on VAT paid in error or excess, there are certain steps you need to follow. These procedures vary depending on whether you’re an EU business or not and whether you’ve registered for electronic filing or paper-based filing systems.

So let’s dive deeper into how you can go about claiming back VAT refunds in Ireland!

How To Claim A Refund On Vat?

As we have discussed, non-compliance with VAT regulations can result in hefty penalties. It is important to be aware of the rules and requirements when it comes to claiming eligibility for a refund on VAT.

If you believe that you are entitled to a refund, there are certain steps that need to be followed. Firstly, ensure that your claim meets all of the necessary criteria. This includes providing valid invoices and evidence of payment, as well as submitting your claim within the appropriate timeframe. Refund timelines vary depending on the circumstances, so it is crucial to stay up-to-date with any changes or updates.

When considering how to make a successful claim for a VAT refund, it is helpful to keep these emotional bullet points in mind:

  • Relief: Claiming back money that should never have been paid in the first place can bring a sense of relief and satisfaction.
  • Frustration: Delays or complications in receiving your refund can lead to frustration and even financial strain.
  • Empowerment: Successfully navigating the process of claiming a VAT refund can provide a feeling of empowerment and mastery over complex financial matters.

Now that we’ve covered how to claim an eligible refund on VAT, let’s move onto exploring what options are available if you disagree with a decision made by Revenue regarding your VAT situation.

How To Appeal A Vat Decision?

If you disagree with a VAT decision made by Revenue, you have the right to appeal. The appealing process can be time-consuming and complicated, so it’s important to understand the steps involved.

Firstly, you should write to Revenue stating your reasons for disagreement and requesting a review of their decision.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, then an appeal can be made to the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC). The TAC is an independent body that will hear both sides of the argument before making a final decision.

It’s worth noting that there are strict deadlines for submitting appeals, and failure to meet these deadlines could result in your case being dismissed without any further consideration.

Now that we’ve covered how to appeal a VAT decision, let’s move on to discussing what the VAT MOSS system is all about.

What Is The Vat Moss System?

Imagine you’re a globetrotter who loves to shop. You’re in Ireland and want to buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home. As you browse through the shops, you notice that some items have an additional tax called VAT or Value Added Tax on them. If you’ve never heard of this before, don’t worry – it’s not unique to Ireland.

VAT is applied when goods are sold or services are rendered. In Ireland, there are different rates of VAT: standard rate (23%), reduced rate (9%), and zero-rated (0%).

That said, if you’re selling digital products like e-books, software programs, music downloads, etc., things can get more complicated with MOSS or Mini-One-Stop-Shop Complications. Below are three sub-lists explaining what MOSS is all about:

  • MOSS stands for Mini-One-Stop-Shop.
  • It simplifies the procedure for businesses selling digital products across EU borders.
  • Businesses only need to register once for MOSS instead of registering separately in each country they sell their products in.

With MOSS registration comes responsibility.

  • A business registered under MOSS must file a quarterly return along with payment of VAT owed.
  • They will also have to keep detailed records of sales made to customers in other EU countries.

Be mindful of the VAT Rates applicable to your product/service.

  • Some digital products may be zero-rated while others could attract up to a full-rate VAT charge depending on where the customer resides.

So next time you purchase something in Ireland or anywhere else within the EU region, make sure you understand how VAT works as well as any complications around MOSS. Knowledge is power!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Industries Or Businesses Exempt From Registering For Vat In Ireland?

Are there industries or businesses that are exempt from registering for VAT in Ireland?

The answer is yes. However, before we dive into the exemptions, it’s important to understand what VAT thresholds and tax rates are all about.

Essentially, a VAT threshold is the maximum amount of taxable turnover a business can have before they must register for VAT. In Ireland, this threshold currently stands at €37,500 per annum.

On the other hand, tax rates refer to the percentage of value added tax charged on goods and services supplied by registered businesses in Ireland.

Now back to the question at hand – which industries or businesses are exempt from registering for VAT?

Well, certain sectors like healthcare providers, charities and small farmers may not have to register if their annual turnover falls below a specific limit set out by

It’s worth noting that some companies may choose to voluntarily register for VAT even if they don’t meet the threshold requirements as it allows them to claim back any VAT paid on expenses incurred during their operations.

As with anything related to taxes and regulations, it’s always best practice to seek professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances.

Can Businesses Claim Back Vat On Goods And Services Purchased Before Registering For Vat?

Can businesses claim back VAT on goods and services purchased before registering for VAT?

Yes, they can. However, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to do so.

Firstly, the business must have been eligible for claiming eligibility at the time of purchase – this means that they would have had to meet the VAT thresholds even before registering for VAT.

Additionally, the goods or services purchased must relate directly to the business activities that will be undertaken once registered for VAT.

If these conditions are met, then it is possible to reclaim any VAT paid on purchases made prior to registration.

Are There Any Specific Rules Or Regulations For Businesses That Provide Both Vat Taxable And Non-Taxable Goods Or Services?

When it comes to businesses that offer both VAT taxable and non-taxable goods or services, there are some specific rules and regulations that need to be followed in order to claim exemptions.

These rules may seem daunting at first, but with proper preparation costs can often be minimized.

It’s important for business owners to understand the nuances of these regulations so they can maximize their profits while staying compliant with UK tax laws.

By taking the time to educate themselves on this topic, entrepreneurs can gain a greater sense of mastery over their financial affairs and set themselves up for long-term success.

How Can Businesses Ensure They Are Compliant With Vat Regulations When Operating Across Multiple Eu Countries?

If your business operates across multiple EU countries, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re compliant with VAT regulations.

This means being aware of the different rules in each country and how they apply to overseas transactions.

One way to stay on top of this is by ensuring that your invoices meet all the necessary requirements.

For example, you may need to include additional information or use a specific format for invoices issued in certain countries.

By staying informed and following best practices when it comes to invoicing and VAT compliance, you can help your business avoid costly mistakes and achieve mastery over international operations.

Is There A Limit To The Amount Of Vat That Can Be Claimed Back On Business Expenses?

You might be wondering if there’s some sort of limit to the amount of VAT you can claim back on your business expenses. Well, here’s the deal: while it is true that not all goods and services are eligible for a VAT refund, there isn’t necessarily a cap on how much of your paid-in-VAT funds you can get back.

However, keep in mind that different countries may have varying rules regarding claiming limits or VAT free items. If mastering compliance with VAT regulations across multiple EU countries is important to you, it pays to do your research and stay up-to-date on any changes that could impact your business.


In conclusion, businesses in Ireland must be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding VAT. While most industries are required to register for VAT, there are some exemptions that may apply. It is important to check with Revenue if you think your business might qualify for an exemption.

If a business has made purchases before registering for VAT, they can claim back the VAT on those goods or services as long as they were purchased within six months prior to registration. However, it is essential to keep accurate records of all transactions and receipts to ensure compliance with VAT regulations.

For businesses providing both taxable and non-taxable goods or services, specific rules apply. These include separating invoices and ensuring proper documentation is kept for each transaction. Failing to do so could result in penalties from Revenue.

To operate compliantly across multiple EU countries, businesses should seek professional advice and keep up-to-date with any changes in local laws related to VAT. Being knowledgeable about these laws will help prevent any potential issues down the line.

In summary, navigating the world of VAT can be complex at times but by following the guidelines set out by Revenue, businesses can stay compliant with ease. As the saying goes: ‘Knowledge is power.’ By staying informed and prepared, businesses can successfully navigate their way through VAT regulations like a ship sailing smoothly through calm waters.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell

Leave a Replay

Sign up for VAT News Updates

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit