VAT in Ireland

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Ireland VAT

Ireland follows the VAT rules on registrations and returns of the EEC, of which it has been a member since the 1970s. The EU's VAT Directives contain most of the details of the requirements for Irish VAT Registrations and VAT Returns.  The Irish VAT rate, currently 23%, is still set by the Irish government.

Ireland VAT law

The Irish VAT law is contained within the Value Added Tax Act 1972, which has been amended many times, including incorporating the move to the single European market. It is administered by the Revenue Commissioners.

Irish VAT registration

Foreign companies may register in Ireland for VAT without the need to form a local company; this is known as non-resident VAT trading. There is no VAT threshold in Ireland for the registration of non-resident traders; a VAT number must be in place before the commencement of taxable supplies.

There are strict rules on the situations where a registration is permitted. Common scenarios which require an Irish VAT registration include:

  • importing goods into Ireland
  • buying and selling goods within Ireland
  • organising live events, conferences, etc, in Ireland
  • holding goods in a warehouse in Ireland as stock
  • supply and install services
  • selling goods from Ireland to other EU countries
  • distance selling to private individuals, e.g. internet retailing.

Registering for Irish VAT generally takes three to four weeks, although this can vary.

Irish VAT compliance

There are detailed rules controlling the recording and processing of Irish transactions. These include guidelines on:

  • Irish invoice requirements
  • foreign currency reporting and translation
  • credit notes and corrections.

Irish VAT rates

The standard VAT rate in Ireland is 23%. It was 21.5% between October 2008 and December 2009 and 21% from 2010 up until 31st December 2011.  There is a reduced rate of 9% for hotel accommodation, newspapers, fuel for heating and other Goods.

There are many variations to the rates above, including exempt and zero-rated taxable supplies. Please contact us to learn more.

Irish VAT returns

Companies with an Irish VAT number must submit periodic returns detailing all taxable supplies (sales) and inputs (costs).Returns are generally submitted every two months in Ireland. VAT returns in Ireland are due by the 19th of the month following the reporting period.

Irish Intrastat and EC sales lists

In addition to VAT returns in Ireland, companies may be required to submit additional statistical information. The Irish Intrastat system (or supplementary statistical declaration) requires a monthly return listing all movement of goods between Ireland and other EU-member states. The EC sales list (VAT Information Exchange System or VIES) return contains information on the VAT numbers of customers and the values of sales in the period to them. There are annual thresholds for these filings.

Irish VAT refunds

If a foreign company is selling goods in Ireland but is not required to obtain an Irish VAT number, or is incurring Irish VAT on local goods or services, then Irish VAT may be recovered through a VAT reclaim.

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