The Republic of Ireland introduced Value Added Tax in 1972, in preparation for it joining the European Union the following year. The Irish VAT regime follows the rest of Europe, and is largely based on the EU’s VAT Directives (laws). These govern the rules for Irish VAT registrations, compliance, returns, Intrastat, EC Sales declarations and other related issues.
Any foreign company providing taxable supplies in Ireland may be required to account for Irish VAT. This would require them to register their foreign company for a local VAT number, and then record and report any transactions. This can include importation. The number of instances that require registration of non-resident traders is reducing (see below).
Irish VAT is set down in the Irish VAT Act of 1972, which has been amended on a number of occasions since. The Irish tax authority, Revenue Commission administers the VAT regime. This includes issuing regular briefings on the day-to-day rules of Irish VAT compliance.
Should you register for Irish VAT?
Alongside all other EU member states, Ireland may require foreign companies to register for local VAT in certain trading situations. These include:
- Importing goods into the EU via Ireland
- Buying and selling goods within Ireland
- Operating consignment stock warehouse in Ireland, holding goods prior to onward sale to local companies.
- Organising live events and exhibitions with paid-for admission on the door
- If a company is otherwise a non-VAT trader, but is receiving services in Ireland under the reverse charge rule.
- Sale of goods to Irish consumers via the internet
- The self supply of goods
Since the 2010 VAT Package, whereby the VAT place of supply for Irish services was changed, the number of occasions requiring VAT registration for services has all but disappeared.
Note that providers of electronic, broadcast or telecoms services to consumers in Ireland only have to VAT register in one EU country under the MOSS scheme to file a single return covering all 27 member states.
You can read more about Irish VAT on our Irish VAT compliance, VAT registration or other related briefings.
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