Current VAT rates

The current VAT rates are (s 46(1)):

(a) 0% (the zero rate).

(b) 5.2% (the agricultural rate). This applies to supplies of live cattle, deer, goats, greyhounds, horses, pigs and sheep.

(c) 13.5% (the low rate). From 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2013, the 13.5% rate is reduced to 9% for certain goods and services.

(d) 23% (the standard rate). This rate applies to goods and services that are not exempt, or specifically liable at 0%, 5.2%, or 13.5%.

A rate of 4.8% (the farmer’s flat-rate addition) applies to supplies of agricultural produce by flat-rate (i.e., unregistered) farmers (s 86(1)).

Zero rate

The goods and services chargeable to VAT at 0% (Schedule 2) are:

Intra-Community transactions

1. (1) Supplies to a VAT-registered person in another EU State.

(2) The supply of new means of transport, dispatched or transported to a person in another EU State.

(3) The supply of excisable products, dispatched or transported to a person in another EU State.

(4) The transport of goods within the EU to and from the Azores or Madeira.

Imports

2. (1) Goods imported from outside the EU consigned to another EU State.

(2) Transport of goods imported from outside the EU (provided the customs value of the goods includes the transport charge).

Exports

3. (1) The export of goods to a place outside the EU.

(2) Carriage of goods within the State where part of a contract to transfer the goods to a place outside the EU.

(3) Goods supplied to an authorised exporter.

(4) Work on movable goods brought from outside the EU for the purposes of such work.

Services relating to vessels and aircraft

4. (1) The provision of port or airport facilities (docking, landing, loading, unloading) for passengers and goods.

(2) The supply, modification, maintenance, repair, chartering and hire of sea-going ships of more than 15 tons and international commercial aircraft.

(3) The supply, maintenance, repair and hire of equipment for use in sea-going vessels in (2).

(4) The supply, maintenance, repair and hire of equipment for use in aircraft in (2).

(5) The supply of fuel and provisions for a sea-going ship or international commercial aircraft.

(6) The supply of navigation services by the Irish Aviation Authority.

Transactions treated as exports

5. (1) The supply of goods or services to certain international bodies.

(2) The supply of gold to the Central Bank.

Services by intermediaries

6. (1) Export agency services.

(2) Export agency services include services in relation to: carriage of goods to or from the Azores or Madeira; carriage of goods in transit to a place outside the EU; provision of docking, landing, loading or unloading facilities; the supply, maintenance, hire and repair of equipment for sea-going vessels; the supply of gold to the Central Bank.

(3) Intermediary services in relation to the travel agent’s margin scheme.

International trade etc.

7. (1) The supply of goods by a VAT-registered person in a free port to another such person.

(2) The supply of goods by a VAT-registered person in the Shannon zone to another such person.

(3) The supply of goods to be transported directly or on behalf of the supplier to a VAT-registered person in the Shannon zone.

(4) The supply of traveller’s goods (goods brought abroad by a traveller in accordance with the retail export scheme), provided the conditions are met.

(5) VAT repayment services in relation to traveller’s goods.

(6) The supply of goods in a tax-free shop to travellers departing the State to a place outside the EU.

(7)The supply of food, drink and tobacco, to passengers travelling to another EU State, for consumption on board the ship or aircraft.

(8) The supply of goods and services to a qualifying export business.

Food and drink

8. (1) Food and drink for human consumption, excluding:

(a) alcoholic drinks,

(b) tea, coffee, etc in drinkable form,

(c) ice cream, frozen desserts, yogurts, cereal or grain savory products,

(d) potato crisps, popcorn, salted or roasted nuts,

(e) chocolates, sweets, biscuits, confectionery, but not plain bread.

(2) “Supplying food and drink” includes supplying food without drink and vice versa.

Certain printed matter

9. Printed books and booklets, but not newspapers, stationery, albums, and books of stamps, coupons or tickets.

Children’s clothing and footwear

10. (1) Children’s clothing, i.e., clothing of sizes not exceeding the size appropriate to a 10-year old child of average build.

(2) Children’s footwear, i.e., footwear of a size not exceeding the average size for a 10-year old child.

(3) A 10-year old child means a child under eleven years of age.

Medicine, medical equipment and appliances

11. (1) Medicine for human oral consumption.

(2) Medicine for animal oral consumption (but not for pets).

(3) Invalid carriages and appliances, and artificial body parts (but not artificial teeth, corrective spectacles, and contact lenses).

Fertilisers, feeding stuffs, certain seeds etc

12. (1) Animal feed other than pet food.

(2) Fertiliser supplied in packages of 10kg or more.

(3) Food-producing trees, plants, seeds, spores, bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, corms and rhizomes.

Other zero-rated goods and services

13. (1) Lighthouse and navigation services provided by the Commissioner of Irish Lights.

(2) Life saving services provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

(3) Sanitary towels and tampons.

(4)Air traffic control services supplied by the Irish Aviation Authority.

(5) Plain white wax candles and night lights.

Low rate (13.5%, but 9% as regards services marked “*” from 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2013)

The goods and services chargeable to VAT at the low rate (Schedule 3) are:

Definitions

1-2. Definitions.

Food and drink for human consumption*

3. (1) Food and drink provided for human consumption by a vending machine, or in the course of catering (i.e., in the course of operating a hotel, restaurant, canteen, pub, catering or similar business).

(2) The supply, in the course of catering, of ice cream, frozen desserts, frozen yoghurts etc, potato crisps, popcorn and salted or roasted nuts, and non-alcoholic drinks.

(3) Hot take away food.

(4) Hot take away food does not include bread that does not meet the ingredient requirements.

(5) Cakes, crackers, wafers and biscuits, excluding:

(a) cakes etc food in question is not covered, or decorated with chocolate,

(b) ice cream, frozen desserts, etc,

(c) chocolates, sweets and similar confectionery.

Live animals, animal feeding stuffs

4. (1) Greyhound feed supplied in units of 10kg or more.

(2) Live poultry and live ostriches.

Pharmaceutical products

5. Non-oral contraceptives.

Certain safety equipment

6. Children’s car safety seats.

newspapers and other printed matter*

7. Printed newspapers and magazines, brochures, leaflets and programmes, catalogues, directories, maps, charts, sheet music – provided the material in question does not consist mainly of advertising.

Shows, exhibitions, cultural facilities, etc*

8. (1) Cinema admission charges.

(2) Promotion of, and admission to, live theatre and concert shows, other than dances, which are not exempt.

(3) Amusement services.

(4) Admission to artistic, cultural, historical or scientific exhibitions (that are not exempt).

Private dwellings

9. (1) Services consisting of the development of immovable goods consisting of private dwellings, i.e., building type work (subject to the two-thirds rule).

(2) Routine cleaning of private dwellings.

Agricultural goods and services

10. (1) Agricultural services.

(2) Animal insemination services.

(3) Livestock semen.

Hotels, holiday accommodation*

11. Accommodation in a hotel, guest house, holiday home or caravan park.

Sporting facilities*

12. (1) Commercial sports facilities.

(2) Golf facilities provided by a member-owned golf club, if the turnover exceeds €37,500 in any continuous 12 month period.

(3) Golf facilities provided by a non-profit body, if the turnover exceeds €37,500 in any continuous 12 month period.

Other services

13. (1) Waste disposal services.

(2) Minor repairs to movable goods.

(3) Hairdressing services.*

Housing

14. The supply of immovable goods used for residential purposes, i.e., houses and apartments.

Non-residential immovable goods

15. (1) The supply of immovable goods not used for residential purposes, i.e., commercial property.

(2) Services consisting of the development of commercial property, i.e., building type work (subject to the two-thirds rule).

(3) Routine cleaning of commercial property.

Concrete works

16. (1) Concrete ready to pour.

(2) Standard-sized concrete building blocks.

Energy products and supplies

17. (1) Coal, peat and solid fuel products.

(2) Electricity.

(3) Domestic or industrial gas for heating or lighting.

(4) Home heating oil.

Photographic and related supplies

18. (1) Photographic development services.

(2) Photographs and negatives supplied by a professional photographer.

(3) Professional photographic services.

(4) Passport photographs supplied by a photographic vending machine.

(5) Film editing services.

(6) Photographic agency service receipts.

Hiring for short periods

19. Short-term hire of road vehicles, boats, caravans, mobile homes, and tents.

Certain repairs and services

20. (1) Repair and maintenance of movable goods (but not motor accessories, batteries, tyres, tyre flaps or tyre tubes, supplied in the course of a vehicle service).

(2) Zero-rated repair work (on movable goods for export, on aircraft or sea-going vessels, or on equipment used in international aircraft) is excluded from (1).

Miscellaneous services

21. (1) Care of the human body (health studios).

(2) Professional jockey services.

(3) Professional veterinary services.

(4) Tour guide services.

(5) Driving instruction (other than heavy goods vehicles).

Plants and bulbs

22. (1) Nursery or garden centre produce.

(2) Goods used for the agricultural production of biofuel.

Works of art

23. Original works of art (paintings, sketches, engravings, sculptures).

Antiques

24. Antiques more than 100 years old.

Literary manuscripts

25. Literary manuscripts certified as being of major importance.

Composite and multiple supplies

In the case of a composite supply the whole supply is charged at the rate applicable to the principal item. In the case of multiple supplies the tax is charged at the rates applicable to the individual items.

Two-thirds rule

If a combination of goods and services is supplied for a single price, provided the value of goods exceeds two-thirds of the total price for the job, the entire transaction is treated as a supply of goods (not a service) (s 41).