News & Tips

VAT return - Periodicity [Tip]

You can opt for filing returns on a bi-yearly period [6-month period] provided your yearly [net] VAT liability is below € 3.000 or filing returns on a tri-annual basis [every four months] provided the yearly [net] VAT liability is between € 3.001 - € 14.400. Taxpayers with low turnover or who pay their VAT liability by monthly direct debit payment can file their VAT returns on an annual basis if approved by the Irish tax authorities.

Local reverse charge in the construction sector [Tip]

Sub-contractors not established in Ireland who provide to a principal contractor construction services which are within the scope of Relevant Contract Tax [RCT] are not required to register for VAT purposes [special reverse charge]. VAT on construction services that are not subject to RCT will continue to be taxed under the normal VAT system.

Payment of VAT [Tip]

A taxpayer with bi-monthly VAT liability of up to € 50.000 may pay VAT by direct debit in monthly instalments. If a business is seasonal, you can vary the amounts paid each month to reflect cash flow. You should make sure that the amount of VAT paid by direct debit is sufficient to cover ongoing liabilities. Where necessary, you should adjust the direct debit amounts to ensure the payments are adequate. At the end of the year, if a shortfall arises, the balance should be included when submitting the end-of-year VAT return. Where insufficient amounts are paid by direct debit and, as a result, the balance is more than 20% of the annual liability for VAT, you will be liable to an interest charge backdated to the mid-point of the year.




VAT Directive


What is the structure of the VAT number?

Each individual VAT identification number shall have a prefix in accordance with ISO code 3166 - alpha 2 - by which the Member State may be identified.


Irish VAT numbers have 10 characters [IE + 1 alpha and 7 numeric or 2 alpha and 6 numeric].


What is the local name of the tax?


Value Added Tax [VAT]


VAT rate

VAT Directive


 VAT rates

Member States must apply a standard VAT rate [not lower than 15%] which must be the same for the supply of goods and for the supply of services.

Member States may apply either one or two reduced rates [not lower than 5%] only to supplies of goods or services as listed in the Annex III of the VAT Directive.


Ireland applies a standard VAT rate of 23% and three reduced VAT rates: 5%, 9% and 13,5%.


See VAT rates applied in the EU.  

VAT return

VAT Directive


How is the tax period determined? 

The tax period shall be set by each Member State at one month, two months or three months.

Member States may, however, set different tax periods provided those ones do not exceed one year. 


Your company has to report its VAT position by filing periodical VAT returns on a two-monthly basis [2-month period - standard tax period]. Monthly reporting period can be opted for if your company is in a permanent repayment situation.

Other tax periods are also available under specific conditions.


When should periodical VAT return be filed?

The VAT return shall be submitted by a deadline to be determined by Member States.

That deadline may not be more than two months after the end of each tax period.


Periodical VAT return must be filed by electronic means via "ROS" to Irish VAT authorities before the 19th day of the month [19 of N+1] after the end of the tax period [monthly, bi-monthly, tri-annually, bi-annually or yearly] to which it relates.

If you both pay and file your return using ROS services the due date for your payment and return will be extended to the 23rd of the month following the tax period.


VAT Directive


Annual recapitulative statement

Is this requirement laid down in the country and what is the filing deadline?

Member State may require taxable persons to submit a return in respect to all transactions carried out in the preceding year.

That return shall provide all the information necessary for any adjustments.


Your company has to file a yearly Statement [Return of Trading Details - RTD].

The RDT Form details purchases and sales for the year, broken by VAT rate. The statement should be filed by electronic means via "ROS" together with the last VAT return of the year.

Recapitulative statement of intra-EU supply of goods [European Sales Listing - ESL]

Are quarterly filings allowed by the country and what is the filing deadline?

The recapitulative statement shall be drawn up for each calendar month.

However, Member States, in accordance with the conditions and limits which they may lay down, may allow taxable persons to submit the recapitulative statement on each calendar quarter where the total quarterly amount of intra-EU supplies of goods does not exceed either in respect of the quarter concerned or of any of the previous four quarters the sum of € 50.000 or its equivalent in national currency.

The recapitulative statement shall be submitted within a period not exceeding one month.


The recapitulative statement [ESL - VIES return] must be drawn up for each calendar month.

Taxpayers can however opt for filing the statement on a quarterly basis provided the intra-EU transactions do not exceed a quarterly threshold of € 50.000.

VIES Return must be filed by electronic means via "ROS" to Irish VAT authorities before the 23th day of the month following the reporting period [month/quarter] to which it relates.


VAT Directive


What is the payment deadline?

Any taxable person liable for the payment of the VAT must pay the net amount of the VAT when submitting the VAT return. 

Member States may, however, set a different date for payment of that amount.



The VAT due should be paid by filing deadline for the VAT return - no later than the 23rd day of the month after the end of the tax period to which it relates.

Where VAT becomes payable but is not paid, simple interest is chargeable at the rate of 0,0274% per day, or part of a day during which the amount remains unpaid.

Are interim payments required?

Member States may require interim payment to be made.

Interim payments are not required in Ireland. However, taxpayers choosing to pay their VAT liability by way of direct debit instalments and filing annual VAT returns must pay monthly interim payments.


VAT refund

VAT Directive


VAT refund for companies VAT registered in the country.

Is any VAT credit automatically carried forward or refunded?

Where, for a given tax period, the amount of deductions exceeds the amount of VAT due, the Member States may, in accordance with conditions which they shall determine, either make a refund or carry the excess forward to the following period. However, Member States may refuse to refund or carry forward if the amount of excess is insignificant.


A VAT credit is directly refunded about three weeks after filing the return.

No carry-forward mechanism. Irish VAT Act provides for payment of interest on refunds of VAT to a claimant in two circumstances, i.e. when there is a mistaken assumption in the operation of the tax made by Irish VAT authorities or where there is a delay of more than 93 days in processing a fully completed claim. The rate of interest is 0,011% per day.

Special measures for foreign companies

VAT Directive


Optional reverse charge [art. 194 of the VAT Directive] for non-resident supplier.


Member States in which the VAT is due may provide that the person liable for the payment of VAT is the person to whom the goods or services are supplied where the transaction is carried out by a taxable person who is not established in the country in which the VAT is due.

Reverse charge is not applicable to major supplies of goods [with the exception for supplies of goods with installation and some other specific items].

Optional reverse charge [art. 194 of the VAT Directive] for non-resident provider. 


Member States in which the VAT is due may provide that the person liable for the payment of VAT is the person to whom the goods or services are supplied where the transaction is carried out by a taxable person who is not established in the country in which the VAT is due.

Yes [with some exceptions]

Have simplification measures been taken to avoid registration of the foreign company for the goods held on consignment in the country?



Do special arrangements apply to "call-off-stock"?



Special arrangements apply for call-off-stock.

Where a non-established supplier [who has not exercised his option to register for VAT] sends stock from another EU Member State to Ireland for the use of an accountable person, then the non-established supplier is not obliged to register for VAT.

The VAT will be accounted for by means of an intra-EU acquisition by the accountable person when the stock is drawn off. The warehouse keeper must in all cases be independent of the supplier.


Triangulation can be applied when the middleman (B) is VAT registered [as a non-established company] for others supplies in the 3rd country [Member State of destination]?  

Triangulation regime ABC cannot be applied when the middleman B is also VAT registered in Ireland [Member State C].

Furthermore, the simplification measure can only operate in a classic triangulation situation. If there are more than three companies involved, the strict legal position will have to be respected and registration may be required in at least one other Member State depending on the precise circumstances.


VAT on import

VAT Directive


VAT warehousing regime

Member States may exempt the importation of goods and the supply of goods which are intended to be placed under warehousing arrangements other than customs warehousing.


Ireland has not introduced VAT warehousing regime applicable under specific conditions.

VAT on importation – Postponed accounting via the VAT return.

Is it possible for a company to pay the import VAT via the periodical VAT return?

Member States may provide that VAT on importation does not need to be paid at the time of importation on condition that it is entered as such in the VAT return  to be submitted.


Postponed accounting via the VAT return is not possible in Ireland. Import VAT needs to be paid to the customs authorities upon importation [immediate payment].

A deferred payment for VAT and customs [similar delay] is however possible under specific conditions.



VAT Directive


Intrastat Threshold  

Dispatches: € 635,000

Arrivals : € 500,000 

Distance Sales - Threshold  

€ 35,000

See various thresholds applied in the EU


Ministry of Finance   website

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