Imports and Arrivals

VAT applies automatically on importation from outside the EU. It is not based on the concept of a supply.

Intra Community acquisitions take place when the goods arrive within the territory of the State. VAT is charged on the 15th day of the month following or the date in which the invoice issues, if earlier.

In the case of new means of transport (vehicles), VAT is payable at the same time as vehicle registration tax.  The Vehicle Registration Tax collection rules apply.  The VAT is treated as if it is VRT.  Where  VRT does not apply, the general rule applies that it is subject on the 15th day of the month following the acquisition.

In the case of excisable goods, VAT is payable at the same time as excise duty.  Accordingly, when  goods are held under a suspension arrangement, VAT will also be suspended.

Agent Sales

The sale of goods under a contract by which commission is payable by an agent auctioneer who concludes agreements in his  own name but on the instructions of another is a supply of goods. There is deemed to be a supply to the agent by the owner of the goods and a sale/supply by the agent to the buyer.

In effect the auctioneers commission becomes rolled into the price. The action or agent must issue an invoice on the notional sale or supply to the buyer.  The owner must issue an invoice to the auctioneer /agent.

Hire Purchase and Letting

Hire purchase does not involve the immediate transfer of ownership.  Typically it involves a delivery of the goods on hire/ lease  with an option to purchase typically at the end of the arrangement.  There may be  an agreement between the supplier of the goods and a finance provider or the supplier may itself provide credit.  Most financial services are exempt from VAT.

There is a deemed supply when the goods are first handed over. Where the supplier itself supplies the good and there is no finance provider or where the sale is on credit there is deemed a supply to the customer. Where there is a finance provider  is a deemed a supply of the goods to the hire purchase company followed by a deemed supply by a finance provider to the hirer.  Each transaction is subject to VAT.  Special provisions provide for a quasi-invoice by the finance provider.

Part of the service, such as the interest a credit sale element comprises a financial service which is exempt.  The balance of the considerations/price applies to supply of the goods.  The supplier pas VAT on the element attributable to the goods.When the ownership of the goods pass at the end of the hire period there is deemed not to be a furthersupply of the goods.

Special provisions is made for subsequent sales by way of enforcement. There are treated as taxable sales/supplies. The are provisions designed to ensure that the charge of VAT on the financial services element and supply of goods element are not distorted.

The letting of goods by itself involves the provision of a service., There is no transfer of ownership or deemed transfer of ownership.

Self Supply

A self supply is when goods are taken from a use in a business entitled to VAT deduction and applied to a private use or a use which is not entitled to vat recovery or is entitled to partial deduction only. (exempt or partially exempt business) In this case, for example, the trader may have bought goods and reclaimed VAT on them on the basis that they are intended to be used in a VATable business.

Where they are taken out of this use VAT must immediately be paid.. This would happen where goods are taken, for example, by private use by business or into another business which does not charge VAT on all its sales.  VAT must therefore be immediately accounted for as if there is a sale of the good.  The self supply is charged to VAT at cost

Where goods are moved from one fully VATable business to another without a change of ownership, ,there will not  be a self supply. Where no VAT was recovered/deducted on their purchase,  no self supply arises in relation to their appropriation to an exempt or partially exempt

A self supply will usually occur where goods on which VAT has been recovered or deducted, are transferred or disposed of free of charge.  Certain small gifts  below €20 in value  and the gift in reasonable quantities to actual or potential customers of industrial samples not normally available to the public, are deemed not to be self supplies.

Transfer to Own Business in EU

The transfer by a person of goods from this business in one EU state to another EU state is regarded as a self supply.special provisions apply. There are exceptions to the general treatment including in particular

  • Goods which are installed or assembled in the EU state of destination
  • Goods sent by way of distance sales to persons not registered for VAT in the stated destination
  • Sending goods to another EU state for having a service carried out on them which I returned to that person in the State
  • Certain transfers of ships and aicraft for repair maintenance fuelling et cetera
  • For temporary use by the supplier in the supply of a service in another EU state
  • for temporary use not to exceed two years

Where the supply is made to the VAT registered branch of the person/entity in the EU state of destination there may be zero rated as an intra-community supply and intra-community acquisition. There will then be VAT implications in the state of destination in respect of the subsequent use of the goods.

CPO, Security

A compulsory acquisition of property is deemed to be a supply of goods even though it is not necessarily done pursuant to an agreement. If it is  an effective supply by a business VAT would apply as if it was a sale of the property concerned by that business.

Transfers of property or goods by way of security are not VATable.  Transfers of ownership back upon repayment of the debt are equally not VATable.allIf however the security is enforced a subsequent sale by the security holder (e.g. a bank) would be subject to VAT.  The bank, receiver or liquidator etc. must account for VAT.  The same principle applies to security over goods.

Business Transfer

The transfer of a business or part of the business as a going concern from one person to another is generally exempt from VAT.

What is transferred,must be transferred as a going concern.  It must not, for example, be a particular property or particular assets used in a business only.  The exemption will apply for all the business assets involved.  The transfer must be between two VAT registered businesses.

The transfer of shares in common with other financial services instruments is itself exempt from VAT.


By Rrevenue concession certain gifts of promotional advertisingproducts are not subject to VAT.

Gifts in reasonable quantities to actual or potential customers of industrial samples in a form not ordinarily available for sale to the public are exempt.

Utility Services

The supply of electricity and gas and any form of power heat refrigeration or ventilation is deemed to be the supply of goods. . The principles applicable to the supply of goods are applicable. There are special provisions in respect of the supply of energy and gas cross-border.


Important Notice! This website is provided for informational purposes only! It is a fundamental condition of the use of this website that no liability is accepted for any loss or damage caused by reason of any error, omission, or misstatement in its contents. 

Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *