If the voluntary organisation referred to by the Deputy is purchasing a newly built premises, VAT applies at the reduced rate of 13.5% both on its construction and on the site, where these are connected contracts.
Voluntary groups and charities are exempt under the EU sixth VAT directive with which Irish VAT law must comply. This means they do not charge VAT on their services and cannot recover VAT incurred on goods and services that they purchase. Essentially, only VAT-registered businesses which charge VAT are able to recover VAT. Voluntary organisations are final consumers and like other final consumers they pay VAT as a tax on their purchases. There is no provision in the directive under which Ireland would be permitted to exempt from VAT the sale of property to a particular person or class of persons.
The stamp duty arising in this case is the stamp duty on non-residential property. This duty yielded €547 million in 2003 in total. There are very few reliefs in the case of non-residential property and there are no plans to introduce any new relief for any other categories.