Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (63)

Brendan Griffin


63. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance the reason swimming lessons attract the highest rate of VAT at 23%; if he will consider reducing or abolishing this in view of the health benefits and as a measure to help tackle Ireland's very high drowning death statistics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45380/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. Sports related coaching, such as swimming lessons are generally chargeable to VAT at the standard rate, currently 23%, in accordance with section 46(1)(a) of the Value Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010, as amended, and is in compliance with Article 96 of the EU VAT Directive (Council Directive 2006/112/EC).

Swimming lessons provided to children of pre-school and school-going age qualify for exemption from VAT in circumstances where the lessons delivered meet the requirements of the aquatics strand of the physical education curriculum for primary and post-primary schools, as set out by the Department of Education and Skills. In such instances, swimming lessons are regarded as "education" thereby qualifying as an exempt activity for the purposes of paragraph 4(3) of Schedule 1 of the VAT Consolidation Act 2010, as amended.