The background to this issue is that up to 31 December 2011, admissions to open farms and built and natural heritage facilities were treated as a short-term letting of an immovable good and were therefore exempt from VAT. Following a number of CJEU cases, Revenue issued a notice in mid-2011 that such admissions could no longer be treated as exempt and would be liable to VAT at the standard rate. On the following Budget night, my predecessor, Minister Noonan announced that he was going to make a change in the VAT treatment of admission fees and in Finance Act 2012, the second reduced rate (9%) was extended to open farms and built and natural heritage facilities.
I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that further to the notice issued in 2011 and Finance Act 2012, this change in the VAT treatment was publicised in the following ways:
- Finance Act 2012 Notes for Guidance for VAT,
- Revenue Tax Briefing (No. 1 of 2012),
- VAT leaflet on the VAT treatment of Entrance fees to Historic Houses and Gardens and certain other admissions to, and rights over, property, and
- The VAT rates database available on Revenue’s website.
I am further advised that the 2012 Notes for Guidance and the 2012 Tax Briefing remain available in the Historic Material section of Revenue’s website and the current guidance for these services is set out in the VAT rates database.
Since 1 January 2019, these services are liable to the reduced rate (13.5%) as is the case with similar tourism related services.