Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (157)

John Lahart


157. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to an anomaly by which self-employed persons and businesses can avoid paying VAT on goods unrelated to their businesses purchased online from other jurisdictions (details supplied); if his attention has been further drawn to the impact this is having on retailers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23597/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that under the VAT Consolidation Act, a person registered for Irish VAT who makes an intra-community acquisition of goods, such as bicycles, is required to self-account for Irish VAT on the reverse charge basis at the appropriate Irish VAT rate in their VAT returns. Where a person makes an intra-community acquisition of goods and does not use those goods for the purposes of their taxable business, they are not entitled to a deduction for the VAT that has been self-accounted for on the reverse charge basis.

Supplies made by a supplier in another EU Member State to an Irish VAT registered business must be reported through the VIES reporting system to Revenue, which provides them with information on goods sourced in this way by Irish VAT registered business and in respect of which they are obliged to self-account for Irish VAT.

Where a supplier in another EU Member State supplies goods to a person in Ireland who is not obliged to be registered for VAT, the goods are subject to Irish VAT where the value of sales to Irish customers by that trader exceeds the Irish distance-selling threshold of €35,000 in a calendar year; otherwise the goods are liable to VAT in the Member State from which they are supplied.

Revenue monitors and reviews the quality of controls and the adequacy of the resources deployed to implement them on an ongoing basis, and is also focused on identifying and addressing potential risks associated with eCommerce imports from non-EU sources. In 2018, Revenue also established a dedicated VAT Compliance Branch to further promote and enforce compliance with Irish distance-selling requirements. A core objective of this Branch is the identification and VAT registration of online traders within the EU who exceed the Irish distance-selling threshold.

I would encourage the Deputy to provide any further information he has on this matter to Revenue.