Thursday, 14 November 2019

Ceisteanna (44, 45, 46)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

44. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to threats to the operation of the retail export scheme as a consequence of the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019 [46984/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

45. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether the practice in which the retail export scheme facilitates tourists who are visiting Ireland from outside the European Union claim a value added tax refund on all purchases above a threshold of €0.01, which has helped to encourage higher levels of spending and increased visits to Ireland by non-EU tourists, is now in danger as a result of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46985/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

46. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance his plans to commence the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019, which will fundamentally alter the retail export scheme by introducing a new minimum threshold of €175 which will result in all non-EU tourists having to spend a minimum of €175 before they can claim back VAT on their holiday purchases in the event of a no-deal Brexit; his views on whether this will have a negative impact on the tourism sector; if an analysis has been carried out on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46986/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 to 46, inclusive, together.

The Retail Export Scheme allows persons who are resident outside the EU and who make purchases of goods in the EU to avail of a refund of the VAT charged on these goods where the goods are exported from the EU by the tourist or traveller within three months of purchase. The UK will become a 3rd country and UK residents will become eligible for the scheme post Brexit.

The provision concerning the restrictions and conditions that may be applied to the Retail Export Scheme in the event of a no-deal Brexit was included in the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019, which became law on March 17 of this year.

The Government's intention is to provide reciprocal protection to the UK if they decide to restrict the introduction of their VAT Retail Scheme, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However should the UK apply an unrestricted Retail Export Scheme, Ireland will not commence the precautionary sections, and an unrestricted VAT Retail Export Scheme will operate between jurisdictions. 

The proposed measures, while precautionary, were influenced by i) the potential for significant Exchequer impacts as a result of the expansion of the scheme to the UK, and ii) the potential risk of fraud in the application of the VAT Retail scheme.