VAT rates in Ireland

Quick overview

Standard Rate Other Rates
23% 13,5%, 9% and 4,8%

The local name for VAT in Ireland is “Value Added Tax” (VAT).

There are basically 4 VAT rates in Ireland:

  • Standard VAT rate is 23%
  • Reduced VAT rate is 4,8, 9 and 13,5%

Recent developments

Covid measures:

  • Recently, Ireland published some changes for COVID-19 vaccines and in vitro diagnostic devices.  Further, a reduced rate is applied on protective face masks.
  • VAT rate for transactions such as restaurant and catering services; certain printed matter such as brochures, maps and catalogs; promotion of and admission to shows, exhibitions and cultural facilities; hotel and holiday accommodation; and hairdressing services has changed from 13.5% to 9% with effect from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2021.
  • The standard rate was reduced from 23% to 21% with effect from 1 September 2020 to 28 February 2021 (expectation is that 23% will apply from 1 March 2021).

For more information about (recent) rate change developments in Ireland, please click here.

Standard rate: 21%

This rate applies for all transactions that take place in Ireland, unless an exception applies (such as a reduced rate, the zero rate or an exemption, or a reason to treat the transaction as outside scope of VAT).

Zero rate (0%)

Examples of transactions subject to this rate are:

  • Books (hard copy)
  • Most foodstuffs (excluding confectionery)
  • Oral medicine
  • Exports
  • Children’s clothing and footwear
  • Goods and services supplied to frequent exporters under the “VAT 56 Scheme”

Ireland applies various exemptions with a refund of tax paid at preceding stages (zero rates), such as intra-Community and international transport, intra-Community supplies of goods, exports of goods (and related services) to non-EU countries, sea vessels and aircraft and related goods/services, and services to goods and goods under customs control.

Reduced rate 1: 4,8%

Supplies of livestock (live cattle, horses, sheep, etc.).

Reduced rate 2: 9%

Examples of transactions subject to this rate are:

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Electronic newspapers, magazines and e-books
  • Admission to sporting facilities (the provision of facilities for taking part in sporting activities by a person other than a non-profit making organisation)
  • Hairdressing services

Reduced rate 3: 13,5%

Examples of transactions subject to this rate are:

  • Waste disposal
  • Electricity
  • Various agricultural services, including veterinary services
  • Most fuel for power and heating (not diesel and petrol – standard rate applies)
  • Holiday accommodation
  • Restaurant and catering services
  • Hot take-away food and hot drinks
  • Tour guide services
  • Certain vehicle or caravan short term hires (up to 5 weeks per annum)
  • Repair, cleaning and maintenance services
  • Developed immovable property
  • Building services
  • Works of art, antiques and literary manuscripts
  • Driving lessons
  • Child car seats
  • Live plants, shrubs, flowers and certain bulbs, seeds, roots etc
  • Admissions to cinemas, theatres, certain musical performances, museums, art gallery exhibitions
  • Amusement services of the kind normally supplied in fairgrounds or amusement park services

For a description of how the VAT rates are structured in the European Union, please see here.  The European Commission has also made an EU VAT rate database available where you can find the applicable VAT rate by entering the CN/CPA code of the goods respectively services (you can find more information here).

A global VAT/GST rate overview can be found here (note this is a work in progress).

This post was last updated on 9 April 2021.



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