Press releases

Lack of definition means uncertainty on what constitutes a ‘food supplement’ prevails

Finance Bill 2019

Finance Bill 2019 provides that VAT of 13.5% will apply to the sale of a range of oral food supplements from 1 January 2020. Commenting on this measure, Vincent McCullagh, Indirect Tax, Deloitte commented:

This measure was designed to replace an ageing “concession” that was felt by Revenue and industry to be no longer fit for purpose as advances in food supplement science had resulted in different rates of VAT applying to what many perceived to be similar type products.

The Department of Finance confirmed yesterday that the current zero-rate for certain foods for specific groups (such as infant formula, baby food, diet-related foods) and for fortified foods enriched with vitamins and/or minerals would be maintained. However, the absence of a definition of ‘food supplements’ means the Bill fails to give the legislative certainty that the food supplement industry had hoped for. The fear is that, without a legislative definition, uncertainty will still prevail in the industry. Ultimately, the industry may once again have to turn to the courts as the final arbiter of what constitutes a food supplement.


For Further Information Please Contact

Aoibheann O’Sullivan
01 498 0300
087 6291453

Claire Quinn
01 417 2356
087 9777783

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