Irish Revenue Updates

Indirect Tax Matters August 2020

Irish Revenue Updates

Revenue eBrief No. 088/20 - 19 May 2020

Charities VAT Compensation Scheme - extension to closing date for submitting claims:

We welcome Revenue’s decision to extend the deadline for submitting claims.

In response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the operation of business, the closing date for submission of claims under the VAT Compensation Scheme has been extended this year, from 30 June 2020 to 31 August 2020. This is a temporary measure and applies to claims submitted in respect of eligible VAT paid by charities in 2019. Charities are encouraged, however, to continue to submit their claims as early as possible via Revenue's Online Service (ROS).

Revenue eBrief No. 089/20 - 20 May 2020

Individuals described as 'locums' engaged in the fields of medicine, health care and pharmacy:

Revenue continues to focus on this topical area regarding the issue of employed v self-employed across a multiplicity of sectors. This work is carried out in conjunction with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Workplace Relations Commission.

The Manual sets out Revenue’s position as regards:

  • the status (employed or self-employed) of individuals described, correctly or
  • otherwise, as ‘locums’ in the fields of medicine, health care and pharmacy; and
  • the incorporation of Medical Locum practices.

The provision of staff by an intermediary is an activity liable to VAT. VAT should be charged at the standard rate on turnover once the turnover exceeds or is expected to exceed the relevant annual threshold.

Revenue eBrief No. 100/20 - 04 June 2020

Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax Compliance Procedures Manual:

This clarifies Revenue’s view on the operation of sugar tax in relation to certain plant protein drinks and certain drinks containing milk fats.

The Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT) Compliance Procedures Manual has been updated to reflect the inclusion of

  • certain plant protein drinks and 
  • certain drinks containing milk fats in the scope of SSDT.

- Section 1.4 of the Manual has been revised to include a link to the tax regulations in respect of SSDT.
- Section 2 of the Manual has been updated to include the types of drinks that are now within the scope of SSDT and the method for determining if they are liable for SSDT.

Revenue eBrief No. 110/20 - 17 June 2020

VAT treatment of betting and gaming:

New tax and duty manuals are now available on:

  • The VAT treatment of Betting, Remote Betting Services and Lotteries
  • The VAT treatment of Gaming, Gaming Machines and Amusements Machines

This guidance sets out the VAT treatment of betting, remote betting services and Lotteries and further information is available on Revenue’s website.

Revenue eBrief No. 112/20 - 17 June 2020

The VAT Treatment of Medical Services:

This update more than likely follows a recent European Court decision on ancillary medical services by telephone which can qualify for exemption.

The guidance in tax and duty manual VAT Treatment of Medical Services has been updated to include:

  • medical locum services
  • certain services performed by pharmacists
  • Statutory Instrument No. 170 of 2018 (Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (Regulations 2018)) of 2 July 2018.

Revenue eBrief No. 113/20 - 17 June 2020

The VAT treatment of Charitable Donations via SMS:

This is another topical update in what can be a controversial area. This addresses the difficulty in dealing with telephone credits which are not used for telephone services such as charitable donations or on street parking.

The guidance in tax and duty manual VAT treatment of Charitable Donations via SMS has been updated to reflect the rules on multipurpose vouchers and to improve readability.

Revenue eBrief No. 140/20 - 21 July 2020

Charities VAT Compensation Scheme –

As previously outlined, this is a reminder that the closing date for submission of claims is extended to 31st August 2020)

Claims submitted after 31 August 2020 will not be accepted.

Claimants should familiarise themselves with the qualifying criteria for the scheme before submitting a claim. Information on the scheme is available on Revenue’s website.

Revenue eBrief No. 141/20 - 23 July 2020

Administrative cooperation and combating fraud in the field of Value-Added Tax (VAT):

The purpose of the Tax & Duty Manual Mutual Assistance Requests - User Manual and Guidelines is to provide staff with a practical guide to the preparation of Mutual Assistance Requests and Responses for onward transmission to other Member States.

This manual has been updated for the new e-Forms Central Application, which came into effect on 1 August 2019.

Revenue eBrief No. 142/20 - 29 July 2020

Temporary VAT measures relating to Covid-19:

The guidance note 'Temporary VAT measures relating to Covid-19' has been updated.

Another Revenue decision we welcome is that the concessional VAT treatment of specific medical products and donations or gifts of goods and meals has been extended to 31 October 2020, subject to review.

EU Commission updates

EU and China Discuss Trade and Economic Relations – 28 July 2020

On 28 July 2020, the EU and China held their 8th High-Level Trade and Economic Dialogue (HED). The dialogue focused around the joint response to coronavirus and global economic governance issues, bilateral trade and investment concerns, and cooperation with regards to financial services and taxation. The EU also requested that China begin exploratory talks for an agreement with the EU regarding administrative cooperation in an attempt to combat VAT fraud.

Press Remarks by Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni on Fair and Simple Taxation: A New Package of Measures to Contribute to Europe’s Recovery and Growth – 15 July 2020

The Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni gave a speech in which he addressed the Commission’s efforts to combat tax fraud, and to “make life harder for those actively trying to cheat the system”. He explained that the EU loses over €150bn annually due to tax evasion, one third of which can be attributed to VAT fraud.

The Tax Action Plan contains a set of measures that are focused on reducing hurdles for businesses and making tax evasion more challenging, a number of which are aimed at VAT.

Questions and Answers on the Tax Package – 15 July 2020

The Commission revealed a new Tax Package which aims to further combat tax abuse and avoidance, and help tax administrations keep up with the constantly evolving economy. The Action Plan details a number of measures to make tax, specifically VAT, easier and fairer in the EU. These measures involve moving towards a single EU VAT registration, adapting the EU VAT rules to digitisation, and more, with the aim of improving the tax environment in the EU.

Summer 2020 Economic Forecast: An Even Deeper Recession with Wider Divergences – 7 July 2020

The Commission predicts that the euro area economy will contract by 8.7% in 2020 and grow by 6.1% in 2021, whereas the EU economy is predicted to contract by 8.3% in 2020 and grow by 5.8% in 2021. The article goes on to explain that while oil and food prices have risen more than expected, their effect is expected to be balanced out by the weaker economic outlook, as well as the effect of VAT reductions that a number of Member States have implemented.

Remarks by Commissioner Gentiloni at the Press Conference on the Summer 2020 Economic Forecast – 7 July 2020

In his speech, the Commissioner addressed the fact that temporary VAT cuts and other fiscal measures will aim to lower inflation in 2020, with reversed and positive base effects in the second half of 2021.

State Aid: Commission Approves €33 million Cypriot Scheme Deferring Payment of VAT to Support Companies Affected by Coronavirus Outbreak – 11 June 2020

The Commission approved a scheme in Cyprus in which VAT payments are deferred for companies that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak to ease their liquidity constraints. The scheme allows companies to defer payment of VAT that are due in April, May and June 2020, and no interest or penalties will be imposed on companies that pay the due VAT by 10 November 2020. The scheme is accessible to companies of all sizes and all sectors, except those that continued to operate during the lockdown in Cyprus.

Speech by Michel Barnier at the European Economic and Social Committee Plenary Session – 10 June 2020

In his speech on 10 June 2020, Michel Barnier addressed the fact that the UK has chosen to leave the Single Market, the Customs Union, the VAT and excise duty area and all of the EU’s international agreements. He pointed out that however good the agreement reached with the UK is, the trade relationship will never be as fluid as it is today.

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