Who needs to register for VAT?


Any business (company/sole trader/partnership who is selling goods or services from Ireland must register for VAT in Ireland if they sell more than the following amount in a rolling 12-month period:


  • €37,500 (for services)
  • €75,000 (for goods)

For example, if you sell €40,000 in services from July 2019 to June 2020, you must register for VAT.

If you have set up a business but have yet to supply taxable goods or services, you may reclaim VAT on your start-up costs. However, to do so you are required to register for VAT. This will enable you to obtain credit for VAT on purchases made before trading begins.

Traders whose turnover is below the VAT thresholds, farmers and sea fishers are not generally obliged to register for VAT. They may, however, elect to register for VAT.


Persons required to register solely because of goods or services acquired from abroad


Usually the following persons would not need to register for Value-Added Tax (VAT) in the state:

  • Non-VAT registered businesses
  • Exempt businesses such as banks
  • Public bodies such as local authorities, State agencies and semi-State bodies
  • Farmers, fishers or race horse trainers.
  • But they may have to register and account for VAT, for received taxable services from outside the State or Intra-Community Acquisitions.

Exempt persons and certain non-taxable persons acquiring goods within the EU


Exempt persons and certain non-taxable persons are obliged to register and account for VAT in certain situations. Such situations include where they buy or are likely to buy, goods from other Member States. You need to register when the goods exceeds, or are likely to exceed €41,000 in any 12 month period.

Flat-rate farmers, fishers and race-horse trainers may be required to register in respect of receiving such goods, subject to the relevant threshold. They can retain their unregistered status in respect of their farming or fishing activities.

You may not reclaim VAT if you are an exempt or non-taxable person.


Paying VAT on services from abroad


You must pay VAT on the invoiced amounts at the appropriate Irish VAT rate to Revenue in your periodic VAT return. You may qualify to reclaim the VAT at the same time.

By passing your VAT number to the supplier, you will avoid paying VAT in the other Member State.

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Mark Sweetman, ACA

Mark Sweetman, ACA

As a Chartered Accountant I've built my experience working within the SaaS and digital technology industries, growing early-stage businesses from the inside. I help digital entrepreneurs understand their companies and ensure they have all the tools they require to succeed and thrive. I love adopting new tech solutions and making use of these to increase efficiency within our clients' businesses.