Charging VAT on services
- What is a service for VAT?
- General place of supply rules for services
- Exceptions to the general place of supply rules
- VAT obligations of Irish traders supplying services to business customers abroad
General place of supply rules for services
There are two general place of supply rules, depending on whether the recipient is a business or consumer.
Supply of services to a business (B2B)
For supplies of business to business services (B2B), the place of supply is the place where the business receiving the services is established.
Irish suppliers will not normally charge Irish VAT on services to a business established outside Ireland. Instead, the business customer will self account for the VAT in their State.
The location of the business customer to whom the services are supplied can be:
- where he or she has established their business
- where that person’s fixed establishment is located
- in the absence of such place of business or a fixed establishment, the place where he or she has a permanent address or usual place of residence.
Supply of services to a non-business consumer (B2C)
For supplies of business to consumer services (B2C), the place of supply is the place where the supplier is established.
However, many services supplied from Ireland to non-business customers outside the European Union (EU) will not be subject to Irish VAT.
Since 1 January 2015, the place of supply for all supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services to consumers is the place where the consumer resides. See VAT MOSS for further information.
Supplies to customers outside the EU (B2C)
Subject to the Use and Enjoyment provisions, VAT is not chargeable on the following services supplied to non-business customers established outside the EU:
- transfers and assignments of copyrights, patents, licences, trademarks and similar rights
- advertising services
- the services of consultants, engineers, consultancy firms, lawyers, accountants and other similar services, as well as data processing and the provision of information
- obligations to refrain from pursuing or exercising, in whole or in part, a business activity or a right
- banking, financial and insurance transactions including reinsurance, except for the hire of safes
- the supply of staff
- the hiring out of movable tangible property, with the exception of all means of transport
- the provision of access to, and of transport or transmission through, natural gas and electricity distribution systems. This includes the provision of other services directly linked thereto
- telecommunications services
- radio and television broadcasting services
- electronically supplied services.
Services not included in the list above, supplied to a non-business customer outside the EU are subject to Irish VAT at the appropriate rate.
Summary of the place of supply services rules
A summary of the place of supply of services rules (unless subject to Exemptions or Use and Enjoyment) is shown below.
|Country of establishment of supplier||Country in which customer established||Status of customer||Place of supply||Person liable to account for Irish VAT|
|Ireland||Ireland||Business or Private||Ireland||Supplier|
|Ireland||Other EU State||Business||Other EU State||No Irish VAT|
|Ireland||Other EU State||Private||Ireland||Supplier|
|Ireland||Outside EU||Business||Outside EU||No Irish VAT|
|Ireland||Outside EU||Private||Depends on nature of the Service||Supplier (if VAT occurs)|
|Other EU State||Ireland||Business||Ireland||Business customer|
|Other EU State||Ireland||Private||Other EU State||No Irish VAT|
|Outside EU||Ireland||Business||Ireland||Business customer|
|Outside EU||Ireland||Private||Depends on nature of the Service||Depends on nature of the service – if taxable in the State – the supplier|