Intra-Community supplies (ICS)


The intra-Community supply and acquisition of goods occurs where goods are dispatched or transported between businesses in different Member States (MS) of the European Union (EU). For Value-Added Tax (VAT) purposes, two transactions are deemed to have occurred:

This section covers the VAT treatment of the ICS of goods. An ICS refers to the supply of goods by a business in one MS to a business in another MS of the EU. In these transactions the purchaser is required to self-account for VAT. The purchaser self-accounts for the VAT as if he or she had made the supply themselves.

This section explains:

  • the VAT treatment of ICS of goods in the European Union (EU)
  • what evidence you need to retain when making an ICS
  • what triangulation is in respect of supplies of goods within the EU
  • the VAT treatment of supplies of new means of transport to a person in another Member State
  • the VAT obligations when supplying excisable goods to another Member State.

Next: Zero rate of VAT on ICS of goods

Zero rate of VAT on ICS of goods

The place of an intra-Community supply (ICS) of goods is the place where the transport begins.

The zero rate of VAT can apply to the ICS, if the following conditions are met:

  • the customer must be registered for Value-Added Tax (VAT) in another Member State
  • you must obtain and retain the customer’s VAT registration number (including country prefix)
  • you must quote your VAT number and your customer’s VAT number on the sales invoice
  • and
  • the goods must be dispatched or transported to another Member State.

If any of the above four conditions are not satisfied, you must charge Irish VAT at the appropriate rate.

Revenue may not be satisfied that the goods have been sold and delivered to a VAT registered person in another Member State. In such cases, the supplier will become liable and must charge Irish VAT.

However, if the conditions for zero-rating are subsequently established then:

  • the customer is entitled to recover the VAT he or she has paid
  • the supplier can then make an adjustment in their VAT return for the period.

Next: What is triangulation?

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