How do I Register For VAT In Ireland?

A comprehensive summary on everything you need to know about registering for VAT in Ireland.

What Is Value Added Tax (VAT)?

How do I register for VAT in Ireland? We take you through VAT compliance in this complete guide. Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a tax levied on sales of goods or services within the EU Member States. It is the final consumer of the goods or services who ultimately pays the VAT. Along the supply chain, each party (manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer) functions as a VAT collector.

These parties collect VAT from their customers and subsequently include the VAT amount in their VAT returns to Revenue. After they return the collected VAT, they can choose to reclaim any VAT their suppliers have charged them, ensuring a fair and balanced VAT system.

How To Register for VAT a Guide.

This guide provides valuable insights into the VAT application process and obtaining a VAT number in Ireland. We highly recommend consulting with an expert for any VAT registration inquiries in Ireland. Our team here at Irish Formations is always available to provide expert support and guidance for your new business. We Include VAT registration in any of our premium company formation packages. Registering an Irish company with foreign directors for VAT (Value Added Tax) in Ireland involves a process that’s generally similar to that for companies with Irish directors. However, the Revenue Commissioners (the Irish tax authority) may require additional documentation or guarantees when the directors are non-resident. Anything further than registration such as tax advice, we can offer you a free referral to an accountant.

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Who Should Register For VAT?

In most situations, if you are recognized as an accountable person, you must register for VAT. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to proceed:

Who Is Considered An Accountable Person?

An accountable person is essentially a taxable entity, such as an individual, partnership, or company, meeting the following criteria:

Engages in supplying taxable goods or services within the State.

  1. Is either registered for VAT or obligated to register for VAT.
  2. As a result, they are mandated to apply VAT charges on their transactions.

There are specific situations where such individuals may need to register for VAT. These situations include:

  1. Acquiring goods from other Member States
  2. Receiving services from abroad.

Registering My Company For VAT?

In the event that you have established a business but have not yet supplied taxable goods or services, you have the option to reclaim VAT on your start-up expenses. However, to avail of this opportunity, you must register for VAT.

This registration allows you to receive credit for VAT on purchases made before commencing your trading activities.

Of course before registering a company for VAT you will firstly need to register a company, read more about how to register a company here.

Registering An Irish Company for VAT

  1. Determine VAT Eligibility:

Firstly, it’s essential to determine if your company needs to register for VAT. The need for VAT registration is typically based on the type and level of sales made by the company. There are certain turnover thresholds above which registration becomes mandatory. For some services or goods, the thresholds might be different.

2. Complete the TR1 Form:

To register for VAT in Ireland, the company needs to complete a TR1 form. This form is used by non-individuals (like companies) to register for:

  • VAT
  • Employer’s PAYE/PRSI
  • RCT (Relevant Contracts Tax)

The TR1 form requires details about the company, its trading activities, and the expected level of sales and purchases.

3. Additional Documentation for Companies with Non-Resident Directors:

The Revenue Commissioners might require additional documentation or guarantees for companies with non-resident directors. This is because non-resident directors can pose a higher perceived risk regarding the potential non-payment of VAT. Such requirements might include:

  • A bond or bank guarantee to cover potential VAT liabilities. This acts as a security against the risk of non-payment of VAT.
  • Proof of identity and residence for the non-resident directors, such as certified copies of passports and utility bills.

4. Submit the TR1 Form and Supporting Documentation:

Once the TR1 form is completed and you have gathered all the necessary documentation, everything should be sent to the relevant tax district office

5. Receive Your VAT Registration Number:

After processing, if everything is in order, the Revenue Commissioners will issue a VAT registration number for the company. This is the number you’ll use on all VAT-related documents and communications.

6. Regular VAT Returns:

Once registered, the company will need to file regular VAT returns, typically every two months. These returns will detail the VAT charged on sales and the VAT paid on purchases. If the VAT on sales exceeds the VAT on purchases, the company remits the difference to Revenue. Conversely, if the VAT on purchases exceeds that on sales, the company can usually reclaim the difference.

VAT registration and compliance involve detailed record-keeping and can have significant implications for cash flow and pricing. If unsure about any aspect, it’s wise to seek advice from an accountant or tax professional familiar with Irish VAT regulations.

Once you provide us with the information and the signatures, we handle the rest! Get in touch today!

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Is Registering for VAT Compulsory?

Once your turnover surpasses or is expected to surpass the specified VAT thresholds, you need to enroll for Value-Added Tax (VAT). Calculating your turnover over a continuous 12-month period determines these thresholds.

If your turnover falls below a threshold limit, you have the option to choose to register for VAT voluntarily.

The key thresholds are as follows:

  • €37,500 for entities exclusively supplying services.
  • €10,000 for taxable persons engaged in mail-order or intra-Community distance sales of goods and cross-border TBE services into the State.
  • €41,000 for individuals making acquisitions from other EU Member States.
  • €75,000 for entities supplying goods.
  • €75,000 for entities supplying both goods and services, where 90% or more of the turnover comes from goods supplies. However, this 90% figure does not necessarily include all goods sold; it excludes goods sold at the standard or reduced rates and those manufactured or produced from zero-rated materials.

Furthermore, if a person, not established in the State, supplies taxable goods to ‘taxable customers’ in the State or provides services to ‘taxable customers’ in the State, they must register and account for VAT, regardless of the turnover level.

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Benefits of Your Company Applying For VAT

Certain businesses opt for VAT registration due to the following reasons:

  1. If your business is registered for VAT and you have business expenses, you can take advantage of the opportunity to reclaim the VAT you’ve paid on your purchases.
  2. Pricing convenience: By registering for VAT, businesses can include VAT on their products or services right from the start, eliminating the need to adjust prices or add VAT at a later stage.

Of course before registering a company for VAT you will firstly need to register a company, read more about how to register a company here.


What Are The VAT Rates In Ireland?

  1. Standard Rate: 23%
    • This is the primary rate and applies to most goods and services not falling into the specific categories below.
  2. Reduced Rate: 13.5%
    • This rate is applied to a variety of goods and services including:
      • Certain food products (excluding alcohol, soft drinks, and confectionery)
      • Catering and restaurant supplies (excluding alcohol)
      • Cleaning and maintenance of private residences
      • Certain agricultural supplies
      • Hotel lettings, including guesthouses, caravan parks, and camping sites
  3. Second Reduced Rate: 9%
    • This rate is applied to specific goods and services like:
      • E-publications (e-books, newspapers, etc.)
      • Tourism-related activities, including restaurant and catering services (this rate was re-introduced as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support the tourism sector, so its continuation may be subject to review)
  4. Livestock Rate: 4.8%
    • This is for agricultural livestock sales.
  5. Zero Rate (0%)
    • Some goods and services in Ireland are zero-rated for VAT, meaning VAT is not added to the final price the customer pays, but businesses can still reclaim the VAT they have paid on purchases related to these sales. Examples include:
      • Most food products for human consumption (some exceptions apply, like alcohol, soft drinks, and confectionery)
      • Books (including children’s books, educational material, etc.)
      • Medicine and medical equipment for human use
      • Exports
  6. Exempt from VAT
    • Some items are exempt from VAT altogether, meaning businesses don’t charge VAT on sales and can’t reclaim VAT on purchases. Examples include:
      • Financial services
      • Education and training services
      • Property transactions (though some new buildings within the first five years of completion are subject to VAT)
      • Medical professional services

The VAT rates can change based on decisions made in annual Budget announcements or other fiscal measures introduced by the Irish government. Always consult the official website of the Revenue Commissioners or seek advice from a tax professional to get the most up-to-date rates and their applicability.

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How Do I Register For VAT in Ireland?


Getting Started with VAT Registration

In order to obtain a VAT number in Ireland, you must complete a tax registration form and submit it to Revenue. During the VAT registration process, Revenue will require proof of your trade activities with Ireland.

With the purchase of our VAT registration service we handle all paperwork and submissions, all we require is for you to fill it in and sign. All handlings and communications with the revenue will be done through us acting as your third party. If any problems such as rejection occur we will let you know and talk you through the resubmission. To avail of this service please see here.


Required proof before registration

  • The business must engage in trading activity within Ireland.
  • Invoices from both Irish suppliers and customers must be present.
  • The business owner/Director must reside in Ireland.
  • A physical office in Ireland is required; a Virtual Office will not be accepted for VAT registration.

Failure to meet these requirements may result in the rejection of your VAT registration. It is always a good idea to use an experts guidance before submitting to avoid this. Our team here at Irish Formations can ensure everything is done accurately.


How Long Does The VAT Registration Process Take?

Upon receipt of your VAT application, Revenue typically takes 28 working days to process and issue your VAT number, assuming there are no additional inquiries from Revenue.

However, there might be instances where Revenue requires further information regarding your trade or additional evidence before finalizing the process. In such cases, they generally grant you 30 days to respond to their inquiry. It is crucial to reply to them as promptly as possible to ensure a smooth and timely completion of the VAT registration process.


VAT Returns

The deadline for filing and paying your Value-Added Tax (VAT) is the 19th day of the month following the end of each taxable period. It is crucial to ensure that you submit an accurate and complete return to the Collector-General through Revenue Online Service (ROS).

For those using ROS, the time limit for VAT return filing is extended to the 23rd day of the month.

Failure to meet the deadline or non-compliance with filing and payment may result in interest and penalties being imposed on your VAT account. Hence, it’s important to adhere to the specified dates to avoid any potential issues.

Ready To Register?

If you have read and now fully understand your VAT obligations and need or want to register please contact us today so we can handle this for you.

We would always strongly advise seeking the right advice on whether or not you need to register for VAT so that you remain compliant. It is of course always easier to register from the beginning and incorporate it into the registering of your company. If you have queries or questions on any of the above please do not hesitate to contact us. Get in touch today to register your company for VAT!

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If applications to tax registration are required you should always take advice from a suitably qualified tax advisor prior to engaging the services of a formations agency to incorporate your company.