Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Finance

VAT Rate Application

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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104. To ask the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners has scope under the EU Commission Decision C (2020) 2146 of 3 April 2020 to extend the zero rate of VAT on medical supplies to an organisation such as dentists and shop owners on condition that the supplies are distributed free of charge by the organisation to persons affected by or at risk from Covid-19 or involved in combating the Covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6388/20]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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105. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will publish the request he made to the Revenue Commissioners to apply a zero rate of VAT on medical supplies under EU Commission Decision C (2020) 2146 of 3 April 2020; the scope of the request; if it included organisations such as shops and dentists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6383/20]

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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112. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will consider introducing the appropriate changes to rules and regulations in relation to the VAT at 23% and the import duty at 6.3% which applies to the import of face masks (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6558/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 105 and 112 together.

The European Commission Decision C(2020)2146, adopted on 3 April 2020, provides for the importation of goods to fight the effects of COVID -19 from outside the European Union without the payment of VAT or Customs Duty from January 2020. Such relief is permitted where the goods are imported by or on behalf of State bodies, public bodies and other bodies governed by public law, disaster relief agencies and organisations approved by Revenue including organisations regulated by the State and involved in the care, support and treatment of people at risk of COVID-19 and there is no scope to extend this to other sectors. The goods must be distributed or made available free of charge to the persons affected by or at risk from or involved in combating the COVID-19 outbreak by the bodies and organisations referred to above. The relief is scheduled to end on 31 July 2020 but there is provision for an extension if this is required following a review and consultation with Member States.

Following a request from my Department, Revenue has also implemented, on an administrative basis, the application of the zero rate of VAT to the domestic supply of personal protection equipment including facemasks, ventilators, thermometers, hand sanitisers and oxygen as necessary to combat COVID-19 when supplied to hospitals, nursing homes, GP practices and the like, for use in the delivery of COVID-19 related health care services to their patients. This concessionary treatment will apply until 31 July, subject to review. The scope of the relief corresponds with the relief on the importation of these goods by the bodies specified in the Commission Decision.

The extension of zero rating to supplies of those specified medical supplies to dentists and shop owners and indeed other sectors and businesses would require a change in legislation to define the scope of, and provide a legal basis for, the desired zero rating. In addition it is important to stress that a business, such as a shop, which is registered for Irish VAT and incurs VAT in relation to goods which will be used for the purposes of a taxable business is entitled to reclaim the VAT incurred through their VAT return.

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