Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Photo of Richard O'DonoghueRichard O'Donoghue (Limerick County, Independent)
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206. To ask the Minister for Finance the reason VAT was added to products for the alleviation of flu and flu-like symptoms, given the escalating cost-of-living and the surge in flu and Covid symptoms this time of the year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2529/23]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I am advised by Revenue that the VAT rating of goods and services is subject to EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. In general, the Directive provides that all goods and services are liable to VAT at the standard rate unless they fall within Annex III of the Directive, in respect of which Member States may apply either one or two reduced rates of VAT. Ireland currently operates two reduced rates of VAT, 13.5% and 9%, as permitted by the Directive.

I can confirm that there has been no change to the application of VAT to products for the alleviation of flu and flu-like symptoms. Oral medicines (for human consumption) which are licensed/authorised by the Health Products Regulatory Authority are liable to VAT at the zero rate and non-oral medicines (products such as injections and infusions) are liable to VAT at the standard rate, currently 23%. On this basis, products for the alleviation of flu and flu-like symptoms that are medicines for human oral consumption are zero rated; otherwise, they are subject to VAT at the standard rate. The administration of flu vaccines by medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists is exempt from VAT.

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