VAT issues in Ireland
Thread poster: garrett higgins

garrett higgins
Local time: 10:00
Italian to English
Dec 16, 2008

Hi. I am a freelance Italian-English translator living and working in Dublin with a VAT number. Up to now, all my work has been with agencies in the US so I have not charged VAT.
However, I have started to work for an agency in Ireland and will charge them VAT.
Every 2 months, I fill out a 'VAT3' form in which I reclaim VAT on sundry expenses. Will I now have to pay VAT every 2 months?
How exactly does charging (and paying?) VAT work.
Or is there a 'withholding' like there is in Italy (where I used to work freelance)?
Or can I decide not to charge VAT (and would that be better?)?
Much obliged,
garrett james higgins

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-12-16 14:28 GMT]

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Karl Apsel  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:00
Member (2001)
English to German
+ ...
VAT in Ireland Dec 16, 2008

Hi Garrett,

Your first point of call should be the VAT section on the website of the Irish Revenue Commissioners: You will probably find most of your questions answered there.

Now, you only become liable to charge VAT if your turnover is above a certain limit (EUR 37,500 for the supply of services). However, as you have already reclaimed VAT in the past you will have to charge VAT on your services too.

When you write your invoice you simply add an additional item below the sub-total for 21.5% VAT (as of December 2008 or whatever the appropriate VAT rate may be at the time). So if your charge comes to, say, EUR 100.-- you add EUR 21.50 VAT @ 21.5% (you need to state the VAT rate charged) and then show the payable overall total of EUR 121.50 at the bottom of your invoice. Your invoice should also state your own VAT number. Your client pays you this amount, i.e. the 'normal' charge plus VAT. Provided that your client is VAT registered itself, they will be able to reclaim the VAT charged by you just as you reclaimed VAT on your expenses in the past.

You include the VAT that was charged by you with your regular VAT returns. In these returns you deduct the VAT paid by you for acquisitions from the VAT charged by you for sales. If there is a positive balance, this is the balance that you owe to the revenue commissioners (and will have to pay to them). If the balance is negative you should get a refund to this amount.

As stated above you will probably not have much of a choice but to charge VAT to Irish clients if you have reclaimed VAT on purchases in the past. The advantage, of course, is that you can reclaim VAT spent on business related acquisitions yourself.

I hope this helps. If you can't find the necessary information on the above mentioned website try phoning Revenue - they are quite friendly and helpful.

[Edited at 2008-12-16 16:13 GMT]

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garrett higgins
Local time: 10:00
Italian to English
very helpful Dec 16, 2008

thanks karl, you have answered all my queries.

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VAT issues in Ireland

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