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VAT Treatment of the purchase of goods and services from EU Intra-Community
(which includes Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom)

This webpage sets out the VAT treatment of EU intra-Community acquisitions of goods by taxable persons.


The terms ‘intra-Community supply’ and ‘intra-Community acquisition’ relate to goods supplied by a business in one EU Member State to a business in another which have been dispatched or transported from the territory of one Member State to another as a result of such supply.

Requirement to Register

A business (school) in the State, which receives a taxable service from outside the State (both intra-Community or from outside the Community) will be required to register and account for Irish VAT.

Accounting for VAT on received services

For VAT purposes, the school is regarded as the supplier of the services to himself or herself. The recipient of services from outside the State must account for tax on such services in Box T1 and T2 (if appropriate) in their periodic VAT returns on the invoiced amounts at the appropriate Irish VAT rate as if they had themselves made the supply. They must furnish their Irish VAT number to the supplier and account for Irish VAT on services received where the place of supply is the State.

Accounting for VAT on goods received

A person registered for VAT in the State can buy goods in another Member State at the zero rate provided the goods are dispatched or transferred to this State. The accountable person is required to account for VAT on any intra-Community acquisition of the goods on arrival in the State, at the appropriate Irish VAT rate, in Box T1 of the VAT3 return for the period in which the goods are acquired.

How to calculate the VAT due on intra-Community acquisitions

VAT becomes due on the fifteenth of the month following the acquisition or if the supplier in the other Member State issues an invoice before that date, the date when the invoice is issued. The rate of VAT applicable is the rate that applies to the supply of the same goods in the State. The VAT is assessed on the price charged for the goods. If the supplier’s invoice is in foreign currency, the rate of exchange applicable when the tax becomes due should be used. Tax is payable by the 19th day of the month following the period during which the tax became due. The following example serves to illustrate the arrangements:

VAT Treatment of EU Intra-Community Acquisitions of Goods and Services


A school acquires a computer from a German company. The supply in Germany is zero-rated because the school has provided its VAT registration number to the German company and the goods have been dispatched or transported to Ireland.

  • Computer delivered 29/1/2015
  • Invoice issued 12/3/2015
  • Invoiced amount €200,000
  • VAT on acquisition at 23% =  €46,000
  • No input credit allowed.
  • Net VAT payable (€46,000) included in the VAT3 return to Collector-General for January/February 2015.