Returned goods and discounts

Updated on April 19, 2022

The Value-Added Tax (VAT) that is due on a supply should be adjusted if:

Returns are accepted.

Following the provision of goods or services, a discount or other price decrease is offered.

As long as a VAT invoice was required for the supply, a credit note should be issued detailing the price decrease given.


The following points are discussed in detail in this section:

When and how long to maintain your records depends on the records you keep for sales and purchases.
In order to be eligible to reclaim VAT, you must keep complete and accurate records of all business transactions that could affect your tax obligations, such as the following:

books and records of business
Invoices, debit notes, and receipts are all examples of receipts.
Vouchers are rolled up in the cash register
This system (VIES) keeps track of all of the VAT information that is exchanged between countries
Single administrative documents (SADs) bank statements are returned by Intrastat in the form of a stamped copy.
To accurately calculate your VAT duty or payback, you’ll need up-to-date documents that are sufficiently precise. You must be ready to prove the accuracy of each transaction if Revenue audits your books.

What purchase records do you keep?

Purchasing items for resale should be tracked separately from non-resale purchases. Imports and acquisitions inside the Community should also be documented.

You should be able to see this in your records:

a sequential number indicating the date on the purchase invoice (in the order in which the invoices are filed)
Supplier’s name, cost without VAT, and VAT amount for each VAT rate are all documented individually in the purchase records.

What sales records do you keep?

Record every sale and charge to your customers, including your intra-Community purchases and exports, to ensure compliance.

Your sales data should be broken down into the various VAT rates, as well as the transactions that are exempt. When it comes to making sales to unregistered customers, there are particular plans to help you keep track of VAT.

Records such as these should back up your sales:

invoices (to registered customers)
paperwork used to track the sale of a product
a cash register tally rolls up delivery notes and a cash book containing receipts
Taxpayer information exchange papers (VIES)
Single administrative papers (SADs) and other import paperwork bank statements are returned by Intrastat.
An accountable person may receive a Notice from Revenue under section 108A of the VAT Consolidation Act. Taxable supplies made during a specific time period are required to be reported in accordance with this rule. The stipulated time frame is two months from the date of the Notice’s issuance.

See Additional instructions for more information on how this Notice works.

How long do you keep records for?

In most cases, you must keep all of your business’s books, records, and papers for a period of six years.

However, there are temporal constraints on how long some records must be kept.

All records relating to the rental of property must be kept for a period of six years following the expiration of the waiver of Value-Added Tax (VAT).

Records relevant to a claim or appeal to the VAT Appeal Commissioner must be kept for a period of six years or until the problem at hand is resolved if the claim or appeal is under VAT legislation.

Records pertaining to an investigation by Revenue must be kept for a period of six years or until the investigation is complete, whichever comes first.

If you bought or developed a VAT-charged interest in a property before July 1, 2008, you must keep documents for six years after disposing of that interest.

In order to be allowed to keep papers for a shorter amount of time, you must get formal approval from the relevant Revenue agency.

Invoices must be kept in paper form if they are issued.

Keeping paper records in the state is a requirement. A revenue agreement is required before any exceptions can be granted.

The guidelines for electronic invoicing dictate how electronic records should be recorded and preserved.

Inspection of records

When it comes to taxation, the government has wide-ranging authority. If you or your workers do not cooperate with Revenue in the review of your records, it is a criminal offense. When tax collectors come to your business to look over your books, they will be able to prove their identification.