Who can reclaim Value-Added Tax (VAT)?

Updated on April 16, 2022

Reclaiming VAT is possible if you are supplying goods and services or engaging in qualified activities that are subject to taxation. You can only claim VAT back if you submit a VAT 3 return.

You can’t get VAT back if you used it to make exempt supplies or for personal use.

Taxable and non-taxable expenses can be combined if the VAT utilized for taxable supplies is reclaimable.

Different rules apply if you are not registered for VAT.

What VAT can you reclaim?

You can reclaim the VAT you pay on items and services used in the course of making taxable supplies, including vehicles.

In order to make a claim, you must have a valid VAT invoice or Customs receipt. To back up your claim, you’ll need to keep detailed documents.

What VAT can you not reclaim?

VAT cannot be reclaimed on the following costs, regardless of whether or not you are VAT registered and solely make taxable supplies:

Personal services such as food and drink for you, your representatives, or staff. The only exception is if the food, drink, lodging, or other entertainment services are part of a taxable supply of services, other than qualifying lodging in connection with attendance at a qualifying conference, and they make up all or part of the cost of providing an advertising service, other than stock-in-trade cont


In some cases, you may be able to claim VAT back through your VAT return.

This paragraph explains:

who is eligible to get back VAT?
all of the taxes that can be deducted, and all the taxes that cannot be deducted VAT can be reclaimed by individuals engaged in taxable, exempt, and non-commercial activities.
which conferences are eligible for a flat-rate VAT reimbursement
how to account for VAT that has already been claimed
VAT refunds from EU member states for Irish VAT-registered businesses.
Reclaiming VAT must be done within a four-year window.

Information on claiming VAT on motor vehicles is also available on Revenue’s website.

Persons engaged in taxable, exempt and non-business activities

Taxable, exempt, and non-business costs must be divided to determine the amount of Value-Added Tax (VAT) you can recover. If you want to get a refund, you can only claim the VAT you paid but didn’t use for your taxable activity.

When calculating the percentage, it must accurately reflect

Your taxable supplies and the range of your total supplies must be taken into account when determining how much of your costs are used for taxable supplies.

How to claim back the flat-rate addition

If you are an accountable person, you can reclaim the flat-rate addition in your Value-Added Tax (VAT) return subject to the normal rules.
You must retain all records related to the transaction.

How VAT on conferences can be reclaimed

If you or a representative of your company attends a qualifying conference, you can claim the VAT you paid on your hotel room. It is possible to claim VAT if the lodging is supplied at the conference venue or elsewhere. The VAT you paid on this purchase is eligible for VAT3 tax credits.

Conferences are taxed at a lower rate under further direction.

Adjustments for Value-Added Tax (VAT) already claimed

In some cases, you may be required to repay VAT that you’ve recovered.

It is your responsibility to return any VAT that was reclaimed but not paid within six months of reimbursing it to Revenue. After the six-month time has passed, you must submit a VAT return to recoup the lost VAT.

After paying for the products or services, you may be able to claim back the VAT that was included in the transaction.

Irish VAT registered traders reclaiming Value-Added Tax (VAT) from European Union (EU) Member States

A VAT-registered business in Ireland that has paid VAT in another EU Member State (MS) can reclaim the VAT from the other EU MS.

To request an electronic VAT refund, the trader or their representative should use Revenue Online Service (ROS) (EVR).

For more information, see the online services section for Irish VAT-registered traders reclaiming VAT from EU Member States.