Ireland is preparing for the application of the new EU VAT Mini-One-Stop-Shop (MOSS) regime.

The MOSS scheme will apply to businesses that supply telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services to consumers in Europe. Rather than registering for VAT in each jurisdiction where a business makes supplies of these services to consumers, the MOSS will allow businesses to submit returns and pay the relevant VAT due to member states to the tax authorities of one member state. The MOSS scheme will come into effect on January 1 2015.

The Irish tax authorities have sought to ensure that the implementation of MOSS is as smooth as possible. With this in mind, they have issued detailed guidance and indicated their willingness to engage with any businesses who wish to discuss the application of the MOSS scheme to their business.

It is particularly important that Ireland provides a comprehensive and reliable implementation of the scheme due to the large number of providers of electronic services already based in Ireland.

Other developments

A number of other practical changes regarding Irish VAT have been made during the course of 2014:

  • New rules now require the repayment by taxpayers of amounts of VAT reclaimed where the relevant invoice remains unpaid for a period of six months. This will require closer monitoring by taxpayers of unpaid invoices to ensure that such VAT repayments are correctly made.
  • In a further tightening of administrative obligations, the Irish tax authorities are requiring the timely filing of taxpayers' annual Returns of Trading Details. The purpose of such returns is to summarise a taxpayer's taxable activities for the previous 12 months so that it may be reconciled against their regular bi-monthly VAT returns. The Irish tax authorities have now stated that no repayments with respect to VAT or any other taxes will be made where a taxpayer's most recent Return of Trading Details remains outstanding.
  • As sales of property gain pace in Ireland once again, the Irish tax authorities have produced further welcome clarification as to the application of transfer of business relief to sales of property. These clarifications are particularly important as transfers of large portfolios of property are now beginning to take place and the VAT treatment of such transfers can have more long term effects compared to many other business transfers.

This article first appeared online at International Tax Review, 30 October 2014.

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