Changes To VAT For Candles, Nightlights/Tea Lights

Members should be aware that VAT at Standard (23%) rate will be applied to all candles from January 1st this year. The rate of 0% that had previously been applied to white, off-white and cream non-perfumed cylindrical candles ever since 1978 as a special “standstill“ exemption was abolished in the 2019 Finance Act but a derogation for 14 months was applied.

The effect of this will mean considerably higher retail prices for those lines that were previously enjoying the special dispensation.

This dispensation was originally brought in to keep the costs of church candles low but a €400,000 tax assessment on the main supplier of ecclesiastical candles, St Killians which was upheld by the High Court made the Department of Finance re-think the prior decision and subsequently chose to make all candles equal in the eyes of the VATman.

Some suppliers may still be offloading stock at 0% but such purchases will need to be retailed at the new 23% rate which would of course impact negatively on you.