January Changes in VAT

We are reproducing a copy of our most recent correspondence with the Department of Finance seeking clarity on aspects of the changes being made to the 9% VAT from January 1st, 2023.

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We also want all members to be aware that for those that have traditionally applied 9% for all newspapers, magazines, periodicals and weeklies, the new changes will make it
imperative that you separate those products that have the 0% VAT rate applied from those with either 9% and the occasional 23% .

While most retailers are familiar with mainstream Daily, Sunday and provincial newspapers titles, it is not quite as straightforward when it comes to titles that are published less frequently or cover a particular aspect of specialty, such as farming, equine , gambling or canine affairs, where the importance of journalism as a bulwark against fake news is not necessarily the primary identifier in a Zero VAT status, more likely the type of newsprint used to produce the title!

We are at a complete loss to understand the rationale behind placing the bookies-only Betting and Racing Post title into 0% while neither Village or Phoenix magazines “made the cut”.

We are also confused as to why digital titles which do not have a physical counterpart can benefit from the new regime, even if they have no staff or office anywhere in the EU!

Finally, the Revenue has been tasked with providing assistance to any retailers once the Finance Bill is enacted. We would suggest that the first thing they are going to have to do is amend their current advice regarding what constitutes a “periodical”, as they have always previously asserted that a newspaper could be a periodical given that some are published less frequently than daily , allowing for Sunday titles and local provincial titles.

We will engage with Revenue in this matter.