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How to Register for VAT in Ireland in 4 Simple Steps

How to register for VAT

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax charged on the supply of most goods and services in Ireland. Registering for VAT can seem complex, but the process is straightforward if you understand the requirements. This article will walk you through the steps to register for VAT in Ireland via Revenue’s online ROS system. We will cover the VAT registration form, evidence needed, timelines and ongoing compliance obligations. Follow our guide to ensure your VAT application is smooth and successful.

How to register for VAT in Ireland

What is Value Added Tax

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax charged on most goods and services sold in Ireland. It is collected by VAT-registered businesses at each stage of production and distribution. With the Budget 2024, the standard VAT rate in Ireland remains 23%, however, certain goods and services became the subject of changed VAT rates. 

Learn more about how Budget 2024 changed VAT rates in Ireland.

When you register for VAT, you get a VAT number. Businesses that are registered for VAT must charge VAT on their sales and submit VAT returns to the Revenue Commissioners. Businesses that are registered for VAT must charge VAT on their sales and submit VAT returns to the Revenue Commissioners. 

When Should I Register for VAT in Ireland?

The Irish VAT registration threshold from 2024 will be €40,000 for services and €80,000 for goods. This is an increase from the current thresholds of €37,500 for services and €75,000 for goods.

Learn more about other cases when VAT registration is mandatory

If your turnover crosses the above mentioned threshold, you must register for VAT within 30 days of exceeding the limit to avoid penalties.

It is advisable to voluntarily register for VAT earlier as your turnover approaches the threshold or you know the turnover will reach or exceed the threshold during the following year of trade. Registering early allows you to start charging VAT on sales invoices and reclaim input VAT charged on business purchases. This can improve cash flow for businesses with VAT expenses incurred before sales are made.

For new businesses, it is recommended to forecast expected turnover and register for VAT from the start if turnover will likely hit the threshold in the first year of trading. The VAT registration threshold normally applies to total turnover, including zero-rated or exempt supplies.

How to Register for VAT via ROS

ROS (Revenue Online Service) is the online system used to register for taxes in Ireland. It allows you to complete the VAT registration process fully online.

To register for VAT via ROS, you need to follow these steps:

Source: Unsplash

Fill out a VAT registration form

  1. Head to Revenue Online Service and create an account if you don’t already have one. Sole traders who register for VAT need to file their PPS (Personal Public Service) or IPN (Identified Person Number). Corporate bodies file TRN (tax registration number) instead. 

Note that VAT registration requires Corporation Tax Registration to be done first. TRN is obtained as a result of CT registration.

  1. Once logged in, click on “Register for tax” and select “VAT”.
  2. You will be taken to the VAT3 application form. This online form requires detailed information about your business including:
    1. Business activities – Describe what your company does, products/services offered.
    2. Irish business address – This must be a physical office address, NOT a virtual address.
    3. Director’s information – Names, home addresses, PPS (IPN) numbers.
    4. Bank account details – Provide your Irish business bank account information.
    5. VAT registration date – When you intend to register fot VAT.
  3. Take time to fill out the form fully and accurately. Any errors could delay your application.

Provide evidence of physical presence and trade

To be eligible for VAT registration, you must prove physical presence and economic activity of your business in Ireland. Solid proofs can include:

  • warehouse/distribution center contracts;
  • office lease agreements;
  • hiring Local employees;
  • invoices from Irish suppliers or customers;
  • contracts, transaction records, assets/property owned;
  • Any other relevant records showing local establishment and active financial activity.
Source: Unsplash

Give some time for the Revenue for assessment

Once you submit the registration form and required documents via ROS, it takes around 4-6 weeks for Revenue to assess your application. Nevertheless, the timeframes may depend on Revenue workload and the application itself. The more relevant information you provide to the Revenue, the faster and more likely you’ll get the VAT application approval.

Revenue will review the form details and evidence provided to verify your VAT eligibility. Be patient during this process and respond promptly if Revenue officers contact you for any additional information/clarification.

Accepted? Take care of ongoing compliance

If your VAT registration is approved, you will receive a VAT number within 1-2 weeks. You must now start charging VAT on sales and reclaiming input VAT. But you also have ongoing compliance obligations as follows:

  1. File regular VAT returns to the Revenue of Ireland. The period for filing VAT returns in Ireland is bi-monthly, meaning VAT returns must be filed every two months. The taxable periods are as follows:
  • January-February;
  • March-April;
  • May-June;
  • July-August;
  • September-October;
  • November-December.
  1. Maintain proper tax records – Retain invoices, accounts and other documents per rules.
  2. Ensure VAT calculations are accurate – To avoid penalties in case of errors.
  3. Consider VAT accounting software – To simplify the filing and reporting process.

What if Revenue Rejects My VAT Application? 

Unfortunately, VAT application rejection is quite common in Ireland. Revenue may reject your VAT application if:

  • There is lack of evidence of physical presence or economic activity in Ireland;
  • You have no customers or suppliers in Ireland;
  • The directors are based abroad;
  • Information provided is incomplete or inaccurate;
  • You fail to address Revenue’s additional enquiries.

If your application is rejected or you’re looking for help registering for VAT in Ireland, consult Chern & Co. Our experts will guide you through VAT registration in Ireland and the UK – from gathering necessary documentation to resolving potential bottlenecks. With proper guidance, VAT registration is achievable.

In Conclusion

Registering for VAT adds obligations but is worthwhile for eligible businesses. Ensure you register on time, follow the process carefully, and keep compliance up to date. With good preparation and knowledge, you can smoothly register for VAT in Ireland and reap the benefits

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