Cabinet agrees to reduce minimum purchase threshold under VAT Retail Export Scheme to support retailers

Nov 18, 2020

The Irish cabinet has agreed to a Committee stage amendment to the Brexit Omnibus Bill 2020, to deem UK residents as eligible for VAT refunds on purchases of qualifying goods under the VAT Retail Export Scheme.

The VAT Retail Export Scheme allows tourists from outside the EU to claim a VAT refund on qualify products purchased in Ireland, for example when shopping at duty-free in the airport. Under this rule, when the UK becomes a third country from 1 January 2021 onwards, UK travellers will be able to avail of this scheme, as they will be resident outside the EU.

However, in order to address concerns that there might be scope for abuse of this scheme due to the UK’s proximity to Ireland, the amendment seeks to reduce the minimum required value of a qualifying good under the VAT Retail Export Scheme from €175 to €75, to ensure that Irish retailers are protected.