Revenue Note for Guidance

The content shown on this page is a Note for Guidance produced by the Irish Revenue Commissioners. To view the section of legislation to which the Note for Guidance applies, click the link below:

Revenue Note for Guidance



This Part, which contains 5 Chapters, contains the provisions relating to persons who are accountable for VAT. Accountability is a key concept in VAT, as persons who are accountable must register for the tax, submit tax returns and payments, keep records and comply with the provisions of the VATCA 2010.

Chapter 1 contains interpretation provisions (section 4). Chapter 2 contains the main general rules. These cover provisions on persons who are accountable by default, persons who become accountable by election, cancellation of such elections and persons deemed not to be accountable ( sections 5 to 8).

Persons who make intra-Community acquisitions of goods are accountable in certain circumstances, and Chapter 3 outlines these rules ( sections 9 to 11). Chapter 4 covers services received from abroad - persons who receive certain services from abroad for business purposes (where the place of supply is deemed to be the State) are accountable persons in respect of such supplies ( sections 12).

Chapter 5 contains a number of supplementary provisions, covering accountability of the State and public bodies, rules on treating VAT groups as accountable, reverse charge rules under which the recipient of a supply becomes accountable and other special provisions ( sections 14 to 18).

Chapter 1 – Interpretation

4. Definitions – Part 2


This section contains definitions, both for the purposes of this Part and for the purposes of the Act. Most of the definitions relate to farming and agriculture, and are derived from the VAT Directive. “Control” is also defined.


(1) The following terms are defined for the purposes of the Act:

Agricultural produce, which covers goods produced by a farmer in the course of his or her agricultural production activities. These activities are defined in Annex VII of the VAT Directive (Annex VII activity). They are listed in Schedule 4 and include crop production, stock farming and cultivation, forestry and fisheries.

An agricultural service – also defined in the VAT Directive (Annex VIII service) and reproduced in Schedule 4 – covers planting, sowing, stock minding and other activities carried out for the purpose of agricultural production.

A farmer is a person who engages in an agricultural production activity and either exclusively supplies agricultural produce/services or who supplies such produce/services together with supplies of agricultural machinery that he/she has used, racehorse training (below the services threshold, defined in section 2(1)) or other goods and services below the relevant turnover thresholds.

(2) The definition of control is taken from section 752(2) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. This is defined for the purposes of Part 2. It is based, in the case of a body corporate, on the concept of a person being able to ensure, either directly or indirectly, that the affairs of the body corporate are conducted in accordance with his/her wishes. In the case of a partnership it is based on the concept of a person having a right to more than 50% of the income or assets of the partnership.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2020