Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

Chapter 6 - Recapitulative statements

82. Statement of intra-Community supplies of goods


This section requires registered traders to supply to Revenue a periodic statement of their zero-rated supplies of goods to VAT registered persons in other Member States. The information is stored in a data bank, which is accessible electronically by the tax authorities in the other Member States. Similarly, Revenue has access to data stored in the data banks in other EU countries.

The purpose of these arrangements, which are known as the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES), is to ensure that details supplied by traders in respect of their intra-Community trade can be checked and monitored by the tax authorities. The system allows checks to be made that goods which have been zero-rated in one Member State, on the basis of a claim that they have been sold and delivered to a registered trader in another Member State, are actually accounted for in the Member State to which it is claimed that they have been delivered.

For zero-rating to apply to a supply of goods to a person in another Member State:

  • The customer must be registered for VAT in that Member State,
  • That registration number, and the supplier’s registration number, must be on the invoice, and
  • The goods must be dispatched or transported to the other Member State.

VIES returns for supplies of goods must, as a general rule, be made by traders on a monthly basis, although traders with less than €50,000 supplies of goods per quarter may opt to file quarterly VIES returns.


(1) Subsection (1) defines ‘intra-Community supplies of goods’ as supplies of goods to a person registered for VAT in another Member State. It also defines the threshold, which allows traders to file quarterly, instead of monthly, returns. This is €50,000.

(2) VAT-registered traders who make zero-rated supplies to VAT registered persons in other Member States are required to make a VIES statement to Revenue of those supplies. Where VAT registered traders make supplies of goods to another Member State under call-off stock arrangements, that supplier must include details of the transport of those goods in their VIES statement.

(3)(a) Returns in respect of supplies made in a calendar month must be submitted by the 23rd of the following month.

(3)(b) However, the monthly return rule does not apply to traders covered by subsection (4) (annual returns) or subsection (5) (quarterly returns).

(4) Revenue may authorise the furnishing of the VIES statement on an annual basis (by 23 January of the following year) where traders do not make intra-Community supplies of services (see section 83) and where supplies are below threshold amounts set out in regulations.

(5) Where supplies for a calendar quarter or the 4 previous quarters are below €50,000 (as defined in subsection (1)), the return can be submitted by the 23rd of the following month.

However, if the value hits the €50,000 threshold in any single month, then the return must be submitted by the 23rd of the next month – in other words, the default rule in subsection (3) kicks in.

(6) Subsection (6) provides for nil returns. It obliges a trader who normally submits a VIES statement to Revenue to do so even where he/she makes no intra-Community supplies of goods in a particular period. This is to ensure continuity and certainty of information.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2020