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VAT in Northern Ireland

VAT Guide for EU countries within Europe in 2022

VAT in the UK

Whether you’re a European or non-European company, establishing certain activities in Northern Ireland may mean you need to register for VAT. You can use a fiscal representative or tax advisor to draw up your VAT, Intrastat and ESL returns with total peace of mind in Northern Ireland.

If you deal with companies in Northern Ireland, you may be able to claim a VAT refund. Northern Irish

Here you can find the specifics of VAT regulations in Northern Ireland, which work alongside the harmonised framework of the EU as explained in our guide to intra-Community VAT obligations.

Basic information

EU membership1973
ISO coden/a
VAT introduced in Northern Ireland1973
Nom de la TVA in Northern IrelandValue-added-Tax
VAT ID format in Northern IrelandXI123456789
Territories with special status in Northern Irelandn/a

VAT rates in Northern Ireland

Standard VAT rate20%
Reduced VAT rate (1)5%
Reduced VAT rate (2)n/a
Super reduced VAT raten/a
VAT parking raten/a
Zero VAT rateyes

Thresholds triggering VAT reporting obligations in Northern Ireland

Intrastat threshold at introduction1 500 000 GBP (1 743 112 EUR)
Intrastat threshold on dispatch250 000 GBP (290 518 EUR)
Distance selling thresholdAs of 1st July 2021, the threshold is EUR 10,000 for all intra-Community distance sales.

Reporting frequency in Northern Ireland

Intrastat returnmonthly depending on threshold
EC Sales List (ESL) returnmonthly, quarterly depending on threshold/conditions
VAT returnsmonthly, quarterly , annually
Reporting currency

VAT-related penalties in Northern Ireland

Failure to file a VAT returnPenalty of 2 to 10% of the amount of VAT due per reporting period.
Late payment of VATPenalty of 2 to 10% of the amount of VAT due per reporting period.
Failure to report ESL/DEBPenalty of 5, 10 or 15 GBP per day overdue.

Useful links on VAT in Northern Ireland

Tax Administration in Northern IrelandTax authorities
Ministry of Finance in Northern IrelandMinistry of Finance
Check a VAT number in Northern IrelandCheck a VAT number
EU VAT GuideEU VAT Guide
Northern Ireland is one of the nations of the United Kingdom. Following Brexit, Northern Ireland has a special status with VAT and the European Union. To clarify this status, we have compiled this specific country sheet for Northern Ireland.

The UK economy is the 8th largest in the world and is essentially based on the service industry which accounts for three-quarters of GDP, notably due to the financial services industry.

Introduced in 1973, the UK VAT regulations are detailed in the Value Added Tax Act 1994. The United Kingdom joined the European Union in 1973, but has not joined the single currency or the Schengen area. Following the British referendum on 26th June 2016, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on 1st January 2021 after lengthy negotiations to establish a withdrawal agreement.

The negotiated withdrawal agreement includes a protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, awarding Northern Ireland special status when it comes to VAT.
In accordance with that Protocol and in order to avoid a physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland shall continue to be subject to EU VAT legislation on goods after 31st December 2020.
For services, on the other hand, Northern Ireland, like the rest of the UK, is considered to be outside the EU.

Les taux de TVA actuellement en vigueur in Northern Ireland sont les suivants:

  • Standard VAT rate: 20%
  • Reduced VAT rate (1): 5%
  • Reduced VAT rate (2): n/a
  • Super reduced VAT rate: n/a
  • VAT parking rate: n/a
  • Zero VAT rate yes

Certain transactions in Europe may require VAT registration and the filing of VAT returns in Northern Ireland:

To check if your activities involve VAT obligations in Northern Ireland, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

When do e-sellers need to register for a VAT number in Northern Ireland?

In Northern Ireland , as in other European Union countries, e-sellers must register for VAT:

  • when the overall threshold of EUR 10,000 for Intra-Community distance selling is exceeded and they have not opted to pay the VAT in Northern Ireland via the One Stop Shop,
  • or when they hold a stock of goods in Northern Ireland and must report the stock supply transactions.

What are the VAT obligations for e-traders in Northern Ireland ?

In addition to VAT registration, e-traders must:

  • Apply the defined VAT ratesin Northern Ireland: standard rate (20%), reduced rates 1 and 2 (5% and n/a).
  • Declare stock transfers between marketplaces‘ storage platforms, as well as the supply translactions for these stocks.
  • File periodic returns (VAT returns, intrastat, ESL), to ensure their VAT compliance in Northern Ireland.

> Learn more about the VAT & e-commerce regulations and the VAT regime for logistics platforms in Europe.

Why identify yourself to VAT in Northern Ireland?

You may need a VAT number in Northern Ireland to fulfil your tax obligations in this country. Indeed, certain activities such as sales, purchases and subcontracting operations may require VAT identification. To check if your activities require VAT identification in Northern Ireland, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

VAT Northern Irish is named Value-added-Taxand the VAT numbers in Northern Ireland have the following structure: XI123456789.

How do I get a VAT number in Northern Ireland?

The administrations in charge of in Northern Ireland VAT are the following: Tax authorities, Ministry of Finance.

Registering for VATis a relatively simple formality compared to setting up a company, but in addition to obtaining a VAT number in Northern Irelandyou’ll need to file periodic VAT returns to ensure your VAT compliance. Which is why we recommend foreign companies use a fiscal representative or tax advisor.

Companies with a VAT number in Northern Ireland must complete and submit VAT returns in Northern Ireland detailing all taxable income (sales) and expenses (costs), with the following periodicity: monthly, quarterly , annually.

Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Northern Irish authorities for the deposit and payment of VAT will result in the payment of penalties . For this reason, it is recommended that foreign companies use the services of an agent or a tax representative.

These penalties are defined as follows in Northern Ireland:

  • Penalties for failure to file a VAT return in Northern Ireland: Penalty of 2 to 10% of the amount of VAT due per reporting period.
  • Penalties for late payment of VAT in Northern Ireland: Penalty of 2 to 10% of the amount of VAT due per reporting period.

In addition to VAT returns, companies may be required to provide the Northern Irish authorities with Intrastat & EC Sales List returns:

  • Intrastat returns enable the Northern Irish authorities to compile foreign trade statistics.
    Companies must file these Intrastat returns as soon their turnover reaches the threshold.
    Intrastat threshold at introductio n in Northern Ireland (1 500 000 GBP (1 743 112 EUR) HT/an)
    – Intrastat threshold on dispatch in Northern Ireland (250 000 GBP (290 518 EUR) HT/an).
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Northern Irish authorities for the filing of these Intrastat returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.
  • The sales summary returns (EC Sales List or ESL) or purchases (EC Purchases List or EPL) in Northern Ireland are for tax purposes.
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Northern Irish authorities for the filing of these ESL returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.

In principle, a non-resident company in Northern Ireland can recover all or part of the VAT incurred on its expenses.

There are three different scenarios:

  • The company is established within the European Union or not, is already registered for VAT in Northern Ireland, or is obliged to register for VAT in Northern Ireland. In this case, it must apply for a VAT refund via the periodic VAT return filed in Northern Ireland, according to a periodicity:monthly, quarterly , annually.
  • The company is established within the European Union, is not registered for VAT in Northern Ireland and is not required to do so. In this case, a VAT refund should be requested via the electronic portal of the tax authorities in the country where the company is established.
  • The company is not established within the European Union and is not required to register for VAT in Northern Ireland. In this case, they must use the services of a fiscal representative to carry out what is required by the Northern Irish authorities on their behalf.
    > Learn more about our VAT recovery services.


*This information is subject to change without notice.

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