How to register for Two-Tier VAT

An overview of Two-Tier VAT

Since June 2019, customers must specify whether they wish to apply for a ‘domestic-only’ or ‘intra-EU’ Value-Added Tax (VAT) registration.

This new system will drive improved customer service in the form of a speedier registration process for businesses seeking a domestic-only registration. It will also mitigate risks associated with missing traders involved in fraudulent cross-border transactions.

Intra-EU VAT registration

If you intend to trade with businesses elsewhere in the European Union (EU), you should apply for ‘intra-EU’ status. This will help ensure that you can make intra-Community acquisitions. You will be required to provide additional information on your VAT registration application form. For example:

  • the customer type (private individuals, business, or both)
  • the due diligence measures and checks conducted for current/prospective suppliers in the EU
  • how goods are supplied outside the State
  • an estimate of your annual and quarterly supply of goods/services
  • evidence of trade, or substantive evidence of intention to trade, with other EU Member States, must be forwarded along with the application form, in support of an ‘intra-EU’ VAT registration application. For example: Invoices, contracts, leases, detailed business plans or any other such supporting documentation.

If your registration is approved, you will be automatically registered on the EU VAT Information Exchange System (VIES).

Domestic VAT registration

If you do not intend to trade with businesses elsewhere in the EU, you should apply for ‘domestic only’ status. Domestic VAT registration is sufficient for trading within the State and with non-EU countries. Domestic-only customers may at any time apply for ‘intra-EU’ status.

Detailed information on the new Two-Tier VAT registration process is available under Further guidance.

Postponed Accounting

From 23:00 on 31 December 2020, all accountable persons who are registered for VAT and Customs and Excise (C&E) may use Postponed Accounting arrangements when acquiring goods from countries outside of the European Union (EU) VAT area. This is subject to compliance with certain conditions and requirements.

Further information is available under Further guidance.