Lower VAT Rate of 9% to boost Tourism

VAT Rate Changed July 2011

The Irish government (Fine Gael – Labour) launched a jobs initiative.
As part of this they reduced VAT  in 2011 on many  services relating to tourism.
The new temporary second reduced rate of VAT at 9% was introduced with effect from 1 July 2011  – and was originally due to end in December 2013. This was a cut of 4.5% from the current 13.5% VAT .  It will end for most items in 2019. See more here about VAT Rates for 2019)

The  9% VAT rate applies to the following items and services:

Catering and restaurant supplies, including vending machines and take-away food (excluding alcohol and soft drinks sold as part of the meal)

Hotel lettings, including guesthouses, caravan parks, camping sites etc

Cinemas, theatres, certain musical performances, museums, art gallery exhibitions

Fairgrounds or amusement park services

Hairdressing services.

Facilities for taking part in sporting activities including green fees charged for golf and subscriptions charged by non-member-owned golf clubs

Printed matter e.g. newspapers, brochures, leaflets, programmes, maps, catalogues, printed music (excluding books)

This measure is estimated to cost €350 million in a full year.

The strange thing is that the VAT was not reduced on Tour Guide Services or on the short-term hiring of cars, boats, caravans, mobile homes, tents or trailer tents. These are tourism related surely?


The following goods and services will continue  to be VAT rated at 13.5%

Bakery products, excluding bread
Residential property
Building services related to residential property, including installation
Cleaning of residential property
Minor repairs of bicycles, shoes or leather goods, clothing or household linen
Non-oral contraceptive products
Goods used for the agricultural production of bio-fuel
Agricultural services
Certain nursery or garden centre stock
Animal insemination services and livestock semen
Children’s car safety seats
Wwaste acceptance and disposal services
Greyhound feeding stuff and live poultry and live ostriches
Fuel for power and heating
tour guide services
short-term hiring of cars, boats, caravans, mobile homes, tents or trailer tents
repair and maintenance of cars, other vehicles, vessels and aircraft
health studio services
jockey services
photographic services including photographic prints
car driving instruction
veterinary services
certain works of art, antiques and literary manuscripts


More on Irish VAT rates here