Written Answers. - Import Tax.

Wednesday, 5 April 1995

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 451 No. 6

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  44.  Mr. Sargent  Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   his views on the injustice which requires a trader in the State to pay VAT on imports prior to inspecting the goods whereas a trader importing through Belfast can delay paying VAT until goods have been unpacked and, if found to be damaged, the goods can be returned for credit. [6473/95]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  It is assumed that the Deputy is referring to imports from a country outside the customs territory of the EU. In Ireland's case, VAT is charged at the point of entry on all such goods whether imported by a trader directly into Ireland or under transit arrangements through another member state.

It is accepted that, in the case of these [1311] imports, a trader could have to pay VAT in respect of damaged goods before claiming the appropriate VAT credit in the next bimonthly VAT return. Of course, where a trader is approved by the Revenue Commissioners for deferred payment facilities in relation to VAT at point of entry, any cash-flow cost in respect of imported goods, whether damaged or otherwise, would be minimised.

I have already indicated in response to recent parliamentary questions that, because of the substantial Exchequer cash-flow cost which would be involved, the abolition of VAT at the point of entry cannot be contemplated at present.


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