Revenue officials visited the farm of former Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) deputy president Brian Rushe to view items that are in dispute in relation to VAT rebate.

IFA farm business chair Bill O’Keeffe said Revenue was shown items such as meal bins, calf feeders, water troughs, cubicle mats, slat mats and bulk tanks.

The organisation said these items should continue to qualify for VAT refund for non-VAT registered farmers.

Guidance

Speaking after the visit, O’Keeffe said the IFA would continue to lobby politicians and engage with Revenue in advance of guidance on the issue to be published this month.

“Clarity would be welcome, but it must be consistent with what has gone before.

“The Revenue have consistently said that they had not changed their interpretation of the current statutory instrument that governs the exemption.

“If that is the case, we believe that the items we focused upon during the farm visit should continue to be included for VAT refunds,” he said.

At odds

The farming community and Revenue have been at odds for months over VAT reclaim by non-VAT registered farmers for certain equipment.

Under a VAT 58 refund, a historic derogation dating back to 1972, non-VAT registered farmers can apply for VAT rebate on certain farm infrastructure items.

In the latter half of 2023, farmers began to report items previously eligible for VAT reclaim under this order were being refused.

Revenue said their interpretation of the order has not changed.

Some 86% of farmers are non-VAT registered.

At a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture meeting last week, clarity was provided around certain items and a timeline for further guidance set out.

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