A recent determination of the Tax Appeals Commission (“TAC”) concluded that the appellant was entitled to a €2.2 million refund of VAT charged on roaming fees outside the EU in respect of both ‘pre-pay’ and ‘bill-pay’ customers.

Section 104(2) of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 (“VATCA”) provided for an entitlement to a refund of VAT charged by a supplier where they sold a telephone card in Ireland and it was subsequently used outside the EU. While the Revenue Commissioners have always accepted that the entitlement to this refund applied in respect of ‘pre-pay’ customers, as a consequence of this determination, telecommunications companies may be entitled to a refund of VAT charged to bill pay customers who used roaming services outside the EU.

Section 104(2) of VATCA was, however, repealed with effect from 1 January 2019. Nonetheless, as a claim for a refund for overpayment of VAT can be made within 4 years after the end of the taxable period to which the claim relates, until 29 February 2020 telecommunications companies may be entitled to a VAT refund for the taxable periods during the years 2016 to 2018 inclusive. As VAT returns are generally filed on a bi-monthly basis, from 1 March 2020 the right to reclaim with respect to the taxable period ended 29 February 2016 will have expired.

The full text of the TAC determination is available below.

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