Tuesday 16 July 2019

Health food stores facing 'huge' back-tax demands

'Senior Vat partner at CKH Financial Services, Ciaran Hurley, claims that Revenue has issued
'Senior Vat partner at CKH Financial Services, Ciaran Hurley, claims that Revenue has issued "huge" requests for back taxes stretching back four years to five of his clients.' Stock image

Michael Cogley

Irish health food stores are facing tax bills worth millions of euro stretching back as far as four years following rulings on food supplements by Revenue, it has been claimed.

In December, Revenue withdrew a Vat concession that was applied to vitamins, minerals, and fish oils. New guidance will result in significant price hikes in products such as omega-3 fatty acids, used to help those with poor heart health, vitamin D, and other probiotics.

Revenue claimed the operation of the concession had become "extremely problematic" stating that some businesses had consistently challenged Revenue's guidance on what should and should not be Vat-free.

Senior Vat partner at CKH Financial Services, Ciaran Hurley, claims that Revenue has issued "huge" requests for back taxes stretching back four years to five of his clients.

He stated that Revenue "had always" applied the concession to a much broader spectrum of products and that thousands of Irish companies would be liable for tax bills totalling millions of euro.

Jonathan Griffith, chairman of the Irish Health Trade Association, said that its members had supplied "all" food supplements at a zero percent Vat rate. He said the decision to do so was based on Revenue policy.

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