Tuesday 23 January 2018

Charging VAT on water tax is a burden too far for families

Adding VAT to water charges levied on schools, hospitals and sports clubs seems a ridiculous way for the public service to do business. In the case of schools and hospitals it will mean one arm of the State having to pay what is essentially a levy to another arm of the State. In the case of sports clubs it will mean an added burden penalising public-spirited citizens who give so much of their time and effort to community-based sports.

The situation arises because responsibility for water charges is now passing from local authorities, which were not obliged to levy VAT at 13.5pc, to Irish Water, which apparently must levy this additional tax.

The charge will also be levied on business users, but under current legislation they will be able to claim the VAT back, while schools and hospital and clubs will not.

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