The Revenue Commissioners have deferred the decision to Apply 23% VAT to All Food Supplements until 1st November 2019
In December 2018, the Revenue Commissioners announced plans to apply 23% VAT to all food supplements on 1 March 2019.
Following a vigorous campaign which brought together consumers, health stores, manufacturers, importers and distributors of health food products, the Minister for Finance persuaded the Revenue Commissioners to defer the introduction of 23% until 1 November 2019, pending public consultation on the issue and the options available.
The outcome of the public consultation was published on 17 July 2019, view Tax Strategy Group Paper here. The vast majority of the 121 submissions made called for the retention of the 0% VAT rate on food supplements. These submissions focussed on the health and wellbeing benefits of food supplements, the negative economic impact, especially on local stores, of a 23% VAT rate and the absence of a legal justification for the proposed change.
Despite this overwhelming rejection of the 23% increase in VAT on supplements, the Department of Finance has refused to put continuing the 0% VAT rate forward as an option.
We now face the real prospect that the 23% increase sought by the Revenue Commissioners will come into force on 1 November.
The only way this can be avoided is if the Minister for Finance makes a decision in this year’s Budget to apply the 0% VAT rate to food supplements and copper fastens this in the Finance Act 2019.
This will require EVERYONE who has an interest in stopping this VAT rate rise to take action and make your voice heard.
These products have brought comfort to our whole family
“I am the mother of a special needs son who has been sick since he was four years old. I cannot say enough about how much he has improved since taking probiotics, omega 3 and vitamin D. These supplements have given my son a completely new lease of life. The improvement is massive, really tremendous. It has been years since I have had the comfort of knowing he can go out without needing a change of clothes in case of accidents. Probiotics have made it possible for him to go out on day trips without having to worry about this. He recently went to the cinema with his new carer with no problems, without these probiotics this would not have been possible. These products have brought comfort to our whole family. I do not work and struggle to afford these products, it would be a disaster for my son if these products were to be increased in price due to Vat being applied at 23% as I would most certainly not be able to afford them.”
Stephanie, Co. Mayo
This will cancel my pension increase
“I am in my 70’s but I want to stay in good health for as long as possible. I do have osteoporosis which means I have to stay active and keep my joints moving. I have been taking a plant based omega 3 supplement for around 6 years now. I also take microbiotics and other supplements to boost my immune system. Having to pay VAT on food supplements would cost me around €250 extra annually – or to put it another way €5 weekly which would cancel out the increase to the old age pension in this year’s budget!”
Kathleen, Co. Wicklow
I would consider supplements to be a vital part of how I look after my health
” In April of 2016 I had a serious fall from a ladder and broke my left hip and wrist . As my wife and myself would tend to regularly use supplements to maintain the health of ourselves and our children I wanted to incorporate some of these items into my recovery as I felt that it would be more effective if I could do this.
Therefore following the setting of the fractures etc I brought several items in to the hospital and checked with the consultants and nursing staff that it was ok for to use them in conjunction with the medications that I had been recommended . There would have been products such as vitamin D, vitamin C glucosamine and probiotics. I was given an enthusiastic all clear to continue using these items during that lengthy process and I made an excellent recovery and was able to return to my job as a roofer . .
I continue to use supplements in order to help my system cope with a heavy workload and find that if I discontinue them for any length of time more than 2 weeks that I see a huge deterioration in my ability to work and therefore I am certain that they are a valuable addition to allowing me to be an effective parent and provider for my family.”
Oliver, Co. Wexford
I am surprised that such a move would be even considered by the Government
“My husband and myself run a farm which as everyone knows is quite a demanding occupation and in order for to avoid illness or becoming run down I try to support our health with a variety of food supplements.
These items would include such products as probiotics, multivitamins and also some specialist items such as boron and coenzyme Q10 and a closely related product called pqq.
Earlier this year one of my son’s was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder which affects the strength of his muscles I had to do quite a lot of research as it is a rare condition and very little is known about it and as such there is no specific treatment . Following my research I to use the Q10 and pqq supplements with him as they seem to be the most obvious choices to support him in his effort to regain his full strength. I would find it a huge additional burden on my normal budget if there were an extra tax added to what is often a considerable spend on these products and would be surprised that such a move would be even considered by the government.”
Margaret, Co. Wexford
I wouldn’t be able to afford what I need to stay well
“Health food and natural supplements have been part of my first aidkit, my diet, my go-to support for years. I use a range of excellent supplements to support my wellbeing and they work. I can’t remember the last time I visited a GP for an illness. The fact that I rarely miss a day of work is because I look after my health through diet, exercise, yoga, meditation & supplements. they are, to me as essential as the food I eat. Having to add 23% tax onto that purchase would impact my well being hugely. I wouldn’t be able to afford what I need to stay well. It’s that simple.”
Ruth, Co. Waterford
What can I do?
Email the Minister
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