The Revenue Commissioners have published a new Tax and Duty Manual, “VAT Treatment of Payment Services”. Certain financial services including negotiating or dealing in payments and transfers are exempt from VAT and this new manual provides guidance in relation to the nature of such exempt services.
Revenue have provided a list of principles which must be considered in order to determine if a payment service is exempt from VAT. Standard banking services are exempt. However, information messaging services facilitating the secure transfer of payment orders between financial institutions are not VAT exempt. Such messaging services do not settle the transfer of funds.
Revenue have recognised that this is an area where due to the evolving nature of these businesses and products, it may be difficult to distinguish between a financial service and a technology service.