VAT in Ireland is a mere 21%.
Then there’s the cost to process it and keep track of it. No doubt large companies have large systems to do all that, and large rooms in which to keep six years of receipts in case the VAT inspectors come avisiting. I don’t. I wouldn’t even say I have a large room in which to keep myself.
VAT has no doubt added to the cost of any accounting software I would buy. It has also cost me an accountant, since my first accountant inexplicably didn’t submit the signed VAT registration form on my behalf and, even more inexplicably, didn’t respond when asked about why there was no record of a VAT registration request for the company.
VAT is still costing me time and money, and it’s costing a company in Germany time and money. My new accountant did submit a new form (thanks, Pat!), and I was told nearly two weeks ago that the company had a VAT number. On the strength of that, I ordered a computer from Hush Technologies (http://www.hushtest.de/hushshop/shop/index.html). I’d been waiting since October, when I signed the first VAT registration form, to have a VAT number so I could buy the computer without paying VAT: the VAT isn’t charged across borders when the buyer is registered for VAT.
Registered doesn’t always mean registered. It turned out that the company didn’t show up in a search on the VIES VAT Number Validation form at http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/en/vieshome.htm so the Hush people couldn’t sell the computer to me without VAT. Working backwards, I found that the VIES people in Ireland had no record of the company’s registration, then I found that my local Revenue office still had the the application marked as “applicant” and it would probably be made “approved” either last Friday or yesterday. I was pushing my luck trying to get an explanation of when it would become “approved”, and I never got an explanation of what had to happen for it to be approved (or why I’d been told a week before that it was approved).
While all this was going on, the Hush people were also repeatedly checking the VIES site, their CEO took it upon himself to follow up on this, and I just got a phone call from the long-suffering Ivonne in their sales department asking for something, anything to show that the company is registered for VAT.
Needless to say, the company still doesn’t show up in a VIES search, and I’m about to call the Revenue office yet again to find out if the company is yet in a state of approval.