Admissions to cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar events – changes effective from 1 January 2011.
Further changes relating to the VAT treatment of cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar services came into effect on 1 January 2011. These are a continuation of VAT changes in the place of supply of services that commenced on 1 January 2010. The 2011 changes, which specifically concern the place of supply of admissions to events are provided for in Section 34 (g) and (ga) of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 as amended by Regulation 3 (c) (i) and (ii) of the European Union (Value- Added Tax) Regulations 2010 S.I. 612 of 2010.
The concept of admissions is also covered in Articles 32 and 33 of the Council Implementing Regulation 282/2011.
From 1 January 2011, the place of supply of most business to business (B2B) supplies of services, i.e. those supplies made to taxable persons including supplies of cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment, or similar services is, where the taxable person is established. This is in line with the already established general rule on services supplied to taxable persons. A taxable person is defined for VAT purposes as one who independently carries on a business in the community or elsewhere.
The focus of this Leaflet is the VAT treatment of the right of admission to cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment, or similar events, and services ancillary to the admission. The place of supply for such rights of admission is where the event actually takes place. Charges for admission to such an event in Ireland will be liable to Irish VAT regardless of whether the person paying the admission is a taxable person or a non- taxable person. Thus a taxable person from outside the state attending an event in Ireland will pay Irish VAT on the admission charge and will not, if he is established in the EU, account for the VAT due on reverse charge basis in his own MS.
To operate the provisions correctly it is necessary to determine whether:
- a fee is charged in respect of an admission; and
- the admission relates to what is considered to be an event.
2. What is an admission?
The concept of admission is taken to cover only services consisting of the granting of the right of entry in return for a ticket or fee payable in advance, at the time of the event, or by way of periodic fee, season ticket subscription or annual charge to any of the following:
- Shows, theatrical performances, circus performances, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, exhibitions, or other similar cultural events;
- Sporting events such as matches or competitions;
- Educational and scientific events such as conferences and seminars.
In the case of conferences and seminars the registration fees whether paid in advance or on the day will generally be regarded as being for the right of admission and taxable accordingly.
3. What services are not regarded as admissions?
Charges made for the use of sports facilities such as gyms or the like in exchange for membership fees are not treated as an admission to an event.
4. What is an event?
While there is no definition of what constitutes an event the concept is taken as referring to something, which has the nature of a specific event taking place for a predetermined duration, at a particular location.
If, for example, an organisation sends staff to a two-day trade exhibition, then the charge made for admission to the exhibition would be considered to be in respect of an admission to an event. The admission charge would be liable to VAT where the exhibition takes place.
However, if an organisation sends staff on a continuous coaching session, over a prolonged period, then that session would not be regarded as an event. It would constitute the provision of a service the place of supply of which would, in line with the general rule for supplies of services to taxable persons, be where the organisation was established. If the organisation was established in another MS of the EU then it would account for VAT on the service in the MS where it was established.
5. What are services ancillary to an admission?
Ancillary services relating to admission means services, supplied for a separate consideration, such as cloakroom and sanitary facilities but does not include services of intermediaries involved in the sale of tickets.
6. What rates of VAT apply to admissions?
The rate of VAT applicable to admissions will depend on the type of event involved but generally the standard rate applies.
Admissions to live theatrical or musical performances (where alcohol is not served) and admissions to sporting events are exempt from VAT.
Admissions to live theatrical or musical performances where alcohol is served are liable to VAT at the reduced rate currently 13.5%.
Admissions to certain exhibitions normally held in museums and art galleries will be liable to VAT at a second reduced rate from 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2013.
A comprehensive list of VAT rates applicable to goods and services.
7. Provision of premises in the State to a promoter based outside the State.
There are provisions in Section 17(1) (C) Value Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010, as amended by Regulation 3 (b) of the European Union (Value Added Tax) Regulations 2010, dealing with the situation where a person provides premises in the State, to a promoter based outside the State, for the purposes of supplying taxable services consisting of admissions to cultural, artistic, entertainment, or similar events. In such cases that person must supply certain information relating to the promoter and the event, to the Revenue Commissioners, not later than 14 days before the admission services are scheduled to begin.
8. Further Information
Further information on this leaflet can be obtained from the local Revenue District dealing with the tax affairs of the trader. Details of addresses for the offices are on the Contact Page.
This leaflet is issued by:
VAT Interpretation Branch,
Indirect Taxes Division,