Funding Irish Property Acquisitions – VAT On Legal Services

Author:Ms Lynn Cramer
Profession:Maples and Calder

VAT on legal fees is a continual headache for many property companies. Typically Irish borrowers will have to fund the lending bank's legal fees. Where VAT is charged to the bank, the borrower cannot recover it. In Ireland, there has been a practice of the bank's lawyers applying VAT to their fees, because they deem the service to relate to Irish property. 

However, recent guidance from the EU could be helpful. It confirms that a non-Irish lender should not be subject to Irish VAT on their legal fees. Instead, the rate of VAT (if any) which applies is dependent upon where the lender is established for VAT purposes. As most VAT rates are lower than the Irish rate, this should lead to...

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