Question to the Minister for Finance (Mr Michael Noonan, TD)
To ask the Minister for Finance the reason insulin is subject to VAT; if he will make insulin VAT free; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 20th November, 2013.
I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the supply of oral medicines is liable to VAT at the zero rate and that the supply of non-oral medicines is liable to VAT at the standard VAT rate at 23%. The supply of insulin solution for injection or insulin suspension for injection, which are not oral medicines, are therefore liable to VAT at the standard rate.
The VAT rating of goods and services is constrained by the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. Under the EU VAT Directive, Member States may retain the zero rate on goods and services which were in place on 1 January 1991, but cannot extend the zero rate to new goods and services.
Member States may apply a reduced VAT rate to those goods and services which are listed under Annex III of the VAT Directive, including pharmaceutical products of a kind normally used for health care and as treatment for medical purposes. Therefore, the application of a reduced rate of VAT, at 9% or 13.5%, is permissible under the VAT Directive.