Irish travel agents are to meet in Dublin “within four to five weeks” to discuss, and perhaps to protest about, the Revenue Commissioner’s travel agent’s margin scheme.
Tony Bernie of Midland Travel told Irish Travel Trade News: “The Government, the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners do not understand how the travel industry works. We are told that the margin scheme is a European initiative, but it’s not, and whereas it was intended to help the travel agent in practice it is helping to put them out of business.
“At this stage I have spoken with over 80 travel agents around the country and I am being asked to arrange a meeting in Dublin – and I intend to do so by the end of February.
“Any agent can contact me on 087 925 7473 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Revenue Commissioner’s leaflet on the scheme (available at www.revenue.ie/en/tax/vat/leaflets/travel-agent-margin-scheme.html) includes the following:
Part 1 – Travel agent’s margin scheme
The travel agent’s margin scheme provides for the taxation, from 1 January 2010, of margin scheme services supplied by tour operators and travel agents, acting as principals (referred to in the EU VAT Directive and in this leaflet as “travel agents”). Margin scheme services include services such as transport, accommodation, tour guides etc. bought-in by a travel agent from third parties, which are then sold by the travel agent as a package to a traveller. In this scheme, unlike the normal VAT system, VAT is accounted for on the basis of the travel agent’s margin rather than the full consideration the travel agent receives for the supply.