Irish Antiques Trade seeks VAT Exemption

Antique dealers in Ireland are seeking special tax status for the antiques trade in next month’s budget by positioning it as a green business.

The low carbon footprint of antique items has led to the Irish Antique Dealers Association (IADA) seeking an exemption from VAT for its business.

Antique furniture has a low carbon footprint
Antiques such as this 1930s walnut and bakelite cocktail cabinet from Niall Mullen should be exempt from VAT due to its green credentials, according to the Irish Antique Dealers Association.

“The antique trade has one of the lowest environmental impacts of any industry,” said Paul Brereton, President of the Irish Antique Dealers Association.

“An antique chair has a carbon footprint 16 times lower than a recently manufactured piece.”

The Association, which recently hosted Timeless, the 54th annual Irish Antique Dealers Fair believes the business plays a special role in environmental protection.

Members want to meet the Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to convince him that the antique trade is one of the greenest businesses around and believe their awareness campaign can have as big an impact on the environment as the plastic bag tax.

In a pre-budget letter to the Finance Minister they have asked him to investigate removing the 13.5% VAT rate from antiques, both at point of sale and during restoration.

“Our goods were sourced between 70-300 years ago and have no adverse impact on the planet now,” said Paul Brereton. “Antiques are central to reuse and recycling campaigns as proven quality, long-lasting products with no impact on resources.”

He continued, “The industry is the front runner in retail renewables and should be recognised as such by the state. If the state promotes the sale of antiques, it helps the planet through a reduction in manufacturing and waste. We are the original recyclers. We are also about preserving Irish heritage and quality native pieces in the light of competition from disposable imports.

“The IADA believes helping the Irish environment through a reduction in manufacturing and waste is extremely important.

“We believe the removal of VAT on antiques and antique restoration would be a significant move in encouraging people to purchase antiques and to reduce their carbon footprint.”

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