Dáil Éireann - Volume 393 - 21 November, 1989

Written Answers. - VAT on Colour Films.

66. Mrs. Fennell asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that serious problems have been created in the amateur colour film market by the operation of two VAT rules on imported films, that is, (a) 25 per cent on films sold through photographic dealers and (b) nil VAT on films distributed free by processing laboratories; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this distortion puts jobs in film industries at risk; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Finance (Mr. A. Reynolds): Sales of colour film by VAT-registered traders are liable to VAT at the standard 25 per cent rate. However, VAT does not apply to gifts of goods the cost of which to the donor does not exceed £15. Films supplied free as part of a processing offer are treated under this gifts provision.

In regard to importations, a general scheme laid down in Community law provides that tax should be waived where, in relation to any individual consignment, it amounts to less than £2. Most importations of processed films, with or without a free unexposed roll, would benefit from this provision which is aimed at reducing administrative costs were insignificant revenue is involved.

[1005] I am satisfied that VAT law is being applied in the correct way, both in regard to domestic sales and importations. If the Deputy wishes to let me have details of the serious problems to which she refers I will have the matter examined in consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce.