‘We are the original recyclers’: antique dealers seek VAT exemption

Goods are more than 70 years old so no impact on environment, dealers argue

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Antique dealers want a tax exemption to recognise their “green” credentials. Their argument? Given that the products they sell have long since been manufactured, they now have no adverse impact on the environment.

The Irish Antique Dealers Association (Iada) has called on the Government to grant them special tax status as a green business, giving them an exemption from the 13.5 per cent VAT rate currently applied to the goods they sell.

The association wants to meet Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to convince him that the antique trade “is one of the greenest businesses around”.

In its pre-budget submission, the dealers’ association says that an antique chair, for example, has a carbon footprint 16 times lower than a recently-manufactured piece. On that basis, they’re asking the Minister to “investigate” the possibility of removing VAT from antiques, both at the point of sale and during restoration.

No adverse impact

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

“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,” he added.

The antique dealers, who have timed their pre-budget submission to coincide with an antiques fair in Dublin’s RDS this weekend, suggest that the removal of VAT would be a “significant move in encouraging people to purchase antiques and to reduce their carbon footprint”.

“We are the original recyclers,” Mr Brereton said.