What is the VAT on electricity?

Written by sarah rogers
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What is the VAT on electricity?
VAT rates on electricity are reduced in some European countries but not in others. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Value added tax is levied on goods and services bought in the UK and across the European Union. However, each EU country sets its own VAT rates and determines which rates apply to each type of good or service, such as electricity.

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United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the VAT on electricity used for domestic supplies is set at the reduced VAT rate of 5 per cent, while the rate for business consumption is set at the standard rate of 17.5 per cent. However, businesses that are used primarily as a residence or that have an average daily usage of 33 Kilowatt hours (kWh) may be billed at the lower 5 per cent VAT rate.


In the Republic of Ireland, VAT on electricity is charged at the reduced rate of 13.5 per cent for both domestic and business supplies.


There's no escaping VAT on your electricity bill if you retire to Spain. VAT on electricity is charged at the general, or highest, VAT tax rate of 18 per cent. This tax applies to businesses as well as homes.

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