resources-post-top-bg International VAT Rate Round-up: August 2020

International VAT Rate Round-up: August 2020

VAT News Updates

6 August 2020: UK slashes VAT rates, while Ireland, Canada, and Costa Rica all make significant VAT rate changes too. Get all the VAT rate change information you need


Saskatchewan is considering the introduction of new rules that may come into effect on 1 January 2020.

These could affect those that operate e-commerce platforms located inside or outside Saskatchewan.

Under these new rules, operators of online marketplace platforms selling to resident consumers and online accommodation platforms may be required to register as “vendors” under the new PST rules.

Costa Rica

On 20 July 2020, a bill was approved that proposes to extend the VAT exemption on construction services until 1 July 2021.

This bill proposes to defer the application of the reduced VAT rate according to the period where the relevant construction permits were obtained for construction projects.

The reduced VAT rates that would apply are below.

Registration period of construction permits Applicable VAT rate
From 1 July to 30 June 2021 Exempt
From 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 4%
From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 8%


From 1 July 2023, all services relating to the construction industry will be subject to the standard VAT rate of 13%.


The standard VAT rate in Ireland is being temporarily reduced from 23% to 21%.

This reduction in VAT will apply between 1 September 2020 and 28 February 2021.


The Oman Tax Authority is preparing to implement 5% VAT at the beginning of 2021.

United Kingdom

The hospitality sector has been badly affected by COVID-19.

In an attempt to kickstart this industry again, the VAT rate will be reduced from 20% to 5% for hospitality and tourism industries.

This VAT rate reduction will come into effect on 15 July 2020 and will last until 12 January 2021.

Below are the types of services that will be subject to this reduced rate:

  • Accommodation – hotel and holiday accommodation (hotels, B&B’s, campsites and caravan sites);
  • Catering – food and non-alcoholic drinks consumed in restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes as well as hot Takeout food and non-alcoholic drinks by those suppliers; and
  • Attractions – admission to theatres, fairs, amusement parks, zoos, cinemas, circuses, concerts, and similar cultural events.


Find our full list of VAT rates changes related to COVID-19 on our detailed COVID-19 blog.

Click here to download these updates in PDF format


Talk to us to fully understand how these changes may impact your business.


See more Taxback International Articles

Prepare for Brexit: Businesses still have time to act.

9th December 2020: Our experts round up the latest news to help your business prepare for Brexit

How will Brexit impact 2020 VAT Reclaim?

January 7th 2021: UK companies can still reclaim 2020 VAT incurred in the EU via electronic submission of claims but not for long. The same applies for EU based companies recovering 2020 VAT incurred in the UK.

The Countdown Is On: VAT after Brexit

30 November 2020: We put your questions to our Global VAT Director, Lisa Dowling to understand how businesses can still prepare for Brexit.