The Irish Farmers Journal now understands that the recent changes in interpretation to VAT reclaims on certain farm expenditure have now affected both slat mats and cubicle mats where they are being fitted to an existing shed.

A west of Ireland-based farmer had installed rubber matting on slats in 2021 and in early February 2024 had submitted a VAT reclaim for the mats, with a four-year period to submit reclaims allowed.

However, the farmer was informed that their VAT reclaim was not valid.

The farmer in question stated: "I was informed [by Revenue] that due to recent guideline changes certain items previously reclaimable were no longer considered for a VAT refund. Those items include fixed cow mats, and fixed slat mats.

"For an unregistered farmer, VAT on these items is only reclaimable if they are installed as part of a new shed. Particular to my case, mats for an existing shed are being excluded, even if the mats are newly installed and not replacements."


The farmer had spent €6,800 on slat rubber for a slatted shed, which at a 13.5% VAT rate comes to €7,718, with the €918 of VAT now no longer reclaimable.

The farmer contacted the company they had sourced the rubber matting from in 2021 and was unaware of the recent rule changes.

The farmer stated: "I am angry that Revenue is applying current guidelines to historic VAT reclaim periods - in my case, the VAT reclaim period is 2021.

"Changes in guidelines (as with legislation change) should be applied prospectively and not retroacted.

"I was essentially told that had I sought a refund earlier, it probably would have been accepted. It seems that the four-year reclaim period is of no consequence - the real reclaim period is how long it takes Revenue to change its guidelines."

The Irish Farmers Journal has previously contacted Revenue in search of a definitive list of items that can no longer be claimed on for flat rate farmers, but to no avail, with Revenue stating that each VAT reclaim is looked at on a "case-by-case basis".