• Definition of e-services

Digital services affected by 2015 EU VAT change

Digital services affected by 2015 EU VAT change: here are some practical examples of services regarded as being electronically supplied

Mar 25, 2014

Digital services affected by the 2015 EU VAT change span across the digital economy. Here, we give some practical example of those digital services affected by the new rules to come into effect on January 1, 2015 (source: revenue.ie). Digital services affected

The downloading of electronic services will be vatable from January 1, 2015. Photo: Getty Images

Example 1 of digital services affected:

Web site supply, web-hosting and distance maintenance of programmes and equipment

  • Website hosting and webpage hosting

  • Automated, online distance maintenance of programmes

  • Remote systems administration

  • Online data warehousing (i.e. where specific data is stored and retrieved electronically)

  • Online supply of on-demand disc space

Example 2:

Software and updating thereof

  • Accessing or downloading software (e.g. procurement/accountancy programmes, anti-virus software) plus updates

  • Bannerblockers (software to block banner adverts showing)

  • Download drivers, such as software that interfaces PC with peripheral equipment (e.g. printers)

  • Online automated installation of filters on websites

  • Online automated installation of firewalls

Example 3:


  • Accessing or downloading desktop themes

  • Accessing or downloading photographic or pictorial images or screensavers

Example 4:

Text and information

  • The digitised content of books and other electronic publications

  • Subscription to online newspapers and journals

  • Weblogs and website statistics

  • Online news, traffic information and weather reports

  • Online information generated automatically by software from specific data input by the customer, such as legal and financial data (e.g. continually updated stock market data)

  • The provision of advertising space (e.g. banner ads on a website/webpage)

Example 5:

Making databases available

  • Use of search engines and internet directories

Example 6:


  • Accessing or downloading of music onto PCs, mobile phones, etc.

  • Accessing or downloading of jingles, excerpts, ringtones, or other sounds.

Example 7:


  • Accessing or downloading of films

Example 8:

Broadcasts and events – political, cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific and entertainment

  • Web-based broadcasting that is only provided over the internet or similar electronic network and is not simultaneously broadcasting over a traditional radio or television network

Example 9:

Games, including games of chance and gambling games

  • Downloads of games onto PCs, mobile phones, etc

  • Accessing automated online games, which are dependant on the internet, or other similar electronic networks, where players are remote from one another

Example 10:

Distance teaching

  • Teaching that is automated and dependent on the internet or similar electronic network to function, including virtual classrooms

  • Workbooks completed by pupil online and market automatically, without human intervention

Example 11:

Items not explicitly listed in examples 1-10.

  • Online auction services (to the extent that they are not already considered to be web-hosting services under example 1) that are dependent on automated databases and data input by the computer requiring little or no human intervention (e.g. online marketplace or online shopping portal).

  • Internet Service Packages (ISPs) in which the telecommunications component is an ancillary and subordinate part (i.e. a package that goes beyond mere internet access, comprising various elements (e.g. content pages containing news; weather; travel information; games fora; web-hosting; access to chat-lines, etc.)).

Taxamo content is created for guidance only, please consult your local tax advisor.