Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

Temporary/Cross-Border Provision of Services

The following is for general information purposes only. All further queries regarding this information should be directed to the competent authority listed below.

General information on temporary/
cross border services


General information on temporary/cross border services

One of the objectives of the Services Directive is to make it easier for a service provider to provide services to a Member State without being established there. “Establishing” in a Member State, in effect, means having a permanent office or place of business there.

Article 16 of the Directive states that ‘Member States shall respect the right of providers to provide services in a Member State other than in which they are established’.

Under the Directive Member States may not impose requirements on such providers that are discriminatory, unnecessary or disproportionate e.g. a request for the authorisation of the service provider. They can, however, impose requirements on providers based in other Member States in certain circumstances. That means that Ireland can impose rules on service providers who provide services here where the rules are justified on the grounds of public policy, public security, public health or the protection of the environment.

It should be noted that the right to provide services under Article 16 of the Directive does not apply to a large number of services that are set out in Article 17 of the Directive.

The provisions of Article 16 and 17 of the Directive are set out in Part 2 of the European Union (Provision of Services) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 533 of 2010)


Taxation is excluded from the scope of the Services Directive. For more specific information, service providers should contact the relevant competent authority, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners (www.revenue.ie), to clarify the position on the tax implications of providing services in Ireland.

Requirement to Register for Tax - self employed individuals

A non-resident individual who is not established in Ireland but who is providing services from their base in another Member State will not have a liability to Irish income tax as the income from the provision of those services is not considered Irish source income. If the individual has a temporary office or similar available to them in Ireland, they would have to consider whether or not they have created a taxable presence in Ireland. Consideration should be given to the double taxation treaty between Ireland and the individual’s home State to determine exactly what might create a taxable presence sufficient to give Ireland taxing rights over the income. However, where an individual service provider becomes resident in Ireland, they will be subject to Irish tax on their worldwide income (subject to relief under a relevant double taxation treaty), and will be obliged to file a tax return declaring the income to the Irish Revenue Commissioners.

An individual is resident in Ireland for a tax year if they are present in the State for 183 days in that year. They can also become resident in Ireland for a tax year, if taking that year and the previous year, they spend at least 280 days in the State.

Social Security procedures required

Where a service provider becomes established in Ireland as a self-employed individual, they are required to register for tax using a form TR1. A Personal Public Service (PPS) number will also be required and this can be obtained from the Department of Social Protection. More information on obtaining a PPS number can be found on the Department of Social Protection’s website which is available below.

Information on obtaining a PPS number.

A company which is a service provider and which is resident in Ireland is liable to corporation tax on its worldwide profits. A non-resident company trading in Ireland through a branch, agency or permanent establishment is liable to corporation tax only on its Irish sourced profits. Companies who are liable to tax in Ireland must register for tax using a Form TR2.

If a service provider (individual or corporate) intends employing persons in the State, they must register as an employer so that they can deduct and pay tax and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) on behalf of their employees under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.

Businesses with a base outside Ireland should direct their queries in relation to tax to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners

In relation to VAT, from 1 January 2010, there are two general "place of supply" rules, depending on whether the recipient is a business or a consumer:

  • For supplies of Business to Business (B2B) services, the place of taxation is the place where the recipient is established (reverse charge).
  • For supplies of Business to Consumer (B2C) services, the place of taxation is where the supplier is established.

There are some exceptions but full details are available here.

Vat Guide : Supply of Services