vat on flowers

Unlocking Secrets Of VAT On Flowers: What You Need To Know

Flowers make us happier, but did you know there is a specific VAT on flowers? While VAT is integral to revenue generation, it can be tricky to understand, especially regarding seemingly non-essential items like flowers.

This blog is here to help you as it discusses the ins and outs of VAT on flowers in the UK and Ireland. It also explores the factors influencing the tax rate and highlights the exceptional cases that result in VAT exemption.

Also read about; What is VAT? A Clear Explanation for Businesses and Consumers.

Understanding VAT on Flowers and Plants

In the UK, most goods and services, including cut flowers and ornamental plants, are subject to the standard VAT rate of 20%. However, certain essential items like basic foodstuffs qualify for a zero rate.

Similarly, in Ireland, the standard VAT rate for most flowers and plants is 23%, with a reduced rate of 13.5% applicable to specific items like ornamental garden flowering plants, standard shrubs, and seeds.

Notably, while both countries apply standard rates to cut flowers and most houseplants, Ireland offers a VAT advantage for certain ornamental plants by applying the reduced rate of 13.5%. As of now, the UK's flowers VAT has remained the same, although there were considerations about balancing it with other EU countries.

To understand the cost, you can use our handy VAT calculator to calculate the vat amount with ease. Simply input the price and calculator will show the exact VAT amount you'll need to pay.

Factors Influencing VAT on Flowers

  • Types of Flowers

    Cut flowers and ornamental plants are generally subject to the standard VAT rate in the UK and Ireland; however, there is a reduced VAT rate for specific ornamental garden plants, standard shrubs, and seeds in Ireland.

    On the other hand, seeds and plants meant explicitly for food production, i.e., planting vegetables and fruits, are VAT-exempt in the UK.

  • Seasonality

    Changes in the supply and demand of flowers throughout the year, particularly for seasonal flowers, can affect VAT rates and standards.

  • Purpose

    As mentioned earlier, the purpose for which flowers are bought also matters. Ornamental flowers may be subject to the standard VAT rate, whereas those for food production are either exempted from the VAT rate or subject to reduced VAT.

  • Location

    Setting VAT rates and regulations are decided by the policies of a government and the VAT authorities concerned in a country. This explains why, despite being close neighbors, the UK and Ireland have differences in VAT regulations.

VAT Exemptions and Special Cases

Cut flowers and most houseplants are considered luxuries. That is why the standard VAT rate in the UK and Ireland is 20% and 23% respectively

flowers vat

  • Ireland's Reduced Rate

    Interestingly, Ireland offers a reduced VAT of 13.5% for ornamental garden plants, standard shrubs, and seeds.

  • UK's Zero VAT on Plants

    In the UK, seeds and plants specifically for food production - vegetables and fruits - are exempt from VAT.


Understanding VAT on flowers can help you save costs and ensure the best value for your money. This blog provides all the relevant and necessary information about VAT. We hope that this blog was helpful and answered all your queries.


Is there VAT on flowers?

Yes, flowers are subject to VAT in the UK and Ireland. In the UK, the standard VAT rate on flowers is 20%, while in Ireland, the VAT on flowers is 23%.

Can I claim a VAT return on the flowers?

Yes, you can reclaim VAT on flowers if you spend less than £17.50 on gifts for the same person in a year; you don't have to pay extra VAT.

Is there VAT on plants?

While ornamental plants and shrubs are subject to standard VAT in the UK and Ireland, some plants and seeds for food production are exempt from VAT.

Rían Doyle

I'm a VAT professional with years of experience helping businesses with compliance and reporting. My goal is to simplify VAT calculation and provide valuable insights through my engaging writing style and clear explanations of complex concepts.