VAT refunds from EU countries

15 Sep VAT refunds from EU countries

The VAT paid in other EU countries may be recoverable by VAT-registered businesses in the UK, who bought goods or services for business use. The exact rules that determine what VAT is refundable depends on the other countries' rules for claiming input tax. It is important to note that VAT incurred in foreign countries can never by reclaimed on a domestic UK VAT return.

Claims must be made electronically via the tax authority in which the claimant is established i.e. a claim from a UK company to any other EU country must be submitted electronically to HMRC. The deadline for the submission of a refund request for expenses incurred in other EU member states during the 2015 calendar year is 30 September 2016. HMRC will forward the claim to the country where the VAT was paid. 

VAT registered businesses in the UK can use the scheme to reclaim the VAT paid in other EU countries where all the following apply:

  • They are not VAT-registered in the EU country where they are making a claim and don’t have to be or can’t be registered there.
  • They don’t have a place of business or other residence there.
  • They don’t make any supplies there, unless
      - they are transport services for the international carriage of goods
      - the person they are supplying pays VAT on the supplies.

There are also special rules for businesses established outside the EU submitting a claim for VAT incurred in the UK. The deadline for the submission of a refund request for expenses incurred in the UK by non-EU businesses during the period 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016 is 31 December 2016. There are a number of conditions which must be met in order for a claim to qualify. HMRC’sVAT Notice 723A: refunds of VAT in the European Community for EC and non-EC businesses has recently been updated.

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