Has your business international character? Do you pay the price including local VAT for goods and services during your trips abroad? Do you incur costs abroad even though you do not have an establishment there? Do you present yourself at international fairs or do you participate in them? Are you a transport company that refueles and pays tolls abroad?
In that case, we would like to offer you our help in resolving the application for a VAT refund from the EU. This procedure is associated with burdensome administration, which takes away the time you might prefer to devote to the development of your company. We have long specialization in foreign taxes and have many years of experience in this field. This procedure is associated with burdensome administration, which takes away the time you might prefer to devote to the development of your company. We have long specialized in foreign taxes and have many years of experience in this field. We are in daily contact with tax authorities from all over the EU and we will easily handle all obligations for you. In addition, you always have an immediate overview of the status of your applications thanks to our unique online reporting.
Basic overview of VAT in individual EU countries, Norway and Switzerland
All EU countries return VAT associated with refueling for diesel, toll payment (if there is a VAT toll in the given country) for companies engaged in international transport. Countries vary by country mainly in whether they recognize simplified documents (without company identification data). Unless it is a transport company, then we need to look deeper into the VAT law in individual countries. The principle is that VAT is refunded to foreign companies on such goods and services, from which VAT can be obtained by a local entrepreneur. I.e. A Czech company that applies for a VAT refund in the Czech Republic has the same opportunities as a foreign entrepreneur.
It also applies to all that VAT from the EU can be refunded if:
- They have a valid VAT registration in their home country.
- Absence of VAT registration in the state where you are requesting a VAT refund.
- In the territory of the state in which you want to claim a VAT refund, you do not carry out such economic activity that would lead to mandatory VAT registration.
The minimum limit for applying for a VAT refund for the whole year is EUR 50 and for part of the year EUR 400. If the limit is different, it is given in the description of the given country. For countries where the application can be submitted in another language, the relevant languages are listed.
Switzerland and Norway have different VAT refund systems, as they are not members of the EU but have signed cooperation agreements.
They do not refund VAT from accommodation, restaurants and expenses related to passenger transport (petrol, rental or repair of means of transport). It is not refundable from expenses associated with the purchase and operation of real estate.
Accommodation and meals are not returned. They also refund VAT from receipts up to the value of EUR 100 (approx. 440 RON), if the customer's VAT number is printed on them. The limit for the VAT refund is 225 RON for the whole year and 1800 RON for part of the year.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. It is necessary to follow the due date, ie to be included in the period when the invoice was paid. Accommodation is refundable, but not refunded from expenses for personal vehicles up to 3.5 tons, restaurants, food and beverages, parking and expenses associated with the purchase, reconstruction and reconstruction of real estate and expenses from the acquisition of company property. Gasoline is not refunded either. Partially refundable VAT on telephone and mobile telephone costs and services related to the submission of data via the Internet protocol is deductible only from 70% (ie 30% is non-refundable). The limit for submitting an application for the whole year is HUF 15,000 and for part of the year the limit is HUF 120,000.
Expenses for passenger transport (cars, boats and planes), restaurants, etc. are not refundable. The limit for applying for a VAT refund is 20 MTL for the whole year and 150 MTL for part of the year.
VAT is also refunded from simplified tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. VAT on restaurants, passenger transport expenses (ships, private jets, cars and motorcycles) is non-refundable. It is returned in the case of ships and vehicles used for gainful activity (rental, sale or educational purposes). Accommodation could be claimed provided If there is proof of commercial purpose.
For simplified tax documents up to EUR 150, the customer does not have to be specified. Expenses related to passenger transport (petrol, taxi, car rental) are not refundable. VAT on diesel is refunded only to trucks, vans and some passenger cars with space for cargo. There is a limit for the return for meals, to which it returns. In the case of commercial hospitality of the applicant's clients, the names of the participants and the name of the hosted company or firm must be stated on the receipt. The Austrian Tax Office sometimes requires business hospitality or proof of accommodation. For bus companies, a VAT refund is possible after filing a tax return in Austria for value added tax due on services performed on Austrian territory. Bus companies must register for VAT in Austria.
They accept simplified tax documents with a limit of 1660 EUR. If the toll is paid via a refueling card, it is necessary to request NDS invoices. They do not refund VAT from meals (representation) and costs for renting and repairing vehicles.
Non-refundable VAT for service (= repair) - the place of taxable performance is in the country of the buyer tax entity. They do not refund VAT for car washing - the place of taxable performance is in the country of the buyer of the tax entity, ie it should be invoiced on a reverse charge.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents (so-called VAT Invoice) containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. VAT is refunded only on diesel for trucks and vans. VAT is not refundable for cars up to 3.5 t. When pumping diesel into trucks, the vehicle registration number must be printed. They do not return from accommodation and meals. For the Polish Tax Office, it is necessary to take into account a number of questions and requests for supplementing applications. The Polish Tax Office has not amended its legislation, so applicants and their representatives are treated in the same way as Polish entities and their representatives in domestic (Polish) tax proceedings. Processing a VAT refund from Poland is several times more difficult than from the "old" EU countries and it presupposes a good knowledge of their tax law. The limit for applying for a VAT refund is PLN 200 for the whole year, and PLN 1700 for part of the year.
For car rental, the return can be reduced by 50%. The limit for applying for a VAT refund is SEK 500 for the whole year and SEK 4000 for part of the year.
Simplified tax documents up to EUR 150 do not have to indicate the customer. Over EUR 150 net, a stamp and the signature of the service station are required. For passenger transport, the return can be reduced by 50%. In Germany, tolls are exclusive of VAT, so for transport companies it is usually only possible to refund VAT on diesel. VAT is refunded on business hospitality only if the names of the hospitality and their company are stated directly on the account. VAT is not refundable from trade fairs, trainings and seminars. For bus companies, a VAT refund is possible in the context of filing a tax return in Germany with VAT attributable to services performed on German territory. It is possible to arrange a VAT refund from the purchase of cars and trucks.
Non-refundable VAT from passenger transport (petrol, taxi, public transport). The car rental refund can be reduced by 50%. It is not returned from the purchase of used items (used cars, antiques). The limit for applying for a VAT refund is £ 35 for the whole year and £ 295 for part of the year.
VAT is refunded only from regular tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer and from simplified tax documents up to 80 EUR. VAT is not refunded on fuel receipts. VAT refund for accommodation is reduced. Spain is one of the EU Member States in which international passenger transport is also subject to VAT. The VAT rate is 10%. Also, once the carrier decides to carry out national passenger transport (cabotage) on Spanish territory, he must be aware of the fact that the activity is subject to VAT. The right to a VAT refund from Spain cannot be claimed for refreshments, beverages and tobacco products, vehicle repairs, expenses related to passenger transport.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. It is not refundable from accommodation, expenses with personal transport, including rental of means of transport (cars, boats and planes). It is not refundable for bus expenses.
Norway is not in the EU and there are completely different rules for applying. The application for the past year must be submitted by the end of June of the following year. They also refund VAT from simplified tax documents up to 1000 NOK with certain conditions. They do not return from restaurants, real estate rental, car rental, personal transport, including taxis. The limit for applying for a VAT refund is NOK 200 for the whole year and NOK 2000 for part of the year.
Only applicants from countries with which Switzerland has reciprocity - mutual recognition of applications - can apply to Switzerland (limited refund is for Germans - not for fuel and accommodation costs, and probably also for the Czech Republic - not for fuel). The application must be submitted by a representative established in Switzerland. VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. It does not return to travel agencies. Only 50% of VAT is refunded for food and drink. The minimum limit (no distinction between part of the year and the whole year) for applying for a VAT refund is CHF 500.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. The VAT must be stated in LEVA (BGN) on the document. VAT on accommodation and car expenses is non-refundable. The limit for applying for a VAT refund is 100 LEVA and for part of the year 800 LEVA.
They accept only proper tax documents (invoices) with the client's data, but it is possible for clients to exchange cash documents for tolls they have paid on motorways for invoices, which are then eligible by the tax office. VAT can be refunded on short-term rental of vehicles used for business activities (within 30 days). VAT on hotel and catering services provided as part of the business can be refunded. Based on the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU, it should be possible to deduct the relevant VAT paid on the maintenance of cars / fuels / cars used for the company's business. The tax rate under Italian VAT law is 40% if the car is used for both private and business purposes and 100% if the car is used exclusively for business purposes.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents. They do not return from the rental of boats for entertainment, the purchase of aircraft, vehicles and means of passenger transport. VAT for a accommodations is not refundable for travel agencies.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer with another for receipts for diesel up to 100 EUR (but the name and address of the collection must be printed on them). For purchases over 100 EUR, there must already be a proper tax document. They return from accommodation and meals. They do not return from the purchase and rental of cars (rental, TAXI, OFF ROAD vehicles, etc.). For business hospitality (catering, banking, participation in cultural events), the return is reduced to 75%. The limit for applying for a VAT refund is EUR 50 for the whole year and EUR 400 for part of the year.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. They refund VAT from spending on cars, but it is necessary to prove a commercial reason. They do not refund VAT from restaurants and catering. They also do not refund from the purchase of real estate and expenses related to real estate (purchase, repairs, reconstruction, ...).
Returns everything, including VAT on diesel, short-term accommodation and meals. If the payment is made in cash at the restaurant, VAT will not be refunded.
VAT is not refundable from meals, hotel breakfasts and accompanying hotel services (relaxation, ...). There is no refund of business hospitality, advertising, rental and repair of cars and caravans, motorcycles, private jets. VAT is not refundable on expenses for transport to work.
Simplified tax documents up to DKK 750 (approx. EUR 100) are tolerated. From 1 January 2013, the rule applies that the total sum of VAT from simplified tax documents may not exceed DKK 3000. For short-term accommodation, the VAT refund is reduced to 75%, the restaurant to a quarter (business hospitality is also recognized). VAT is refunded on food purchases in stores. When refueling diesel, the name, address and VAT number of the customer must be stated on the tax documents. Expenses related to personal cars and tourist buses are not refundable. For bus companies, a VAT refund is possible upon submission of a tax return in Denmark to VAT on services carried out on Danish territory. VAT is not refundable on the purchase and operation of real estate belonging to the management or employees of the applicant. The application limit for part of the year is DKK 3000 for the whole year DKK 400.
VAT is returned for everything. Receipts up to EUR 100 (simplified tax document) are tolerated.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name and address of the customer. They returns for diesel, but for passenger transport the return is reduced by 50%. VAT on accommodation is refundable only for active (compulsory) activities for Belgium, eg when handing over goods. VAT on accommodation is not refundable for regular business trips. For bus companies, a VAT refund is possible after filing a tax return in Belgium for value added tax due on services carried out on Belgian territory.
VAT is not refundable for restaurants for short stays. Car rental is reduced to 84%.
VAT is refunded only from proper tax documents containing the name, address and VAT number of the customer. It is not refundable from restaurants and expenses related to personal transport (petrol, purchase or rental). Accommodation is returned if the specified conditions are met (conferences, trainings,…).
VAT for accommodation is refundable only if you have paid for accommodation for a third party (ie not for your own employees). VAT is not refunded from restaurants, expenses related to personal transport (repairs and maintenance) and also from the purchase of real estate.
They do not refund VAT from expenses related to cars (petrol, purchase, rental). They do not refund VAT to travel agencies and also for used goods.
It is not refundable from expenses for cars, food, drinks and staff accommodation. The limit for submitting an application for a VAT refund is ISK 9,900 for the whole year and ISK 50,700 for part of the year.
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10 most frequently asked questions:
What do I need to process a VAT refund?
Signed contract and power of attorney for access to the electronic portal of the tax office. Furthermore, we need to inform us of your main economic activity, or your activities abroad, so that we can correctly identify your right to a VAT refund.
Is it possible to have another partner for VAT refunds and for excise tax refunds?
Yes, these are two independent taxes that are administered by different institutions. VAT refunds fall within the competence of the tax office, while excise duty is handled by the customs office. At the same time, however, it is necessary to take into account the administrative burden when transferring the necessary documentation between the various representatives. Since both taxes are based on the same invoices, a representative who processes one service for you can process the other much more efficiently. TaxCura offers its clients both variants.
Can I have two VAT refund partners?
Theoretically yes, but you run the risk of losing part of your claimed VAT. Generally, only 4 quarterly and 1-year applications are allowed, if two representatives apply for you, it is possible that a collision will occur.
Are there any minimums required to claim a VAT refund?
Under the EU Council Directive, if the refund application relates to a refund period of less than one calendar year but at least three months, the amount of VAT claimed may not be less than EUR 400 or the equivalent in national currency. If the application for a refund relates to a refund period of one calendar year or to the remainder of a calendar year, the amount of VAT may not be less than EUR 50 or the equivalent in national currency.
How often can I claim a VAT refund?
In general, the tax refund period is a maximum of one calendar year and a minimum of three calendar months. However, refund applications may cover a period of less than three months, provided that this period represents the remainder of the calendar year. In practice, applications are submitted quarterly and annually, and in some countries even semi-annually.
How is the VAT refund application submitted?
The application is submitted via the electronic portal of the applicant's tax office, from where it is forwarded to the country from which VAT is claimed. It is therefore not possible to apply for a VAT refund from the EU in bulk, but it is necessary to prepare the application separately for each country and assess the individual documents so as to avoid errors that could lead to the rejection of the application. We often have to respond to email or telephone inquiries from the relevant tax office. If we do not provide them with additional documentation in time, they can reject the application. In addition, it is often necessary to communicate with tax authorities in Their mother tongue.
From which documents can VAT be claimed back?
Documents from all exhibitors, paid by card or in cash, can be included in the VAT refund application. Then it depends on the national legislation of individual states whether they accept simplified documents that do not contain information about your company (name, registered office, VAT number).
Is it necessary to provide original tax documents, or will scanned copies be enough?
For the process of claiming foreign VAT, it is necessary to provide original documents, either in electronic form (with an electronic signature) or physically.
How long does it take to process an application from the submission to the crediting of the amount of VAT refunded to my account?
The locally competent tax administrator in the country refunding VAT is limited to a settlement period of a maximum of 4 months (in case They have no doubts and do not raise additional questions). In case of inquiries from the responsible tax administrator, the deadline is extended by 2 months. As we are aware of the time-consuming nature of VAT collection from abroad, we also offer our clients a variant of VAT pre-financing.
From which countries is possible to refund VAT?
The application can be submitted to all EU Member States and EEC countries (Norway, Switzerland), or other states with which a bilateral agreement is concluded (in the case of the Czech Republic, eg with Macedonia).