VAT Recovery claims deadline looming

Experts Matthew Harrison and Dian Shmilev provide details for applicable businesses with outstanding VAT recovery claims for 2014.

30 September 2015 marks the deadline for submission of VAT recovery claims for 2014 for businesses established in the EU, but incurring expenses abroad where these companies have no establishment.

Examples of goods where VAT would be claimable

  • Selected services (a 2010 rules change reduced the amount of services where local VAT is charged)
  • Co-location costs
  • Import VAT incurred on the movement of goods across borders
  • Local purchases of goods (exceptions apply)

EU established businesses

These businesses should prepare and submit a refund claim to the authorities of the country in which a given business is established. This is done online through an online portal of the tax authority of the country where a given business is established.

Businesses established outside of the EU

Companies established outside of the EU will need to submit their claims directly to authorities of the country in which a VAT expense was incurred. A fiscal representative may need to be appointed in some member states. 

Several countries will not refund VAT unless there is a reciprocity agreement for the recovery of VAT and certain other taxes with the country in which the non-EU claimant is established. Reciprocity is required for the following countries:

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.

Submission deadlines

  • For EU established businesses, the deadline is 30 September 2015. Applications are on a calendar year basis, so by 30 September 2015 applications for 2014 must be submitted. However, applications may relate to a time frame of less than three months where this is the remainder of a calendar year.

For businesses established outside of the EU, the deadline for most EU countries was 30 June 2015 and the application is on a calendar year basis, however the deadline for the following countries is 30 September 2015:

Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain. Applications are based on a calendar year.

For the United Kingdom the deadline is 31 December 2015 and applications are based on a 12 month period from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

Minimum annual and interim claim amounts vary country-to-country. Please contact our team to find out specific information.

Tax offices have four months to review the application starting from the day the claim has been confirmed as received. If additional information is requested by a tax authority, the term will be extended. If this is the case, the claimant will have one month to provide the required data. Once data has been provided authorities have two additional months to decide the fate of the claim.

Got questions or need help with the preparation of your VAT recovery claim? Get in touch with our experts.

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