The VAT paid in other EU countries is often recoverable by VAT-registered businesses in the UK, who bought goods or services for business use. The exact rules of 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 be 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 2018 calendar year is 30 September 2019. HMRC will electronically forward the claim to the country where the VAT was paid.
We had urged readers to make a claim before 29 March 2019, the expected Brexit date as the claim process could have been compromised if there was a no-deal Brexit. Given the expected Brexit 'flextension' until the end of October 2019, any businesses that need to make a claim should ensure they do so by the deadline of 30 September 2019. After we leave the EU, it is likely that UK businesses will be able to reclaim VAT from EU countries, by using the existing process available to non-EU businesses.
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 or the person they are supplying pays VAT on the supplies.