News added on 25.09.2015

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Reclaiming EU VAT - 30 September 2015 deadline

The deadline for reclaiming VAT on expenses incurred in other EU countries in 2014 is the end of September 2015. How do you get the money back?

If you’re a VAT-registered business, you have less than a week to consider what EU VAT you can recover for 2014 ahead of the 30 September 2015 annual filing deadline.

Types of expense. There is a wide variety of goods and services that businesses can reclaim EU VAT on. Section 2.13 of VAT Notice 723A sets out the ten different categories that EU expenses fall into. The most common ones are likely to be hotel and meal expenses incurred while on business trips or conferences in the EU. There are a lot of different rules that block the refund of VAT for certain purchases - these vary across the EU but are summarised in VAT Notice 723A.

How do you make a claim? You have to make the claim online. If you haven’t done this before, you will need to add the “VAT EU refund” service from the “add services” section of HMRC Online. Your claim must cover three months or more and be for a minimum of €400 (or local currency equivalent) for periods of less than a year; or if your claim covers a whole calendar year, or the rest of a year where you’ve already made a claim for part of it, it must be for at least €50. The claim cannot be for more than a calendar year.

Do you need to send invoices? As it’s an online system, you do not need to send any paper invoices to the other EU member states when submitting the claim. However, some local tax authorities may ask you to scan invoices over certain values and attach these to the claim. You will not normally be asked to send scanned documents for purchases with a value less than €1,000 or €250 for fuel purchases. However, you must keep all of the original invoices and other documents supporting the claim as some EU member states may occasionally request sight of the original documents later in order to authorise the claim.

You can reclaim VAT on most business purchases made while visiting the EU using HMRC’s online “VAT EU Refunds” service. If claiming for the whole of 2014, it must be for a minimum of €50.

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