VAT refund from EU Member States

Getting a VAT refund from 28 EU Member States

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How do I get a refund for VAT paid in another Member State?

A VAT refund in the EU is a topic which often arouses interest among companies that conduct transactions taxed in other Member States.

A company which is a taxpayer and incurs costs taxed in any of the EU Member States may obtain a VAT refund. It should be noted that VAT cannot be classified as an expense by a company, even if it was paid in another Member State.

Have you paid VAT in an EU Member State in which you do not have a permanent registered office and you would like to obtain a refund? You can apply for this provided that you meet certain conditions.

Note that not all expenses are refundable. Expense categories may vary across countries. A VAT refund applies in the following cases:

  • The incurred expenses were necessary to conduct business activity
  • They form the basis for applying VAT with the possibility of deduction in the country in which it was paid
  • These costs are confirmed by invoices

To obtain information on expenses that are not subject to a VAT refund, please visit the website of a given tax administration authority or refer to a tax expert. This should be done before submitting the application for refund in order to avoid its rejection.

For example: in the case of tax on a business stay in hotels, VAT is not deductible in Portugal (§ 54 page 19 of the vademecum), though it is deductible in Germany (§ 54 page 20 of the vademecum).

When should I file a VAT refund application?

A VAT refund application should be filed electronically in the country in which the applicant’s permanent registered office is located within the following time limits:

  • By 30 September of the next calendar year – in the case of companies based in the European Union
  • By 30 June of the next calendar year – in the case of companies not based in the European Union.

The waiting period for a refund may not be longer than a calendar year or shorter than three calendar months. However, it may be shorter than three months if it concerns the balance for a calendar year.

Note! A refund application may not cover more than two calendar years. In some Member States, the settlement period in the case of refund is a calendar quarter (e.g. Italy).

The minimum VAT amounts subject to a refund application are as follows:

  • € 400 or equivalent amount in the currency of a given country – where the application covers a period from three months to one year
  • € 50 or equivalent amount in the currency of a given country – where the application covers a period of one calendar year
VAT refund from EU Member States (VAT-REF application)
1. How do I get a VAT refund? 2. filling a VAT refund application? 3. Using the services of a tax expert 4. Ask for a free-of-charge estimate 5. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

VAT refund with the support of a tax attorney

Using the services of a tax representative or attorney specialising in VAT matters, you can be sure that the refund application will be submitted in accordance with the provisions of law and within the statutory time limits. The stages presented below are implemented by our company in accordance with the required formalities:

  • 1. Completing documents and analysing the situation

  • 2. Verification and entering purchase invoices

  • 3. Preparation and submission of VAT refund application

  • 4. Staying in touch with treasury administration authorities.

Each client is handled by one of our VAT experts. We analyse the situation to make sure that the client is entitled to a refund. Then the expert proceeds with an in-depth verification of the purchase invoices and/or customs documents to determine whether a VAT refund can be effected in the country in question. After submitting the application, we provide answers to all any and all questions about additional information regarding tax administration and ensure that the case is handled in a correct manner.

You can order a comprehensive VAT audit to check what kind of expenses are refundable.

Should you have any questions concerning our services or you would like to receive an estimate, please contact us using the contact form. Our expert will provide you with a free-of-charge consultation.

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VAT refund from the EU: Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Who can get a refund of VAT paid in EU Member States?

To get a refund, the following conditions must be met:

  • The taxpayer must be a VAT payer in their country.
  • Its registered office may not be located in the country in which the refund application is submitted.
  • The taxpayer may not perform any taxable operations that form the basis for registration for VAT purposes in a Member State for the period for which the application is submitted.

How long will I have to wait for a VAT refund from the EU?

A Member State in which a refund application is submitted has four months to consider the application. This period may be extended to six or eight months if it is necessary to obtain additional information. In general, it is assumed that a VAT refund may take place within 3 months in Great Britain, or 8 months in Italy.

What do I do if my company's permanent registered office is located in Poland?

If you decide to work with us, please file a VAT refund application through our agency. Our experts will analyse your situation and verify foreign invoices. For more details, contact us using the contact form.

Can I apply for a VAT refund from abroad if I am not a VAT payer?

No. A VAT refund in the EU does not apply to companies other than VAT payers. It is not possible to file an application for refund of tax paid in another EU Member State.

When completing an application for a VAT refund from the EU, it is necessary to provide the type of goods or services for which VAT has been paid. The type of goods or services acquired may be as follows:

Przy uzupełnianiu wniosku o zwrot podatku VAT z UE należy podać typ towaru lub usługi, od których został zapłacony podatek VAT. Rodzaj nabytych towarów lub usług może być następujący:

  • Fuel
  • Rental of means of transport
  • Expenses related to means of transport
  • Road and traffic charges
  • Travel costs (such as taxi fares and costs of public transport)
  • Accommodation
  • Food, beverages, and catering services
  • Trade fair admission fees
  • Expenses for luxury and representative goods
  • Others
Ask for a free-of-charge estimate

We will be more than happy to answer your questions and make an offer

  • Free-of-charge estimate
  • Contact our expert
  • Simple and effective
  • Response within 48 hours
  • No obligations
  • Clear rules of cooperation
  • Tailor-made estimate
  • No hidden fees
  • 6 languages