VAT (Value Added Tax) Refunds / Reclaim for Europe, Japan, South Korea & Australia

Qualifications for a Refund of Business Expenses to a Company

The criterion for determining whether a company is qualified for a refund of the VAT it incurs on business expenses varies somewhat from country to country. However, the following requirements are generally the standard to be used in evaluating the eligibility of a company:

Commercial activity for profit

Registered as a taxpayer with the appropriate tax authority in the company's resident country

No division or branch office that is registered as a taxpayer in the country where a refund application is submitted

No sales of goods within the borders of the country where the refund application is submitted

No production plant or manufacturing facility in the country where a refund application is submitted

Tourists seeking a refund of the tax charged on the purchase of goods in these countries are not able to use the refund scheme presented here. Application for a refund of VAT on the purchase of goods by tourists involve a special procedure that is unique to each country. Information on these refund schemes can be obtained from the merchant from which the purchase was made.

Companies seeking a VAT refund on travel, professional services or trade show expenses must consolidate all of refundable expenses onto one claim. Individual travelers or employees should not reclaim the VAT on their expenses without oversight from the company's financial officer. The completed claim will require the signature of an officer of the company before it can be submitted to the appropriate tax office for.

In some countries, additional obstacles exist for refunds on business expenses. For example, France, Switzerland, and Japan require that a fiscal representative that is a resident of that country submit the claim on behalf of the applicant company. Generally, an applicant company should submit claims separately for each separate legal entity, and only four refund claims can be submitted by each applicant, for each reporting period.