VAT Recovery Deadlines in Europe for 2023

3 min read
Jan 10, 2023

We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: worldwide, companies are failing to claim up to $30 billion in VAT on travel expenses, each year. As businesses look for savings and cost reductions, one easy way to reduce business costs is to recover VAT on all eligible expenses.

Reclaiming VAT can be a time-consuming task to complete alone. Integrating VAT recovery with your expense management system will result in substantial financial gains with no hands-on investment – everything is automated.

Below is everything you need to know about the different VAT recovery deadlines and how integrated VAT recovery can help you.

How to qualify for VAT reclaim in Europe

EU businesses

To qualify for a VAT reclaim, businesses must be registered in the EU (directive 2008/09/EC, formerly known as the 8th Directive) and have incurred expenses in a different Member State than then one they are registered in. Take, for example, a company registered in Belgium and reclaiming VAT from France for expenses or Accounts Payable (AP) invoices that were issued there.

Non-EU businesses

Businesses registered outside the EU (directive 86/560/EEC, formerly the 13th Directive) may reclaim VAT on expenses and AP invoices incurred in some European countries. Take, here, the example of a US-based company reclaiming VAT on corporate travel and expenses incurred in Italy.

Note that for non-EU businesses, most EU tax authorities will require that original paper invoices and documentation be submitted with the claim or sent later on request. Make sure you keep those documents until your claim is fully processed to avoid unwelcome surprises.

Deadlines for VAT recovery

Non-EU businesses - European VAT

Invoices and receipts for expenses incurred by non-EU businesses in the EU from the previous calendar year (January 1st to December 31st) must be submitted by June 30th.

EU businesses - European VAT

Invoices and receipts for expenses incurred by EU businesses in the EU from the previous calendar year (January 1st to December 31st) must be submitted, usually electronically, by September 30th.

US and non-EU businesses - UK VAT

Invoices and receipts for expenses incurred by US and non-EU businesses in the UK from the previous refund period (July 1st to June 30th) must be submitted before December 31st.

How to file a compliant VAT claim

EU businesses

Companies registered in the EU may file a VAT claim by submitting an electronic application to the Member State where the expenses were incurred through that country’s tax authority portal. This process can be time-consuming for businesses with dealings in multiple countries as each has its own set of forms to fill and rules to abide by.

Non-EU businesses

Companies which are not registered in the EU must submit an application following the rules of each Member State concerned. Here also, specific forms must be used for each country from which a claim is being made. Most tax authorities require that original documentation be enclosed with the application or sent on request.

How a VAT recovery partner supports your claims

By integrating your choice of VAT recovery partner with your expense management system, you ensure that only full and compliant VAT refund claims are submitted for your company. You are also guaranteed that requests are entered on time. This avoids you both the risk of fines from inaccurate claims and the risk of not receiving your refund due to late filing.

VAT recovery partners receive your VAT data from your expense management system and mine it to identify compliant, claimable expenses. They then verify the data before compiling it and submitting the claim in your name. All that is left for you to do is receive your VAT refund, it’s that easy!

And because these VAT recovery agents work on a “no cure, no pay” basis, you only pay them a percentage of your recovered VAT. No recovery = no payment!

Find the VAT recovery partner for you

Increase your profitability by integrating automated VAT recovery into your expense management system today for ensured expense report compliance. We are proud to have partnered with VAT recovery companies that will provide you with the right services to fit your needs.