21st July 2017

Foreign VAT recovery

Cross-border/Foreign VAT recovery

Foreign VAT Recovery GTR: Global Tax Reclaim – Global Tax Returns

Foreign (Cross-border) VAT recovery

Foreign VAT Recovery GTR: Global Tax Reclaim – Global Tax Returns we offer you the best possibility to Optimise your VAT experience. Where Foreign VAT incurred can be recovered without the need for extensive formalities. Which reduces overseas travel expenses. Our solution for business expenses is designed to maximise your spend, where the Tax Authorities operate under a refund mechanism.

The purpose of the Foreign/cross-border refund system is to enable European and non-European businesses to recover VAT incurred in the EU  where they are not established.

Some restrictions apply for specific industries such as public bodies, and financial service. Or for countries where there is no reciprocity agreement in place where the expense is incurred. Each country has its own rules and regulations in relation to refund rules. As well as VAT rates varying from country to country.


The Cross-Border VAT refund system is mainly based on two key European Acts:

  •  “8th Directive” – Designed for E.U. companies to recover VAT incurred in another E.U. Member State.
  • “13th Directive” – Designed for non-E.U. companies to recover VAT incurred in any E.U. Member State.

Recovery Scope

Foreign VAT can be incurred on the following types of expenses:

Hotels / Restaurants & Entertainment / Fuel / Car Rental / Taxis / Public Transport / Conferences, exhibitions & trade shows / Training course seminars / Leased lines / professional fees / local purchase of goods / Etc …


European Union claimants

  • The EU country where the VAT has been incurred may not be the seat of the economic activity of the entity.
  • The entity may not have a fixed establishment in the EU country from which the business transactions were carried out.
  • The claimant shall not have supplied goods or services in that country (except transport services, ancillary services, or services for which the recipient is liable for payment of VAT).
  • Requests refund online through a special portal by the Claimant through its domestic VAT Authority.
  • Annual deadline for the submission of the VAT refund is 30th September of the following year.
  • The claim process is subject to minimum thresholds.

Non-European Union Claimants – additional

  • Different documentation requirement, which means original invoices must be submitted with all claims.
  • Deadline for the VAT refund is 30th June following the year of claim.

 Our solution

GTR offer a seamless, end-to-end VAT solution for expenses. We manage the entire foreign VAT recovery, from identifying all claimable transactions through to repayment from the tax authorities. We provide specialised services that can help to target claimable VAT amounts, resulting in substantial savings.

  • Missing Invoice identification and collection.
  • Comparison of credit card statements.
  • Invoice analysis and reformatting – Ensuring compliance of supplier invoices with EU VAT Authorities’ requirements. Assistance in obtaining compliant invoices from suppliers if required
  • Supplier refunds – Invoice review to ascertain if VAT was charged correctly by the supplier.
  • Onsite audit and collection service, as well as a direct download of data from your accounting software is available.
  • Submission of the VAT return as required.
  • Your own Client Portal to track and trace status in real time.

Expense categories

  • Non-travel related invoices – Supplier invoices from your paper systems or ERP. We can assist in identification, and recovery of those invoices eligible for VAT refund.
  • MICE – Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions. We can assist in the recovery of VAT on these events.
  • Tax-compliant T&E expenses extracted from your expense management systems.

Methods of Data Extraction

  • Automated process based on data from expense management solutions. Our technical team will extract the T&E data remotely in a seamless manner.
  • Traditional paper based process if your systems don’t permit the above, we then summarise in our system for your own ease.

Optimise your VAT Experience!

GTR: Global Tax Reclaim offer our clients an exceptional service, with a team that embodies the highest levels of professionalism and integrity.