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Refund of Overseas VAT

Newsletter issue - November 2010.

From 1 January 2010 you were able to reclaim VAT incurred on business expenses in other EU countries, by using the online portal set up by HMRC. The UK end of this EU-wide system has been operating smoothly, but there have been significant delays and problems in other EU countries, which have meant that claims have not been processed.

Due to these problems the European Commission decided to push back the deadline for submitting claims for refunds of VAT incurred in 2009 from 30 September 2010 to 31 March 2011. If you have not got round to making a claim for repayment of VAT on expenses incurred while travelling abroad since 1 January 2009, you can now do so.

However, before you take hours preparing your claim, check that it will be worthwhile. The minimum claim you can submit per country is €50. Once your refund is approved you will be paid by credit transfer into your business bank account. Such a transfer of foreign currency into a sterling bank account may well cause high bank charges, which will be deducted from the refund.