These charts outline examples of some of the major business expenses that are eligible for VAT refunds. This is only a general guide please contact us for specific information for your business. These numbers reflect the percentage of VAT that is charged and its eligibility to be refunded. Empty boxes reflect expenses that are non- refundable.

In a number of countries, non-resident businesses that carry out no taxable supplies could claim VAT refund of VAT charged on their business use purchases via dedicated VAT refund procedure.  

These VAT charts outline examples of some of the major business expenses for which VAT refund may be claimed. This is only a general guide please contact us for specific information for your business.

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Please see below the available VAT Charts of your country to get redirected to relevant VAT chart where listed countries you may be entitled to claim VAT refund from. 

This is only a general guide please contact us for specific information for your business or in case the VAT refund chart for your country of establishment cannot be consulted online.

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VAT Rates

This chart outlines the VAT rates in force in the listed jurisdictions. This is only a general guide. For specific information for your business please contact us.

CountryStandard VAT RateReduced VAT RateReduced Rate applicable to:Updates
Australia10%n/a

n/a

Austria20%10%

hotel and restaurant services, passenger transport food, books and antiques, theatres and museums, pharmaceuticals

Belgium21%6%, 12%

6% to hotel accommodation, passenger transport, food, books, admission to theatres & museums, works of art, pharmaceuticals; 12% to food, construction works, agricultural inputs

Bulgaria20%9%

hotel accommodation

Canada5%-15%
Canary Islands16%
Croatia25%13%

hotel accommodation, newspapers, magazines, edible oils and fats, baby food, water (except bottled water), sugar

The VAT rate for diapers, live animals, meat, fish, fruits, nuts, vegetables and eggs from specific marks of combined nomenclature is reduced to 13% from 25%.
Cyprus19%5%, 9%

9% to passenger transport, hotel accommodation, alcohol in restaurants; 5% to foodstuffs, wide range of services, admissions to fairs, sporting and cultural events, pharmaceuticals, books and magazines

Czech Republic21%15%

most basic foodstuffs, books, accommodation, pharmaceuticals, passenger transport, sporting and cultural events

Denmark25%n/a

n/a

Estonia20%9%

accommodation, pharmaceuticals, books

Finland24%14%, 10%

14% to foodstuffs, restaurant services; 10% to printed books, subscription to newspapers/periodicals, pharmaceuticals, passenger transport, accommodation, admission to sporting, cultural events, exhibitions

France20%10%, 5.5%

10% to restaurant meals, public transport, accommodation; 5.5% to foodstuff, water, energy; super reduced rate 2.1% to pharmaceuticals and newspapers

Germany19%7%

accommodation, basic foodstuffs, printed books

Greece24%13%, 6.0%

13% torestaurant meals, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, passenger transport; 6.5%to accommodation, some medicines, books and newspapers

Holland21%9%

9% to food and drinks (without alcohol), passenger transport, hotel accommodation, flowers, pharmaceuticals, printed matter, admission to entertainment events

The Dutch low VAT rate is raised from 6% to 9% starting 1 January 2019. The VAT rate of 6% is applicable for all payments done in 2018 even if the service/delivery is done in 2019. For deliveries and services which are done in 2018 and invoiced in 2019 6% VAT is due.
Hungary27%18%, 5%

18% to hotel accommodation, milk and milk products, bread; 5% to pharmaceuticals, books and newspapers

Iceland24
Ireland23%13.5%, 9%

13.5% to hotel accommodation, restaurant meals, admission to cultural events, wide range of services; 9% to some food and drinks (catering and take-away), newspapers and other printed matter, admission to cultural events and museums; super reduced rate 4.8% to supplies of livestock and fire out of horses

The VAT rate for the tourism sector increases from 9% to 13.5% starting 1 January 2019. The rate for newspapers and sporting facilities continues at 9%. The VAT rate for e-books and electronically supplied newspapers is reduced from 23% to 9% as of 1 January 2019.
Italy22%10%, 4%

10% to passenger transport, certain foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals; super reduced rate 4% tosome food and drinks, printing materials, some supplies of immovable property

Japan8%n/a

n/a

Latvia21%12%

12% to newspapers and magazines; certain pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, passenger transport

Liechtenstein8
Lithuania21%9%, 5%

9% to books, heating energy, hot and cold water intended for heating of residential premises; 5% to agricultural products, medicines, medical aid devicesnewspapers, journals and other periodical publications.

As of 1 January 2019 the reduced VAT rate of 5% will apply to newspapers, journals and other periodical publications (currently, the reduced VAT rate of 9% applies).
Luxembourg17%3%,8%,14%

12% to wine, some financial services; 6% to electricity, flowers, heating gas; super reduced rate 3% to books and e-books, basic food, hotel and restaurant services, passenger transport, admission to cultural, sporting and other events

Macedonia18
Malta18%7%, 5%

7% to accommodation; 5% to books, periodicals, admission to cultural events, electricity, some foodstuffs, some repair services

Monaco2010%, 5.5%
Norway25%15%, 8%

15%to most food items; 8%to hotel accommodation, cinema tickets, passenger transport

Poland23%8%, 5%

8% to restaurant and catering services, TV services (without advertisements), passenger transport, newspapers and periodicals; 5% to some foods like bread, juice, meals ready for consumption, books and certain periodicals

Portugal23%13%, 6%

13% to admission to entertainment performances, some foodstuff, wine, bottled water, except flavoured one, diesel for off-road use; 6% to basic food, pharmaceuticals, books, hotel accommodation

Romania19%9%, 5%

9%to accommodation, admission fees, delivery of books, newspapers and magazines, medicines, orthopaedic products; 5% to certain immovable property

On 13 January 2019, Law No 13 was published in Official Gazette No. 28 enacting, with effect from that date, the application of the reduced VAT rate of 5% to the transport of passengers by train, cable car, animal-drawn vehicle or boat for tourism or leisure purposes

Serbia205.5%,10%
Slovakia20%10%

to pharmaceuticals, books and other printed matter

From 1 January 2019, Slovakia reduce the VAT rate for hotels and similar accommodation services from 20% to 10%.
Slovenia22%9.5%

to food, water supplies, pharmaceuticals, books and all other printed matter, admission to cultural and sporting events and performances, residential property, accommodation, certain services

South Korea10
Spain21%10%, 4%

10% to wide range of goods and services – hotel and accommodation, passenger transport, commercial fairs and exhibitions, agricultural services, food, flowers and plants, pharmaceuticals for animals, artistic performances, medical services; super reduced rate 4% to basic food like bread, flour, eggs, milk and milk products, human pharmaceuticals, school printed matter, books, newspapers

Sweden25%12%, 6%

12%to hotel, restaurant and catering services, works of art; 6% to passenger transport, books, newspapers, admission fees, some cultural performances

Switzerland8%3.8%, 2.5%

3.8%to accommodation services, including breakfast; super reduced rate 2.5% on foods (but not in restaurants and alcohol), newspapers, books, TV and radio service (but no commercials), medicines

Taiwan5
Turkey18
United Kingdom20%5%

to residential conversions and repairs, women’s sanitary products, electricity for domestic supply, certain supplies and services connected with energy saving materials

If your organisation incurs VAT abroad as part of your business activities you are most likely eligible to claim a VAT refund. Each country has different conditions on what qualifies for foreign VAT refunds but the common criterion for reclaiming VAT in most countries include VAT registration, your business activities and location and the types of expenses you have incurred.

Most organisations we talk to understand the importance of foreign VAT reclaim in reducing expenses. However, the complexities and time demands of recovering VAT can cost prohibitive.  That’s where Taxback International comes in. Our experience and local tax legislation expertise can safeguard your business against tax losses, ensure you’re compliant with all tax regulations and provide complete management of your foreign VAT recovery process.

If you are a medium-large or multinational organisation with numerous invoices and expenses across more than one country, our Data Analysis can analyse all your data to identify your total VAT reclaim opportunity”.

In most EU countries the tax year runs from 1st January to the 31st December and the deadline for submitting VAT claims is the 30th September, although exceptions do apply. For nonEU companies the deadline may differ – for many countries it would be 30 Jun.

Some countries allow retroactive claims, also known as late claims.

Taxback International will help your organisation sort through the complexities of each country’s requirements and provide you with an end-to-end VAT process for all of your foreign VAT refund needs.

For more information, contact our team today.

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