Foreign VAT Refund in UK for Businesses – Eligibility, Application & Process

  June 26, 2017

The United Kingdom (UK) is part of the largest and only constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, in the world. It is considered a high-income economy, ranking 5th on a list of the world’s largest economies. It was also the world’s first industrialized country.

So it stands to reason that the United Kingdom is one of the largest business hubs in the world. The good news is that of all the countries in which you can recover your VAT as a business, United Kingdom has the highest number of 0 rated goods and services (goods and services that are charged 0% VAT). So if you are going to United Kingdom on a business trip, you can rest assured that the VAT on your expenses can be reclaimed almost 100%.

Foreign VAT Refund Eligibility in UK

As a business, it is important to know a little bit about tax laws in countries that you visit for purposes of your business. A lot can be gained by understanding the process, knowing what is owed to you and claiming your VAT refund. Simply being aware of little tax-related details can give you a huge financial edge.

The standard VAT rate in United Kingdom is 20%. There are, however, a few commodities that are taxed at a reduced rate of 5%.

In most cases, the VAT is refundable to all foreign businesses provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Your business cannot be VAT-registered in the UK
  • You cannot have a place of business or another residence in the UK
  • You cannot manufacture any supplies in the UK (there are a few exceptions)
  • You have paid £130 in VAT over 3 to 12 months for business travel expenses.

Eligible expenses for VAT refund

  1. Hotels
  2. Car rentals
  3. Restaurant Meals
  4. Training
  5. Transportation of Goods

Expenses excluded from VAT refund

  1. Non-business related supplies.
  2. Materials used to make a product in the UK
  3. Purchase or import of a car
  4. Second-hand cars and antiques
  5. Export of goods (in most cases these are 0 rated.)

Application Submission Dates and Guidelines

  1. Your application must be made on Form VAT 65A with every invoice listed on the form.
  2. Your application must cover a period of 12 calendar months for which your claim must exceed £130. OR
  3. Your application must cover a period of 3 consecutive months for which your claim must exceed £16.
  4. The application must be submitted in full no later than the 31st of December.
  5. The refund is usually made within 6 months of your application being approved.
  6. If your claim is rejected you may request a review within 30 days of receiving the decision.

Each application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  1. Original VAT invoices or proof of VAT paid
  2. A valid certificate of registration from your country stating that your business is registered in your country. The certificate should contain:
    1. the name, address and official stamp of the authorizing company
    2. the claimant’s name and address
    3. nature of the business conducted
    4. the business registration number.

Doing it in-house vs third party

It is surprising to note that many companies and businesses do not claim their VAT after they have been on business trips to countries in the EU. These companies are missing out of free money that they simply need to claim!

With so many rules and regulations, tax laws and differing VAT rates, the entire process of reclaiming VAT can be quite daunting. Doing it efficiently and correctly the first time round can save everyone a lot of time and energy. This requires a lot of technical know-how and years of experience and expertise that we at CB VAT are more than willing to provide!

Whether you are new to VAT claiming or have been claiming your VAT or years, CB VAT can give you a definite advantage. With CB VAT you can:

  • accurately measure your VAT recovery potential
  • instruct employees to present more qualified T&E receipts
  • improve your bottom line with the right guidance.

Basically, we don’t mean to brag, but our team here at CB VAT can guarantee better, more efficient VAT recovery than most other VAT recovery agencies!

Our process is simple, quick and efficient. With over 30 years of experience in the field, we are proud to offer our expertise so that your business can run without a glitch. At CB VAT we are fully committed to helping you recover the maximum amount of tax (up 100%) in the shortest possible time.

For your convenience, the entire process has been condensed into 4 easy steps. Once you have everything in place to get started all you have to do is follow these quick steps to claim your VAT in the UK:

  1. Submit an application to claim your refund from the country in which your business is registered.
  2. Gather and submit all original bills and VAT invoices.
  3. Make copies and keep a record of everything that you are submitting, especially the original copies.
  4. Submit your claims within the stipulated deadlines with correct invoices to avoid rejection.

Wondering if you are eligible for a VAT refund?


How to maximize your VAT refund from UK?

At CB VAT you can rest assured that your VAT claim process will be handled with utmost professionalism and care. We work round the clock to make sure you get what you are due.

Rely on us to provide:
– Quick Service and Prompt Responses
We are adamant and making sure you get every single pound you can reclaim in the fastest possible time.

– Instant and Safe Money
Unlike many other agencies, we do not hold your refund. Your money is in a safe escrow account in one of the top banks. The instant it is released by the authorities, the money will be sent to your account. We believe in zero delays!

– Convenience at its Optimum
We want to take on your burden and make the process as easy for you as we possibly can. Let our expert team pour over the nitty gritty details, while you focus on growing your business. With CB VAT you can experience convenience at its utmost.

– Onetime Fee
We do not charge any money upfront. You only pay a small percentage of your refund money.

– Transparency
You have access to the processes and accounts every step of the way. We want complete and utter transparency so that all our clients are at ease.

Choose CB VAT for a hassle-free way to reduce your tax burden and further your business.