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Reclaiming VAT on Goods & Services

There is a 17.5% purchase tax levied on most goods and services purchased in the UK called "Value Added Tax" (VAT). On most receipts this amount is shown separately so that you can clearly see how much VAT you have paid.

Reclaiming VAT on Goods

VAT Re-Claim Agent

Reclaiming VAT on Business Expenditure

The VAT incurred on business expenditure (eg. VAT on hotel expenses, car hire etc) by non-UK business visitors may be reclaimed.

You cannot reclaim VAT on the following :-

- goods and services used for non-business purposes; however, if they were for both business and non-business use, VAT can be reclaimed on the business element, and
- all business entertainment/hospitality expenses,

In order to claim, you will need:-

A). originals (not copies) of invoices, receipts or vouchers showing:-

- an identifying number, eg. a receipt number,
- the firms name, address and VAT registration number,
- your name and address,
- details of the goods or services supplied,
- the date of purchase,
- the cost of the goods or services (excluding VAT),
- the rate of VAT,
- the amount of VAT charged.

If the value of the goods or services is less than £100 (including VAT) the invoice need only show:-

- your supplier's name, address and VAT registration number,
- the date of purchase,
- details of the goods or services supplied,
- the cost of the goods or services (including VAT),
- the rate of VAT.

B). complete and return a claim form. Claim forms are available from most VAT offices (including the VAT office mentioned below) and agents who specialise in reclaiming VAT. The form must be completed in English using block capitals and returned to the VAT office mentioned below or to your agent with the invoices, receipts or vouchers and the appropriate certificate (see below).

Provided your claim is correct, you will receive your refund within 6 months. The refund will normally be made by Payable Order in sterling directly to you (or to your agent) and must be cashed at a UK bank or paid directly into a UK bank account.

The rules and eligibility to claim a VAT refund on business expenses are slightly different dependant on whether you are established in another EC country or are established outside the EC.

VAT refunds for EC Businesses

VAT refunds for Non-EC Businesses

You can contact HM Customs & Excise on the below number for advise on any issue relating to reclaiming VAT and for VAT claim forms:-

HM Customs and Excise
VAT Advice Centre,
Dorset House,
Stamford Street, SE1 9PY.
TEL: 0207-202 4227

Business In London® is a tradename & trademark and division of Straker-McKenzie Ltd. Brookscroft House 26 Second Avenue London, E17 9QH. TEL +44 (0)208 923 0918 / FAX +44 (0)208-521 9548. Registered in England No. 3057751 VAT Reg No. 676 2872 91 email: © 1997 – 2004 Straker-McKenzie Ltd

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