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VAT refunds for Non-EC Businesses

If you are registered for business purposes in a non-EC member state, you can reclaim VAT paid in the UK, provided:-

- you are not registered, liable or eligible to be registered for VAT in the UK,
- you have no place of business or other residence in the European Community,
- you do not supply services in the UK (other than the services listed below) where VAT is payable by the person to whom the supply is made.

To complete your claim:-

1). You need a certificate from the official authority in your own country showing that you are registered for business purposes in that country.

The certificate must show:-

- the name, address and official stamp of the authorising body,
- your own name and address,
- the nature of your business, and
- your business registration number.

Note, that if the invoices, receipts or vouchers are made out in your company's trading name/style, the certificate must show this as well as the name of the person/company that is registered. Each certificate is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Once it has expired you will need a new one in order to make future claims.

2). You must make your claim no later than six months from the end of the "prescribed year" in which you incurred the VAT. The "prescribed year" is the 12 months from 1 July to 30 June.

In addition, your claim must cover a minimum period of three months, (unless there are less than three months to the end of the prescribed year) and not more than a full prescribed year. You can only claim items that are missed from previous claims if they were incurred during the year of the then current claim.

3). The minimum amount you can claim is £16 where your claim covers one prescribed year period, or where your claim covers the last quarter of a prescribed year. However, if your claim is for a period less than one prescribed year, and is not for the last quarter of that year, then the minimum claim amount is £130.

Services which you can supply in the UK and which will not prevent you from claiming a VAT refund on goods and services which you buy while in the UK are:-

i) transport services related to the international carriage of goods,
ii) the transfer and assignment of copyright, patents, licences, trademarks and similar rights,
iii) acceptance of any obligation to refrain from pursuing or exercising, in whole or in part, any business activity or any such rights referred to on (ii) above,
iv) advertising services,
v) services of consultants; engineers; consultancy bureaux; lawyers; accountants and other similar services; data processing and the provision of information,
vi) banking, financial and insurance services (including reinsurance, but not the provision of safe deposit facilities),
vii) the supply of staff,
viii) the letting on hire of goods other than means of transport,
ix) The services provided by one person to another in procuring for the other any of the services mentioned in paragraphs (ii) to (viii) above.

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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