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VAT Refund for Business Trips in the EU

In recent years within the Eurozone, business travel expenditure has begun steadily increasing after a period of stagnation. Trends among European organizations have begun to align with their US neighbours – business travel spending is seen as an essential cost to operations, with over 50% and growing of annual travel budgets being dedicated to commercial development to increase activities abroad. In short, the majority of business trips are typically related to developing and strengthening client and supplier relations.

During such trips, besides the obvious cost of hotels travel and perhaps activities such as Conferences & Fairs; one constant is the expenses accrued for food, drinks and entertainment, especially if the focus of the trip is to support client or supplier relationships – breakfast every day, lunch every day, and then comes dinner where perhaps you take a client out to a theatre event or to a sophisticated restaurant to be wined and dined, the costs of which can sometimes be hard to swallow!

Despite the bills of such a trip adding up, the outlay of VAT has also added up, and depending on the host country of the trip, the VAT may be fully reclaimable as they were business related expenses. Business travel expenses like these may be considered an added extra cost to operations, but think of them instead as an investment that you get money back for investing in!  Check out our VAT Rules Map to see where you can and can’t reclaim such costs…

Tips & Tricks – things you need to know

Claiming back VAT on your Food, Drinks & Entertainment expenses may seem complicated due to the differing compliancy and deductibility rules in different EU countries, but it really doesn’t have to be. There are a few simple steps you can take to make the VAT Recovery process on Food & Drinks, associated costs and other Entertainment expenses as smooth as possible and get a refund from your business VAT outlays – that’s where VAT4U can help…

  • Preparation: familiarize yourself with what you can and can’t claim for depending on which countries you have been gathering expenses. If you are claiming for your Dining & Restaurant invoices, perhaps you also have the Bar receipts from reception drinks of entertaining a client that you can also include in your claim.
  • Compliancy: On the topic of compliancy and processes around VAT refund for business, planning an appropriate compliant document acquisition system early makes the process seemingly smooth, ensuring your employees obtain compliant tax documents is the most helpful step, especially as some documents supplied can sometimes be uncompliant for claiming VAT refunds.
  • Auditing: assorting all your acquired documents in a sufficient audit process, so that you can find all required invoices when you are ready, means you can prepare your claim as fast and efficiently as possible – perhaps categorize your expenses for easier data management later.
  • Country Awareness: Understand the basic principles of VAT reclaim in the countries you wish to claim in – look at the VAT4U Map to inform your planning for reclaim so you can be realistic with your expectations.
  • Upload all of your compliant restaurant, Bar & Entertainment expenses that you wish to claim for to VAT4U, follow the necessary steps and get your VAT refunded!

Used and trusted by clients both in the EU and beyond – VAT4U is the first online tool to manage and automate your foreign VAT recovery, making it easier than ever before to reclaim your Overseas Business Travel expenses. Sign up now and see for yourself how easy it is to reclaim your VAT on foreign expenses.

If you have any questions about the VAT refund process in the European Union on your business expenses, our team will be happy to get you on the right track. You can either chat with us through the website chat messenger function, or contact us directly for more information or guidance.

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