For countries that carry business in foreign lands invite heavy amounts of VAT on expenses paid in those foreign countries. The common expenses for which a company that is not established there has to pay VAT include-
- Employee travel and lodging
- local purchases of goods
- Co-location costs
- Service charges from vendors
- Import VAT incurred on the movement of goods across borders
- Clinical trials
Many business houses fail to utilize VAT refund opportunities in countries all over the globe. The process to get refund varies from country to country. In order to begin the refund process, it is advised to carry the passport along so that you can show it when making purchases. Most of the tourist-oriented stores opt to participate in the VAT-refund scheme. You can avail refunds at such stores after spending huge amount of money. After each purchase ensure to get the refund documents properly filled by the merchant.
Stores that are “Tax Free” can mail you the documents and reimburse your credit card on the spot itself. You may have to get the documents stamped at the border, and then mail them back to the store. You can avoid paying VAT if your purchase is shipped to your home by the store. Though shipping fees are much higher than the VAT saved, yet you can always ask for refund at the store.
Carry your complete paperwork and the purchases made to the airport or border crossing to get the refund processed before leaving the country. If after making the purchase you leave the shop with whatever you have bought, the receipt and all the required VAT paperwork but no refund, the refund has be processed before you go home.
Irrespective of where you do the shopping in a European Union country, you can process your documents at the last stop in the EU. If you have done purchases from countries with different currencies like pounds and Euros, you might have to pay an extra conversion fee. Do not forget to get your documents stamped at customs. An export officer will check the unused goods to ensure that you are exporting your purchases and will then stamp your documents. After the refund form has been stamped at the customs office, look inside the airport for offices of refund services like Global Blue or Premier Tax Free that might work with the stores where you have made your purchase. After showing the stamped document you will be given your refund in cash after cutting around 4% of the refund.