FAQ


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General Description

Which Directive/National laws apply for refund applications filed before January 1, 2010?

The refund applications filed prior to this date shall be processed in accordance with the procedure established in Council Directive 79/1072/EEC, of 6 December 1979 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes – Arrangements for the refund of value-added tax to taxable persons not established in the territory of the country.

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What are the main changes introduced by the new regulation with respect to the previous scheme?

 

Eighth Council Directive 79/1072/EEC (applicable before January 1, 2010) Council Directive 2008/9/EC (applicable as from January 1, 2010)
Extension to almost all operations where the receiver of the goods or services is the taxable subject. (BELGIUM).
1. The claim was directly made in the MSR, each with its own claim form. 1. The claim will be sent to the MSR via the business’s own tax authority (MSE), through a single claim form.
2. 2. The format of the claim is to be simplified.
3. Need to proof the VAT registration in front of the MSR by means of a VAT certificate. 3. The need for a VAT certificate status is eliminated.
4. The time limit for submission was of six months after the end of the calendar year in which the VAT was incurred. 4. The time limit for submission is of nine months after the end of the calendar year in which the VAT was incurred.
5. The MSR shall pay the refund within four months since it is received from the MSE.

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Who

Which transactions are not deductible in the MSR, thus disallowing the refund of the related VAT accrued?

Each Member State determines the conditions for the deduction of VAT. You can check these conditions in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Non Refundable VAT

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What

Can Member States establish constraints on the refund period?

Yes. Member States may limit the period of deduction to certain periods throughout the calendar year. You can check if a particular Member State applies constraints in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Information > Constraint on refund period

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How Much

What are the equivalents in national currency of the above limits?

The refund limits expressed in the national currency of each Member State can be checked in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Information > Minimum calendar year / Minimum less calendar year, more 3 months

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What happens when the deduction proportion is adjusted?

If subsequent to the submission of the refund application the deductible proportion is adjusted, the applicant shall make a correction to the amount applied for or already refunded.

The correction shall be made in a refund application during the calendar year following the refund period in question or, if the applicant makes no refund applications during that calendar year, by submitting a separate declaration via the electronic portal established by the MSE.

The MSR shall take into account as a decrease or increase of the amount of the refund any correction made concerning a previous refund application or, where a separate declaration is submitted, in the form of separate payment or recovery.

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Which transactions are not deductible in the MSE, thus making obligatory the use of the prorrata rule?

Member States determine the conditions for the deduction of VAT. You can check these conditions in Country Information > Member State of Establishment > Non Refundable VAT

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How

How shall the applicant describe the nature of the goods or services on which the VAT is incurred?

In the electronic portal of the MSE you will have the option of choosing an expenditure code between the nine most commonly claimed expenses. The codes are the following:

1)      Fuel

2)      Hiring of means of transport

3)      Expenditure relating to means of transport (other than goods and services referred to under codes 1 and 2)

4)      Road tolls and road user charges

5)      Travel expenses, such as taxi fares, public transport fares

6)      Accommodation

7)      Food, drink and restaurant service

8)      Admission to fairs and exhibitions

9)      Expenditure on luxuries, amusements and entertainment

10)    Other goods and services

Code 10 will be used for expenditure which cannot be categorised under any of codes 1 to 9. This code allows free text to be added to describe the expenditure, in the language preferred by the MSR.

Where a MS restricts recovery on a particular expenditure code, the MSR may require the applicant to provide sub-codes against certain primary codes to identify VAT which may be subject to a total or partial block.

You can check the sub-codes that Member States use for the identification of the expenditures carried out in their countries in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Information > Use of subcategories

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What information is required for each invoice or importation document?

The refund application shall set out, for each MSR and for each invoice or importation document, the following details:

  1. Name and full address of the supplier;
  2. Except in the case of importation, the VAT identification number or tax reference number of the supplier, as allocated by the MSR in accordance with the simplification measures described in provisions of Articles 239 and 240 of the VAT Directive.
  3. Except in the case of importation, the prefix of the MSR in accordance with ISO code 3166 — alpha 2 —, as described in Article 215 of the VAT Directive.
  4. The date and number of the invoice or importation document;
  5. The taxable amount and amount of VAT expressed in the currency of the MSR.

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What information is required in the refund application?

  1. The applicant’s name and full address;
  2. An address for contact by electronic means;
  3. A description of the applicant’s business activity for which the goods and services are acquired.MSR may require the applicant to provide a description of his business activity by using the harmonised codes NACE Rev. 2. You can check which Member States require the use of the NACE Rev. 2 codes for describing the business activity in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Information > NACE Rev. 2 Codes
  4. The refund period covered by the application;
  5. A declaration by the applicant that he has not supplied goods and services deemed to have been supplied in the MSR during the refund period, with the exception of the referred transactions that are permitted (see the section Eligibility > WHO?).
  6. The applicant’s VAT identification number or tax reference number;
  7. The bank account details including IBAN and BIC codes.
  8. Certain information regarding the relevant invoices or importation documents.

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Is the agent required to prove their authorisation in the MSR?

This depends upon each Member State. You can check the different requirements for agents in the MSR  in Country information > Member State of Refund > Agents.

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In what language shall the application be filled in?

Each MSR establishes the language/s that can be used for filing in the application. You can check the language requirements in Country information > Member State of Refund > Information > Application languages

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Is it possible to correct the application?

Each MSE establishes the means, if any, to correct an already submitted application. You can check which MSE offer this possibility in Country Information > Member State of Establishment > Application form_Corrections

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Are payments to agents allowed?

This depends upon each MSR. You can check the requirements of each MSR in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Agents

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Forwarding the application

Under what circumstances shall the MSE not forward the application to the MSR?

When in the MSE the applicant:

  1. Is not a taxable person for VAT purposes;
  2. Carries out only supplies of goods or of services which are exempt without deductibility of the VAT paid at the preceding stage pursuant to the following:
    • The exemptions for certain activities in the public interest contemplated in article 132 of the VAT Directive.
    • The exemptions for other activities contemplated in articles 135 and 136 of the VAT Directive.
    • The derogations for States which were members of the Community on 1 January 1978 contemplated in articles 371 and 374 of the VAT Directive.
    • The derogations for States which acceded to the Community after 1 January 1978 contemplated in articles 375 to 377, article 378(2)(a), article 379(2) or articles 380 to 390 of the VAT Directive.
    • Provisions providing for identical exemptions contained in the 2005 Act of Accession.
  3. Is covered by the exemption for small enterprises contemplated in Articles 284, 285, 286 and 287 of Directive 2006/112/EC
  4. Is covered by the common flat-rate scheme for farmers contemplated in Articles 296 to 305 of Directive 2006/112/EC.

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Does the MSR require the MSE to forward the notification of the date of receipt to the applicant?

This depends upon each MSR. You can check the requirements of each MSR in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Handling the request


 

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Additional information requests

What sort of information can the MSR ask for?

The information may include the submission of the original or a copy of the relevant invoice or import document where the MSR has reasonable doubts regarding the validity or accuracy of a particular claim. In that case the Member States are not limited by the mentioned thresholds for making it mandatory to send a copy of the invoices.

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What happens when the tax administration of the MSR does not issue a decision regarding the refund within the established time limits?

If, under the law of the MSR, failure to take a decision on a refund application within the specified time limits is not regarded either as approval or as refusal, any administrative or judicial procedures which are available in that situation to taxable persons established in that Member State shall be equally available to the applicant.

If no such procedures are available, failure to take a decision on a refund application within these time limits shall mean that the application is deemed to be rejected.

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In what language shall the additional information be provided in?

Each MSR establishes the language/s that can be used for providing additional information. You can check the language requirements in Country information > Member State of Refund > Information > Information request languages

 

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Approval

Does the applicant have the right to receive interests in case of out of time payment?

Interest shall be due to the applicant by the MSR on the amount of the refund to be paid if the refund is paid after the last date of payment, unless the applicant does not submit the additional or further additional information requested to the MSR within the specified time limit of 1 month, or the MSR has not yet received the documents to be submitted electronically during the procedure of application to the refund.

Interest shall be calculated from the day following the last day for payment of the refund until the day the refund is actually paid.

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What is the applicable interest rate?

Interest rates shall be equal to the interest rate applicable with respect to refunds of VAT to taxable persons established in the MSR under the national law of that Member State.

If no interest is payable under national law in respect of refunds to established taxable persons, the interest payable shall be equal to the interest or equivalent charge which is applied by the MSR in respect of late payments of VAT by taxable persons.

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Refusal

Is it possible to appeal against refusal decisions?

Appeals against decisions to refuse a refund application may be made by the applicant to the competent authorities of the MSR in the forms and within the time limits laid down for appeals in the case of refund applications from persons who are established in that Member State.

You can check the specific appeal procedure for each Member State in Country Information > Member State of Refund > Appeals

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What happens when a refund has been obtained in a fraudulent way? Can the MSR impose any penalty?

Where a refund has been obtained in a fraudulent way or otherwise incorrectly, the competent authority in the MSR shall proceed directly to recover the amounts wrongly paid and any penalties and interest imposed in accordance with the procedure applicable in the MSR, without prejudice to the provisions on mutual assistance for the recovery of VAT.

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What happens if the penalty or interest is not paid?

Where an administrative penalty or interest has been imposed but has not been paid, the MSR may suspend any further refund to the taxable person concerned up to the unpaid amount.

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What happens if the supplier has incorrectly charged VAT?

Where VAT has been charged incorrectly under the rules of the MSR, for example, on an exempt or zero-rated supply, the claim will be rejected.

The applicant will need to contact the supplier for a reimbursement of any VAT incorrectly charged.

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