As a UK VAT registered business – can I reclaim VAT on expenses incurred within the EU?

Whilst you can’t reclaim VAT incurred on business expenses incurred in another EU country on your UK VAT return, if your business meets certain criteria it can reclaim the VAT from an EU country via the online HMRC VAT service. It may be worth contacting your Accountants in Bolton to see if you meet the criteria.

A UK business can make a claim from an EU country if:

  • It is not VAT registered in that EU country and doesn’t have to be or can’t be registered there
  • It doesn’t have a place of business or other residence there
  • It doesn’t make any supplies there (unless they’re transport services for the international carriage of goods and the person they are supplying pays VAT thereon.)

There is a minimum claim level of €400 if a claim covers more than three months but less than a year, and €50 if a claim covers a whole year or the remainder of a year, i.e. the whole period between the end of a prior claim and the end of the year.

Separate online applications are required for each EU country in which a claim is made and claims must be made by 30 September following the calendar year that the VAT is charged.

You can’t reclaim VAT on goods acquired for resale, or on goods brought into the UK from another EU country. Supporting invoices must be retained and whilst they don’t need to be submitted, they can be requested.

There are rules on blocking refunds of VAT for particular categories, such as business entertaining, which differ across the EU.

For more advice please contact our Accountants in Bolton either via our contact form or call 01204 534031.


This article is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important to your situation. You should not depend on this blog without taking advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of publication.

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