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Refund of VAT: taxable persons not established in the country


The Directive lays down Community arrangements for refunding value-added tax to taxable persons not established in the country concerned.


Eighth 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 [See amending acts].


The Directive concerns taxable persons established not in the territory of the country but in another Member State. 'Taxable person' is defined in Council Directive 77/388/EEC.

Taxable persons fall within the scope of the Directive if, during a period of not less than three months and not more than one calendar year or during a period of less than three months where that period represents the remainder of a calendar year, they:

  • have had in that country:

- neither the seat of their economic activity nor a fixed establishment from which business transactions are effected;

- nor, if no such seat or fixed establishment exists, their domicile or normal place of residence;

  • have supplied no goods or services in that country, with the exception of:

- transport services and services ancillary to transport services;
- services in cases where tax is payable by the person to whom they are provided.

Member States are to refund to the taxable persons concerned:

  • the VAT charged on services or movable property supplied to them by other taxable persons in the territory of the country;
  • the VAT charged on goods imported into the country in so far as they are necessary for their business activities or on services they have provided.

This Directive establishes the conditions governing refund applications.

The right to a refund is determined in accordance with Directive 77/388/EEC.

Supplies of exempt goods or goods which may be exempted under the above-mentioned Directive do not qualify for a refund.

The supply of goods dispatched or transported by or on behalf of a purchaser not established within the territory of the country, with the exception of goods transported by the purchaser for the equipping, fuelling and provisioning of any means of transport for private use, is exempt.

The treatment of taxable persons not established in the territory of the Community is governed by the 13th Council VAT Directive 86/560/EEC.

Those concerned must apply to the relevant national authorities and submit reimbursement claims to them.
The document contains the addresses of the authorities concerned and the minimum amounts that may be reimbursed.


Within the framework of their commercial activities, persons liable to VAT in a Member State other than the one in which they are established can qualify for reimbursement of VAT in the Member State in which the tax was paid.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 79/1072/EEC7.12.19791.1.1981OJ L 331 of 27.12.1979

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2006/98/EC1.1.20071.1.2007OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006
Last updated: 21.02.2007
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