If you are charged VAT on business activities in an EU country where you are not established, you may be entitled to have it refunded by the authorities in that country.
Some EU countries do not allow refunds for certain categories of expenditure (e.g. restaurant costs, entertainment activities, cars, fuel etc.).
You must claim your VAT refund online, via the authorities in your home country, who will pass on the claim to the authorities in the other country, providing you are eligible for a VAT refund.
If that country is late in refunding your VAT, you may be paid interest.
All guidance documents on this site are for information only - for legal certainty, refer to the national authorities [110 KB] in each specific case.
Codes to use in your claim
When submitting a refund claim, you must enter certain standard codes to describe the type of goods/services you paid the VAT on (see article 9(1) of Directive 2008/9/EC [54 KB] ).
Some Member States also require you to use extra sub-codes for each type of good/service. The list of sub-codes available and what they mean is contained in Commission Regulation 1174/2009 [752 KB] . Details of which Member States require which sub-codes can be found in this document. [21 KB]
Implementation of the VAT Refund Procedure
Following a number of concerns regarding the implementation of the electronic VAT refund procedure, the Commission, together with Member States, has developed a table of VAT Refund issues [36 KB] and solutions, and a document outlining the legislation relating to the procedure [11 KB] , along with Member States' responsibilities at the various stages of the process. These documents have been endorsed by Member States in the Standing Committee on Administrative Cooperation and are available in English only.
If your business is not established in the EU, and you are charged VAT on business activities in an EU country where you have not supplied goods or services, you may be entitled to have it refunded by the authorities in that country (13th EU VAT Directive [156 KB] ).
To get a refund, you must apply directly to the authorities in the Member State concerned.
Some Member States will only grant you a refund if the country where your business is based offers similar refund arrangements for businesses from that Member State.
Dig deeper, country by country: