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New EU Guide Released On Tourist VAT Refunds

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

29 December 2014


The European Union's Taxation and Customs Union Directorate General on December 19, 2014, released a new guide on EU member states' policies on value-added tax refunds for visitors.

The guide clarifies that refunds are only available to "visitors," being persons who permanently or habitually live in a country outside the EU. However, in some countries, a refund may also be allowed if the person lived in an EU country for a defined period of time for a specific purpose but has a permanent home outside the EU and is not intending to return to the EU in the immediate future. EU citizens permanently living in non-EU countries are also eligible for the VAT refund.

The guide describes the process for claiming a refund in all member states and the different thresholds that have to be satisfied for a purchase to be eligible for a refund. It warns that consumers should expect not to be fully refunded the amount of value-added tax incurred, as the companies that offer refund services charge administrative fees.

TAGS: VAT tax authority guidance | VAT special schemes | tax | value added tax (VAT) | fees | tax authority | European Union (EU) | services | VAT refunds | Europe | Tax

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