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Last May the Maltese tax authorities announced that they will no longer repay VAT using cheques. The new system will allow bank transfers into taxpayers´ bank accounts opened in a SEPA country.
The process will not be automatic. Businesses entitled to a refund will receive a PIN number and instructions via letter to login the system and process the VAT refund application. Once approved, the money will be transferred to the SEPA bank account abroad.
These changes will simplify VAT refunds and paper work to those businesses filing VAT returns in Malta.
The process to recover VAT when your VAT return is in a repayable position changes from one country to another. Some European countries like Germany allow VAT refunds into foreign bank accounts even outside the EU. Other jurisdictions only allow refunds via cheque (eg. UK and, until recently, Malta). France requires an additional form to be completed and Italy requests a bank guarantee before repaying your VAT.