The EU publishes a study on the domestic and cross-border VAT refunds in Europe

The European Commission published a detailed study on domestic and intra-EU refunds.

The study evaluates the administrative costs, amounts requested, timeframe and other relevant factors involved in the VAT reclaim process. The study is divided in the analysis of EU VAT refunds via the so called ´8th Directive´ and domestic VAT refunds via local VAT returns.

Although EU VAT refunds have a strong EU harmonized legislation laid down by Directive 2008/09/EC , there are differences in practice on the implementation of this legislation, specially on the conditions required by the Member State of refund and the little knowledge of such conditions by the claimant. Regarding domestic VAT refunds, there is no EU legislation in this area, but the ECJ has issued several decisions requiring Member States to meet a minimum standard to guarantee the principle of neutrality.

The first part of the study evaluates how much have Member States respected the current legislation and ECJ decisions on VAT refunds. The second part of the study is a more practical review on the obstacles, amounts and administrative costs of VAT refund applications.

The Commission is expected to communicate with each Member State according to the findings of this study and any potential breach of EU legislation.

The study on domestic and intra-EU VAT refunds can be downloaded from the website of the European Commission.

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