VAT paid in other countries is often recoverable by VAT-registered businesses in the UK, who bought goods or services for business use. The exact rules that determine what VAT is refundable depends on the other country’s rules for claiming input tax. It is important to note that VAT incurred in foreign countries can never by reclaimed on a domestic UK VAT return.
Before the Brexit transition period ended there was an EU wide portal that allowed claims to be made electronically via the tax authority in which the claimant is established. As part of the withdrawal agreement, it was decided that the portal will remain open until 31 March 2021. This means that the deadline for the submission of any VAT refund request for expenses incurred in other EU member states during the 2020 calendar year is 31 March 2021.
Time is running out to claim your VAT refund
From 1 April 2021 UK businesses will no longer have access to the EU electronic portal. UK and Isle of Man businesses will still be able to claim refunds of VAT from the EU after the end of the transitional period, but they will have to use the existing processes for non-EU businesses.