How to Identify Potential VAT Reclaim Opportunities
VAT can be a significant expense for companies, especially those operating internationally. Many don’t realize that they may be eligible for VAT reclaim in the countries where they do business, which can help reduce their overall tax burden. So, how can you take advantage of this and reclaim VAT that you’ve already paid?
What is VAT reclaim?
Before we look at how you might be able to reclaim VAT, let’s first consider what VAT reclaim actually means. Basically, it refers to the process of recovering VAT that has been paid on business expenses. When businesses incur VAT on their purchases, such as equipment, supplies, or services, they can often claim a VAT refund on what they’ve paid.
VAT reclaim is typically applicable to businesses registered for VAT and engaged in taxable activities. By reclaiming VAT, a business can reduce its overall tax burden and improve cash flow.
VAT recovery tips for your business
Here are some of our top tips to help you identify potential VAT reclaim opportunities and ensure you’re making the maximum amount of savings for your business.
Understand VAT regulations and requirements
It’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the VAT regulations and requirements in the jurisdictions where your business operates. Each country may have different thresholds, rules, and procedures for VAT recovery.
By familiarizing yourself with the local regulations, you can determine whether your business meets the eligibility criteria for a VAT reclaim. Consult with tax experts or engage local advisors, and keep up-to-date on any changes in legislation.
Keep accurate records
Maintaining accurate and detailed records is essential for identifying any opportunity to reclaim VAT. Keep track of all invoices, receipts, and relevant financial documentation related to VAT transactions. This includes documenting all VAT paid on business expenses, such as travel, accommodation, and conferences.
Accurate records will not only help you spot reclaim possibilities but also facilitate the VAT reclaim process itself. Utilize digital tools and VAT software to streamline record-keeping, ensuring that information is readily available when needed.
Identify cross-border transactions
Cross-border transactions (including those within the EU) often present opportunities for VAT reclaim. If your business operates internationally, it’s essential to identify transactions that involve the movement of goods or services across different VAT jurisdictions.
For example, if you purchase goods or services from a foreign supplier, you may be eligible for a VAT refund in the supplier's country. And if you sell goods or services to customers in other VAT jurisdictions, you may be able to reclaim VAT paid in those countries.
Thoroughly analyze your international transactions to see if VAT reclaim is a possibility, and determine the necessary documentation and procedures for reclaims in each jurisdiction.
Stay updated on VAT rates and changes
VAT rates and regulations can change frequently, both domestically and internationally. Staying informed of these changes is crucial if you’re to find VAT reclaim opportunities. Regularly review the VAT rates applicable to your business transactions and assess whether any recent changes affect your eligibility for a VAT reclaim.
Additionally, keep an eye on international VAT recovery schemes and initiatives that may impact your business. Subscribing to newsletters, following reputable tax sources, and consulting with tax professionals can help you stay up-to-date on VAT changes and optimize your VAT reclaim efforts.
Seek professional assistance
Navigating the complexities of VAT regulations and recognizing possible avenues to reclaim VAT can be challenging. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek professional assistance from those with expertise in making VAT recovery claims.
These professionals possess the knowledge and experience necessary to identify and maximize VAT reclaim opportunities specific to your industry and jurisdictions. They can guide you through the reclaim process, ensure compliance, and help you optimize your tax strategy to minimize VAT expenses.
Successful VAT reclaim strategies require a proactive approach, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of VAT regulations. By implementing the tips outlined in this post, businesses can begin to unlock valuable VAT savings, improve cash flow, and enhance their overall financial performance.
Do you need help with your VAT compliance? Book a free call with one of our VAT experts to find bespoke solutions for your business, optimize your VAT costs, and reach millions of new potential customers.