VAT Reclaim by the Eighth Directive

Aug 30, 2023 | EU VAT

For companies established within the EU the use of Directive 2008/9/EC, or the Eighth Directive, follows a standardised procedure across all EU countries to allow them to claim VAT back from other member states where VAT has been paid but they are not VAT registered. This makes the process of reclaiming VAT smoother, as it can be done through a simplified online refund form, however this must be claimed within a set time frame.

In order to qualify to apply for this refund, the business must not have a fixed establishment in the country the refund is being claimed in, must not have carried out any taxable transactions in this country, and must be registered for VAT in their own country or establishment.

For this type of claim, the deadline to apply for the refund is 30th September of the year following the claim. It is not always necessary to file a claim covering the full year, claims can be filed for a 3-month period, 6-month period or full year, and in each country it is possible to claim 5 times per year – this consists of 4 quarterly claims, and one annual claim which can cover anything not covered in the quarterly claims. However there is a minimum value of the claim which differ by country, and usually require a larger minimum amount for a smaller period claimed, please see the table below.

VAT Reclaim Country

Minimum Amount
(depending on period the claim covers)

Austria

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Belgium

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Bulgaria

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Croatia

Less than 1 year: 3100 HRK

1 year: 400 HRK

Cyprus

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Czech Republic

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Denmark

Less than 1 year: 3000 DKK

1 year: 400 DKK

Estonia

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Finland

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

France

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Germany

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Greece

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Hungary

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Ireland

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Italy

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Latvia

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Lithuania

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Luxembourg

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Malta

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

The Netherlands

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Poland

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Portugal

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Romania

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Slovakia

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Slovenia

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Spain

Less than 1 year: €400

1 year: €50

Sweden

Less than 1 year: 4000 SEK

1 year: 500 SEK

If all the above criteria is met, the refund application can be processed by completing the online refund form and submitting this to the tax authority of the companies own member state, not the state in which they are claiming the refund. The tax offices will then work on this claim, and give the decision of if the refund has been approved. Although not always necessary, it may be advantageous to claim the refund via a tax specialist.

Companies based outside the EU can also claim VAT refunds of taxes paid in EU member states, using the Thirteenth Directive.

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