Service issues - EU VAT Refunds
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will describe here any current important issues that customers using this online service may come across. They will let you know what to do if you are affected. HMRC are sorry for any inconvenience these may cause. If you need help with anything not listed here, please contact the Online Service helpdesk.
Refunding VAT on diesel fuel purchased in Ireland
Ireland (IE) as a Member State of refund (MSREF) want to reiterate its business processing rules for VAT refunds for Diesel purchased in IE as follows:
1. With effect from 1 January 2015, all EVR claims for 2014 onwards submitted to IE for diesel fuel purchases must list the fuel supplier's name, VAT Number and the Invoice No associated with the purchase. The original copies of the invoices listed in the claim should be provided to the Irish Customs and Taxes administration when requested. Any EVR claims where the fuel card provider is recorded incorrectly as the fuel supplier will not be processed.
2. With effect from 1 January 2015, simplified invoices will only be accepted for amounts less than €100. It is important to ensure the correct invoice category is chosen when submitting EVR claims. Where 'simplified' is selected in the 'Invoice' field and the total amount of that individual invoice is greater than €100, that invoice will be refused.
International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
The IBAN contained in an EU VAT refund claim has to be for a country that is a member of the European Union (EU). Any claim containing an IBAN for a non EU country will be rejected by the refunding member state.
The first two letters of the IBAN indicate the country the account relates to. You can view a list of EU countries and their country codes on the European Commission website by clicking here.
Please note that Switzerland (country code CH) is not a member of the European Union so an IBAN beginning with CH is not acceptable.
VAT Refund claims to Latvia
From 1 January 2014 Latvia’s official currency will become the Euro. Refund applications to Latvia must be made out in the currency that was the official currency for the period the claim covers. So if your claim is for invoices relating to 2013 then the claim must be expressed in Latvian Lats. If your claim is for invoices relating to 2014 then the claim must be expressed in Euros.
VAT Refund claims to Monaco
The HMRC portal is currently restricting claims to Monaco to periods starting after 1 July 2013. If you are making a claim to Monaco and it covers dates prior to 1 July 2013, please submit the claim to Monaco on paper. More information and a copy of the paper claim form can be found here.
Currency of EU VAT Refund claims
All invoices entered on EU VAT Refund claims must be expressed in the currency of the Member State of Refund or the claim will be rejected by that Member State. If your claim is to a Member State where the Euro is not the national currency and you have invoices that are in Euros, you must convert the amounts into the national currency of the Member State concerned. If your invoice does not show a value in the national currency as well as in Euros you should use the exchange rate on the date of the invoice as provided by the European Central Bank (ECB). Please note that any claims that have been rejected by a Member State for using the wrong currency have to be amended and resubmitted before the 30th September deadline otherwise they may not be accepted by the Member State.
Group Registrations – claims to Germany
Germany have informed HMRC that they would prefer businesses in Group registrations to submit separate EU VAT-Refund claims for each individual member of the Group, in order to help them speed up the processing of claims and reduce the number of queries.
The UK system will allow multiple claims for any given period.
In order to ensure that this process operates correctly the DE authorities have also asked that applicants attach a scan of documentation detailing the members of the VAT Group with each application.
Whilst Groups are under no obligation to follow this process, doing so should facilitate the handling of their claims by the German authorities.
VAT Refund claims to Spain
We have been informed that Spanish legislation only allows for claims that cover a full calendar quarter (i.e. Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, or Oct-Dec) or a full calendar year. Therefore please ensure that any claims to Spain meet this requirement, otherwise the claims will be refused by the Spanish authorities.
In addition, the UK portal will not allow the claim period to include dates prior to registration or after date of de-registration.
The Spanish authorities have said that they will accept a 'calendar year' claim that does not cover a full calendar year as long as you attach a scanned copy of your VAT 4 Certificate of Registration and explain that you are unable to put 01/11 as the start of the 12 month period because you registered after that date. For example, if you registered on 16 July 2011, you should make a claim for period 07/11 to 12/11 and attach a copy of your VAT 4 Certificate of Registration. If you de-registered before the end of the ‘calendar year’ you should attach a scanned copy of the letter you received from HMRC confirming when you were de-registered and a letter explaining you are unable to put 31 Dec as the end of the 12 month period because you de-registered before that date. For example, if you de-registered 20 October 2011, you should make a claim for period 01/11 to 10/11 and attach the additional information.
VAT Refund claims to Denmark
The VAT EU Refunds service allows you to enter a bank account name of up to 70 characters. However due to a problem with Denmark's system, they will not accept claims where the name is longer than 35 characters.
Please ensure that you do not enter a bank account name containing more than 35 characters when completing a claim to Denmark, as they will not accept it.
Isle of Man customers enrolling for the VAT EU Refunds service
If you are an Isle of Man customer, enrolling for the VAT EU Refunds service can take around 5 days.
To enrol for the VAT EU Refunds service you will need information contained on your last VAT return and your VAT4 (Certificate of Registration). The information you enter will be verified against data held on the HMRC VAT database.
Unfortunately for Isle of Man traders not all this information is held by HMRC. If you are registered in the Isle of Man you will first have to contact the Isle of Man Customs and Excise advising you wish to enrol for the VAT EU Refunds Service. They will provide written confirmation of the details that you will need to input when enrolling.
Claims to Luxembourg and the Republic of Ireland
Both Luxembourg and the Republic of Ireland have advised HMRC they do not require any scanned documentation when claims are submitted. Please do not attach any documents to claims to these countries. If they require sight of any invoices or other documents they will contact you to request them.