Levi Groner

Business Development Executive – VAT IT

Business travel is a $1.4 trillion sector that spans the globe and impacts every company, but with recent figures from reclaim giant VAT IT, revealing that there is $20 billion in unclaimed VATax around the world, it’s clear that there’s a very real issue in the cross-border reclaim process.

Foreign authorities operated by each of their own legislation, build a labyrinth of procedures – for both large corporates and small businesses – to navigate around. As a result, it has left many CFOs, accountants and Financial Directors in the dark when it comes to claiming their incurred VATax.

VAT IT reveals the global firm’s top tips for businesses to get the most out of their expenses, what to look out for and how to break out of a habit of simply putting off claiming back.

Pay attention to the finer things in life

Foreign travel and entertainment expenses are the bread and butter of VAT recovery. Your company probably has tens, hundreds, or thousands of employees travelling locally and worldwide, and the VAT on the hotel bills, food and travel is reclaimable (mainly in Europe). Many companies never attend to this VAT recovery because of the cumbersome burden of having to sift through thousands upon thousands of T&E invoices and receipts. If you’re dealing with over 32 different VAT Authorities, this task becomes even harder to manage.

Don’t underestimate Foreign Accounts Payable or Supplier Invoices:

These expenses are often very high in value so recovering the VAT of up to 25% on each of these kinds of foreign expenses is a real saving. Expenses related to tradeshows and exhibitions, purchasing goods in foreign countries, tooling and legal fees are some of the various types of expenses that you can claim.

Implement an expense management system:

A cloud-based expense management system is proven to help VAT recovery. They allow you to view your company’s expenses on a data-driven level which means VAT potential can be analysed right down to the tiniest coffee receipt. It also makes large enterprises with multiple entities easier to manage. Companies such as SAP Concur and Chromeriver are offering incredible products like this today and we integrate with all of them making the VAT recovery process automated and streamlined.

Keep an eye on your shipping or logistics department

There’s money to be saved here in the form of Import VAT. Whether your company is in IT, cloud-computing software, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, mining or manufacturing – If your company has shipped equipment DDP to foreign countries, you have been incurring significant foreign tax charges. This can include import VAT, VAT on foreign purchase of equipment and tax on colocation costs. These costs are not always stored in A/P and are sometimes held with the shipping logistics team making it possible to miss in a VAT retrieval of A/P expenses. For example, we have hundreds of telecom and cloud computing clients who we assist with the recovery of Import VAT and save them millions of pounds a year. We managed to save one client alone over 20 million pounds in import VAT.

You don’t have to go it alone

The entire VAT recovery process can be outsourced. Outsourcing your VAT recovery to companies who know what to look for, have integrations with expense management systems and have a deep knowledge of the 32 different foreign VAT laws with experts and can increase your VAT yield ten-fold. You can save time and money by handing over the complexities of VAT recovery to someone who breathes it every day.

Adhere to deadlines

It may seem obvious, but many businesses lose out on VAT recovery all together because they realise there is money to be saved when it’s too late. There are strict deadlines with regards to VAT recovery and knowing them well is critical for successful refunds.

To learn more on VAT recovery visit vatit.com or email levig@vatit.com.