deadlines for submitting
refund applications

Here are a few examples of questions to ask yourself before entering into transactions with other countries, depending on your sector of activity.

  • Do my products qualify for a reduced rate?
    Yes. Pharmaceutical products of a kind normally used for health care, prevention of illnesses and as treatment for medical and veterinary purposes, including products used for contraception and sanitary protection;
    Medical equipment, aids and other appliances normally intended to alleviate or treat disability, for the exclusive personal use of the disabled, including the repair of such goods, and supply of children’s car seats;
  • Can a Pharmaceutical / Biotechnical corporation recover VAT on testing-related employee expenses?
    Yes. Pharmaceutical / Biotechnical corporations can recover VAT through both domestic and foreign travel-related business expenses. While larger supplier invoices are by standard put through local VAT returns, often local travel goes amiss due to its unmanageable volume. The same applies for the often more neglected foreign travel expenses. Pharmaceutical / Biotechnical corporations can recover (subject to local deduction rules) VAT charged on hotel accommodation, meals, car rentals, petrol, and mobile phone use.
  • What about recovering VAT on Import (recharged by your Freight Forwarder or Courier Service)?
    This is another area where Pharmaceutical / Biotechnical corporations have an opportunity to save money through VAT recovery. Import VAT is charged on any goods that are shipped to Europe for testing and trials. If your Pharmaceutical / Biotechnical corporation ships equipment DDP (delivered duty paid) to foreign countries, it bears all the costs in the destination country, which results in significant foreign tax charges. Combine these savings with the added bonus of VAT savings on co-location costs and Freight forwarding services – and you can save you up to 70% on shipping costs.
  • Can VAT paid on Clinical trial supplies or sourcing also be recovered by Pharmaceutical / Biotechnical corporations?
    Often a Pharmaceutical / Biotechnical corporation may be required to purchase certain drugs or supplies needed to conduct clinical trials. Should these items be sourced, purchased, and possibly delivered within the EU or Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a number of other jurisdictions, the VAT (or GST) incurred on these purchases can often add as much as 25% on the purchase but can be recoverable. Furthermore, tooling costs are incurred when acquiring the components and machines needed for production such as fixtures, injection molds, gauges, cutting equipment, and patterns are also subject to foreign VAT. Similarly this VAT may be recoverable.

EU Member States may consider the handover of certain construction works as a supply of goods (not services).

  • What is considered to be immovable property?
  • Is the property to be considered as a permanent or temporary structure?
  • What services will be considered to take place at the place where the property is located?
  • Place of supply: which services are considered to be related to real estate (architects, expertise, supervision, coordination, site security, etc.)?
  • Is VAT on housing used for local and foreign labour deductible?
  • What if mobile homes/caravans are used for housing?
  • What is the TOMS (Tour Operator Margin Scheme)?
  • Which countries use TOMS or a similar system?
  • What is considered to be accommodation?
  • Is the accommodation to be considered as short or long term accommodation?
  • What is the difference in VAT incidence between short and long term?
  • Should VAT be charged on hotel deposits?
  • Are you the organiser or are you acting on behalf of the organiser?
  • Is the event exempt from VAT and, if not, which VAT rate should be applied?
  • Must VAT be charged on admission to a cultural, artistic, sporting or scientific event?
  • On which ancillary services should VAT be charged?
  • What are the local requirements in the country where the event will take place?
  • Which countries do the participants come from (nationals, EU or non-EU)?
  • Are they registered for VAT and in which jurisdiction?
    Will the general rule / B2B rule apply to all exhibitors?
  • What should be taken into account when issuing VAT invoices to ensure maximum deductibility by customers?
  • Who organises the transport of goods?
  • Where does the transport start, from your country or a third country?
  • Which VAT rate should be applied: the rate applicable at the place of dispatch of the goods or the rate applicable at the destination?
  • Where is the place of supply of ancillary services (loading, unloading, handling and similar activities)?
  • How is a return journey treated for VAT purposes?
  • What is the rate of VAT applicable to intra-Community (EU) passenger transport between several countries?
  • What rate of VAT will apply to supplies received en route of goods for consumption on board?
  • Where does the research take place?
  • What is the VAT rate for on-site testing in a foreign country?
  • Does the general B2B rule apply or does the Use & Enjoyment rule take precedence?