EU VAT – Understanding European Tax

August 28, 2011 · Posted in Business, Taxes 

If you are purchasing anything from the European Union (EU), and do not live in any of the member countries, then you have probably paid VAT taxes on goods from those countries. These taxes are collected from the countries of the EU like a general sales tax to support government services in these countries. If you are not a citizen of any of these countries, then you may have been paying unnecessary taxes on your purchases from the European Union.

If you have paid VAT taxes on goods bought from an EU country, and you are not a resident of that country or of the EU, then you are eligible for a refund of the taxes that you have paid. The taxes paid on goods from those countries are supposed to be taxes inflicted upon residents only, however there is no way to differentiate when you are purchasing your items.

Once you have made your purchases, however, your receipts will have the amount of taxes that you paid printed on them for your information and that of the tax officials. Unfortunately, no one will come knocking on your door offering you a bag of cash for the extra taxes that you have paid. Fortunately, you can claim your money from the government or governments in question with a few forms and a little of your time.

If you are not versed in tax law and not interested in learning all about EU VAT tax reclamation procedures, then you can still get your money back with a little help from the outside. Companies exist that work with you and your records to reclaim VAT taxes paid to the EU or just about any other foreign country. These companies will help you get your money back for a portion of the reclaimed funds, meaning that you don’t pay for their services out of pocket.

These services can be extremely useful, not to mention cost effective considering the value of your time. Now that you know that you are being overcharged when you are away from your home country, make sure to save your receipts and see if you can find a claim form before you leave the country to make everything a little easier. Also keep in mind that you may be paying these taxes when ordering things from an EU or other foreign country. Ask, because being informed means saving money.


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