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If you are a UK business, and you have incurred VAT in the Netherlands or any other EU Member State (MS) before 31 December 2020, you can still recover the VAT by submitting an online claim in the UK until the 31 March 2021. Afterwards, UK companies will be able to claim VAT incurred in the Netherlands or other EU MSs under so-called “13th Directive procedure”.
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It is possible to submit a claim over the last 5 years in the Netherlands. An appeal is possible only if the claim is submitted within the time limits. No reciprocity is required in the Netherlands.

Background

There are a lot of changes from 1 January 2021 as the UK is not anymore an EU Member State (MS). UK businesses cannot anymore submit 8th Directive online claims for the VAT costs made in EU MSs after 2020.

Any EU VAT incurred after 1 January 2021 will need to be recovered using the 13th Directive procedure under which the claim is submitted directly to the tax authorities of the EU MS where the VAT costs are incurred. These claims can be submitted from 1 April 2021 and are available to UK businesses subject to the specific rules applicable in particular EU MS. If you miss the deadline, the tax authorities of the particular EU MS may not accept the claim.

In the Netherlands the VAT refund claims could be made over last 5 years. No reciprocity is required.

EU MSs have different rules to 13th Directive claims, some countries allowing a VAT refund to all non-EU businesses without requiring reciprocity, e.g. the Netherlands. The other EU MSs may require businesses a reciprocal treatment in the claimant’s country and/or require to appoint tax agents as a condition to refund a VAT claim.

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Until 31 March 2021

If you are a UK business, and you have incurred VAT in the Netherlands or any other EU Member State (MS) before 31 December 2020, you can still recover this VAT by submitting an online EU refund claim in the UK until 31 March 2021 after which time the ability to claim through HMRC website/EU portal will cease.

VAT refund claims could be made over last 5 years.

You can reclaim Dutch VAT within five calendar years from the end of the calendar year in which the VAT was incurred, however, in order to have the right to appeal the decision of the tax authorities, the claim must be submitted within the time limits. The time limit is six months after the end of the calendar year in which the VAT was incurred by non-EU businesses.

Post 31 March 2021

Any EU VAT incurred after 1 January 2021 will need to be recovered using the 13th Directive procedure for non-EU businesses under which the claim is submitted directly to the tax authorities of the EU MS where the VAT costs are incurred. These claims can be submitted from 1 April 2021.

The Dutch VAT could be asked back over last 5 years.

You can reclaim Dutch VAT up to 5 years after the year in which the VAT was incurred. In 2021, you can still reclaim VAT for the years 2016 until 2020. However, in order to have the right to appeal the decision of the tax authorities, the claim must be submitted within six months after the end of the calendar year (i.e. before 1 July) in which the VAT was incurred. Therefore, it is recommendable to submit your 13th Directive VAT refund request before 1 July of the year following the year for which you claim a VAT refund.

The following documents must be filed with the 13th Directive refund claim:

  • declaration of entrepreneurship, preferably from the tax administration in the country of establishment; and
  • copies of invoices or import documents.

Special status of Northern Ireland

According to the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement, Northern Ireland (NI) maintains alignment with the EU VAT rules for goods. From 1 January 2021, the EU legislation for VAT refunds continues to apply in Northern Ireland in respect of goods only (import of goods and purchase of goods). Taxable persons established in NI that paid incurred VAT on goods in the Netherlands and other EU MSs can continue filing refund requests via the online EU VAT refund system. NI and EU taxable persons incurring VAT expenses on services in the EU, or on invoices containing both goods and services, cannot reclaim this VAT under the EU VAT refund system. They should apply for a VAT refund under the specific VAT refund procedures for non-EU businesses as explained above.

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Grant Thornton’s international indirect tax team and digital advisory team can assist you in your VAT refund claims as well as in any other VAT / customs matters, compliance and update of your systems and processes. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your options and possibilities.