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Reclaim your V.A.T.

VAT refunds for International Organisers of events in the UK

Travelling to the UK on business is not as expensive as organisations may think….the UK provides more opportunities for reclaiming business expenses than many of its European neighbours. Find out below how organisations may be able to get up to 1/6 of the costs of their expenses back.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Did you know you may be able to reclaim up to one sixth of the costs of your UK business programmes and expenses by reclaiming the Value Added Tax (VAT) you have paid in the UK?
Reclaiming your VAT is easy, thanks to the efficient system of the UK VAT refund authorities and the wealth of practical help and advice available.

What is Value Added Tax?
VAT, unlike a sales tax, is already included in the price of most goods and services in all EC countries. In the UK, with few exceptions, just one rate of VAT is charged.

Do I have to pay VAT?
Yes, you will have to pay VAT on most goods and services purchased for your event but reclaiming VAT is easy.

Is VAT payable on everything?
The following are some of the items exempt from UK VAT - public transport, coach travel, air travel, taxi fares, magazines & books.

Which part of my costs can I reclaim?
You can include in your claim for VAT refund your general business expenses for example:

Conference & Exhibition Expenses, including space hire & contractors' fees

  • Hotel Rooms
  • Food / Drink
  • Car Rental
  • Professional Fees
  • Telephone & Fax
  • Secretarial Services

Are procedures different for EC and Non EC countries?
Yes. VAT reclaim advisors and HM Customs and Excise staff can help you to make your claim.

What must I have to support my claim?
Your original invoices, not copies, showing the amount of VAT you have been charged and a certificate of status.

When can I make my claim?
As soon as you have your invoices. A deadline exists of December 31st for claims occurring in the year running from July 1st - June 31st.

Can I get help to make a claim?
Yes. Seek advice as soon as you start planning your next event. Though VAT reclaim companies will charge a fee or commission for their services, you can still reduce the overall cost of your event by a significant amount.

How long does it take to process my claim?
Claims are usually paid within 3 - 6 months.

Is the VAT on business expenses all that I can claim?
Don't forget many international visitors may reclaim the VAT paid on their personal purchases in the UK including souvenirs, clothing and leather goods.

Important Note: The information provided is given in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board can accept no responsibility for any error or misinterpretation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by reliance on the information contained on this page is hereby excluded.

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