Can I claim a refund for VAT paid in another EU country?


Among the transactions made by Polish companies, a large percentage are purchases from contractors from the European Union. Polish taxpayers purchase cars, machinery and equipment needed for the company, various types of services or other products or services from another member state. In the case of a purchase transaction, there is often a situation in which the Polish taxpayer, when purchasing goods, fixed assets or services, also pays value added tax. So is it possible to apply for a refund of VAT paid in another EU country?

What is Value Added Tax (VAT) paid in another EU country?

In a situation where a Polish taxpayer who is an active VAT payer purchases goods or services, e.g. from a contractor in Germany who will add German VAT, the Polish taxpayer cannot deduct the added foreign VAT. However, he may apply for a refund of this tax by submitting an appropriate application to the Polish tax office, subject to the following conditions.

The fundamental document specifying the detailed rules for the refund of value added tax (VAT) provided for in Art. 170 of Directive 2006/112 / EC, taxpayers not established in the territory of the refund Member State, is Council Directive 2008/9 / EC of 12 February 2008, specifying detailed rules for the refund of value added tax provided for in Directive 2006/112 / EC, taxpayers having no seat
in the Member State of refund but established in another Member State.

The complementary document on the national rules of VAT refund is the Polish VAT Act.

A Polish company can apply for a refund of VAT paid in another EU country

Polish taxpayer who is:

  1. a natural person running a business,

  2. a partnership (civil partnership, general partnership, limited partnership),

  3. a commercial law company (limited joint-stock partnership, limited liability company, joint-stock company)

- a self-employed person has the right to apply for a refund of value added tax in relation to the goods and services purchased by him or in relation to the goods imported by him and used for the performance of activities giving the right to reduce the amount of tax due by the amount of input tax in the territory of the country , submits an application via electronic means of communication for such a refund through the head of the tax office competent for the taxpayer for the competent Member State.

Which Polish companies will be entitled to apply for a VAT refund?

A Polish taxpayer with the aforementioned status will be able to apply for a refund of VAT paid in another Member State, assuming that during the period to which the application relates:

  1. was a registered, active VAT taxpayer in Poland, i.e. he was not subjectively (Article 113 (1) or (9) of the VAT Act) exempt from VAT,

  2. did not sell goods or provide services only exempt from VAT (the exception here are imported or purchased goods and services that relate to activities exempt from tax pursuant to art.43 par.1 point 7 and points 37-41, performed in the territory of the country, in 28b or 28l is the territory of a third country or when the services relate directly to exported goods, provided that the taxpayer has documents showing the relationship between the tax deducted and these activities),

  3. he did not have a seat of business or a permanent place of business, and in the absence of such a place of residence or stay in the EU country where the goods or services that are the subject of applying for a VAT refund were purchased,

  4. the purchased goods or services will be intended for the purposes of the conducted business activity (private use is excluded),

  5. he did not sell any goods and services in the EU country where he made the purchase related to the VAT refund in question, except for:

  1. the supply of transport services and ancillary services to such services, exempt in accordance with Art. 144, 146, 148, 149, 151, 153, 159 or 160 of Directive 2006/112 / EC,

  2. delivery of goods and services to a person liable to pay VAT in accordance with art. 194-197 and art. 199 of Directive 2006/112 / EC.

Exclusions of the refund of foreign VAT

Taxpayers who made a purchase in another Member State and would like to apply for a refund of VAT paid in another EU country must remember that some situations will constitute an exclusion from the possibility of initiating a tax refund, these will be situations in which:

  1. the Polish taxpayer reimburses expenses incurred on behalf of and for the benefit of the buyer or recipient and recognized temporarily by the taxpayer in the records kept by him for tax purposes,

  2. the sale has been documented with invoices or corrective invoices issued by a non-existent entity,

  3. the transaction documented with an invoice is not taxable or is tax-exempt,

  4. issued invoices, corrective invoices or customs documents:

  1. state activities that have not been performed - in the part concerning these activities,

  2. provide amounts that are not in accordance with reality - in the part concerning those items for which amounts are not consistent with reality,

  3. confirm the activities to which the provisions of art. 58 and 83 of the Civil Code - in the part concerning these activities;

  1. invoices, corrective invoices issued by the buyer in accordance with separate regulations have not been accepted by the seller,

  2. invoices were issued in which the amount of tax was shown in relation to taxable activities, for which the amount of tax is not shown on the invoice - in the part relating to these activities.

Products and services subject to the VAT refund procedure

A Polish taxpayer may apply for a refund of VAT paid in another EU country in relation to purchased goods and services, such as:

  1. equipment and fittings for the company,

  2. fuel,

  3. motorway tolls,

  4. parking fee,

  5. other tolls,

  6. rental of means of transport,

  7. travel costs (public transport, other related),

  8. vehicle repair services

  9. purchase of spare parts for a means of transport

  10. hotel accommodation services,

  11. fees for admission to conferences, fairs, trainings, exhibitions, etc.,

  12. purchase of electronic equipment,

  13. luxury goods,

  14. other representation expenses,

  15. another.