Travelling overseas for business? Claim a Vat refund on these 13 expenses

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 19 Sep. 2014

Tags: vat refund, vat, claiming a vat refund overseas, business travel refund

There’s good news if you or your employees travel overseas for your Vat registered business.

Some countries let you claim a Vat refund on the Vat you’ve paid.

If you’re thinking, “there must be a catch somewhere”, you’re right.

You can only claim a Vat refund for overseas business travel on 13 expenses.

Read on to find out what these expenses are so you can boost your company’s cash flow.

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Here are the 13 expenses you can claim a Vat refund on if you travel overseas for business

  1. Car rental;
  2. Taxi fare;
  3. Public transportation (train, aeroplane and bus fares);
  4. Conference costs;
  5. Seminar fees;
  6. Exhibition stand costs and stand hire;
  7. Trade fair expenses;
  8. Training course fees;
  9. Hotel accommodation;
  10. Tickets and entrance fees;
  11. Fuel (petrol and diesel);
  12. Legal fees (e.g. for contracts, trademark or patent registrations); and
  13. Meals and refreshment.
Please note that you may not receive a full refund on some of the expenses.

To get your Vat refund, you must apply to the tax authorities of the country within six months of the end of the calendar year you travelled.

And remember, you don’t have to submit a claim for each trip. Hand them in when your claim in that country exceeds the minimum amount refunded – usually about R3 000.

There are three steps to claiming a Vat refund for overseas business travel

  1. You must see if your expense qualifies for a Vat refund;
  1. Check if the country you’ve travelled to is one that offers a Vat refund; and
  1. Attach all the necessary documents.
For the purposes of this article, we discussed step number one. If you want to find out which countries offer a Vat refund and the type of documents you need, check out the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service.

Now that you know the 13 expenses you can claim a Vat refund on if you travel overseas for business, boost your company’s cash flow.

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