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New Ministerial Guidelines for VAT Refund Procedure

7 Dec 2010

New Ministerial guidelines for VAT refund procedure have been put in place for refund claims exceeding Euro 30,000. A refund of the total amount will only apply after a relevant tax audit has been conducted. Taxand Greece explains when these guidelines are already in place.

Until now, the procedure for the refund of VAT corresponding to, among others, intra-community supplies, exports, supplies to vessels and aircraft, capital goods and supplies subject to a reduced VAT rate had as follows: 90 per cent of the requested amount was refunded to the claimant without a prior audit, while 10 per cent of such amount was refunded after a temporary or regular audit, as the case may be.

According to new provisions the old rules are still applied in the event of a refund claims for VAT total of up to Euro 30,000. In the event refund claims for VAT exceed Euro 30,000, the requested amount in its totality will be refunded only after an audit has taken place. A set off of the VAT refundable claim is allowed against:

(i) the amounts of VAT that are due on the basis of periodical VAT returns filed after the respective refund claim (if any)
(ii) any other amounts due in respect of other kinds of taxes (such as income tax, stamp duty, etc).

Taxand's Take

There used to be an immediate refund of 90% regardless of the amount to be refunded, while the refund of 10% depended on an audit. Now each refund above EUR30,000 is subject to an audit, which will increase the time invested by businesses claiming for refunds. Companies whose VAT refund exceeds over 30,000 Euros must make sure that their audit process is put in place early to minimise time invested claiming refunds and to avoid from missing out on this opportunity.

Your Taxand contacts for further queries are:
Yerassimos Yannopoulos
T. +30 210 6967 000

Maria C. Zoupa
T. +30 210 69 67 000

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