Value Added Tax

Mar 24th, 2004, 04:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 53
Value Added Tax

Hi everyone. I have a quick question I hope you guys can help me find the answer to.

I am registering today for a conference in Scotland. The registration fee is about 400 sterling and there is a note that there will be a 17.5% VAT added to the fee.

Is there a way I can recover any of this?

Thanks in advance for your help!
kello is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 04:31 AM
Posts: n/a
I may be incorrect but in general VAT is usually only refundable for items/goods which can be transported out of the country which is why hotel room fees, etc., are "exempt."
I suspect the VAT on your registration fee is not refundable other than your possibly being able to deduct it as a "professional expense" on your Income Tax...but let's see what others have to say about this issue.
Mar 24th, 2004, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,763
Until a few days ago, I would have agreed with JonJon, that hotel VAT is non-refundable.

I just learned that the GST on our hotels in Canada will be refunded. Perhaps other countries do as Canada does.
Dick is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 04:45 AM
Posts: n/a
Have to agree with JonJon - for what you bring out of VAT countries only. JonJon refered to hotel rooms - but also meals - generally only on items that you take out of the country (gifts, clothing, etc. not on just any amount of such items, has to be avove a certain dollar amount) and you don't, in fact, even when completing forms for the VAT refund get the full amount of the VAT, but a portion thereof.

Since I presume this is a business expense, then it should be a deductible item on your Income Taxes (the amount of the conference including the VAT fee and any other expenses incurred during the conference). Your financial adviser (accountants) should be able to give your the specifics.
Mar 24th, 2004, 04:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,326
No, the VAT on conference won't be refunded to you as a visitor. But if you, or your company, is VAT-registered in any EU country, VAT can be reclaimed, usually through quarterly return. You need a VAT invoice (receipt), which should be supplied to you as a matter of course.
What normally happens when an employee in UK attends a conference is that he passes the unpaid invoice to his accounts department and they settle with organisers direct (incl VAT) and reclaim the VAT portion through VAT-man (HM Customs & Excise).
Alec is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 04:46 AM
Posts: n/a
That is interesting news re the hotel tax in Canada...of course, a registration fee is an entirely different matter...
Mar 24th, 2004, 04:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,609
Canadian GST on hotels has been refundable for out of country vistors (that stay less than a month) for a long time.

Last year when Toronto was having all its problems, they also temporarily dropped the other tax on hotels.

Keith is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,154
You must sort out the bureaucracy BEFORE registering.

You may be able to reclaim VAT, though it depends on your status (it's tough for individuals, and the invoice needs to be made out in a particular way) You need to read HMCE notice 723 at

The form you need isn't available on the web: you have to apply for it from

VAT Overseas Repayments Unit
Custom House
PO Box 34
BT48 7AE

What Canada does has nothing to do with this. There's a common misunderstanding, throughout the Commonwealth, that GST is the same as VAT. It's not: there are fundamentally different principles, and those underpinning VAT are standard throughout the EU.
flanneruk is offline  

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