VAT Case Studies

Multi-national travel & entertainment Costs

A Far East chemical services company was sending numerous executives on business development and internal admin trips to its European offices in France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Hungary and Poland.  These trips were incurring large numbers of VAT bills on hotel, food, taxi and related expenses.

TMF was able to offer the company an invoice retrieval and recovery service, which included sending local TMF staff to the company's offices to identify possible recoverable costs and have them submitted for reclaim with the help of TMF's European offices.

Exhibition organiser

A global exhibition organiser held multiple events for its clients in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain and Portugal on an ongoing basis.  According to the local VAT regulations, this required: a VAT registration in certain countries, including ongoing VAT returns; or recovery of local VAT incurred (conference facilities, hotels etc).  TMF was able to provide VAT recovery in both situations.

Where the organiser was VAT registered and charging delegates local VAT, TMF was able to reclaim delegates' VAT swiftly, and thus keep costs down.  Where a VAT registration was not required, TMF provided detailed guidance on complex purchase invoice issues, thus ensuring the organiser's own VAT reclaim was processed without significant problems.

Inter-company service charges

A US multinational, with its European HQ located in the Netherlands, was providing regional management and administrative functions for its subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, France and Italy.  These costs were being recharged to the subsidiaries, attracting Dutch VAT on certain elements.

TMF was able to reclaim the Dutch VAT back on behalf of the subsidiaries, co-ordinating with the HQ office to ensure reclaim repayment times were kept to a minimum.

Cross border tooling purchases

An automotive manufacturer purchased, on behalf of its suppliers, specialist tooling in Germany for the production of parts.  As the manufacturer was not registered in Germany, it faced a massive, unscheduled German VAT bill.

TMF staff were able to complete the required VAT recovery claim, and visit the local VAT authorities to complete negotiations on the VAT refund.

Freight company with EU VAT to recover

A haulage company, with truckers criss-crossing Europe with deliveries, was incurring large amounts of EU VAT which it could not recover through its own VAT return.

TMF took over the quarterly VAT reclaims in Luxembourg, Spain, German and Hungary. This included TMF speaking directly to local VAT authorities when certain payments were held up.

Water purification Austrian product launch

A producer of domestic water purification installations was launching its products at a trade show in Austria.  It incurred VAT bills for exhibition costs which it had treated as a gross cost of marketing as it had no knowledge of the VAT recovery process.

TMF was able to quickly recover the VAT within 4 months through an Austrian VAT reclaim, thus reducing the company's overall marketing costs by 20%.

Global IT company with inter-company sales

A renowned IT manufacturer had been advised on a complex international VAT structure. Whilst its shared VAT compliance centre, based in Brussels, was able to deal with the implementation of the ongoing VAT return reporting requirements, it needed help obtaining VAT registrations in each new EU accession country as it was unfamiliar with local requirements and had no local representation.

TMF, with its extensive office network, was able to secure multiple VAT numbers across the EU, often speeding up registrations via negotiations with the local VAT authorities.  This was key for the company to meet its trading deadlines, ensuring the business roll out was not interrupted.

Architect providing services across the EU

An award-winning architect was commissioned to provide design services in Spain, Poland and Italy by its multinational hotel chain client.  It was advised that this would require registering, and charging local VAT to its client in each appropriate country.

TMF served as the single point of contact for the architect in all countries for the registration process, co-odinating simultaneous registrations and ensuring the architect fully understood the ongoing reporting requirements.

US firm trying to simplify its EU VAT on sales

A West-coast company had been selling its specialty marine equipment for a number of years across Europe.  However, it relied upon customers clearing the products through customs themselves, thus making the sale less attractive.

TMF was able to secure an EU VAT registration for the company, as a non-EU resident with a full fiscal representation service.  The company can now clear the products through customs itself, and dispatch them directly to the customer without any hassle.

Events company organizing European conferences

A specialist media events company was appointed to organize and run conferences for potential customers of a large automotive manufacturer in Spain and the Czech Republic. This required it to register for VAT in each of these countries.

TMF provided a simplified registration process for the company, ensuring information requirements for both registrations were kept to a minimum, and the company secured its registrations in time to bill delegates with the correct VAT details.

Internet retailer selling in Europe with EU VAT issues

A high-street retailer was building its online business, which included selling directly into EU territories such as Germany, Sweden, France and Denmark.  As sales had exceeded the Distance Selling Limits for VAT in most countries, the retailer was required to register for VAT in each country and charge local VAT, as well as completing local Intrastat filings.

TMF was able to secure new VAT numbers for the retailer in record time, enabling it to go for a simultaneous new winter catalogue launch.

Overseas stock pharmaceuticals distributor and European VAT

A provider of over-the-counter medicines had VAT registered in several countries as it preferred to hold stocks close to its European clients.  The company had held the VAT numbers with several different VAT agents in each country, with erratic levels of service and fees.

TMF simplified the whole organization of the returns completion and management process by taking on all countries through a single-point-of-contact.  The client only had to deal with one person at TMF to get all of their returns successfully processed.

Training company providing overseas courses

A specialist polymer chemicals industry learning company laid on tailored education seminars for large manufactures in the industry at their sites across Europe.  For a number of EU states, this required monthly or quarterly returns reporting.

TMF was able to guide the company on invoice formatting, exchange rates and other compliance issues in the different countries to ensure the company stayed compliant in each state.

Publisher requiring local payment facilities for EU VAT compliance

An international publisher of periodicals, with licenses to publish in several European countries, required help in Spain where return payments had to be made in person in Madrid through a local bank account.

TMF was able to set up a client account, enabling the timely transfer of funds for the payment of returns by a local TMF employee.

Outsourced purchaser buying and selling within the European Union

A specialized outsourcing company was buying and selling products on behalf of its customers across Europe.  In certain countries, e.g. Greece and France, this required non-resident VAT returns to be completed and submitted in the country.

TMF was able to take over all VAT return reporting, co-odinating the timely submission of filings in 7 EU countries.

Engineering systems company with Polish VAT audit

A manufacturer of power station equipment held a non-resident VAT registration in Poland.  It had amassed large VAT credits there, which it was applying to have refunded. This triggered a local VAT inspection by the Polish authorities.

TMF was able to offer its local office to host the audit, and its staff were able to meet with the VAT inspectors and co-ordinate their queries with the client.  This resulted in a successful repayment of the credit.

Parts company dispatching goods around Europe

A computer parts manufacturer was sending goods around the EU to its various warehouses and customers.  The company was required to file Intrastat reporting for goods movements as it exceeded the national reporting thresholds.

TMF, working with the company's Accounts Department, designed a simplified reporting template, including trade classification of goods, which then enabled TMF to complete regular Intrastat filings with limited input from the client.

Chemicals company selling throughout Europe

An international distributor of raw materials and chemicals was acquiring bulk materials in various EU states, and then selling them across borders to fulfil customers' orders.  Whilst the company's accounting system was able to produce most of the information for the completion of VAT returns, it was unable to produce EC Sales lists for many of the EU states.

TMF was able to provide specialised help through an outsourcing of the ECSL's, which were reconciled to VAT returns.  This meant the distributor did not have to take on additional expert staff.

Catalogue retailer selling abroad with distance selling EU VAT requirements

A catalogue-based seller of electronics was required to complete Intrastat reporting as its intra-Community dispatches had exceeded the threshold limits in four different countries.

TMF secured online reporting for a number of territories, thus reducing form filling and workload for the client.


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