Pay No VAT (if you don't have to)
VAT, GST and Other Import Tax Refunds Can Be Unnecessary & Avoided
VAT Recovery works best for business and travel services, not for products or equipment.
While it makes sense to file for VAT recovery on business and travel services, using an ATA Carnet will save you the time and trouble of filing for VAT refunds on products, equipment and tools of the trade. (VAT Rates)
Using an ATA Carnet there is no:
Payment of VAT on temporarily imported goods.
Filing of paperwork for a VAT refund.
Lengthy wait for your VAT recovery/refund.
- Time-consuming accounting for and tracking of pending VAT refunds.
You can avoid paying value added taxes (VAT), goods and services tax (GST) and other import taxes on merchandise and equipment that is temporarily imported into 83 countries and territories when using an ATA Carnet.
Since some countries can take up to 24 months (and in rare cases up to 5 years) to refund your money and you have to file paperwork to get the refund, using an ATA Carnet instead of filing for a refund can save time and money.
In many cases, because the refund process is so cumbersome and costly importers inadvertently forget to file for the refund. In 1998, it was estimated that non-European business travelers to Europe had failed to seek refund entitlements of more than $US 2.5 billion. Today, it is believed that refund applications amounting to less than 1% of this amount have been lodged in the past fiscal year.
Some countries will refund the VAT paid on trade shows and other business travel expenses. These may include trade booth rental, construction and maintenance, conferences, training courses, marketing expenses, business services and assorted professional fees. Since these services are not eligible for a carnet it makes sense to file for VAT refunds for them.