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Reclaim tax from business travel expenses abroad.

Did you know that your company could be reclaiming cash from tax paid abroad on business travel expenses?

Australian businesses are entitled to reclaim foreign paid Value Added Tax (VAT) incurred on a range of regular business travel expenses such as:

– Hotels & accommodation
– Transport
– Food and drink
– Participation in trade shows, conferences and/or exhibitions

Australia has reciprocal tax arrangements with over 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and most of Europe.

Because the process of reclaiming foreign VAT can be complex and requires dealing with each country’s tax authority, many businesses write-off as an expense rather recovering it as cash. With this in mind, Concierge Travel Group and VAT IT and have partnered to make Australian businesses aware of innovative travel-related services such as VAT recovery to maximise their business spend. 

VAT IT provides a simple, seamless, ‘no recovery, no fee’ service to Australian businesses (regardless of your business size or spend) to easily reclaim VAT for international business travel. 

VAT IT processes and collates the claims of thousands of companies worldwide and handles the detail and complexity of filing claims with the VAT authorities of each country. A simple agreement with VAT IT is all that is required to start getting back some of the money your business has already spent.

The countries from which Australian registered businesses can currently recover VAT, and for what period, are listed below*:-

4 years back – UK, Netherlands 

3 years back – New Zealand, South Korea

2 years back – Belgium 

Prior year – Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan

Contact Concierge Business Travel and we can help. Working with VAT-IT, together we can understand what and how much money you are entitled to, and then with VAT-IT’s automated service you can start receiving your money back. Get in touch ASAP – you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“Up to 25% of all your business travel costs can be saved by recovering eligible foreign VAT in claimable countries”

Find out more

To discuss how we can help you reclaim your VAT contact Stephen Pearse on
+61 2 8270 4865.

How to start recovering your foreign VAT with VAT IT?

  1. VAT IT need to evaluate your business’ travel expense records to determine how much has been spent, in which countries, and on what types of expense, to determine what the potential VAT reclaim amount could be.
  2. To make this happen requires an agreement with VAT IT – it’s a simple, 2-page document to get the process started.
  3. Information can be transferred to/from VAT IT via dedicated SFTP files (Secure File Transfer Protocol).
  4. VAT IT aim to minimise any administration and time required on behalf of the business to provide the data or information required to assess, prepare and then lodge claims.
  5. Once VAT IT are ready to lodge a claim on your business’ behalf, a specific form authorising VAT IT to do so with the relevant tax authorities is required.
  6. VAT IT will advise you as soon as your claim as been processed.
  7. VAT IT transfer your return less the agreed percentage to your nominated financial institution.


What will it cost me to have VAT IT recover foreign VAT on my business’ behalf?
VAT IT charges only a % of successful claims. There are no upfront, annual holding or any other fees associated with VAT IT’s services.

Will we still have a lot of admin to manage the VAT reclaim process?
VAT IT can assist with re-issuing invoices from suppliers to either recover hard copies or have them correctly formatted. If original receipts/invoices are required and are available, these may require sending to VAT IT by international courier.

Is there a minimum amount required to recover foreign VAT?
Each tax authority sets its own requirements, but in general these minimums are very low – equivalent to around A$100. So in practice – no claim is too small!

What information do we need to provide VAT IT?
VAT IT already works with a large number of expense management software and ERP systems. Depending upon how your business records are maintained, VAT IT can easily assess the required information.

How long will it take to get my money back?
Once VAT IT has your travel and expense data to review, it will normally take 2-3 weeks to assess the recovery potential. This period could be longer (4-6 weeks) if significant re-issuing of invoices is required, as original suppliers need to be contacted.

Once claims have been submitted by VAT IT, it can take 3-6 months for the relevant tax authorities to process and authorise eligible refunds.

Do I have to provide original receipts and invoices?
For small expense items (such as food, public transport, the original receipts or small slips are required. Whilst the commercial world may be going digital, VAT authorities still (generally) require originals. VAT IT’s international processing centre is able to reissue invoices (for hotel accommodation, car hire or seminars/ conferences/ festival tickets etc) but are not able to reissue receipts – the small slips from individual foreign suppliers.