On 14.07.2010 the EU-Commission has proposed a change of the so called VAT-refund policy (2008/9/EG) to give tax payers more time for the submission of electronic input-tax refund applications.
According to the refund policy, non-EU-resident tax payers can apply for a refund of the VAT on business expenses in a member state via an electronic website, set up by said individual member state. This method was chosen to succeed the previous, more convoluted method. This method required the filing of the application in the precise state the input tax originated – which usually meant having to deal with forms in different European languages and keeping different deadlines and procedural rules in mind.
Germany has already converted to the electronic input-tax refund system on January 1st 2010. Due to this, as of 2009 input tax refunds can be applied for electronically. The original preclusion period of the input-tax refund system was thus prolonged by three months, leaving it at the 30th of September of the following year.
Every member state had to have its web portal online by the 1st. of January 2010, but some have experienced technical difficulties in the inception. To protect the right of taxpayers for VAT refunds, the EU commission is now proposing an additional extension of the deadlines for applications from 30.09.2010 to 31.03.2011.