FAQ Germany VAT for IETF 87

The following information is from BC&A, tax agent and representative for the Internet Society.

1.  Why am I paying a VAT on the Meeting Registration Fee?

You are paying a Value Added Tax (VAT) on the registration fee because it is required by the laws and regulations of the EU and its member states. They establish that VAT must be paid on the fees in the country where the meeting is held. For this meeting the German VAT is included in the Registration Fee, it was not added to the Fee. This may change for future meetings where VAT applies to registration fees.

2.  Can the VAT be recovered?

Possibly. Only companies from the European Union and from these Non-European countries can claim back the German VAT. To recover the VAT you must provide the details of your company - name, address, VAT number or Tax ID - for all expense invoices and submit all original documentation to your company for its processing. This includes such things as Registration, Lodging and Food invoices. 

3.  What process should companies follow to recover the VAT?

  a.  EU Companies

    EU companies must contact the Tax Administration of their own country for instructions regarding the conditions and process to follow for reclaiming the German VAT. There are also minimum VAT amounts that must be met.

For the refund applications for one to three quarters by an EU company the minimum amount is EUR 400. If the refund application relates to a refund period of a calendar year or the remainder of a calendar year, the amount of VAT may not be less than EUR 50. Please note that these amounts refer to ALL the VAT from the expenses incurred FROM ALL ITS EMPLOYEES in Germany for this meeting and any other business-related VAT incurred in Germany.

  b.  Non-European Companies

    For a non-European company, the company should look at "Instructions for completing the application for refund of turnover tax" located here.  You can find here the form that must be completed and presented with the application.

    The Non-European companies must send the VAT refund application directly to the German Federal Central Tax Office and make sure their application is received at the latest by 30 June 2014.  There are also minimum VAT amounts that must be met.

The VAT refund must be at least € 1,000, unless the refund period is the calendar year or the last period of the calendar year. The refund for these refund periods must be at least € 500.  Please note that these amounts refer to ALL the VAT from the expenses incurred FROM ALL ITS EMPLOYEES in Germany for this meeting and any other business-related VAT incurred in Germany.