You Overpaid Your Taxes. Would You Like Some Back?

A quick look at Value Added Tax reclaim:

Taxes are as unavoidable as ever, but there is some good news out there – at least in terms of the money you can put back in your pocket when you go after the Value Added Taxes you’ve paid. Or, if you’re like most organizations, overpaid.

We get it – it’s confusing. VAT is as complex as a regulation can get, and it doesn’t help that every time you cross a border to do business, it changes. The rules, the regulations, the restrictions: They’re different in every country, and it seems as if they’re always evolving.

There are ways, however, to simplify the reclaim process and help you get your fair share of the billions* left unclaimed each year.

Reclaiming Overpaid Taxes

Revamp your approach to VAT and bring money back into the business


Yes, we said billions

Because of the aforementioned changes and complexities, companies often don’t even attempt to reclaim their rightful VAT refund. Or their Goods and Services Taxes. Or the Harmonized Sales Taxes they’ve shelled out. Many companies don’t even know what’s out there or if it’s worth the effort.

But when 54% of VAT goes unclaimed, it’s at least worth looking into.

Now, if you try to manage VAT in-house, you’ll want to watch out for human errors. This isn’t a scare tactic, it’s just a fact: Manual processes mean mistakes. And when it comes to VAT reclaim, there are significant regulatory and financial penalties for getting things wrong.

You can outsource it, of course, but you’ll have to make sure the solution works with your system (and by that, we mean “make sure it works”), and you’ll want to know not only what success is going to look like, but what it’s going to cost you.

The third option is to, well, do nothing. This is undoubtedly the easiest, but it’s also the most expensive. You’ll be forfeiting your reclaim, you’ll risk non-compliance with international regulations, and you may end up facing tax liabilities and fines.


So what do you do?

You pick #2 above, then find a solution that fits your business while supporting VAT compliance no matter where you do business. As you’re sourcing this solution, make sure to ask:

  • Does it offer intuitive dashboards that let you drill down to transaction-level data?
  • Will it capture duplicate receipts, invoices, and other data that can disqualify VAT claims?
  • Does it use AI and ML to automatically find and reclaim VAT and other taxes?
  • Can you count on greater accuracy and speed than human auditors?

Look for a solution that automatically helps you deliver the clean data it takes to reclaim your money. It should be able to identify eligible transactions, enrich transaction data to get it ready for reclaim, and confirm what’s recoverable based on unique rules in each market. For more ideas and other details, take a quick look at this VAT tip sheet.


Let’s get it all under control

Because every dollar, euro, or yen you spend faces regulations and restrictions, you have to keep spending in line to keep taxes in check. Fortunately, the same tools and controls you use to tackle VAT can be used to bring visibility and control to the rest of your travel and expense spending. So instead of facing the complexities surrounding tax requirements, you’ve got clarity. And instead of wondering what you’re spending, you’ve got control.


Source: Vanson Bourne, Connecting the Dots on Travel, Expense, and Invoice Spend


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