September 15, 2022

VAT on Events and Business Travel in Europe

Conferences, trade shows and events are back in full swing! It’s important to consider the VAT rules in each event country. Will they refund you most of the VAT? Do you need to charge VAT to attendees? Here is a quick refresher for U.S. companies.

Event general VAT rule:
If a U.S. company hosts an event and charges attendee fees they legally need to register for VAT that country, and charge VAT to most of the attendees.

- Good news is that the U.S. organizer can often claim back most of the VAT from the vendors.
- Each country has their own specific VAT rules.
- If the attendee is a European company they most likely can reclaim their VAT.
- VAT should generally never be a cost to any company only to private people.


If you are NOT charging fees to attendees: the VAT incurred from your vendors in some of the European countries can be reclaimed without VAT registration. Please email to ask if your event qualifies for a "13 directive claim".

If a U.S. company does not comply with EU VAT rules:
- None of the VAT paid to European vendors will be refundable. Your event will cost significantly more.
- Potential tax-penalties for violation.

VAT registration should be completed at the planning stage, prior to event registration. Please call or email to find out which countries are easiest for VAT reclaim.

Euro VAT Refund assist companies in the pre-planning phase and then as needed all throughout the event; with VAT registration, processes to efficiently gather the original invoices; and all tax reports are prepared and filed from our Los Angeles office. You can always reach us by phone 310-204-0805 or when needed.

Incentive trips: VAT is not refundable on incentive trips for employees or contractors. If the trip contain significant elements of business conducted there may be some refund opportunities, but in most cases the tax authorities disallow VAT refund if minimal business was conducted. Email us your event details and we can provide our recommendations.

Business Travel:
Value Added Tax (VAT) is added to most Hotel and Transportation invoices. VAT incurred on some company (not personal) travel expenses may be refundable, from the following countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Original invoices with correct details are crucial for reclaim. EuroVAT can assist you, and also work with your company’s expense management partner, corporate card company, and travel company to streamline the retrieval process. The refund claims are then prepared and filed by our office in Los Angeles with the different foreign countries.


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