Eurotax managing director Kerrison Pell-Stevens is urging companies to overcome the hurdles and submit claims to the European Union. He said: 'About £30-£40 billion of VAT goes unclaimed in Europe each year. This is because there is no such thing as a common market when it comes to what can be claimed back in Europe. What one country allows you to claim back on another won't. But in general, as long as the employee travelling abroad works for a company that is VAT registered and doesn't have a branch in the country being visited, VAT can be claimed.'
VAT can be recovered on fuel, hotel accommodation, ferry tickets, parking and telephone bills. Pell-Stevens said he had come across one public sector company which was losing about £30,000 a year in unclaimed VAT because it did not want to go through the hassle associated with the process. All claims relating to expenditure in 1998 must be submitted to the EU by June 30 or they will not qualify. Eurotax charges a commission, starting at 5% when the tax has been recovered, or will buy companies' invoices to give them instant reimbursement.