VAT refunds for overseas course delegates

If you’re attending from an overseas business and have no VAT-registered entity in the UK, the UK tax authority (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs or HMRC) operates a refund scheme. You may be able to reclaim the VAT you have paid on your course.

Attending from another European country

If you are visiting from another European Union (EU) country, you should be able to get a VAT refund from your own tax authority (as long as you’re VAT-registered in your own EU country). Please see this HMRC link: getting a refund if you’re an EU business visiting the UK.

Other attendees from outside the EU: the VAT refund scheme

If you are a visiting from outside the EU, you may be able to reclaim the VAT you paid on your course. According to HMRC, you need to meet all of the following conditions:

  • You’re a registered business in your own country
  • You’re not VAT-registered in the UK and you don’t have to be, or can’t be, VAT-registered in the UK
  • You don’t have a place of business or other residence in the UK
  • You don’t supply goods or services to the UK (unless the person you’re supplying in the UK has to pay VAT themselves).

Please see these useful links from HMRC:

The notes above are an attempt to summarise HMRC published guidelines as at June 2014. HMRC guidance changes frequently so please check the HMRC website for the latest rules.

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