VAT in Europe – The Rise and Rise of VAT

VAT is on the Increase in Europe:

Galeries Lafayette - claim your VAT back! Follow Me on Pinterest

Galeries Lafayette – claim your VAT back!

As Europe muddles through to sort out its economic crisis, one of the many measures adopted for raising revenue has been the increase of VAT rates.

It may be called by different names, but Value Added Tax (VAT) unfortunately impacts on the cost of our travel (not to mention shopping) and some of the VAT rates in Europe are already extremely high.

So any further VAT increases certainly isn’t good news for the travelling public.

VAT Refund Follow Me on Pinterest What is Vat

Unfortunately, VAT is not “Vodka and Tonic” as one cartoon suggests.

Value Added Tax or VAT is a broadly based consumption tax that is assessable on goods and services. From a traveller’s perspective, we pay VAT on accommodation, restaurant meals and other goods and services that we consume on holidays. It is a government tax and the seller of the goods and services is required to collect the tax and pay it to the revenue authorities.

VAT is payable in all EU member states and in France you will see it referred to as TVA (Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée) or in Italy it is IVA (Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto).

VAT Refund

For travellers who live outside of the EU, you can get a VAT refund on your shopping in Europe, if the value of your purchases meets the VAT threshold of that country. So, if you’re planning on doing a lot of shopping on your European holiday, it pays to find out about the VAT rules for that country.

VAT Tax Rate for 2012

Below are 2012 Standard VAT tax rates for some of the destinations we cover:

Vat Rates for 2012
Country Standard Vat Rate Comments
Austria 20%  
Belgium 21%  
Bulgaria 20%  
Czech Republic 20%  
Estonia 20%  
France 19.6% Increasing to 21.2% in October 2012
Germany 19%  
Greece 23%  
Ireland 23% Increased in January 2012
Italy 21% Increasing to 23% in 2012
Netherlands 19%  
Norway 25%  
Portugal 23%  
Spain 18%  
Switzerland 8% Maintaines at this rate until 2018
United Kingdom 20%  
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