VAT Recovery has for most of its life, been an involved and paper-intensive process. Of course, it is understood we deal with Governments; and they have known to be notoriously bureaucratic. Even today, many of them are steeped in cumbersome paper-work. Fortunately, we are beginning to see a little light, at the end of the tunnel. European nations see the need to cut across the processes of the past, and rapidly move into the 21st century, and the age of modern technology.
Proposed originally by the German industrialist Wilhelm von Siemens in 1918, Value Added Tax or VAT has become an important part of the Tax structure in many countries. France was the first country to introduce VAT in 1954. Today it is, for France, the most important source of State Finance and forms almost 50% of the Government’s revenues. Other countries were quick to add VAT to their own Tax structures. Most countries in the world today charge Value Added Tax, as part of their fiscal policy. It is a Tax that even visitors to such countries have to pay. It is unavoidable. It can be as high as 25.50% in some countries. Every hotel stay, or restaurant bill, involves VAT. The Scandinavian countries charge the highest rates. In some countries, different services or goods, attract different rates of VAT that is chargeable. VAT varies from 5% to 25.50%. Fortunately, many companies become eligible for a VAT refund on the business travel of their employees.