Apart from the US, where each state has its own rules on sales tax, most countries worldwide have VAT or GST type systems. While there is much common ground in terms of the basic principles being applied, it is vital that businesses trading cross border in goods and services are aware of the international VAT treatment applying to their specific transactions.

With standard international VAT rates typically averaging between 10% and 25% worldwide, undertaking transactions that do not comply from a VAT perspective can lead to irrecoverable VAT costs arising, significantly impacting on pricing within the supply chain. In addition to this, on a practical level, customers receiving non-compliant invoices from suppliers are likely to query the invoice, resulting in delays in payment being made.  

We can provide a wide range of advice and support on both EU and international VAT rules, and can help you understand the compliance obligations your business faces when trading cross border, as well as whether any overseas VAT incurred can be recovered. Our specialists have a significant amount of experience in advising on cross border transactions across a wide range of industries and can call upon the local expertise of a huge network of tax consultants around the world.

The advice we can provide in this area includes the following:

  • The VAT treatment of specific transactions in goods and services including the new EU place of supply rules for services
  • VAT efficient structuring for global contracts
  • Helpdesk facilities for in-house VAT teams – to act as a sounding board or to provide country specific advice
  • Due diligence on potential acquisitions and the identification of key areas of risk
  • Assistance with overseas VAT registration
  • Advice on EC Sales Lists for goods and services and Intrastat




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