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Croatia – Don’t mix up VAT refund deadlines!

[EN] Every year the deadline for VAT refund claims is approaching faster than expected. Every year there is some confusion about the formal and material details of the recovery procedures including the precise filing periods. Missing the deadline is one of the most common reasons for claim rejections. Depending on the country and thus the local regulations most VAT refund claims for 2013 need to be either filed before 30 June or 30 September 2014.

For Croatia the VAT treatment is special as the country became the 28th EU Member State within the year of 2013. The accession triggers complexity as to which procedure and thus deadline need to be applied because since 1 July 2013 all European VAT principles have to be followed by Croatia for all supplies of goods and services. Consequently, also some German VAT rules had to be amended as of that date in order to adopt the enlargement of the EU. The principles have been summarized in an official Circular of 28 June 2013 by the German Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesfinanzministerium).

Regarding the filing deadlines the Federal Ministry of Finance states the following. A Croatian company who has been invoiced for goods or services in Germany before 1 July 2013 may apply for a VAT refund for the first two quarters of 2013 pursuant to sec. 18(9) of the German VAT Act (Umsatzsteuergesetz). This procedure follows the principles of the so-called 13th Directive. The file needs to be submitted in paper format to the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, BZSt) using the official standard application form. According to the Circular of 28 June 2013 the BZSt offers, however, the possibility to send the file electronically in advance. It is important to note that this procedure covers all supplies of goods and services before 1 July 2013. The filing deadline is 30 June 2014!

Regarding the input VAT on supplies subject to German VAT received by Croatian companies after 30 June 2013 the new electronic VAT refund procedure is applicable, i.e. the applicant has to file an electronic claim via the Croatian tax authorities portal pursuant to the principles set out in Directive 2008/9/EC. The filing deadline for this procedure is 30 September 2014.

In order to avoid losing your VAT recovery potential it is therefore mandatory for Croatian applicants to submit two claims under different procedure and deadlines. In case you have further questions, please contact us for additional information.

FVO, 3 June 2014

About TALA Consult
TALA Consult is a management consultancy company specializing in financial risk management and cost optimization. In particular, we focus on risks inherent to the supply chain. Instead of mere cost killing, our approach combines cost saving and risk optimization levers to deliver true savings as well as to provide a clear and sustainable return on investment to our customers.

Our consulting advice varies from quick recommendations for your on-the-spot needs to sustainable and holistic optimization of your processes and organization. When needed, we provide efficient and cost effective outsourcing solutions.

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