VAT refund claims can be submitted through an electronic portal. Each EU Member State has set up its own electronic portal and companies must submit their claims on their country of establishment’s portal, including all the claims for the other EU Member States. All the claims for foreign VAT must be sent through this portal, regardless of the country in which the VAT was paid. In this way, the Member State of establishment is the bridge between its own businesses and the Member State concerned by the claim. BE CAREFUL: sending the claim through the portal doesn’t guarantee that the VAT will be refunded. The portal is only the claim’s means of transmission. The administration of the country of establishment isn’t involved with the refund claim’s treatment in any way. Once transferred, the claim is processed by the tax administration of the country in which the VAT was paid. The country processing the claim asks for additional information electronically, in its official language. The company will need to reply to the information query in the language of the refunding country within a month, otherwise the claim will be rejected. Thus, following the procedure attentively is important. Example: In 2019, a business established in France has paid VAT in Spain and in Italy. It has not carried out any operations requiring it to get a VAT number in either countries. In order to obtain a refund of the Spanish and Italian VATs, the French company must, before 30th September 2020, log in to the electronic portal set up by the French tax administration and fill in to refund claim forms: one for Spain and one for Italy. They will be transferred to the Spanish and Italian administrations for treatment. If the Italian and Spanish tax administrations require additional information (inquiries for extra information are almost systematic when it is the first refund claim submission), they will send their questions to the French company electronically, in Italian and in Spanish respectively. The French company will have 30 days to reply by email to each of the Spanish and Italian tax administrations, in Spanish and in Italian respectively.