4 Nations That Show VAT Automation is Inevitable

There’s no denying that processing VAT receipts and invoices for a VAT refund is a tiresome task. When humans do the job, it takes up a disproportionate amount of work time and causes frustration and exasperation – especially when they’re working with a myriad of small payments and confusing foreign VAT receipts.

As much as you wish you could skip the awkward task of VAT reclaim, you know that all the little amounts add up to significant revenue for your company. You don’t want to be one of the businesses who together leave as much as £15.3 billion of refundable VAT unreclaimed.

That’s why the news that VAT automation is here is the best possible news you could hear. Automated VAT reclaim for business is a faster and more efficient way of handling your VAT refunds. VAT automation bots make far fewer mistakes than tired humans, don’t skip receipts for small amounts that don’t seem worth the time it takes to process them, and best of all, they free up your employees’ work hours for more valuable and creative work.

The international move to automated VAT payment and reclaim

VAT automation has been in the pipeline for some time, but now it’s not just forward-thinking businesses which are switching over to automated VAT reclaim solutions. A number of countries are also pushing companies towards VAT automation, in order to reduce VAT fraud, improve the VAT audit trail, and streamline the entire VAT reclaim process.

The first step to VAT automation is ensuring that all businesses, as well as the entire governmental VAT processing system, are fully electronic and digitalized, so that VAT automation software can access and read all the necessary information.

The United Kingdom

In the UK, the HMRC introduced new regulations that require businesses to file their VAT returns digitally. All businesses with a revenue of over £85,000 had to sign up to the ‘Making Tax Digital’ VAT filing system by August 7th, 2019, in order to submit their VAT reclaim this year. 90% made the switch.

Digital VAT software is seen as the first step towards an entirely automated VAT system. The HMRC has made it clear that it is just the start of a series of changes to future-proof the department. It is much easier for business to integrate digital VAT software into an automated VAT reclaim for business solution; in fact, good VAT automation systems like Way2VAT connect with the MTD software in order to streamline the entire VAT reclaim process for you.


Greece is planning to introduce digital filing requirements for VAT, as well as for other corporate taxes. They are rolling out a pilot program in Q4 2019, and plan to extend that nationally in 2020.

According to the Greek scheme, businesses will have to use the new myDATA electronic tax-paying platform to automatically submit their VAT and other corporate tax reports every month or quarter. All invoices, bookkeeping, and corporate ledgers must be digitalized in order to comply. The Greek tax office hopes that this will make it easier to match and validate VAT transactions, so that they can reduce the amount of VAT fraud.


The Russian tax service has moved to a real-time digital, automated VAT reporting system in order to seriously crack down on VAT fraud and streamline the flow of VAT reclaim and VAT payments. Instead of submitting monthly or quarterly VAT refund requests, your company’s VAT transactions will be automated to go straight to the central tax office within 90 seconds.


As part of a whole raft of tax legislation, Italy made it mandatory for businesses to use digital invoicing for domestic transactions. This includes VAT invoices and VAT refund calculations.

With multiple countries embracing a digital, automated VAT process, it’s clear that automated VAT reclaim for business is already here. For all the details about using an automated VAT reclaim process for business expenses in the EU and other countries around the world, download our eBook.

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