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> home > VAT Refund LU > VAT Refund LU > Table of content > Refund application

Refund application

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A) General

From this screen you can

  • fill in the displayed refund application;

  • add, change or delete purchases;

  • add, change or delete documents attached to the refund application.

Purchase is understood to mean

  • a purchase of goods;

  • receipt of a service;

  • an import of goods.

Within the context of this help information, an invoice may refer to an invoice or an import document.

Refund applications are referred to by their reference number. Reference numbers for refund applications by taxable persons established in Luxembourg comprise the letters LU followed by a 16-digit serial number. In addition to a reference number, each refund application has a version number. This corresponds to the time at which the application was submitted in universal time (Coordinated Universal Time – UTC, the successor to Greenwich Mean Time – GMT) to the Member State of establishment.

B) Navigation

The line at the top of the screen contains shortcuts to the various sections of the refund application.

C) Validation alerts

The data encoded in the application and the purchases is checked by the VAT Refund portal.

Blocking messages must be corrected before submitting the application to ensure that the refund application complies with the EU specifications.

Warning messages are there to draw the user's attention to potential problems.

Messages relating to purchases include the purchase sequence number. If you click on the underlined number, the purchase opens in a new browser tab so that you can correct the incorrect data.

It should be noted that the VAT Refund portal does not take into account the specific preferences of other Member States with regard to processing applications.

See also:

D) Submitting a refund application

The Submit application button is used for submitting an application as soon as it is ready.

Refund applications are not submitted immediately. First, the application is assigned On submission status so that it can be checked by the VAT Refund portal. This check may take a few minutes.

If there are no blocking errors, the application is considered to have been effectively submitted and the application's status changes to Submitted to MS-EST on the dashboard.

Where necessary, the application is assigned Submission failed status so that it can be corrected and re-submitted.

E) Changing a refund application

The application data can be changed provided the application has not yet been submitted.

It is not possible to transfer previously encoded purchases from one refund application to another refund application. However, it is possible to copy a refund application, irrespective of its status, together with its purchases, under a new reference number.

See also:

F) Correcting a refund application that has already been submitted

Correcting a refund application consists in creating a new application with the same reference number, but updating the version number. This action is only permitted for refund applications transmitted to the Member State of refund. The corrective application cancels and replaces the previous refund application.

This action copies the general information and the list of the purchases in the refund application, however without the attachments. If necessary, you must re-attach the relevant documents.

Corrective applications are not explicitly covered by legislation. However, the underlying principle is included in EU specifications accepted by the Member States.

A corrective application must comply with the following EU restrictions:

  • Only an application already sent to the Member State of refund can be corrected. Thus, if you wish to correct an application that has been submitted to the administration but has not yet been sent to the other Member State, you will not be able to correct it until it has been sent.

  • Nor can you add a purchase, in particular a new sequence number, to the list of purchases. You can only:

    • correct the general data in the application;

    • correct the data of a purchase;

    • replace a purchase by another purchase;

    • delete a purchase.

    Note that you cannot add a purchase even after deleting a purchase, as this operation would create a new purchase sequence number.

  • By convention, a corrective application without a purchase cancels the application with the same reference number.

See also:

G) Copying a refund application

The Copy application button copies the application displayed with its purchases under a new reference number. The new application is assigned In preparation status and is linked to the legal entity of the user who made the copy.

This action affects only the general information and the list of the purchases in the refund application. The copy does not include the attachments. If necessary, you must re-attach the relevant documents.

The number of refund applications that can be copied is limited, so you should avoid making unnecessary copies of applications. This limit is high enough to allow reasonable use of the portal.

A copy of a refund application is treated like any other refund application. All the conditions applicable to refund applications, in particular with regard to submission deadlines, also apply to copies of refund applications.

See also:

H) Taxable persons can take control over a representative's applications

If taxable persons no longer wish to use a representative to manage their applications, they can take control over any applications currently being prepared by the representative that have not yet been submitted.

Before taking over these applications, the mandate must become inactive, either by expiration of the mandate or by revocation of the mandate.

The taxable person thus obtains the right to delete, change and finalise these refund applications.

A taxable person can only take control over an application if the mandate of the representative who created the application is inactive. As the case may be, the taxable person may first have to revoke the mandate.

There is no point in taking control over submitted applications, as these cannot be changed anyway.

This functionality is not an option for representatives wanting to take control over applications being prepared by the previous representative or their client. However, a representative with a general mandate can copy these applications with a view to finalising them.

The takeover is irreversible, i.e. an application can no longer be reassigned to a representative.

Where necessary, the taxable person must update the bank account.

I) Deleting an application

Only applications currently in preparation can be deleted. A submitted application can no longer be deleted by the user.

To delete unsubmitted applications created by a representative whose mandate has lapsed, the taxable person must first take control over the application before being able to delete it.

J) Adding a purchase or import

J.1) Type of invoice reference number

This field indicates whether the supplier's reference number corresponds to an intra-community VAT identification number (standard case) or a national tax identification number. National tax identification numbers are used only for suppliers based in Germany that do not have an intra-community VAT identification number. Where possible, it is recommended that you enter the intra-community VAT number.

J.2) Supplier and address book

When entering an invoice or an import, you can enter the supplier's details directly or search for them in the address book using the search fields:

  • VAT number: if you enter this number, the application searches for addresses with this VAT number. Wildcards (*) are permitted.

  • Post code: if this field is filled in, only addresses with the post code entered are displayed.

If both of these search criteria are left blank, the application displays all suppliers that have an intra-community VAT identification number issued by the Member State of refund, together with suppliers that have an established address in the Member State of refund.

The suggested suppliers are drawn solely from the address book linked to the user's main VAT file.

The system does not filter duplicate addresses. Avoid adding the same address more than once.

J.3) Invoice number

The invoice number is mandatory.

Each invoice number in a refund application must be unique to the supplier. If an invoice contains several different types of goods and services, they should be grouped, indicating all the applicable goods codes and the total taxable amount and the total deductible amount of goods and services.

The VAT Refund portal only detects reliably double invoice numbers for suppliers identified through their intra-community VAT identification number. Each Member State applies its own rules to detect double invoice numbers for suppliers not identified through their intra-community VAT identification number.

Some Member States of refund refuse to accept refund applications containing duplicate invoice numbers.

The same restrictions apply for importation document numbers.

J.4) Nature of goods and services

A description of the goods or services is compulsory. In accordance with article 9.2 of the Directive, you must choose a code and a sub-code (where appropriate), depending on the preferences of the Member State of refund.

In the drop-down list of codes and sub-codes, you can jump to a section using keys 0-9. For example, the 4 key takes you directly to the road tolls and road user charge section. Sub-codes are chosen using the cursor keys, the mouse, or by entering the code and sub-code including the separation points directly with the keyboard (ideally using the numeric keypad).

In addition to the code, you can encode an additional description. A description is compulsory for code 10 (Other section), without a sub-code. The language used must also be specified when entering a description. Certain Member States of refund set restrictions on the languages authorised for this purpose.

See also:

  • Preferences of the Member State of refund

    (in English only)

J.5) Entering amounts

If the deductible proportion rate is other than 100%, the deductible VAT amount should be adjusted accordingly. It is not updated automatically.

In most cases, the VAT amount is equal to the VAT amount on the purchase, except where only part of the goods purchased is deductible. In the latter case, the VAT amount claimed cannot exceed the deductible part.

The currency is set at the value used by the Member State of refund on the date on which the application refund period ends.

Any other currency must be converted into the national currency of the Member State of refund in accordance with its instructions. If no instructions have been given, you may use the European Central Bank exchange rate on the day the goods were delivered or the services were performed, or on the date of the invoice.

If a Member State of refund changes its currency during the year (e.g. by adopting the euro), you can submit a refund application for each currency, matching the refund periods to the validity periods of the old and the new currencies. As a general rule, the Member State of refund will provide more detailed instructions on this matter in advance.

The VAT rate calculated based on the VAT amount and the taxable amount is given for information purposes, enabling the detection of any typing errors in the amounts. It is not passed on to the Member State of refund. This check only makes sense if all the goods and services on the invoices are subject to the same VAT rate.

See also:

K) Changing an invoice or import

This change is made similar to the addition of a purchase.

L) Deleting an invoice or import

Deletion is irreversible.

If you wish to delete a purchase from a corrective application, bear in mind that you cannot subsequently add a purchase because the request will be refused automatically by the Member State of refund. To replace one purchase with another purchase without changing the sequence number, use the Edit function.

If you are in the process of creating a corrective application and you delete a purchase by mistake, you must discard (delete) this application and create a new corrective application from the refund application to be corrected.

M) Attachments

You can attach one or more documents to the refund application, in PDF, TIFF or JPEG format. Avoid using uncompressed TIFFs where possible.

It is recommended that you scan several or all the invoices in one file to facilitate uploading.

The maximum file size for all files attached to refund applications is 4.5 MB (4,500,000 bytes). To stay within this limit, please chose an appropriate scanning resolution (the recommended minimum resolution is 100 dpi, the recommended maximum resolution is 300 dpi) and an appropriate scanning mode (black & white, grey-scale, color). Resolutions of 150 dpi to 200 dpi generally deliver good results. Please take care that the scanned document remains readable.

If despite these measures, the size of the scanned documents still exceeds the authorised limit, please follow the instructions in point 14 of the vademecum for taxable persons not established in the Member State of refund, published on the European Commission's website.

See also:


  • The European Commission has set a 5 MB limit on technical messages when transmitting a refund application, which includes the list of purchases and the attachments. For technical reasons, the maximum size of files that can be uploaded by users is slightly below this limit.

N) Decision by MS-EST

This table contains the decision of transmission respective the decision of transmission refusal of the refund application. The relevant notices can be found in the Notification table.

O) Feedback from MS-REF

The table shows a summary of the feedback received from the Member State of refund.

It is therefore essential that you monitor the notices that the Member States of refund send you directly by email, because the administration is not always authorised by the other Member States to divulge the information received.

See also:

P) Decisions by MS-REF

The table contains the decisions received from the Member State of refund. The details and official copies of these decisions are only displayed if the Member State of refund has authorised the administration to do so.

It should be noted that the administration does not receive all decisions for notification, which means that you must also monitor the email account specified in the application in order to track its progress.

See also:

Q) Notifications

This table contains the notifications from the administration relating to the refund application.

R) Related information

S) Company information

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This help applies to VAT Refund portal version 8.0 and above.

Version of this page: 2016-08-09-10

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