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Value added tax

Finance

Value added tax is a general tax, in that it applies to all goods and services.
  1. Value added tax
  2. General rules
  3. Registration procedure
  4. Paying VAT
  5. VAT refund
  6. FAQs
  7. Non-compliance penalties
  8. Who to contact

Value added tax

Value added tax is a general tax, in that it applies to all goods and services. It is an indirect tax, i.e. it is collected and paid into the central government budget by someone other than the person who actually pays it (the final consumer). Value added tax applies to all final consumption without exception.

VAT rates

  • The standard VAT rate is 20%.
  • The reduced VAT rate is 10%.

The reduced 10% VAT rate is charged, for example, on the sale of books, selected foods, selected medical devices, accommodation services, and goods and services within the social economy.

VAT exemptions

Goods and services sold are exempt from VAT in certain cases. Exempt supplies can be split into two groups: those for which VAT may be deducted on input and those for which there is no such right.

Exempt supplies with the right of VAT deduction in Slovakia include:

  • the supply of goods to another EU country;
  • the supply of an international passenger transport service;
  • the export of goods outside the EU.
Exempt supplies without the right of VAT deduction in Slovakia include:
  • financial services;
  • insurance services;
  • the supply and rental of real estate.

The supply of a building, or part of a building, becomes exempt from VAT five years after the date it is authorised for use (the law defines what is meant by authorisation for use for VAT purposes). The law deals separately with the supply of flats, which also becomes exempt from VAT five years after authorisation for use. The sale of land on which a building is already standing is also exempt, if the sale of the building is exempt from tax. The sale of a building plot, however, is subject to VAT. The rental of real estate is exempt from VAT, though exceptions apply (e.g. accommodation services). The taxpayer who lets immovable property or a part thereof out to a taxable person, may decide not to have the lease exempt from the tax, except for lease of flat, detached house and lease of a suite in a residential building or parts thereof.

General rules

The rules on VAT are more or less the same across EU countries. However, they may differ from each other in certain respects. In Slovakia, value added tax is charged on the sale of goods and services and the purchase of goods from abroad (from another EU Member State or from third countries). In general, VAT in Slovakia is paid by the supplier, but there are exceptions where VAT is paid by the buyer. VAT per se is generally an integral part of the price of goods or services.

Registration procedure

All foreign entities, regardless of turnover, are required to register for VAT if, in Slovakia, they are planning to:

- sell goods;
- sell services;
- buy goods from EU countries.

However, there are exceptions where you do not have to register in Slovakia, e.g. when you sell goods in Slovakia to a Slovak business or when you rent real estate in Slovakia to a Slovak business.

Foreign entities submit an application for registration (only in Slovak) to the Bratislava Tax Office (only in Slovak), which registers them within seven days of receipt of the application. Applications may be submitted:

- in person;
- by post;
- electronically.

Applications are accompanied by:

- an extract from a foreign business register or other similar register (which must be officially translated into Slovak, unless
  the original is in Czech);
- if applicants have an agent, a power of attorney must be attached to the application, accompanied by an official translation
  into Slovak (registration applicants from third countries are required to name an agent for correspondence in Slovakia,
  in which case a power of attorney is a mandatory annex to the application). 

EU citizens can find more details relevant to them regarding the registration of foreign entities by visiting the website of the Financial Administration (only in Slovak) (Tax obligations of foreign persons in terms of Value Added Tax Act). On this website you can find registration information for OSS and IOSS special scheme.

Applicants with further questions can contact the tax authority (only in Slovak) competent to help them register for value added tax.

Paying VAT

You are required to pay VAT into Slovakia’s central government budget on the basis of the VAT return you have filed within 25 days of the end of any tax period (calendar month or calendar quarter) for which you are obliged to file a VAT return and pay VAT. Each payment must be correctly identified and sent to the correct account number

As a VAT payer, you file VAT returns in electronic format only. A sample VAT return (only in Slovak) can be viewed on the website of the Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic.

The amount of VAT to be paid is determined by calculating the VAT you have been charged on purchased goods and services and deducting it from the VAT payable.

A VAT tax return is filed by a foreign person within 25 days after the end of the calendar month or calendar quarter, but only if

  1. they have become obliged to pay tax in the given tax period, or
  2. they have made an intracommunity supply or export of goods in the Slovak Republic, or
  3. if he/she has taken part in triangular trade as a 1st customer or if he/she applies a tax deduction.

In addition to their VAT return, foreign entities submit a ledger statement (only in Slovak) or a recapitulative statement (only in Slovak) electronically if required to do so by the VAT Act (only in Slovak). 

VAT refunds

In Slovakia, VAT refunds are the preferred methods for applying deductions of VAT payable on incoming supplies. If operating a foreign business from another EU country, you can apply for a refund of the Slovak VAT you have paid, in case you meet certain conditions:

- when purchasing goods and services in Slovakia (e.g. VAT on accommodation services in Slovakia),
- when importing goods into Slovakia.

Filing an application:

  • submit your application electronically via the portal of your EU country;
  • apply by 30 September of the calendar year following the period for which you are claiming a refund;
  • your application must be accompanied by a copy of the invoice or import document if the VAT base in the invoice or import document is EUR 1 000 or more (or EUR 250 or more in a fuel purchase invoice).

The competent authority in your EU country will then send the application electronically to the Bratislava Tax Office, which will decide on your VAT refund application within four months of receiving it, unless it requests additional information.

On this website you can find information about VAT Refund to a Foreign Person from Another Member State.

A foreign person from a country outside the EU claims for a tax refund by submitting tax refund application to the Bratislava Tax Office. A sample application form for a tax refund is available in Annex no. 2 of the VAT Act.

FAQs

1. Can I file a VAT return electronically?
A foreign entity liable for VAT in Slovakia can only file VAT returns electronically.

2. What is the VAT rate?
In Slovakia, there are two VAT rates:

  • a standard 20% rate;
  • a reduced 10% rate. 

The reduced 10% VAT rate is charged, for example, on the sale of books, selected foods, selected medical devices, accommodation services, and goods and services within the social economy.

3. Am I required to register?

Foreign entities are required to register for VAT in Slovakia, regardless of turnover, if they are going to do the following here:

  • sell goods;
  • sell services;
  • buy goods from EU countries. 

However, there are exceptions where you are not required to register in Slovakia, for example:

  • when you sell goods in Slovakia to a Slovak business;
  • when you rent a property in Slovakia to a Slovak business. 

4. Can I claim a VAT exemption?
Goods and services sold are exempt from VAT in certain cases. Exempt supplies can be split into two groups: those for which VAT may be deducted on input (e.g. the supply of goods to another EU country or the export of goods outside the EU) and those for which there is no such right (e.g. the supply and rental of real estate). 

Non-compliance penalties

Foreign entities who, in their economic activity, fail to comply with their obligations under the VAT Act are at risk of penalties.

Who to contact

If you have any questions, you can contact the Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic. This address describes all the ways in which you can communicate with the Financial Administration (by phone, email, chat, etc.).

Last modified: 17. 8. 2021
Publication date: 13. 11. 2020

The responsible person:

Ministry of Finance
+421 48 / 43 17 222