BT (British Telecommunications plc.) has chosen Atlanta-based Universal VAT Services, a division of Universal Travel Advisors, LP, as the sole recognized provider of Value Added Tax reclaim services for its customers worldwide.

      Universal has been providing VAT recovery services on a contingency basis to businesses  around the globe since 1992 when it was first contracted by Procter and Gamble, Raj Shah, the company’s president told GlobalFax.

      He said that BT chose Universal’s services over those of London-based Meridian VAT Reclaim International, the largest global VAT reclamation firm, because of its attention to detail, its pricing and its alliance with the U.K. operations of Coopers & Lybrand, the accounting firm.

      As an example, he said that Universal had been able to reclaim 93 pence ( $1.57) from a 6.25 pound (10.56) purchase of Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream by a group of Procter and Gamble employees on a business trip to London.

      Universal has recovered more than $550,000 for Procter and Gamble since 1992 and now recovers about $200,000 a year for the company, he added.

      VAT is a European sales tax on goods and services ranging from 6% to 25% depending on the country and item purchased.  The tax is recoverable on some goods and services, such as telecommunications, if the entity paying the tax is a registered corporation not residing in the country where it is levied.

      In Canada, similar taxes are called General Goods and Services (GST) and Provincial Sales (PST) taxes and also are recoverable.

      Mr. Shah said that BT customers will be able to reclaim VAT for charges showing up on their telecommunications invoices as well as their travel expenses to Europe or Canada.

      Other Universal clients include Mead Corp., Kellogg Co., NationsBank, Turner Broadcasting System/CNN, Sunds Defibrator Inc., and BBDO South.

      For more information, call Tim Webber, director of operations, at (770) 392-7023; fax, (770) 668-9861.