commercial card clients of First Bank System Inc. recover refunds of value- added taxes. The service gives U.S. companies a way to significantly cut international travel and entertainment expenses, said Minneapolis-based First Bank System. Value-added taxes, which are similar to U.S. sales taxes, are paid on virtually all goods and services purchased in the European Community and Canada. Since 1988, corporations have been eligible to get partial to full refunds of value-added taxes paid on purchases made in the European Community. For large corporations, these refunds can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, the process of claiming the refunds is arduous, and the costs of processing refunds can exceed the recovered money. The Irish company uses scale efficiencies to achieve high recovery rates and process large volumes of claims efficiently, First Bank System said. In addition to reclaiming tax payments, Foreign Exchange Company can provide management reporting on spending patterns.

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