The value-added taxes (VAT) you pay when running conferences abroad is often recoverable, yet many companies don't bother--rules vary from country to country and the paperwork can be numbing. But here's something new: Corporate VAT Management, a Seattle-based software company, is making sense of the morass with a new version of its AutoVAT software that helps businesses reclaim VAT from 16 European countries and Canada. The original product was designed to recover only the tax on travel and entertainment expenses while the new Version 3.1 handles a wider range of refundable VAT categories, including that on tele- communications charges, trade show services, shipping, training, equipment purchases, and professional services.

The software guides the user through the reclaim process and generates the refund application forms in the appropriate languages with instructions on where to send them. In VAT-friendly countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the U.K., the process can be well worth the effort. Here, VAT rates are steep, ranging from 15 to 20 percent, but a full refund is allowed.

For more information or to download a demo program, visit www.corporatevat.com, or contact the company at (206) 292-0123 or at info@ corporatevat.com. The software is available for Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Windows NT computers. The single-user version (a single organization processing refunds from one location) costs $995 for one year. Networked and multiclient versions are available but cost more.