Tax-Free Shopping at the European Union

If you are a Visitor to the European Union of countries, you may be eligible for a refund of Value added tax while shopping in European Union. Value added tax is a multi level tax, imposed on a trade, in which the ultimate burden is borne by the customer. When you are a visitor and shopping in foreign currency, this could be a huge saving point. But don’t just think how to save money – find out new ways to earn with the quantum code for instance.

Who is Eligible?

  • Non – European Union Citizens visiting the country
  • European Union citizens living permanently in another Non-European Union country.

How does it work?

  • When you are in a specific shop, before paying for the purchase, you can check with the shop in charge if they participate in providing this service to Visitors.
  • If they participate, once you are ready for check – out the cashier might ask you to provide proof such as passport with an address from the country of your residence?
  • There will be a refund form to be filled in. You will also be asked to show the proof for the duration of your stay. The products you buy in the European Union, which are eligible for a refund, must leave the European Union by the end of the third month from the date you bought them.
  • You will receive both the invoice for the goods purchased and refund form.
  • On your day of leaving the European Union, even if it’s from a different country within EU, you can submit your invoice and refund form to a customs officer at the airport.
  • Most big airports would be able to process the form immediately and hand over your refund amount before you board the flight. However, in smaller airports, you might be required to obtain the customs officers stamp and mail it to a specific address to obtain your refund.
  • There may be an administrative charge applicable on the entire processing and may be deducted from your refund. It’s best to check in advance with your shop in charge.
  • The shops will usually display a sign that they offer VAT free goods. Hence the facility may only available in those shops.
  • There is a minimum threshold per shop that you must meet in order to be eligible for a refund. It differs in each European Union country, but the minimum may be EUR 175 in most countries. You will not be able to combine more than one purchase to meet this threshold.
  • You will also be able to get a refund when you exit the European Union by train in some train stations. Hence you might want to plan your exit accordingly.

So the next time you are in Europe, you know that you got some tips up your sleeve. Happy shopping.