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European VAT Refund FAQ

Get your tax free shopping done with tax refund on your purchase when touring Europe in countries such as France in EU

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What do services like Global Blue and Premier Tax Free do? » Improve Q

These services, sometimes partnering up with stores, try to take some hassle out of the refund process, and take a small percentage out of the refund as their commission. They may refund you earlier at the store or at the airport, providing that you would mail them the stamped paperwork on time.

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Is there a minimum amount I need to purchase to qualify for VAT? » Improve Q

There is usually a minimum amount one need to meet to qualify for VAT return. France for example ask for 175 € at one store on a single day in order to qualify. Thus it might be beneficial to shop at department stores such as Galeries Lafayette or Printemps to pool together items from different brand.

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Who's qualified for VAT refund? » Improve Q

Non-EU residents can usually be qualified for merchandise. Business travelers can qualify for purchase on services.

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How much tax refund could I get? » Improve Q

The VAT differs from country to country, ranging from 15% to 25%

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How do I get my document stamped at the airport? » Improve Q

First one must find the governmental office that does it, usually a tax specific office or a custom office. The officer will inspect your form and sometimes the merchandise you purchased, hence you should do this before you check in any luggages. If your documents are not stamped, you will not receive the refund.

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What are the basic procedures in getting a VAT refund? » Improve Q
  1. Get and fill out the form from stores where items is purchased.
  2. Have the form stamped by the government tax office at the airport prior to departing.
  3. Mail the documents to appropriate once the forms are stampped. Can be done at airport or after the flight.
  4. Wait for refund.
One might be able to collect refund earlier (at store or at the airport) if working with service such as Global Blue, who may take a cut of comission for paying you out earlier.

 

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Do all stores provide VAT refund? » Improve Q

Not all stores provide VAT refund service, although most stores with a significant of tourist customers do.

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