I’m going on holiday and like me, many friends are coming to Europe ….
Whenever my friends are planning their trips abroad they always ask me how to shop Tax Free! What is this super idea that allows tourists to reclaim the sales tax on purchases made during their trips to Europe? How does it work? How much time does it take?
Well, firstly, it’s really worth your while getting to know the simple steps that will allow you to get this refund of the sales tax (in Europe it’s called VAT – or Value Added Tax) Depending on what you purchase, your refund could be the equivalent of the cost of your flight!
So, I’m going to go through the process of claiming your refund step by step! Trust me, it’s easy!
What is a tax refund?
If you are citizen from outside the EU you can avail of a service that allows you to receive a tax refund on the purchases you made in Europe.
When making purchases ask for your tax refund form
Stores where you can retrieve your tax refund will display the ‘Premier Tax Free’ logo. When paying for your purchases, ensure that you ask for your Tax Free form. Make sure you have your passport, or your passport number, with you to prove that you are not a citizen of the EU. The Tax Free form should be filled out using block capitals to ensure your details are correctly entered.
Upon leaving the EU, you must get your Tax Free forms stamped by Customs
Allow yourself extra time at the airport before your flight to find the Customs officer who will stamp your Tax Free forms (this must be your last point of departure of the EU). Therefore, before you check-in, go to Customs (follow the signposts) and present your Premier Tax Free forms, passport and purchases receipts – with the associated goods, as your purchases may need to be shown to the Customs officers in order to receive your stamp.
Receive your cash refund:
Once your Tax Free form has been stamped by Customs, head over to the cash refund desks at the airport. Make sure they display the Premier Tax Free logo. Simply give them your stamped Tax Free form and get your cash. If you don’t want cash, you can get a refund straight back onto your credit card or into your bank account.
Good News: Some countries in Europe allow you to obtain your tax refund at the point of purchase or in a downtown cash refund location. However, this doesn’t mean you’re exempt from a obtaining a Customs’ stamp. Don’t forget to visit Customs when leaving the country or the amount will be deducted from your credit card.
In a hurry?
No need to stress as you also have the option of posting your completed and signed Tax Free form directly to Premier Tax Free (once its stamped!) instead of queuing in a cash refund office. In this case, use the pre-paid envelope which was provided to you by the salesperson when you received your Tax Free form.
Fill out your form correctly and accurately, especially your address and payment details. Include your email address as this allows for contact to be made quickly between you and Premier Tax Free should there be any need for clarification.
To receive your VAT refund, you must receive your Customs stamp within 90 days of making your purchase.
In certain countries, such as France, UK and Switzerland, you will be charged a small fixed cost to receive your refund in cash.
For a list of refund points and terms & conditions – please visit the Premier Tax Free Website – www.premiertaxfree.com
…Or if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me! I have availed of this service so often in recent years that I’ve become a professional and will be sure to find the answer for you!