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VAT Refund
Old 05-29-2017, 06:23 AM   #1
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VAT Refund

While it won't apply to me, this article caught my eye. It's "How to get a refund on European Value Added Taxes."

https://www.pressreader.com/usa/chic...82772061522761

Who knew?
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:30 AM   #2
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Absolutely. Most European airports make it easy to find the place where you file it.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:56 AM   #3
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Does this work, I have read from various places that when you go to get the stamping done, the office that handles that at the airport is closed or in the other terminal, etc.
All sorts of ways to make it difficult to do.
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:00 AM   #4
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It works for me in London. We did this multiple times already. I only saved Big item. The trick is going to be after Brexit.
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
Does this work, I have read from various places that when you go to get the stamping done, the office that handles that at the airport is closed or in the other terminal, etc.
All sorts of ways to make it difficult to do.
Yes, it does work, and yes, I'm guessing they are not HIGHLY motivated to make sure it is super easy to claim the refund. That said, at Heathrow in London it is pretty easy
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:25 AM   #6
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We've used it several times. It can be an adventure though. In one case the stamping office required us to show the actual items along with the usual forms and receipts (to prove they were being exported). They'd been packed in checked luggage, so lost out that time. In another, travelling out of France at CDG, the lines were so horrendous that we did not have time to get the necessary stamps and make our flight (I hate checking in at CDG and try very hard to avoid that airport...)

All that said, in most airports the biggest challenge is finding the office and that is usually solved with a quick question to security personnel.
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:48 AM   #7
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Sounds better, especially after reading this
http://www.heathrow.com/file_source/...leaflet_EN.pdf

Maybe all places have a before and after security check office ?

The fees seem to take a big chunk of the refund, but maybe it was just Travelex fees that do.

What % of the taxes paid do people actually get back ?
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:17 AM   #8
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I got back all of it. But not food and hotel. They don't give back VAT on those. I didn't have to show my items either.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:41 AM   #9
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At CDG the refund line was maybe one hundred feet long (not exaggerating). Hopeless, and probably by design.

I had all the paperwork so I contacted the local French counsel after I got home. He said he'd be happy to send me the refund forms but that he himself had never been successful in getting a VAT refund. (!) So I gave up.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:20 AM   #10
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As an FYI this worked for me years ago leaving SYD - I had to buy clothes - lost suitcase - and was able to show the receipts and get a refund at the airport.

I did not show the items since they were packed - the rep said if it was an expensive electronic item they would want to see it.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:46 AM   #11
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Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had a problem with this.

Just as an example, last time we were in Iceland (2014), we did quite a bit of shopping. Such wonderful sweaters, other woolen goods, art, etc.

Going through the airport as we left, the VAT desk was right in our faces and doing the paperwork took less than a minute. Just had to show the receipts, not the items. Piece of cake. The full amount was credited to my card immediately.
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