Tax Free: how to get back part of the money spent abroad


Tax Free is a service that reimburses taxes associated with purchases when purchased in stores in 37 countries around the world. The fact is that in stores we pay a tax that foreigners need to return, and therefore, with the help of simple tricks, you can return part of the money spent.

Tax Free

Translated from English, Tax Free means no taxes. In accordance with European law, foreigners (non-Europeans) can refund VAT on purchased goods.

At the same time, VAT on purchased purchases is refunded immediately upon departure from the country where these goods were purchased. The refund amount is up to approximately 27% of the amount of the purchased goods, and the percentage of the refund depends on the amount of VAT applicable in a particular country for different types of goods. There are also some restrictions on such amounts “not less than …”.

Tax Free refund stages

Shops with Tax Free

First you need to look for stores with special Tax Free stickers, which first of all indicate that in this store you can buy goods with a VAT refund.

When paying for the goods, you should ask the sales assistant to write out the form necessary for this. In the form, all required fields should be filled in Latin capital letters. If the form is not completed, no refund will be made.

It is imperative to make sure that all personal data is filled out correctly in accordance with the international passport before arriving at the airport. In the case of an incorrectly completed or completely blank form, the funds are non-refundable.

Customs stamp on the form

Before leaving the EU country, at the airport, you must present the purchased goods and the correctly completed form to the customs officer. He will put a mark that confirms the export of this product outside the borders of the European Union. Purchased goods must contain price tags and be in their original packaging, that is, they cannot be used until the customs stamp is affixed. In the case of the delivery of such goods in baggage, a customs mark should be obtained before checking things in baggage. In the absence of a customs stamp, a refund will naturally be refused.

Receiving the money

To do this, you must present a form with a customs stamp. In this case, you can get either cash or a bank card. However, sometimes it happens that there is absolutely not enough time to stand at the counter in line.

In this case, you can send the form with a customs stamp to the address indicated in the form. And in the form itself, be sure to indicate your valid email address and the bank card details necessary for the transfer.

Instructions for actions at the airport

You need to arrive at the airport earlier than you planned. Sometimes it is difficult to find a customs zone. Before you go through the customs area, you need to check in for boarding and take your boarding pass.

Tax Free checks are stamped in the customs area. In order to obtain a customs seal, you must also provide the customs officer with the products for which you wish to receive a tax refund. It would be better if they were in the form in which they were sold.

If you decide to carry the purchased items in your luggage, you should proceed in the following sequence:

  • check in for boarding, but do not check in luggage;
  • go to the customs zone;
  • provide products;
  • take stamps on Tax Free checks;
  • hide packages in luggage;
  • hand over things.

After the customs officer stamps your Tax Free checks, you can go to the bank for money. There is a bank branch at the airport that deals with the return of taxes. But funds can also be obtained at home. So if you’re in a hurry to catch your flight, you don’t have to waste time getting your money back at the airport.

Money can be received within three months from the date of purchase in any country of the European Union, and not only where the purchase was made. And this can be done by the person whose data is recorded on the check (the customs officer checks them with the data of your passport).

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