Destinations that Offer Tax Refunds for Guilt-free Shopping
Posted by lsimoncavage on 25 October 2016
If you like to go shopping on your holidays, then there is some good news for you. Many countries offer tax refunds to tourists upon their departure. Rules do apply and they vary by country. However, with a little planning, you can get some good savings on your next holiday shopping spree. Here is a look at our iVenture Card destinations that do offer tax refunds:
Australia’s Tax Refund Scheme (TRS) lets you claim a refund on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) that you pay on purchases that you take out of Australia. The TRS is open to all overseas visitors and Australian residents. You must have the tax invoice and your purchase must total $300 from any single business and be made in the 60 days before your departure. You will be refunded the total GST (price divided by 11) and/ or the total WET (14.5% of the price your paid for wine). You can make the claim by visiting the TRS facility in any international airport or cruise liner terminal. The TRS even has an app which can make processing your claim faster! For more information on and eligibility visit: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Tour/Are-you-a-traveller.
Visitors to London can reclaim the sales tax (VAT) on purchases from a number of British retailers. To be eligible to claim, you must first purchase goods from any shop displaying the Tax Free shopping sign. Upon purchasing your goods, you will be given a tax refund form from the retailer and you will need to hold on to this form and your receipt. When you arrive at the airport, take your forms and all receipts to a Travelex counter or the customs desk to receive your refund. For more information, visit: http://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/terminal-facilities-and-services/vat-refunds
If you live outside of the European Union and visit Spain, you can enjoy tax free shopping amounting to savings of 21% off of the price of any items purchased where the bill exceeds €90.15. You will need to look for shops that offer tax free shopping and similarly to London, you will need to obtain a form and keep your receipts. Then at the airport you can present your forms to customs or at Travelex. This can be done at both Barcelona and Madrid airports. For more information, visit: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/shopping/tax-free-shopping.html
When departing Singapore, you are eligible for a GST refund through Singapore’s Tourist Refund Scheme. You must spend at least SGD 100 (including GST). You must take your receipts and forms to any of the 3 refund agencies in Singapore: Global Blue, Premier Tax Free and Fintrax Payments (Asia) Pte Ltd or Global Tax Free Pte Ltd. Alternatively, you can sign up for the electronic tourist refund scheme which is quicker than filling out refund forms. For more information on eligibility and Singapore’s Tourist Refund Scheme, visit: https://www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/GST/Consumers/Tourist-Refund-Scheme/
More great news for Australia, London, Spain and Singapore:
You can obtain a Shop Tax Free card from Global Blue - a tax free shopping network. The card allows you to claim your tax savings without the hassle of filling in tax forms each time you purchase something. Each time the card is swiped, your details will automatically be filled in on the Tax Free Form which the sales agent will print out for you. It’s free to sign up! http://www.globalblue.com/discover/introducing-the-new-global-blue-card/
In addition, you can download the Global Blue Tax Free Shopping mobile app which is available for both Android and iOS. The app will show which stores are covered in the refund scheme and give visitors an idea of how much they can save on their tax-free shopping with a Tax Refund Calculator. http://www.globalblue.com/discover/mobile-app/
In Mexico the tourist tax refund is only available to international tourists who buy at stores participating in the program and you must leave the country by plane or a cruise liner. To be eligible, you would have to spend at least 1200 pesos on Mexican goods. Each receipt must be 1200 pesos or the tally of receipts from one business must be at least that amount. To find out if a store is eligible for the program, look for the MONEYBACK logo in the store window. At the airport, look for a MONEYBACK kiosk or office. The refund is around 8.9% of the amount of purchases claimed. For more information, visit: http://moneyback.mx/
Hong Kong and Dubai are tax free destinations so no tax refund is applicable. The United States does charge sales tax but does not have a refund scheme for visitors.
Terms and conditions change regularly so please ensure you check the official websites for your destination prior to travelling.