Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Value-Added Tax (VAT) Refund in Europe

For those who travel and shop a lot, one important part of your journey, in my opinion, is being aware of the tax refunds you can get from all the shopping you've done (which you can use in your next travel holiday). You can do this through the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Refund Scheme in Europe (other countries also have their own tax-refund system).

During our travel in Europe, I didn't really plan on shopping but it was still worth the while to read on this topic. Lo and behold, it was useful.

Magnets and snowballs are our usual must-buy from every city or country we visit, but since we were in Switzerland we thought of checking out their Swiss Army knives or the more affordable watches. 

On our trip to Jungfrau, the top of Europe, we found several shops selling watches. Apparently, commemorative watches were sold in celebration of the Jungfraubahn Centennial the following year (2012). Great timing! We were able to buy travel mementos (his and hers) which would remind us a lot about Switzerland - a quality timepiece with an engraving of the Jungfraubahn to commemorate it's centennial. And we got them at really reasonable prices. We didn't expect that since we assumed prices would hike up as the elevation goes higher.

Now for the VAT refund part. 

I asked the shop keeper if they have this tax-refund scheme and she handed over forms for us to fill out and gave us instructions as to how and where we could get our refunds. With passports and receipt in hand, I completed the forms and handed back to her for checking. The rest of the process has to be done upon exiting Europe. That was it!

On our last day in Europe, at Frankfurt International Airport, we queued up at the VAT refund booth, showed the VAT form and the items bought and we got our refund. 

Click here for more details regarding VAT refund in Europe.

Happy Shopping!!!


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