A system has been set through which tourists can get a UK VAT Refund, as non-EU residents do not owe any VAT. Tourists visiting Europe leave behind millions of dollars of refundable sales tax. To get a VAT refund, you have to spend a minimum amount. You must talk to your store clerk and tell them that you need your VAT back. Furthermore, a receipt or a slip will be handed over to you that will have your claim mentioned on it. You can then show this receipt to any other store to add onto it, the amount of new purchases made. However, you must buy at least the minimum expenditure in each shop.
If you are touring Europe, you are able to redeem all your receipts at once. This means, when you’re leaving Europe, you can take all your receipts to the customs agent at the airport, who will then stamp your slip, giving you further directions. The private VATrefund desk at the airport is usually always crowded with tourists claiming their refunds. The desk deals with more paperwork there but if you have one of those spiffy new cards, they just swipe that as well.
Refund, in some cases, is also offered on spot. Getting a refund back is not a problem, the issue is getting refunded in euros. You expect to board a flight back to your hometown where the euros are of no use, I guess.
How can you get a VAT refund
You can easily get a tax return if you are a tourist visiting theUK. Even if you are an EU resident, but you decide to leave EU for more than 12 months you are expected to get a refund on VAT. Tax-free shopping is not offered by all retailers. Some retailers hold the policy of offering a VAT refund for goods that are purchased within the last three months. You need to have a VAT 407 provided to you by a retailer; they might also want to consider seeing your eligibility proof -like your passport. The tax refund forms are to be checked at the customs desk, where they guide you with further details on how to receive your refund. Tourists are expected to submit the tax refund forms and original VAT receipts along with the purchased items, just in case the customs officer decides to run a check.
While there are things you can get a refund on, there are also some things on which a VAT refund is not offered. Here is a list of goods on which you cannot get a refund.
- Service charges, like hotel bills.
- New or used cars.
- Goods that are to be exported as freight.
- Mail order sales.
- Goods that are worth more than 600 pounds and are exported for business purpose only.