Everything You Need To Know About Shopping Tax-Free


For savvy shoppers, understanding the concept of tax-free shopping can add a significant advantage during travels. The idea behind tax-free is that since you are not a resident of the country, you aren’t required to pay the country’s tax. Here’s a quick guide on how to take advantage of tax-free shopping on your next trip.

Two Types of Tax-Free Shopping

Tax-free shopping refers to the ability to purchase items without the addition of local sales tax or VAT. This can happen in two main scenarios: purchasing goods in duty-free shops at airports or buying goods in a foreign country and then applying for a tax refund.

How to Shop Tax-Free

Shopping duty-free is pretty straightforward, so here’s a quick guide on how to take advantage of a VAT refund:

  1. Not all stores participate in the VAT refund scheme. If you’re not sure, ask. At the time of purchase, you’ll need to inform the cashier that you intend to claim a VAT refund.
  2. At the point of purchase, you’ll need to fill out a tax-free form provided by the store. You’ll need your passport for this.
  3. When departing the country, present your purchases, receipts, and completed tax-free forms to customs for validation. This usually needs to be done before you check in your luggage.
  4. Once your forms are stamped, you can claim your refund immediately at a refund booth at the airport. Refunds can be received in various forms such as cash, credit to a bank card, or even as a transfer to a digital wallet.


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