How to Get TAX FREE Refund?

A certain part of the shopping you have made during your trips abroad is tax-free. How is “TAX FREE”, which is valid in almost all countries, ie tax refund calculated and how to get a refund? We answered the frequently asked questions about tax refunds in overseas shopping. What is Tax Free?

How to Get TAX FREE Refund?
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What is Tax Free?

You can get a refund for the taxes collected from you for the products or services you have purchased during your stay abroad. Moreover, you can easily do it by reading our step-by-step Tax Free shopping guide.

The current laws in almost all countries today guarantee that the Tax can only be collected from the citizen, but not from the citizens of other countries.

For this reason, foreigners (tourists, students or temporary residents) should receive a refund of the amount of tax they paid for their expenditures in the country they are in.

Each country may have its own Tax Free return policy. It can only be valid for purchases above the specified limits. Some countries may not refund TaxFree for service category such as hotel, tour and transportation.

You may need to check VAT Tax Free terms on the official website before you go to the country you will be traveling to. If you have Tax Free refunds, go to the airport at least 45 minutes before. Depending on the density, your transactions may take a long time. It is a good idea to arrive early so that your flight is not compromised.

Benefits of Shopping Abroad

Whether you go abroad for vacation or business, we enjoy shopping by purchasing products or services specific to that country. We shop from many product groups such as souvenirs, clothes, cosmetics and electronics as much as economic conditions allow.

We can easily find products of brands and models that are not sold in our country, especially in countries abroad.

But do I have to pay taxes abroad?
If you are one of those who ask, I recommend that you read carefully what I am going to tell you now.

Duty Free Alışveriş
Duty Free Shop at the Airport

Tax Free Shopping Abroad

Tricks of tax-free shopping known as Tax Free all over the world. We have answered your questions about tax-free shopping, which is perhaps the most fun part of traveling abroad. We are now explaining step-by-step 100% effective tax-free return methods.

The Tax Free system is a concept that only applies to live purchases that you make physically. In other words, Value Added Tax is not applied to your online shopping from overseas online stores. Therefore, no Tax Free refund will be made, as no tax is charged to you.

What to Do Before Shopping Abroad

While you are abroad, the following “Global Blue Tax Free” logo should be displayed on the showcase, entrance door or cashier section of the store you want to shop. Stores or workplaces with this logo are places where Global Tax Free Shopping can be done.

If you can’t see this logo, ask the staff “Can I shop tax free?” ask. When you get a Yes answer from the store clerk, enjoy your tax-free shopping.

Global Blue Tax Free Logo

You entered the store for shopping in a country abroad such as the Netherlands, Germany, America or Russia. Tax rates (VAT) are different for each country. Tax in Spain are between 10%-16%, while in Luxembourg almost 0% tax is applied.

For Tax Free, that is, tax-free shopping abroad, you need to physically purchase from the store in that country. In other words, you cannot get Taxfree refunds for products you buy from online stores operating in a foreign country while you are in your home country. Because foreign virtual shopping stores issue your invoice tax-free and there is no refund of non-tax.

Step by Step What You Need to Do for International Tax Free Refund Payment

How to apply for Tax Refund Abroad?

  1. Fill your cart according to your taste and come to the checkout section of the store for payment.
  2. Before paying, indicate that you want to take advantage of the Tax Free Refund application. There are two ways to be followed at this stage;
    • The cashier can make tax-free sales by requesting your Bank account information, Passport and other identification information. This is the easiest form of tax-free shopping.
    • There is another method. They issue the Tax Free Return Form, which is necessary for you to receive the tax amounts on your invoice at the airport. They will then deliver this form to you in a sealed envelope. Paste a barcode or QR code on the envelope. Never open this envelope until the Customs and Tax Free Office at the airport.
  3. Please keep the Return Form, Invoice and the products delivered to you in an envelope without opening the package in order to make the tax refund. They may want to see the product package unopened. However, I have not seen an officer checking individual products until today.
  4. When you leave the country you are in, when you arrive at the airport, go to the Customs (Finance) Office after the Check-in procedures and just before the Passport Control and have the Tax Free Return Forms for your shopping approved by the officer. The Tax Free office never accepts forms not approved by the Customs Office. For this reason, be sure to complete your transactions at the Customs Office before passport control.
  5. After the approval process is completed, go through the Passport Control and apply to the Tax Free office located in the cleared area.
    • Shopping Invoices and slips (included in envelope),
    • Tax Return forms (included in envelope),
    • Your bank information (Credit card number or IBAN number),
    • Your contact information and
    • Passport.
  6. The final step is the tax refund. They pay instantly in cash or after 30 days they make an EFT to the account number you specified. Global Blue offices usually pay cash. However, other Tax Free companies pay by money order or eft after a certain period of time.

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Tax Free Calculator

How is tax refund calculated for your purchases abroad?

I felt the need to make a statement based on the term “Tax Free Calculation“, which is frequently searched in internet search engines. There are lots of Tax Free calculation apps and tools.

However, since the tax rates of countries change frequently, the margin of error is high. Tax rates vary even by category.

That’s why you shouldn’t rely too much on tax calculation tools. Instead, the invoice given to you at the time of purchase abroad clearly shows how much tax each product has.

Where and How to do Tax Free Shopping in Turkey?

In fact, Tax Free shopping is much easier in Turkey compared to many foreign countries. Tax-free shopping can be done in all stores with the Tax Free logo on the showcase glass. Companies called Global Blue Tax Free (Blue Logo) and Tax Free Zone (Red Logo) provide services in Turkey.

Tax Free Shopping Conditions in Turkey

  1. Foreign nationals coming to Turkey, dual citizens and T.R. citizens can benefit.
  2. Not staying in Turkey for more than 6 months in the last 1 year.
  3. To shop at least 100 TL + 18% VAT = 118 ₺, or 100 TL + 8% VAT = 108 ₺. You cannot get a tax refund for your spending below this limit.
  4. Only product-based shopping. You cannot get a Tax refund for expenses in the service category (accommodation, airfare, transportation, etc.).
  5. Keeping the products you purchased while leaving Turkey in an intact (unused) condition.
  6. You must have the Tax Free invoiced products you purchased approved by the Customs Enforcement Office within 3 months.
Kırmızı Tax Free Logosu.
Tax Free Zone Shopping Logo

Steps to Reclaim Tax Free Tax Refund in Turkey

  1. To purchase product(s) with a minimum amount of 100 ₺ + VAT in a shop with the Tax Free logo.
  2. Request an Invoice in Tax Free format from the cashier before paying.
  3. Keep the original packaging of the product you purchased until the day of your flight.
  4. On the day of departure from Turkey, have it approved by the officer in charge at the Customs Enforcement Office after the check-in at the airport.
  5. After passing through the passport control, get the tax refund fee from the Global Blue Tax Free Office.

Tax Free calculation tools only give you an estimate. It is not possible to get a clear result.

Tax Free Return Policies by Country

There is a common Customs Union agreement between European Union countries. For this reason, you can get your tax refund back in the country of origin for your purchases from member countries. For example, you went to Lisbon, Portugal, and you will exit from an airport in Spain, France, the Netherlands and Germany. Here, you will complete the refund process of the taxes you have paid in all these countries in Germany.

How to Make Tax Free Transactions in Spain? (Very Difficulty Taken)

I remember that I struggled for tax free during my trip to Spain about 2 years ago. I made Zara electronic-based shopping in the cities of Barcelona and Seville, amounting to approximately 5.000 ₺. About 1 month later, about 600 ₺ tax refund was deposited into my account for this shopping. However, they give you all kinds of difficulties in order not to receive this refund. If you are patient and follow what I say, you can easily get your tax refund.

Things To Do During Shopping:

I shopped at shopping centers called “El-Corte Ingles” in almost every city in Spain. Did I have all the invoices approved at the tax office of the shopping mall in Barcelona?

Things to do at the Airport:

I came to Barcelona El-Prat Airport to return to Istanbul. Here I did the Check-in process first. Immediately after, I came to the office with the “Custom Tax Office” sign.

Here, the staff told me to have the kiosk scan the barcode on the sealed envelope containing the Tax Free form. I also read. Are you sure on the screen? There were questions such as: I approved all of them and saw the green OK text. Officer:

– After going through the Passport Control, he told me to go to the counter of the Tax Free company and deliver the envelope. I said okay.

After going through passport control, I found the counter that the officer said. However, they asked me to go to the Customs office again just to avoid a tax refund. They said it was a mistake and I had to fix it.

So, I passed the passport control, how do I get back to the Customs Office?

That’s when the tour guide helped. He stated that they said the same thing to him. He said that he would cancel the passport exit and go back to the Customs office and have the error corrected. Thank you, he took my documents and had them re-approved.

I returned to Istanbul and exactly 30 days later they deposited 560 TL into my Credit Card account. Here is the victory!

How to Get a Dutch Tax Free Refund?

I had the chance to get Tax Free refund at Amsterdam Schipol airport 3 years ago. I can say that it is easier than Spain. We visited cities such as Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels and Cologne during the tour, which covers 5 countries (Benelux Tour), which starts in Amsterdam and ends in Amsterdam.

Bu esnada satın aldığım ürünlere ait faturaları Tax Free formatında kestirdim. Schipol havalimanına geldiğimde önce Gümrük Ofisi ardından “Global Blue Tax Free” bankosundan vergi iadesini bi tamam geri aldım. Üstelik nakit ödeme yaptılar. Satın aldığım metal Eyfel Kulesi maketinin 6 € değerindeki vergi kesintisini bile ödediler.

In the meantime, I had the invoices of the products I purchased in Tax Free format. When I arrived at Schipol airport, I first got my tax refund back from the Customs Office and then from the “Global Blue Tax Free” counter. Plus, they paid cash. They even paid the tax deduction of 6 € for the metal Eiffel Tower model I bought.

How to Get Germany Tax Free Refund?

I have traveled to Germany many times, but I have never had a chance to exit through Germany. I have always departed from different EU countries.

My friend with whom I was traveling said that electronic products were more affordable in Germany compared to other countries. He bought an Iphone X phone from a tax-free MediaMarkt store in Germany and easily got his tax refund back at the airport. When he returned to Istanbul, he told it to ballads 🙂

Tax Free for Airport Duty Free Shopping

There are Duty Free shops at airports around the world as well as at Turkish airports. Products from perfumes to electronics, from electronics to clothing are sold in Duty Free stores with a rich product range. Moreover, shopping in Duty Free Stores is completely tax-free. So you don’t have to deal with a mess like Tax Free refund.

It is very fun to shop at the many Duty Free shops only after passport control in the international terminal. Even if you don’t shop in these stores while waiting for your flight, you can spend time just walking around.

Havalimanı LCW Mağazası
Tax-free shops at the airport.

In Duty Free Stores, especially the cosmetics and perfume category, and the cigarette and alcohol category come to the fore. The reason for this is that the products are 100% original and economical prices.

Tax Free Shopping Limit

The taxation policy of each state is different from the other. Even the value added tax collected from foreigners varies from country to country. There is a limit value set for Tax Free purchases.

For example, you cannot get a tax refund for a product you bought for 3 €. There was a tax free limit of 80 € for Spain. They declared that they cannot process invoices below this value at the Tax Free office.

How to Get TAX FREE Refund?” adlı bu yazı en son 16.09.2021 tarihinde güncellenmiştir.

Tufan İNAN
Tufan İNAN
I've traveled to dozens of destinations in Turkey and the world, I'm traveling and I love to share the trip with my accounts via social media blogs with different trips continued to roam. Since I am working on tourism, I have the opportunity to visit and see many local and especially abroad locations. I write with pleasure on "Travel Site Bizyineyollarda" blog where I share my road adventures and travel experiences.

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