What is TaxFree? This is a chance to regain part of the value added tax (VAT) or sales tax because as a resident of the country where you are buying, you are not required to pay this tax. From a total of 130 countries that collect this kind of tax, 52 countries have decided to give the possibility to charge part of VAT / sales tax to non-residents.
The European countries of which it is possible to charge a tax free are: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
There are the necessary conditions that must be met to restore part of VAT and are advised to pay close attention to them:
The first requirement - stores where you buy must be in the tax system, free of charge, which means that it must have a signed contract with companies that are brokers in this business. Shops that are in the system of tax-free purchases usually have visible signs indicating Tax Free as below:
The second condition - you need to get above the minimum purchase amount defined in the stores. This amount differs by country. What is important is that the countries, and even different stores, require that you have to purchase the minimum amount for a VAT refund. In Austria, for example, this amount is more than EUR 75, and in Italy from EUR 155 and up. From sellers, you can ask are for a check/account and a tax-free form. Do not be confused, if for example, in Parndorf some sellers say that they do not have the tax free form, since the shop has signed a contract with an intermediary company Global Blue, but then you have to go to the office of Global Blue, which is a part of the Outlet-Parndorf, where the operator will issue a tax free form. Also, in some stores is enough to just take the account, which customs verifies.
The third condition - the form you received or invoice, should be certified by the duty stamp on the border crossing, when leaving the EU. In the case of Serbia, that are commonly Hungary or Croatia. When coming from Hungary, there is a specially designated entrance for those who want to get a stamp on the form or for the account tax free. Customs officers will normally ask for a copy of the invoice or tax forms and we recommend that you make your copies before the border, but even then it's not too late because it is possible to do with the border shippers who have offices in the context of border crossings and customs officials will tell you where you can find them. Next, you will need patience, because the procedure may take time. Customs officers will first ask for a copy of the tax free form or invoice and then they will physically see the goods in order to prevent potential abuses.
Note for Global Blue in Austira - Account/form is needed to be validated at the EU border (when leaving the EU), at the latest 3 months from the date of purchase. A certified account is valid for 3 years.
After fulfilling all these requirements, you have two ways to get your money:
- Certified invoice or form with the number of your credit card - send it to companies that perform mediation and the company will pay the money after checking the account;
- For specific intermediary company Global Blue, Raiffeisen bank will pay the money, but it is important to know that you cannot take the money in every bank branch, but depending on the country you will have to go to the appropriate branch and then get the money. Also, the bank takes the appropriate fee for their service.
News in Global Blue system
If you are unable to collect your tax free, you can authorize someone to do it for you. It is necessary to authorize that person, and that person has to show his/her own passport and a copy of your passport and duly completed authorization that you signed. Also, all outlet store bills and Global Blue tax free forms must be signed / completed by you.
Authorization template can be downloaded here.
However, it should be noted that it is the discretion right of each tax free office, will they pay tax free or not to an authorized person.
Tax Returns (Hungary)
When shopping in Hungary, see the emblem with the words "tax free", ie. Tax free.
The total sum of the invoice (which contains the value added tax - VAT) of at least HUF 50,000.
Ask the seller, where you buy your goods, for a detailed VAT invoice form for VAT refund and tax-free envelope.
Attach an official account, or credit card, with other documents.
Have all documents stamped by Hungarian Customs before leaving Hungary.
From the date of purchase and the date of the customs stamp should not take more than 90 days. Also, pay attention, because it is not allowed to pass for more than 183 days from the date of the customs stamp and the date of reimbursement.
Travelling by air: After receiving your boarding pass (before you board the plane), go to the customs officers.
Important note - VAT refund is not possible without a Hungarian customs stamp.