Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Your VAT Tax Refund

Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Your VAT Tax Refund

Hi everyone, welcome back to my channel or welcome If you are brand new here My name is Jessica also known as chic professor on Instagram and I make videos on luxury goods the pre left market and work where Today’s video is going to be four steps and a fifth kind of bonus step to discuss how to get a VAT refund When you are traveling to the EU and you live in a country outside of the EU So let’s go ahead and get started. So I recently took a trip to Europe we went to the UK Greece Italy and France and I bought some things there are some videos with flags and showing what I bought as well as I sort of Experienced this VAT refund process and wanted to talk to you about it I did a lot of research to figure out if it was going to be worth it Which I’ll be discussing in that fifth kind of bonus step But I want to tell you about that experience so that you have the most knowledge possible if you are considering making purchases abroad so step number one is going to be to do your research to figure out if it is going to be worth it and To be smart about where you are making your purchases so one thing I want to say is while a lot of times we are smart about Calculating how much money we’re going to save by buying these goods or how much when you were actually going to get back or what? Country has the highest percentage of that return tax. That is the value-added tax By the way, all of that is all well and good, but do also keep in mind the u.s Customs fee for when you declare things coming back in each person is allowed $800 1600 if you are traveling with another person that is part of your family So I travel with my husband we had a $1,600 allowance and we filled out one customs form for us as a family You do get taxed if you go above that allowance and a certain amount above that allowance if you exceed that you get taxed even more heavily on those goods so that could definitely Take a toll on your battery fund tax So do your research if you’ve determined that you are willing to pay that tax or that you’re going to be below the limit then pay attention to where will be the smartest place to shop what I mean by that is the value-added tax applied to almost Everything that you are going to be purchasing and bringing back To the country that you live in so in most of our cases if you’re watching my video It’s probably going to be luxury goods fashion Handbags, whatever that’s going to be and so those things do count unlike something like your gas your hotel bill food and then each country also has specific other things that they do not allow you to Export right to bring back to the country that you live in so keep that in mind the next thing you want to keep in mind is the timing of your trip so you can only claim your VAT tax if you Are coming back to the u.s. In our case or really wherever you live that’s outside of the EU? You have to be doing that within a certain time period in order to claim the tax back I believe it’s two weeks, but that may change by country so definitely take a look at that the second thing you want to pay attention to in your research is going to be Where do you get your refund back? What’s the smartest way to do it and which country is going to offer you the most refund? So not only do you need to pay attention to the conversion rate of your currency Which I again will talk about in step five, but also each country. It gives a different amount of that tax back I would say the average is 19 to 20 percent But it depends some are more some are less so I know in Italy it’s 22 percent as opposed to France is 20 percent That could make a difference if you are buying something. That is quite expensive so definitely do pay attention to that and Also pay attention to the minimum that you have to spend in order to qualify for a battery fund So France I know is Rea It’s a little bit of a lower percentage of 20% and it’s also one of the highest minimum purchases. Do you have to spend? 175 euros on an item for it to qualify for your VAT refund back. Whereas in the UK I think it’s only thirty pounds that you need to spend in order for it to qualify So definitely do keep that in mind because you want to make sure your purchases are Eligible and that again you are being smart about where you are buying those things Especially if you are travelling to more than one country does it make more sense to buy it in one country? versus another Something that is available in multiple places if you are going to be buying things and they work with the global Bleu Partnership, then there is a free app that you can download which can help you calculate your refund Make sure it’s actually going to be worth it tell you where the refund offices are located because you don’t always have to get them done at the airport and then also figure out What you can bring in what that minimum purchase is all that different information per country So definitely go ahead and check out I will link the website down below, but you can also download the app So that makes it a little bit easier while you are traveling So step number two is my favorite step and that is going to be the shopping step So when you actually go shopping you need to bring your passport with you Some people ask if you can just bring a copy of your passport Most places are not going to allow you to do that They need to see your actual passport in order to fill out the form necessary so when you buy your goods you tell them that you are applying for the VAT refund and they will fill out a form you will need to sign it and fill out a few things and then They will give you an envelope that you cannot lose you need to keep that with you and either take it to a that refund office in whatever city you are in or Take it to a lounge of a of a global blue lounge and then also take it to the airport which you can also, of course if you don’t go to a Office or a lounge you can fill out the information at the airport itself so definitely remember to keep your passport with you to do your research so that you shop Smart and then to have fun shopping and take your passport with you so step three is going to be the stamping once you have bought your goods from the store and You either go to a tax refund office or you go to the globe loo lounge or you go to? The airport and oftentimes it is a kiosk that is before you go through check-in and security you need to get those documents Stamped by a and official so in any of those instances you can do that in the UK at Bicester village I believe it worked with premier first and there was a tax refund office right there I stood in mind they helped me fill out the form and then they actually gave me the cash back right then They also gave me an envelope which I needed to complete step 4 on the other side of the airport and I was talking about That in just a moment That same process happened to I went to the global blue lounge, which was a really nice experience in Venice it was this beautiful place that had free coffee and tea and Just a one-on-one person worked with you and it was just a really nice experience so I definitely recommend going to a lounge if you do have the ability to do so and They filled out the form and then instead of getting cash back I actually got it back on my credit card because she suggested that it saved a lot of money I got more of a return back by getting it onto my credit card and it was just an easier process So I went into that in the global fool out and then I had two other things that I bought that I did not take To one of those two places and those I had to fill out in the airport kiosk the airport kiosk we went to was in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, and it was located in the Arrivals section not the departures section in terminal 5 and terminal 5 is where I flew out of which is this cheap terminal basically It’s where all the cheap airlines go and so it just had this kiosk but a lot of places have the kiosk and you scan your form and they give you a stamp But one thing to keep in mind, is that the kiosk only works if you bought those things in that country so even though you have a certain amount of time in the EU that you can buy things from and For the kiosk to work. It has to be from that country and because I didn’t wind up buying anything in Paris that qualified I Did not I was not able to use the kiosk It captures rejecting my forms So I had to knock on the customs official door and they had to come out and manually stamp my documents That was much less pleasant Because they weren’t super nice But it was easy enough and it was just a little bit of confusion of figuring out that that’s what I needed to do But we’ve eventually got a hold of them and that worked out If the kiosk does work it gives you basically a stamped Document you fill out the form you scan the documents that you got from the different shops And then it gives you this form and there’s a mailbox right there And if you are asking for a return via credit card, you just fill out that paperwork and drop it in the box. I Would take a picture of it before you do that just to have some documentation that shows that you did actually fill out the form that you got it from the shop that you filled it out correctly and Then it was stamped just in case it doesn’t really work because once you drop it in that you are not going to see that farm again and You need to make sure that it basically you do get that refund. If you decide you are not going to get a credit card Return but instead you would like a cash return then you take that stamped envelope from the kiosk with you through check-in and through security in Step three. They can ask you to see your Goods that you bought basically and so you need to have them with you They also I believe can do that in step four so it is smartest to have it in your carry-on in case they do ask to see it and You’ve already checked luggage. I never travel with checked luggage. I only travel carry-on So I was going to have it regardless But I actually did not get asked in step three or four to see my goods So I think that’s just kind of the luck of the job So then you get to step four and step four is actually getting that refund if you did not previously do so in one of the refund offices or the global blue lounge if You just filled it out at the airport. You can actually go ahead and get that cash back as you go through So these are booths basically located on the other side of security. I had a really nice man He helped me fill it out and especially because I was getting things from three different places from the stamped Manually stamped form at the airport as well as the global blue lounge and the premier tax office He just helped to make sure I got everything done correctly Then I put the two that I’d already gotten the refund back that I filled that out Correctly and dropped it in the mailbox on that side. So there’s another mailbox, right? there’s one on step three on one side of the airport and one after security to make sure that you are actually flying out of The EU that is on the second side and then for the things that I filled out right at the airport He went and went ahead and gave me a cash back for that. So I got cash back in Euros for that I did not choose to get it put on a credit card because he just kind of explained it was easier at this point just to do that and The refund wasn’t going to be that much different I think I wound up getting like 18 euros back and it might have been like 20 on my credit card And so just to make sure that it was gonna go through and I wasn’t gonna have to worry about anything else It was just easier to do that And then I had a little bit of money to buy some food in the airport since I’d really spent all of my other euros So that worked out for me, but definitely do your research and figure out what’s gonna be the smartest way for you I do think the lounge is the easiest experience, but you do still have to Drop the form in the mailbox Once you have passed through security and you are going to be on your way out of the EU So do keep in mind that it’s not all done at the lounge right? You do still have to do something at the airport Okay
So step five is determining if this is actually worth it is the money that you get back Actually worth the hassle and that’s up to you Of course keep in mind that you will be taxed if you go over the limit when you come back into the u.s Or whatever country that you go to right you might get taxed based on the customs declaration when you get back in But also figuring out is it actually saving you money to buy these things overseas and for me It really depends so the pound to the dollar is a lot worse of a conversion rate than the euro to the dollar and so for me there were only a few things that were smart to buy in the UK and those were things that just cost less in the UK than they did anywhere else because they were from companies that Made them specifically in the UK for me. I bought L cabinet shoes and L cabinet shoes. Let’s say that costs Two hundred pounds in the u.s. They charged three hundred and ninety five dollars for it now The pound is definitely more than the dollar but it’s not that much more. It’s not double and so You actually are saving money right or there was something that there was a pair of shoes that I loved that were 225 u.s Dollars, there were 95 pounds So there’s quite a big difference in that and so for that company, absolutely It was worth doing that for other companies that might just charge you this straight conversion rate By the time you actually add in your credit card conversion and all those things you might wind up losing money And so that might not be worth it for me if those goods were also available in a place that was taking the euro as opposed to The pound then I save even more money because the euro cost less so something like Louis Vuitton actually charges less for those goods in Europe than they do for the US the US charge is the conversion rate plus some so you are already saving money by buying them in Euros then of course You can pay attention to which country actually gives you the most cash back if you’re visiting multiple places that have the Euro Let’s say then it’s smarter to obviously buy those things there but since you’re already saving money And then you can get more money back from the VAT refund tax than in most of those cases You are actually saving money by buying these things overseas then you would in the u.s Even after all of the fees go through because you don’t know you don’t get that 20% or 22% back There is all of those conversion rates to actually getting the VAT refund tax You’re gonna be lucky if you see maybe 15% and so do keep that in mind it’s It does depend but if you have already saved money, and then you get an additional money back for the that refund tax Then it can definitely be worth it. So do your research and make sure that you decide what’s going to be best for you? So I know my experience is just one in a million, but I hope that it was helpful I know that doing the research was really enlightening to me and made me decide what was gonna be worth buying and what wasn’t going to be and also paying attention to the Minimum that was allowed in different places because we were traveling to multiple countries I wanted to be smart about the purchases that I made and So doing my research definitely helped with that If you have any questions do leave them down below and I will do my best to answer them and I hope to see you in a future video If you liked the video Please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to see more and I will see you in the next one. Bye



    Very informative. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  2. Grace andherhandbag says:

    Thank you for this video! ❤️ There is a chance I might be going to Europe next year so I will definitely bookmark this vid.

  3. Angélique Eva says:

    Thanks for sharing, this was very informative and helpful. Also you look so pretty love the lip color 😊

  4. Beata Collazo says:

    Great video! Paris is it 175 euros for combined purchase or just one item? Ty

  5. HAMED KHAN says:

    If you go to global blue lounge and get stamped , and you drop off the paper work at the airport , do you need to present items again or can you pack your stuff and your good to go ? For example if you buy a perfume or bag can you use it after you go to global blue lounge and just drop off envelope at the airport ?

  6. Felipe Grimmelprez says:

    Can I get VAT Refund from things I bought online?

  7. BM Sulli says:

    Is it maximum of 800 dollar on each item or total of all the items you purchased that goes over 800 dollar for it to be declared?

  8. oopsnui oopsnui says:

    When you claim your VAT refund at the airport, you claim while its original packages (with gift box and hang tag attach to each item) or You claim them unbox and untag? Thanks

  9. Areal Hughes says:

    Hi Chicprofessor!

    Can they also return the refund to my debit card and not credit card? Thank you in advance!


    Hi! Thank you so much for this video! I have a quick question regarding paying duties. So say you purchased $2000 item but after VAT refund it was like 1760 (just calculated 12% off), do you report that you spent $2000 or that you spent $1760?

  11. Laura Kai says:

    Has US customs ever charged you? I bought two purses one for myself and one for my mom. My bf is with me. It was like 1700 euros . Also what happens if I don’t have to get the customs stamp will I get in trouble?

  12. Borbeliscious rdchanel says:

    Hello my dear, after the Officer stamped my forms & receipts. Do I just drop it in the mailbox if I don’t care for the cash refund. ? Thank you 😊

  13. Munika says:

    8:04 Agree! French are not nice, and Paris is so overrated!! unsafe, dirty street "Le Avenue"😅 and Homeless are everywhere ..even next to 5 star hotel in high street..ughhh

  14. Dandan Zou says:

    Any experience with getting the tax free form scanned at the custom and no need to stamp &mail back? I’m getting conflicting information.

  15. Kristoffer Zemlak says:

    Who is this woman?!

  16. Byun Byun says:

    What should i do if i recieved the receipt but did not mail it? I messed up big time

  17. reneykaytea says:

    I went to the VAT desk at the Rome airport, they told me to go to customs. The customs line was 2 hours long, and the customs agents went through everyone’s suitcase before stamping their receipts. I would have missed my flight if I waited to get a customs stamp.

  18. mari c says:

    Hello!!! I have a flight this week, and the custom service will be closed (it works from 7am-10pm). How can I get my stamps??

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