VAT refund

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Avdotia

Senior Member
Russian
Hello, everyone! I know that if you buy some merchandise abroad, you can claim a VAT refund for a purchase but there is a threshold on each purchase. So can I ask a shop-assistant about it in the following way: "How much does the purchase have to be to qualify for a VAT refund?" If if doesn't sound ok, what's a better way to put it, please? Thank you!
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "How much does the purchase have to be to qualify for a VAT refund?" works, but I'd be more likely to say "How much do I have to spend to qualify for a VAT refund?"
     

    Avdotia

    Senior Member
    Russian
    And one more question, if I am not sure that they offer free-tax shopping, can I ask them "Do you offer a VAT refund?
     

    Avdotia

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you, @Andygc ! If it's not the shop that makes the refund, then my question is not exactly correct. Is there a more correct and natural way to find out if I can buy a tax-free merchandise in a particular shop?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    If it's a duty-free shop (for example at an airport), then there is no tax refund. You just don't pay the tax to begin with. (A refund involves you paying the tax first, and then getting it back later).

    If it's an ordinary shop in the street, or perhaps an on-line shop, there are two possibilities:
    1) You pay the tax, and the shop provides paperwork with which you will be able to obtain a tax refund by writing to the tax authority.
    2) You don't pay the tax, but they can't give you the goods. Instead they must send them to you in your country, so that it's a proper export. But you may then have to pay whatever the equivalent of VAT is in your own country when the goods are imported.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Edinburgh, that is incorrect, but this is a language forum.

    Avdotia, in the UK "Are you in the tax-free shopping scheme?" The relevant UK document is VAT Notice 704/1.
     
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