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VAT Question- Can You Return With Merchandise and Claim Your Refund?

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Have you ever purchased something in Europe (France specifically in my case), brought it back to the U.S., and returned with the item to collect a VAT refund?

I realize this is a random question, however, I have a bit of a unique situation in that I'm a flight attendant and could easily return with them to collect the VAT.

Here's what happened: I purchased my wedding shoes in Paris this January, but didn't have time to complete the VAT process at CDG when I left. I still have the paperwork and the shoes are unworn in their original packaging. The store where I purchased the shoes in Paris issued me a receipt through the PABLO system. It seems to be mostly automated, so I'm wondering if it would work.

Any insight on the timeline for this sort of thing?

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