Taxes

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Taxes

The initials TTC (toutes taxes comprises—taxes included) sometimes appear on price lists but, strictly speaking, they're superfluous. All taxes must be included in posted prices in France. By law, hotel prices must include 19.6% taxes and a service charge of 5.5% is charged for food (19.6% for alcohol; set to go up to 21.2% in 2013) in restaurants. The tax for take-away food is 7%. If taxes show up as extra charges, complain.

Many shops offer V.A.T. refunds to foreign shoppers. Non-EU residents (including U.S. and Canada residents) can claim a refund of the 19.6% tax (less a 3% administrative fee) for any goods totaling €175.01 purchased in the same store. Request a détaxe form in the store. You will be asked to show your passport. At the airport or border crossing, present the form, plus the goods purchased, to customs officials, who will issue a stamp. Proceed to the cash refund office. You may also return the form by mail.

Global Blue has refund counters at major airports and border crossings. The service issues refunds in the form of cash, check, or credit-card adjustment.

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