Tax-Free Shopping

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Tax-Free Shopping

Nearly all the price tags you see will already include Value-Added Tax (V.A.T.), or what the Dutch call B.T.W. (belasting over de toegevoegde waarde). Most consumer goods and luxury items (including alcohol) are taxed 21%; basic goods and service, 6%. If you're a non-European Union (EU) resident, you can claim this back.

When spending €50 or more at a store, ask for a V.A.T. refund form to be completed on your behalf and attach it to your receipt. Repeat this ritual wherever you shop. Before leaving the EU, have your forms stamped by an airport customs official—be ready to show your forms and receipts and all the new, unused goods you've purchased (thus keeping them separate from checked-in luggage). Afterwards, get remunerated at a refund-service counter or mail in your request. According to Dutch law the form is only valid when stamped within three months after the purchase.

Global Blue is a European-wide service with more than 240,000 affiliated stores and hundreds of refund counters. Its Tax Free Check remunerates shoppers via cash, check, or credit-card adjustment. Global Blue also offers Currency Choice, allowing you to pay with your own currency. For more information www.global-blue.com or 866/706-6090 within the United States or 00800/32-111-111 within the EU.

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