Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Can I receive VAT refund if I ship goods home through post office?

Can I receive VAT refund if I ship goods home through post office?

Old Apr 4th, 2011, 04:18 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can I receive VAT refund if I ship goods home through post office?

Hello!

I will be traveling in France (and Germany, but mostly France)... and I'm wondering if I am able to receive my VAT tax refund on goods that I ship home through the post. I do not intend to carry the goods with me until the very end of my trip, and then present them at customs. Does anyone know if I can still receive the refund, and if so, how?

I greatly appreciate any help or insight.

Thanks!
Jaclyn_Costello is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 04:34 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have the shopkeeper send them to you and they should take off the VAT from your charges right then and there.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 05:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 300
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
VAT refunds are normally conducted at the airport prior to departure. All you do is present your VAT refund paperwork at the airport's kiosk and they will give you cash or a credit card credit. You do not have to show them the items purchased nor have them in your possession.
agedude is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 06:34 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agedude-I think not! I travel ALOT and every airport customs I have been through makes it mandatory that you show the goods before they stamp the refund paperwork.It states on the form that "you must be able to present the goods".You either have the store ship them and deduct the VAT or you carry.
dutyfree is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 06:48 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The regulations do indicate you need to have the goods. They meaty not ask to see them but if they do and you do not have them it's a deal breaker.
CarolA is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 07:13 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,985
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
I know it says u may have to show the goods, however, I have never been asked to show what I bought.
yestravel is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 07:34 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,031
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The rules are that you must show the goods. Occasionally a bored inspector may wave you past, stamping your papers without visible evident of purchase, but I have yet to find one.

You could have your purchases mailed or sent to you but I have found shipping costs prohibitively excessive and there is always the question of paying duty on packages entering your home country.
Sarastro is online now  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:01 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thank you everyone... it seems like i'm best off figuring if it's worth it to have things shipped from the store (with vat deducted) or just forget about getting the refund and send everything back myself.

does anyone know, if i spend less than the minimum in france, can i still ask the store clerk to deduct the VAT? for example, if i spend 100 euros, is there a chance the clerk will deduct the VAT?
Jaclyn_Costello is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:09 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,031
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The VAT refund is not a function of what you spend in France, it is a function of what you spend per day per location, the minimum qualifying purchase total being 175€.

You may of course ask a clerk for a deduction but store clerks have no discretion in reference to VAT refunds. All refund requests require paperwork documenting the money refunded, otherwise the store would still be obligated to forward the required tax on the sale to the French government.
Sarastro is online now  
Old Apr 5th, 2011, 01:01 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I went through this yesterday, and the process at the shop is pretty well automated. The run your card through the machine to capture that information, you fill out your mailing address on and sign three slips.

I have been asked to show the goods at CDG, but when I told the douanier that I had packed them, he still accepted the paperwork.

This time, I will be wearing them.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2011, 02:49 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,570
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have, on two occasions, been asked to show the merchandise. As soon as I began getting it out of my bag, the agent changed his mind. I guess he just wanted to know I was prepared to show it.
Judy is online now  
Old Apr 5th, 2011, 02:50 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IME, the store's shipping charges cancel out the VAT refund but they do all the heavy lifting. Whether or not you have to pay Customs when it arrives in the US is a crap shoot.

Posting yourself, very expensive from France to US, means you can pay the postage and will still be liable to Customs/Duty.

Least expensive is carrying it as hand luggage if you can.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2011, 08:32 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree-always put the VAT refund goods in your carryon if you really want your money back.
dutyfree is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
pinglee
Europe
12
Apr 12th, 2012 10:47 AM
jeanne
Europe
7
Jan 24th, 2010 10:23 PM
GiuliaPiraino
Europe
14
Oct 10th, 2008 05:49 PM
Shrink
Europe
13
Oct 23rd, 2004 11:20 AM
bhuty2003
Europe
5
Jun 25th, 2004 07:36 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:39 AM.