V A T refunds

Dec 16th, 1998, 10:38 AM
Dorothy Johnson
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V A T refunds

We are going to Spain in Mar. If paying with a credit card. How do you get the VAT tax refunded?
Dec 16th, 1998, 11:13 AM
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Dorothy: I'm not sure about Spain, but in other European countries (of which you are not a citizen) you merely save your receipts and turn them in at the airport customs offices (they will tell you the exact name) for your "VAT" refund.

There are limitations concerning amount of the item(s) and what kind of item(s) you purchase.

Have fun!
Dec 16th, 1998, 02:34 PM
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Some stores, if sophisticated and used to dealing with tourists, will prepare two charge forms, one of which includes vat and one which does not. They will not submit either to the credit card company right away. They will give you a VAT form to have stamped at the airport and then you mail to them from the airport..
When they receive it, they submit the charge form to the credit card company
that excluded tax. Therefore you have not paid the vat and will not need to wait for a credit or refund.
If you don't mail the form to the store or they don't receive it within a reasonable period, they will submit to the credit card company the charge that includes the vat and you will not get a refund.
This sounds complicated, and it only works with reputable, experienced stores, but it works well when it works and saves you having to pay the VAT and then wait for a refund.
However you manage it, be sure to allow time at the airport when departing to possibly wait in a long line to get your receipts or certificates stamped. Depending on time of day and how many
agents they had working, I've waited as long as 45 minutes on some occasions.

Dec 16th, 1998, 03:09 PM
wes fowler
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The problems with VAT have been addressed in a Fodor thread or two. Check under General Information. Be aware that with the emergence of the European Union, you know apply for VAT redemption not in the country where purchases were made, but in the country of your departure to the US. Anticipate long lines. Check with the Spanish Tourist Office regarding VAT regulations. Some countries and companies require minimum purchases in one store to qualify for VAT refund. Some countries require that purchases be inspected and matched to receipts. Submission of your documents at your exit point from Europe will result in a credit for VAT being applied to your credit card account.
Dec 16th, 1998, 05:07 PM
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My experience in Great Britian was that I used a credit card for my purchases and went through the ordeal at the airport, although it was not too bad. Then mailed it as soon as I got home and my credit card was promptly credited. It was not that big of a deal really. Maybe I was just lucky.

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